Here at Williamson & Croft we speak to various businesses across Manchester, Liverpool, the North West and the UK about our services and how we can help them. During these conversations, a lot of industry terminology is used and sometimes it can feel a bit daunting for clients to hear 6 or 7 terms that they’ve never heard of before, especially when we’re talking about their business, their money and their financial situation. So, with that in mind, we’ve come up with a glossary of terms that we use regularly to help you understand a little more about what we do and how we can assist you.
An accountant’s job is to keep or examine the records and data of money that is received, paid and owned by a company or person. Accountants can either be employed within an accounting firm, like Williamson & Croft, within a company’s internal accounting department or they can be an individual practice. They perform multiple types of accounting duties like audits and financial statement analysis. Accountants have bachelor degrees and often have to get one, or several, certificates and qualifications to show they can perform accounting duties.
Accounting For Fast Growth Companies
Accounting for fast-growth companies are services that help businesses who are growing at an exponentially high rate. Often their circumstances will be different to businesses that are growing more steadily which calls for different accounting solutions that can help them manage this growth and ensure stability.
Accounting services are key functions of virtually any business. Accounting services can be carried out in house by a bookkeeper or handled by a firm like Williamson & Croft. Properly run services are vital for a business to know its financial situation and to help it make informed decisions. Broadly, accounting services consist of summarizing, assessing and reporting the financial transactions that relate to the relevant business. There are two important types of accounting – managerial accounting which helps people make business decisions and cost accounting which assesses how much a new product should cost.
Advisory service is a term that refers to people, professionals, giving investment guidance and advice to individuals. Services like this are very broad and all-encompassing, it all depends on the needs of the individual seeking the advice. Often, people will seek these advisory services before making any changes to their portfolio. Most advisors have years of expertise across various industries, this type of knowledge puts them in a great position to offer their advice as a service. They will review their client’s personal situations, determine optimum asset classes, monitor performance and provide portfolio guidance.
A bookkeeper is someone who records the financial transactions of a business and is a key part of the accounting process. This person is vital at ensuring all transactions like sales, purchases, recipes and payments are documented properly. An accountant will then take these books and generate thorough finance reports which allow the business to make decisions.
Business Structure Advice
Business structure advice is another broad term that focuses on everything related to the setup and structure of a company. Depending on the size of the business or the industry in which it operates a business may seek advice about streamlining or expanding their structure in a way that is sustainable and will ultimately lead to success. An advisor in this field will examine the current structure of the business before advising directors, VPs or heads of department on the best approach. There are many types of business structure, it’s up to the advisor to ensure the business understands the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Business accounting consists of 3 basic activities – recording, analysis and interpretation of financial information. They identify economic events such as transactions and investments, systematically record them and use financial statements to present their records to people who will use this information to make business decisions like managers, VPs and heads of department.
Cloud accounting is when people use an accounting system that can be accessed through the internet, it does away with the old fashioned routines and practices of traditional accounting and moves it all online. The key feature of cloud accounting is that records, ledgers and transactions can be accessed from anywhere in the world on any device that has an internet connection.
Restructuring is when a company undergoes a significant transformation in the way in which it does business. This transformation could be to do with debt, operations or hierarchical structure and is usually done in order to strengthen the position of a business. There are lots of reasons why a company may restructure but it’s usually done in response to a personnel change or a need to alter their financial situation.
Construction Industry Scheme Tax
The Construction Industry Scheme Tax (CIS) is a deduction which involves tax being taken from payments that relate to a wide range of construction work. It’s a way of HMRC collecting tax from people as subcontractors rather than employees. CIS applies to contractors or subcontractors who make a payment under a construction contract. Contactors can include builders and property developers or businesses that have spent around £1 million on construction in the last three accounting periods. A subcontractor is something who gets paid under the construction contract and has a duty to carry out operations.
Corporate finance is a division of finance that concerns itself with the way in which large corporations deal with issues like investment decisions, capital structuring and funding sources. The main concern corporate financiers have is trying their best to maximise the shareholder value through proper planning and implementation of effective strategies. Another concern of corporate finance is determining whether or not shareholders should receive dividends.
Corporation Tax Compliance
Corporation tax compliance is the process of ensuring a corporation is paying the correct amount of tax. Corporate tax rates and compliance differ around the world so it’s important that a business understands the rules and regulations of the country they are in. Often they hire a corporate tax expert to find alternative methods to ensure their corporate tax bill is as low as possible while still remaining within the law.
This is the summary of a company’s performance based on a predetermined set of variables agreed upon by various parties. A financial model enables the business to forecast their future financial performance and see how decisions made will affect the finances of the company. Things like cash flow projections, depreciation rates, debt and inflation levels are all taken into account when creating a plan. These variables are tested against a number of variations to see how they react, this information allows a company to see how decisions will affect their finances.
