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An employee has told you that they are unhappy in their role and wish to leave your employment as soon as possible. As their heart clearly isn’t in the job anymore can you treat them less favourably than other employees?

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Larking Gowen invite you and your colleagues to enter its Business Challenge, a special competition held within the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon which takes place on 18 September 2016.

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An employee with a one-month notice period in his employment contract has just tendered his resignation. He’s also stated that he won’t be coming into work again. Where do you stand legally?

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Following the success of their recent Tourism & Leisure Business Survey Event, Larking Gowen Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors continues their commitment to the Suffolk Tourism sector by investing in a series of sponsorship projects at the Suffolk Show – taking place on 1 & 2 June 2016.

 

Organised by the Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA), the Suffolk Show is in its 176th year and takes place at Ipswich’s Trinity Park. The show prides itself on featuring everything that contributes to the uniqueness of Suffolk - gathering and showcasing the region’s most salubrious food and drink collections, agricultural heritage and farming showmanship to offer a mammoth collection of pure Suffolk pride. The annual Suffolk Show attracts around 86,000 visitors, 800 trade stands and over 3,000 equine and livestock exhibitors and is the county’s largest 2-day visitor experience.

 

Larking Gowen is one of the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms with a series of specialities dedicated to Tourism, Food and Drink and Agriculture. The firm has a dedicated interest in nurturing local food and farming industries across their core counties and supporting the tourism, leisure and hospitality organisations which are in abundance in our richly-cultured region. With this in mind, Larking Gowen is investing in several Suffolk Show initiatives to best represent their commitment and further strengthen their foothold as leading financial advisors in East Anglia.

 

The Tourism Village – the best Suffolk attractions under one roof!

 

A new feature for 2016, the Tourism Village is a new area of the Suffolk Show designed to profile the wonderful tourist attractions which Suffolk has to offer. Supporting East Anglia’s push to promote local theme parks and heritage sites, the Suffolk Show has capitalised on the huge numbers of show visitors to promote the region’s leading attractions in one area.

 

Tourism is one of the largest sectors in the region with a value of £7.7 billion and has created 155,000 jobs. As financial specialists in Tourism markets, Larking Gowen is delighted to sponsor the Tourism Village and meet visitors alongside the county’s key tourist attractions such as Discover Newmarket, Africa Alive and Banham Zoo. For the first time, the Woodside Riverside Trust (WRT) will take a 46-ft replica boat to the Suffolk Show. Taking the centre stage is a replica of Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon ship, the Sae Wylfing, which is a working copy of the ship which was found at the renowned burial site near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

 

As a tribute to the importance of tourism in our regions, Larking Gowen offers professional support and business advice to these types of organisations. The firm understands the challenges for this industry - increasing volumes of administration and the implications of seasonal sales as examples - and offers a series of sector-specific disciplines such as business expansion and consolidation guidance, taxation advice, succession planning and investment leadership.

 

Suffolk Show Director, Bill Baker, says: “We’re very excited to be introducing a brand new Tourism Village to the show this year. Suffolk is a wonderful destination and is popular with visitors from across the country. We also know our show-goers are always looking for activities and days out which are on their doorstep and we are delighted to be supporting the vast range of destinations the county has to offer.”

 

Sharyn Scott, Business Development Manager at Larking Gowen, added: “Tourism is becoming a very strong industry in Suffolk and across East Anglia as a whole. We’re delighted to support the first ever Tourism Village at this year’s Suffolk Show, profiling the many attractions our fantastic county has to offer and encouraging the thousands of show visitors to enjoy days out, weekends away and holidays on their doorstep.”

 

Gastro-heaven at the Tastes of Anglia showcase area

 

In previous years, the Suffolk Show’s event feedback showed that visitors wanted to see and experience more East Anglian produce – predominately the smaller brands with unique gourmet offerings and artisan recipes. Having heard of their successful events remit and reputation in East Anglia, the Suffolk Show called on Tastes of Anglia to present a collective array of local gastronomic delights and connoisseur brands at the 2016 show.

