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COVID Support & Guidance for Accountants

Accountant? Let us help you to help your clients

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Hi All,

This may not fit very well in any answers per se. We won small firm of the year at the Accounting Excellence awards last year and have been trying to help our clients, as I am sure you have, through this crisis. A few years ago we would never have been prepared for this and arguably no one could be but we have been able to pull out some amazing stuff with the help of a supportive team, suppliers and clients.

We created a resource centre for our clients with support and guidance. For context we are a business only accountant mainly helping a small number of SME's. Having recently been a panalist on a webinar to help over 300 accountants navigate the current times the common theme was a lot of confusion and questions, not least in how to deal with the volume of calls and emails you are getting as well as the grey areas of the counter measures being announced.

COVID Resource Centre for Accountants

PLEASE don't take this the wrong way but if you wish to use the material in the resource centre in any way you wish to help your clients please feel free. Our aim is to help as many as possible and feel that keeping it to ourselves is counter productive.

If you do use it I would simply ask please somehow pay it forward down the line and if you could make a comment (including constructively other info we can/could include in the resource centre) in this post that would be great. Let's make this the biggest post in AW history! 

Small businesses need us accountants right now so now is the time to shine :)

Replies (22)

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By lincolnartist
26th Mar 2020 21:21

Thank you for this. As a one-man practice I am drained from dealing with queries this week

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Replying to lincolnartist:
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By NLB
26th Mar 2020 21:44

Make sure you take time to recharge. This is a marathon not a sprint. To help others help yourself. My best piece of advice to a client this week was whilst walking the dog in the fresh air!

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By JimLittle
26th Mar 2020 21:28

Thanks this is very nice of you. It is very useful. Actually we get a few queries on state benefits entitlement and I get confused with universal credit and job seekers allowance

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By NLB
26th Mar 2020 21:46

Find two clients/people you can help tomorrow with it and it’ll be worth it.

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By JimLittle
26th Mar 2020 22:21

Thats very noble - yes I am trying my best to help people but its so desperate out there and only the start.

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By jonkaye
26th Mar 2020 22:40

This really is very kind and of great help.
Like so many others I have been totally inundated with calls and emails from clients and I feel like my head is going to burst.
Thank you again.

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Replying to jonkaye:
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By NLB
26th Mar 2020 22:47

Systemise responses to the 80% and personalise the 20%. You can’t help everyone all the time and some will fail with or without you. Your best IS good enough.

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By rockallj
26th Mar 2020 22:49

Phew not just me then glued to my seat and my phone all day?
Mentally exhausted!

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By Matrix
26th Mar 2020 23:15

Thanks so much. The section on the new rules is great.

A client gets a minority of her income from her self employment and the majority from BTL income.

I assume landlords are not self-employed? (I have no idea if this income has gone down yet, just asking the question since she will ask me.)

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Replying to Matrix:
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By NLB
27th Mar 2020 05:34

Self Employment income has to be the majority (>50%)

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By Matrix
27th Mar 2020 05:39

Thanks but are you saying then that a BTL is not a self employment?

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Replying to Matrix:
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By NH
27th Mar 2020 05:42

Landlords are not classed as Self Employed by HMRC (IMO)

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By NH
27th Mar 2020 05:25

Very useful thanks - just one thing I notice, in the Job Retention Scheme you (and many others I have seen) mention that the grant will be based on the February Salary - there seems to be some confusion here between the two sets of HMRC guidance

The employee guidance states (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronav...)

"How your monthly earnings are calculated
If you’ve been employed (or engaged by an employment business in the case of agency workers) for a full year, employers will claim for the higher of either:

1.the amount you earned in the same month last year
2. an average of your monthly earnings from the last year
If you’ve been employed for less than a year, employers will claim for an average of your monthly earnings since you started work. The same arrangements apply if your monthly pay varies such as if you are on a zero-hour contract"

The employer guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus...
"For full time and part time salaried employees, the employee’s actual salary before tax, as of 28 February should be used to calculate the 80%. Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included"

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Replying to NH:
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By NLB
27th Mar 2020 05:41

Just one of many bits of confusion! As we advise companies as PAYE scheme operators we have used that to guide the reimbursement levels.

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By NH
27th Mar 2020 05:43

Yes we are the same, the trouble is you have clients saying "my employee wants to know how much they will be paid"

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By NLB
27th Mar 2020 07:34

You have to try not to get too drawn in as hard as it is. 80% is the headline number but employer policy on top up or not needs to get taken into consideration. Ultimately most people understand if they have been furloughed their employer will claim the maximum they can for that person in due course. We would also like to know how to claim, when the crisis will end etc :)

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By FirstTab
27th Mar 2020 08:19

Thank you. Why do you want to help accountants? What is in it for you?

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By NH
27th Mar 2020 08:24

Lets not go down that route please for goodness sake, most of us on here are just trying to help each other out

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By FirstTab
27th Mar 2020 08:34

I want to know the hidden agenda here. It is okay to ask. It is all okay to open various roads.

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By MJShone
27th Mar 2020 08:52

Why does there have to be a hidden agenda? Why does anyone on this forum help other accountants? NH/NLB is being generous.

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Replying to MJShone:
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By FirstTab
27th Mar 2020 09:37

"NLB is being generous" really good of them. Time will tell.

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By NLB
27th Mar 2020 09:03

All boats rise with the tide I guess if we promote the profession during a crisis.

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