International Tax Services
International taxation services look at how a tax on a business or person is based on the tax laws of different countries. Each country has vastly different complex tax laws so it is the job of an expert in this field to know the different laws and how they will affect an individual or person. They can help or advise their clients about the most effective way to reduce international taxation.
The term investment advice is an all-encompassing term that is to do with any recommendation or guidance that attempts to teach, inform or suggest a particular route for people to take regarding an investment product or series of products. Investment advice tends to come in two forms – formal and informal. Formal is where an investor will pay a fee to receive advice from a qualified expert. Informal comes in the form of blogs, vlogs and forums.
Outsourced Finance Director
An outsourced finance director is a recruiting option for a company who wants to move their financial affairs outside of their business to someone who is an expert. An outsourced finance director will use their expertise to make better, more strategies decisions thanks to clear accurate financial information. Clients pay a set monthly fee for these services which is often cheaper than searching for, recruiting and paying a salary to a full-time in-house finance director.
A basic payroll service will collate all the wage information and hourly rates from employees at a company and then use that to calculate gross wages. They then subtract all the relevant education, pension contributions and expenses to ensure all employees are paid on time and in full. Most payroll services will use cloud-based computing which makes paying employees quicker and more accurate. Clients pay a fee to these companies to manage the payroll of the employees.
R&D Tax Credits
R&D tax credits are a tax break that has been put into place by the UK government. It allows UK businesses to reclaim up to 33% of their R&D costs regardless of whether the project is a success or failure. Small to medium-sized businesses can claim up to 33% and larger companies can get up to 10% refunded. R&D is anything that looks to innovate a new product or help make an existing one better. The money that is saved by R&D tax credits is paid as a corporation tax refined or as a negative corporation tax and the end of the financial year.
Share For Share Exchange
A share for share exchange is a process by which the shares of an existing company are moved to the shareholders of a new company. The shareholders in the old and new company can be the same or new ones can be introduced. In addition shares in the existing company may be worth a different amount in the new company – 10 shares in company A may be worth 2 shares in B.
Tax advisors are specialist financial experts that have acquired advanced training, knowledge and experience in all areas of tax – such as tax accounting and tax law. Tax advisors can encompass several roles like a tax attorney, enrolled agents, financial advisors and Certified Public Accounts. Their main role is to provide strategies and advice, to either individuals or companies, about how they can minimise tax while remaining compliant within the law and regulation. Advice is bespoke to the person or company seeking it and often their services are retained.
A tax credit is extra money that is given to people who need it by their respective government. The two main types of tax credits are the child tax credit and the working tax credit. The former is for parents who get them because they are responsible for a child and the latter is for people in work but on a low income. Tax credits are generally seen as more effective than tax deductions because they reduce the amount of tax you have to pay, as opposed to just reducing the amount of taxable income.
This term refers to the structure put in place by businesses, in the form of an investment or financial plan, so that they pay the least amount of tax possible. There are various ways a business can save on tax and it’s the job of accountancy services to help them create a structure that can limit tax expenditure while making sure they are not breaking the law.
Tax support in the form of tax benefits is a broad term that refers to a reduction or saving for a taxpayer. This type of support reduces the burden of expenditure on an individual or corporation. Often, tax support like this is done to encourage people to spend the saved money on goods and services in order to stimulate an industry or the wider economy. Tax support solutions include deductions, credits, exclusions and shelters. It’s important that people and companies are aware of changing tax law to ensure they remain compliant.
This term typically refers to a service that a professional services firm uses when a business transaction takes place. A merger or acquisition is an example of a transaction service. Services of this kind help businesses evaluate important corporate transactions.
VAT advice is a broad term that encompasses a whole host of different consulting services, centred around creating a structure that ensures a business is paying only the necessary amount of VAT and not a penny more. VAT advice begins with a thorough review of a businesses VAT expenditure before thinking through solutions and new processes that can be used to either reduce the overall bill or move funds around to make it more efficient. A VAT advisor will be able to offer a bespoke service that is unique to you.
VAT compliance is just that, it’s ensuring your business is paying the correct amount of VAT, to avoid breaking the law. From registering your business for UK VAT to submitting your UK VAT returns and submission of your EC sales lists, all of these things and more are necessary steps to ensure you’re VAT compliant. Once all this has been completed your business will be compliant in the eyes of the law. Each journey to compliance is bespoke and it’s important you take the necessary steps to remain compliant.
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Our team works in a number of different sectors, including the property market, construction industry and professional services right the way through to the digital & creative sector, retail & eCommerce and the technology & software industry. So, if you’re after a first-class accountancy firm that will use bespoke solutions to help you deal with your accounting, tax structure or other aspects of your financial affairs then get in touch with the experts at Williamson & Croft.
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Williamson & Croft is a market leading accountancy, advisory and tax firm with particular specialisms in property, construction, retail, digital and creative, technology and professional services.
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