 

Tastes of Anglia is a membership organisation which was created over 20-years ago to support and promote the food and drink industry of the region. ToA supports the county’s infamous food and drink champions – celebrating Suffolk’s high quality producers, independent retailers and catering businesses from large brands to small start-up businesses. This is an area that Larking Gowen knows only too well and commits to supporting local producers though financial management and corporate administration processes with their “farm-to-fork” business path – which strategically bridges commercial and community overlaps between food and drink, agriculture and tourism and leisure.

Having previously supported Tastes of Anglia at the Essex Festival of Food & Drink in 2015, Larking Gowen was quick to offer their support of the ToA Showcase Area of the Suffolk Show – this time focussing their efforts on Suffolk food producers and retailers. For 2016, Larking Gowen is delighted to announce their sponsorship of the Tastes of Anglia area and welcomes 24 local producers to showcase their home-grown, locally-reared and uniquely prepared food and drink items.

 

To visit the Larking Gowen, the Tastes of Anglia Showcase area or the Tourism Village, please visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk

 

Press Contact:

Sharyn Scott: Business Development Manager: Sharyn.scott@larking-gowen.co.uk

Tel: 07557 739288

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The 2016 Larking Gowen Annual Tourism Business Survey reports sustained growth in the region’s Tourism and Leisure sector - with businesses across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex continuing to see an upward trend of customer spending. However, whilst the survey findings remain positive, the results also show a clear request for more governmental funding to be directed to these counties and more local authority support.

 

Tourism is one of the largest sectors for value and employment in the region.This industry is of significant value - worth £7.7 billion to the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex with £2.9 billion of this attributed directly to Norfolk (compared to £1.9billion to Cornwall – which is the same level as Suffolk, for example), and has also created 155,000 jobs in these areas. Now in its 10th year, this survey has seen considerable changes in the economic and political climate and provides the region’s tourism organisations and decision makers with a wealth of valuable statistics and outlooks.

 

Current figures show conditions in the sector to be healthy; 64% of participating businesses reported growth in turnover from the 57% in the 2015 survey. However, the real positivity lies with the turnover growth in spite of inflation - 67% of businesses seeing increases of 6% in 2015 with a similar level of increase expected for 2016. Historically, forecasted growth within the survey has been remarkably accurate - a positive sign for sector. More importantly, the bottom line also appears strong with 53% of businesses enjoying an increase in profits for 2015, which may continue into 2016 as 59% of businesses predict further profit surges. However, long term profitability is causing apprehension with 28% of businesses highlighting it as a concern for the future.

 

From an organisational perspective, 94% of participants suggested that they had increased or maintained staff numbers compared to the previously reported 80%. The survey also reports a shift in the number of businesses employing zero-hour-contract staff with 44% of employers having staff on this arrangement. Of these employers, 35% of these staff work 21 hours or more per week. Staff pay will increase in all but 6% of surveyed businesses- a decrease from the previous year.

 

Whilst we like to discuss politics, it appears that politicians don’t like to talk about the tourism sector in these counties. In the survey, 81% believe that the government does not do enough to support tourism in the area and 57% think that no party stands out

as being a major supporter - which of course prompts the debate into VAT; 78% of those surveyed call for a reduction. However, it is notable that 7% in this sector do not wish to see a VAT change this year - compared to 10% in 2015.

 

The 2016 Larking Gowen Annual Tourism Business Survey also looks to gauge the regional business opinions of Tourism support in other areas of the UK - highlighting the disproportionate government funding of better-promoted regions such as the Lake District and Cornwall. Closer to home, there seems to be plenty of concerns for businesses with 41% expressing worries about the state of the UK economy and 36% reporting worries about the influence of the weather – despite the reality being that last year’s weather showed either no effect on overall business for 32% or even had a positive influence for 32%. Additionally, 2015 and the start of 2016 saw terrible events overseas which impacted overseas travel. It was therefore no surprise to see a decrease in the number of regional businesses concerned about cheap European holidays (10% down from 29% in 2015) and a 5% fall in the worry over UK VAT rates (down from 25%).

