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New funding for Pembrokeshire businesses

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by Mike Fenwick No Comments
Mike Fenwick, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Mike Fenwick, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

The Welsh Government have recently announced 2 new funds for Pembrokeshire businesses in response to the recent decision by Murco to close its refinery operations at Milford Haven.

The new funds are:

The Pembrokeshire Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Small Capital Investment Grant will offer grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 (or for exceptional projects up to £50,000) to a maximum of 50% of project costs. The fund will be open to SMEs based in Pembrokeshire and support projects that create or sustain jobs, exploit new markets to grow business, or invest in Superfast Broadband. The scheme is particularly aimed at SMEs in the energy and environment sector who have been affected by the closure of the Murco oil refinery, and businesses located in deprived wards within the county.

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SORP 2015 bite size guidance: Income – to defer or not to defer?

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by Claire Thompson No Comments
Claire Thompson, Charities and Not for Profit Assistant Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Claire Thompson, Charities and Not for Profit Assistant Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Welcome to our series on SORP 2015 where the specialist charities and not for profit team at Broomfield & Alexander will bring you bite size guidance on the changes that SORP 2015 will bring to your organisation.

Income is the inflow of economic benefits to a charity from the activities that it undertakes.

Many charity’s struggle with whether or not the income they receive should be deferred or recognised in full in the period in which it was received.

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Legal updates: FATCA and Solicitors Handbook Version 12

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by Seamus Gates No Comments
Seamus Gates, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Seamus Gates, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

This week, there are two notable updates which I will cover. Firstly relating to how the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) provisions affect Solicitors Client Accounts.

Our in-house expert, Jane Mellor, recently published a blog post providing a general update and overview of FATCA.

In my blog post, I am going to build on Jane’s blog to focus on this one element of FATCA that is easily overlooked, in all of its lengthy complexity, but has specific relevance to our legal clients and contacts.

Do you appreciate that your solicitors client accounts may come under the new FATCA legislation?

HMRC have issued guidance on the FATCA legislation, and paragraphs 3.15 (referring to Escrow Accounts) and 3.16 (referring to undesignated/designated accounts) may be relevant to your legal firm.

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Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) update

Posted on: November 17th, 2014 by Jane Mellor No Comments
Jane Mellor, Tax Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Jane Mellor, Tax Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Back in May we highlighted the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act provisions (better known as FATCA) as introduced by the US, and the far reaching impact on financial institutions in the UK.  It’s fair to say since then we have seen much professional debate coupled with a degree of inertia with some hoping the whole thing will go away.  Sadly it won’t! It’s here and here to stay, seemingly as long as the US continues to operate a citizenship-based taxation system (as opposed to a residency-based system embraced by the majority of the world), and carries on it’s “extraterritorial” fight against tax evasion.

By way of a further overview; on an annual basis, banks and other affected “Financial Institutions” such as investment companies will be required to report information to the US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) via HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) on income from investments in which US persons have a direct or and indirect interest and payments which they receive.  Effectively FATCA turns foreign banks and other financial institutions into enforcement arms of the IRS.

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SORP 2015 bite size guidance: Principles of recognising income from donations and grants

Posted on: November 17th, 2014 by Joanne Taylor No Comments
Joanne Taylor, Senior Charities & Not for Profit Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Joanne Taylor, Senior Charities & Not for Profit Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Welcome to our series on SORP 2015 where the specialist charities and not for profit team at Broomfield & Alexander will bring you bite size guidance on the changes that SORP 2015 will bring to your organisation.

Income from donations or grants is recognised when:

  • there is evidence of entitlement to the gift
  • receipt is probable
  • amount can be measured reliably

Entitlement for donation purposes usually arises immediately on receipt; whereas, evidence of entitlement for grant purposes will usually exist when the formal offer of funding is communicated in writing.

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Trustee Week 2014: Accountants in charities are important!

Posted on: November 13th, 2014 by Joanne Taylor No Comments
Joanne Taylor, Senior Charities & Not for Profit Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Joanne Taylor, Senior Charities & Not for Profit Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

This week it’s national Trustees’ Week and every day we’ll be bringing you relevant articles for charity trustees, new and old.

Accountants within charities are important… well I would say that wouldn’t I!  But realistically they have to be important.  I have heard service departments of charities grumbling that “finance rule this organisation” and whilst finance shouldn’t rule they should certainly have a hand in ruling.

Over the years we have seen some truly appalling finance functions within charities. There was the Finance Manager who started and by week three had stopped using Sage Accounts and created some spreadsheets – maybe because double entry was a mystery to him – by the time it came to the audit nobody had a clue where they were with the money or what they could plan for going forward.

