Think back a year… Theresa May was in Number 10, there was a new addition to the Royal Family and Brexit negotiations were (still) underway.
It’s been a busy 12 months, and it’s been a busy year in the world of accounting too.
Robert Ellis, Director of Ellis & Co, takes us on a whistle stop tour of the year that was 2019.
In 1989 I put into practice my belief that chartered accountants should work in close partnership with their clients, not just in documenting accounts and completing tax returns, but also in providing a high level of management and financial advice, essential for profitable growth in today’s market.
Thirty years on Ellis & Co is one of the leading accountants and advisers in Chester and Wrexham.
The team and I marked the 30th anniversary with a celebratory event in June at Chester’s 1539 Restaurant and Bar, with clients and local business contacts in attendance.
A very proud moment for me.
2019 began as usual with personal tax returns successfully submitted before the January 31 deadline.
Our IRIS client portal is still proving to be a welcome addition.
The portal is a safe, simple and secure collaborative tool for the team and clients to share documents with each other and get client approval electronically.
We can securely share a set of accounts, a tax return or a financial statement with our clients, while clients can send bank statements, payslips and trial balances to us.
Our clients have been affected by a number of changes throughout the year including the increases in Personal Allowance and Higher Rate Tax threshold.
However, the biggest change for both the team and our clients continued to be Making Tax Digital.
As of April 2019 interaction with HMRC became increasingly digital, with businesses required to use accountancy software packages to record business activity.
Cloud accountancy software is revolutionising the way in which business owners deal with their day to day accounting.
Whilst many accountants are slow to react to changes such as these, here at Ellis & Co we feel that it is important that clients understand the new system and we’re prepared for its introduction.
With this in mind we have, yet again, held Making Tax Digital seminars throughout the year for our clients.
Our software specialist Anna Rowson-Smith offers three free hours training and set up to all our clients, please be sure to contact us if you haven’t taken up this offer.
Rather than considering Making Tax Digital as a program to ‘help out’ HMRC, it is more importantly a great asset to your business through giving up to date financial information on the performance of your business.
Speaking of growth, we’ve seen an increase in clients and staff this year.
James Ellis joined us as a senior accountant and Leon Stowell as a trainee accountant; both are a welcome addition to the team and have settled in well.
We have continued to support and work well with the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce, attending numerous networking events throughout the year including Young Chamber and the Chamber’s Annual Ball.
As Strategic Members of the Chamber; with John Farrell as a member of the Focus Group and I serving as a Board Director we look forward to seeing what the Chamber has in store for 2020.
Ellis & Co has also supported a number of events organised by the University of Chester throughout the year, including: presenting a cheque to the highest performing accounting student; judging at the Dragon’s Den style ‘Pitch’ and welcoming a work placement student into the office for five weeks.
Our accountants John Farrell and John Moorhouse have been taking time out of their busy schedules to hold weekly Q&A drop in sessions at two of the Universities sites: Thornton Science Park and The Riverside Innovation Centre.
The West Cheshire Women’s Network, ran by our accountant Alison Howell and Marketing and PR manager Natalie Tomlinson, continues to go from strength to strength.
Our annual golf day was a great success, the weather was mixed but we managed to raise a great amount for our chosen charity My Name is Not Cancer.
We also introduced a new networking event into the calendar this year, Thursday is the New Friday Networking, run in conjunction with NatWest and The Chamber of Commerce.
These events have been so well supported that we have decided to run them again next year, all dates can be found on our website.
We have continued to support and work well with all our partners throughout the year and aim to maintain and enhance these relationships in 2020.
On a personal note I wish to thank all of our clients for their continued support throughout 2019 and hope you have a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.
We now look forward to 2020, which looks set to be another eventful year.