 

Survey publisher and Tourism and Leisure Partner at Larking Gowen, Chris Scargill, says:

 

“It is interesting to see how the survey has developed over the past 10-years and it is pleasing to see how businesses appear to be in a better position than a decade ago. However businesses feel strongly that the Government does not provide enough support for our region. We proudly host a Tourism and Leisure industry worth £7.7bn in the eastern counties and it is important that the voices of the contributing businesses are heard.”

 

To obtain a free copy of the survey, please visit www.tourismsurveys.co.uk or email tourism@larking-gowen.co.uk to request a copy. Alternatively Chris Scargill is available for comment. Please get in touch with Sharyn Scott to arrange contact.

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We have seen a recent increase in the number of emails that carry ransomware, which is malicious software that encrypts your data, only unlocking it in exchange for payment or ransom. This can be potentially ruinous for a business, especially as often the only solution is to simply “pay up”.

One particularly unpleasant version known as MSIL/Samas is currently in the news, as the FBI itself has asked US businesses to help with it’s investigations into the threat.  What makes MSIL/Samas particularly devastating is that it aims to encrypt entire networks rather than one computer at a time, and it will also search for backup files and delete them.

So we thought it worth providing some simple, good practice advice on how to stay safe from the threat of ransomware:

 

Be email savvy

Ransomware infections are often contained within a zip file attached to an email, or embedded within a Microsoft Word document (disguised as an invoice for example). Be very vigilant when receiving emails with attachments and if in any doubt whatsoever, DO NOT OPEN IT. Do not assume that they are safe just because they appear to come from some one you know – this is easy for hackers to simulate. You can always call the sender to check if an email is genuine.

 

Make it policy

Remember, a chain is only a strong as it’s weakest link, so ensure that EVERYONE in your organisation is aware of best practice and treats emails with caution.

 

Avoid Microsoft Office attachments

Encourage people to send you attachments as PDFs rather than Office documents (we would suggest that this is good practice anyway). Many businesses now block all emails with Office attachments; drastic perhaps but it provides a key extra layer of protection from potential viruses.

 

Disable Macros

Ensure that you have disabled Macros in Microsoft Office. You will find this under File, options, Trust Centre, Trust Centre Settings. The option disable all macros with notification should be ticked.  If the attached document asks you enable Macros it’s almost certainly contains a virus so NEVER enable Macros unless you are 100% certain.

 

Antivirus Software

Ensure you have good quality antivirus software that will scan incoming emails for viruses, monitor files as they are opened and perform periodic scans of your system, including USB connected devices. Thousands of new viruses are detected every year, so it is vital to keep it up to date to ensure protection against the latest virus threats.

 

Stay up to date

Keep ALL of your software up to date, not just your antivirus. The people who create viruses are very clever and will often specifically tailor an attack to software that is not up to date, because by reverse engineering the update they can identify and exploit the very issues the update seeks to address.

 

Keep back ups

Keep a regular full system back up that is stored off site and isolated from your network. Many ransomware variants will try to encrypt data on connected network shares and removable drives, and if you use a synchronised backup system such as Dropbox or OneDrive, ransomware viruses are capable of encrypting these as well. Ideally these backup will be “serialised”, with older versions of files available in case newer versions have been corrupted or encrypted.

 

Review your disaster recovery procedures

As data usage becomes ever more critical to a business, you should have tried and tested disaster recovery procedures in place that enable your business to get back up and running following a disastrous event such as virus attack, fire, flood or theft.

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Ipswich, 2nd March 2016 Larking Gowen is a major independent partnership of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors and, with nine offices across East Anglia, is proud to be rated one of the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms.

 

The end of the first quarter is a significant pinnacle in both the firm and their clients’ calendars. The chancellor George Osborne will announce the Spring Budget on Wednesday 16th March which will have financial bearings – including tax, investment and pension – on businesses across the country.