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SORP 2015 bite size guidance: Introduction to income

Posted on: November 13th, 2014 by Sarah Case No Comments
Sarah Case, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Sarah Case, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Welcome to our series on SORP 2015 where the specialist charities and not for profit team at Broomfield & Alexander will bring you bite size guidance on the changes that SORP 2015 will bring to your organisation.

Income is defined as the flow of economic benefits to a charity from the activities that it undertakes.

Income is an inflow of resources that results in an enhancement to the charity’s assets or a decrease in its liabilities.

It is important to understand the nature of the income you are receiving. There are two broad categories – income from exchange transactions (contract income) and income from non-exchange transactions (gifts).

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Trustees Week 2014: Trustees’ Responsibilities

Posted on: November 12th, 2014 by Sarah Case No Comments
Sarah Case, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Sarah Case, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

This week it’s national Trustees’ Week and every day we’ll be bringing you relevant articles for charity trustees, new and old.

A report by the Charity Commission last year claimed that many charity trustees still ‘fail to understand their duties’. Recent press claims that this is still the case, so in this blog post we take 5 minutes to remind trustees of their key responsibilities and how best to discharge them.

The Commissions ‘Charities Back on Track 2011-2012’ Report revealed that 85% of the Commission’s investigations involved concerns about poor governance or poor trusteeship.

Key responsibilities

So what are the key duties of a trustee? Ultimately, the trustees are responsible for the affairs of the charity including ensuring the charity is solvent, well-run and delivering its charitable outcomes.

The Charity Commission’s guidance ‘The Essential Trustee’ splits out trustees’ duties into 3 key areas; Compliance, Duty of Prudence and Duty of Care.

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Alternative Business Structures – opening up the market for true multi-disciplinary firms?

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by Seamus Gates No Comments
Seamus Gates, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Seamus Gates, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

We have talked previously in blog posts about the potential benefits of Alternative Business Structures (ABS) for law firms seeking to have non-lawyers as partners or raise external finance.

The change in the rules in 2012 was not just about changing the landscape for legal practices, but also enabling the establishment of multi disciplinary practices (MDPs); combining lawyers, accountants and other professionals to result in “one stop shops”.

Whilst there have been more than 250 solicitor firms obtaining permission to become ABS since the rule change, there has been little evidence of the professional cross over. Earlier this year the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) established rules enabling accountants to be authorised to undertake probate work without the involvement of a solicitor.   So far there have been 2 successful applications and 200 expressions of interest, but this still has not produced the multi-disciplinary team approach that the SRA envisaged with the introduction of the ABS.

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Trustees Week 2014: What do new trustees need to know?

Posted on: November 11th, 2014 by SarahCase No Comments
Sarah Case, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Sarah Case, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

This week it’s national Trustees’ Week and every day we’ll be bringing you relevant articles for charity trustees, new and old.

With such a diverse range of charities in Wales, from large big brand charities to small organisations employing just a few people, becoming a trustee in Wales is a good opportunity for anyone interested in volunteering. Those first time trustees will join with the 42,000 trustees that already act for over 9,000 charities in Wales.

Before taking on any duties as a trustee you should be aware of the many responsibilities as they come with plenty of risks.  Even during challenges such as the future of funding in the not-for-profit sector, there will be exciting new opportunities for trustees who will play a vital role shaping the future of organisations.

Trustees are ultimately responsible for everything a charity does and can be held legally accountable for the decisions they make. Consequently, we would urge people to understand the risks and liabilities involved in trusteeship and to undertake due diligence and research into an organisation before they accept a role.

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Latest From The Blog


New funding for Pembrokeshire businesses

Mike Fenwick, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

Mike Fenwick, Director, Broomfield & Alexander

The Welsh Government have recently announced 2 new funds for Pembrokeshire businesses in response to the recent decision by Murco to close its refinery operations at Milford Haven.

The new funds are:

The Pembrokeshire Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Small Capital Investment Grant will offer grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 (or for exceptional projects up to £50,000)...

Read more

SORP 2015 bite size guidance: Income – to defer or not to defer?

Claire Thompson, Charities and Not for Profit Assistant Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Claire Thompson, Charities and Not for Profit Assistant Manager, Broomfield & Alexander

Welcome to our series on SORP 2015 where the specialist charities and not for profit team at Broomfield & Alexander will bring you bite size guidance on the changes that SORP 2015 will bring to your organisation.

Income is the inflow of economic benefits to a charity from the activities...

Read more