 

To support and guide their clients and sector contacts, Larking Gowen is inviting local professionals to their 2016 Budget Review event taking place in both Norwich and Ipswich on Thursday 17th March. Delegates will have the opportunity to hear Larking Gowen’s designated tax specialists share their understanding of the key Budget changes and resulting impact on businesses as well as enjoy the firm’s usual excellent standard of engagement and hospitality.

 

The event has also appointed renowned Guest Speakers into their sessions. David Sheepshanks CBE, speaking at the Ipswich event, is best known for his extensive career in football and charity, serving Ipswich Town Football Club as Chairman for over 25-years and founding Ipswich Town Community Trust. Speaking at the Norwich event, Richard Draper MBE is the co-founder of The Benjamin Foundation which has charitable and community objectives both local to Norfolk and expanding regionally.

 

Register your attendance using the contact details below and meet the firm’s Tax Partner Richard Proctor and the Larking Gowen Tax team to identify how the Spring Budget may impact your business.

 

Ipswich Event: Thursday 17th March 2016

The Atrium, Wherstead Park

The Street, Wherstead, Ipswich IP9 2BJ

12:30pm          Buffet Lunch

1:30pm            Presentations Start

 

To reserve your place at either event, please visit:

www.larking-gowen.co.uk/events or contact Karen Kavanagh on 01603 624181.

 

Larking Gowen is registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. A member of MHA.

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Receiving enquiries on your website is often the main way that businesses interact with new leads, but all too often we come across instances where there is absolutely no tracking set up to monitor the number of enquiries, where they come from, and how much they might be increasing or decreasing over time.

Setting up your website to track this is a pretty easy process, but to do this you will need to know a few things:

  • The website URL of your contact page
  • The login details for your Analytics account (e.g. Google Analytics)
  • What happens when an enquiry is submitted (e.g. does it go to a "thank you" page?)

If you need help with any of these elements, feel free to drop me a line.

So, assuming that you have these three pieces of information, let's dive in!

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Just recently there have been some significant changes to the way Google AdWords display their adverts, which may be having a significant impact on the traffic you receive from your campaigns.

In this article, I'll cover three important changes introduced by AdWords with some quick tips for you to check whether your campaigns need a bit of attention to ensure that they are bringing in the best return on investment.

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Fundamental plans to redesign the UK defined contribution pension system (as opposed to workplace final salary schemes) were announced as part of the Budget 2014 speech.  This is the most far-reaching reform to the taxation of pensions since the regime was introduced in 1921, introducing new flexibility to the pensions system.

 

By further relaxing the rules around income withdrawals from pension funds, which have been available since April 2015, people have greater flexibility and choice about how they can access their money.  Those who want to guarantee a regular income for life can of course still purchase an annuity (or a life-time income).

 

TAKING PENSION SAVINGS

The changes mean that people will be in a position to choose how they take their pension savings: for example, they could take all their pension savings as a lump sum, draw them down over time or buy an annuity. 

The Government is also considering whether the tax rules that prevent individuals aged 75 and over from claiming tax relief on their pension contributions should be amended or abolished.

The reforms now allow people greater freedom and choice over accessing their defined contribution pension savings at retirement.  The changes include:

  • Drawing some or all of the accumulated pot upon request
  • Ability to pass a pension down to future generations of your family more easily
  • Changes to the tax rules for pension withdrawals and death benefits (potentially more favourable for some)
  • Increasing the maximum size of a small pension pot which can be taken as a lump sum (regardless of total pension wealth) from £2,000 to £10,000; and increasing the number of personal pots that can be taken under these rules from two to three.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR PENSION POT – A WEALTH WARNING

Whilst these changes do give people more choice, it may be that they will be giving up valuable existing benefits in their current arrangements. Additionally, as not all providers will be offering total flexibility in their pensions, it is even more important that those approaching retirement seek professional advice about their options.

 

Do contact Karen Last at Clayden Financial on 01473 730090 or email karen@claydens.com .

www.claydens.com.

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A Suffolk based entrepreneur is hoping to revolutionise the way small businesses order office essentials after launching a new platform designed to help companies make significant savings when it comes to purchasing printed materials.

Peter Brady founded Ipswich-based graphic design and print specialist Mutual Media in 2004. After securing a contract with DPG, a national Training Company, Peter and his team invested in developing a new e-procurement system which allowed print and training material orders to be placed online and distributed directly to each of the company’s training venues throughout the UK.

Mutual Media currently produces nearly half a million wage slips for Baker Tilly, a national accountancy practice, each year through this system. The new system allows purchasing managers to monitor and replenish stock at the click of a button and Peter recognised the system could also offer significant benefits to small and medium sized businesses.

The new system can be accessed from Mutual Media’s website: Once a company has registered, any printed materials including letterheads, business cards and even marketing brochures can be re-ordered at the click of the button. All prices are guaranteed for a minimum period of twelve months, helping businesses to manage budgets effectively, and avoid the need to find space to hold large quantities of printed materials – something Peter believes will benefit many small businesses.

Peter Brady, Founder of Mutual Media, said:

“When most businesses look to purchasing stationery, price is one of the most important considerations. It’s worth remembering that badly produced letterheads and business cards can seriously damage the credibility of your brand.

“We recognised our e-procurement system wasn’t just something which could benefit our existing clients, but one which could help many businesses throughout East Anglia and the UK. By signing up to the free system, business owners can monitor usage, track orders and replenish stock quickly and easily.

“Over the past decade Mutual Media has helped hundreds of businesses throughout the UK to make cost savings when it comes to managing print orders and after securing the contract with DPG, we decided to invest in a bespoke procurement system which could simplify the process of creating repeat orders. The service has proved to be extremely successful, helping businesses to make both cost and time savings.

“Anyone who has ordered printed materials understands that there can be significant savings by purchasing large quantities, but this can create storage problems and even wastage. The system means that businesses of all sizes can benefit from our purchasing power and order what’s likely to be used in any given period."

The system is aimed at small businesses in the Suffolk and East Anglia areas. New and existing customers can register to use the service free of charge by calling Mutual Media on 01473 659563

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Having the right mindset is absolutely essential if you are to be successful in anything and business is no exception. If everything is a bit rusty and the cogs in your brain are dry, you are not going to achieve the success you desire.

At the core of every truly successful business person is the absolute belief that they will succeed. They know this because they have a strong, focused, driven, positive mindset with a vivid picture of the outcome they want.

So here's the secret to success - be crystal clear about what you want, have a laser-beam focus on it and be prepared to pay the costs of achieving it. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Of course in the real world its all a bit more difficult.

Knowing what you want isn't always easy to articulate. Do you know what you want? If you think you do know, is it what you really want or is it a false dream that will ultimately  disappoint you when you achieve it?

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Why do you want to be successful?
  2. What does success look like to you?
  3. Can your personal life cope with the demands of your ambitions?
  4. How will you know when you have achieved success?

Once you have answered these questions honestly and perhaps discussed them with the other people that are important to you in your life, you will be ready to take the next step.

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Did you know that businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk could be eligible for grants of between £5,000 and £500,000 to help expand?

 

For growing businesses, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership can offer grants, of between £5,000 and £500,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk through its Growing Business Fund. These grants can provide up to 20% of the total project and for every £10,000 of funding, at least one job must be created. Some parts of Ipswich are in 'Assisted Areas' and qualify for 30% intervention. You can ask for a free appointment with the New Anglia Growth Hub's business advisers to discuss your plans for growth. Call 0300 333 6536 or email growthhub@newanglia.co.uk 

To find out more about the Growing Business Fund, visit the website - http://www.newanglia.co.uk/growing-business-fund/ 

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The accumulative efforts of 4 organisations came to fruition on Sunday 20 September with the biggest and most well-attended running event in Ipswich. The Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon took place from Christchurch Park and recorded a record 1800 entrants and thousands of local spectators.

 

The race is organised and sponsored by local partners Larking Gowen, Ipswich Borough Council, Ipswich JAFFA Running Club and Macmillan Cancer Research and celebrates its seventh year. The 2015 event created several sporting, commercial and community initiatives; an international race-walk standard was introduced to the race, the Business Challenge hosted an inter-firm competition between 17-teams and fundraising opportunities were maximised for both organised charities and community groups. The impressive input from every group and individual promoted worthy recognition – the Heroes of the Half.

 

Unrelenting sun and challenging hills produces victorious winners

Hours of training and nutritional preparation goes into running a half marathon and for the region’s top athletes, their commitment paid off. Despite the unpredicted heat and the renowned course hills, some truly breath-taking times were recorded for the race’s Top 3 Men and Women runners. Anthony Jackson won the race overall and in the men’s category in 1h16m followed closely by Joshua Entwhistle just 19-seconds later. For the women, Jaffa’s own Helen Davies led the way in 1h22m followed by last year’s winner Odette Robson in 1h24m. Winners were awarded a trophy, free entry into next year’s race and a cash prize for their efforts. Running club achievements were kept close to home with the leading men and women’s running clubs both being from a home team: Ipswich Jaffa Running Club.

 

Royal Mail scoops top position in the Business Challenge for the second year!

The Business Challenge is an inter-company “best-time” competition which has previously attracted participation from businesses wanting to take on the 13.1 race as a team initiative – building corporate team spirit, increasing fitness and competing with industry associates! The 2015 Business Challenge recorded 19 teams; the town welcomed corporate competition from LV=, Willis, Bucks Consultants, Smart 421, George Baker Shipping, BT Adastral Park, Larking Gowen, UCS, Scrutton Bland, Suffolk County Council, BT and HM Prison.

Guillaume Plouvier, representing George Baker Shipping in Felixstowe, achieved an amazing finishing time of 1h41mins and comments on the team performance:

“The George Baker team were really enthusiastic about the Business Challenge – I’ve ran the Ipswich Half before and competition is strong! The course is tough but the support was brilliant. We are definitely keen to join forces as team George Baker and tackle the Ipswich Half again.”

Title Sponsors, Larking Gowen, also committed a Business Challenge team to the event alongside Partner Luke Morris. The Business Challenge team sported purple and white for the company. The East Anglian Accountancy firm nominated key staff to award prizes to race winners and hand out medals as runners crossed the finish line. As a first-time half marathoner, Rob Haddow reflects on the spectator impact:

“The support was brilliant – residents were even coming out of their houses with jelly babies to give runners a sugar hit for the final few miles. Everyone roots for you. This is my first race and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. Today was a proud day for Larking Gowen.”

Becky Ames, Larking Gowen Manager and Partner from 1 October comments:

“I thought it was a great event; feedback from runners was very positive and it is great to see that this has clearly become an important event in the running calendar.  I always find many of the runner’s stories inspirational - particularly those running for charity.  The Business Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for some friendly inter-firm competition.  Larking Gowen is proud to sponsor this event and I would like to thank the runners, organisers and volunteers for making it happen.”

Ipswich-based legal-eagles Barker Gotelee flew to success with their Business Challenge team, the BG Trotters, who also celebrated victory with their lead runner, Nick Palmer, finishing 15th place with an amazing chip time of 1h23m. He comments on the race:

“The Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon is the best of the 10 half marathon courses I have run. There was so much encouragement around the course, particularly up Constitution Hill both times! The route was excellent and the cheering from marshals was brilliant. Thanks to all involved in organising this beforehand and on the day.”

Each Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon Business Challenge team receives profile-building media coverage from the Sponsors as part of their commitment to local businesses and gratitude to event support. The results have proved rewarding and the inter-company fighting spirit is an exhilarating part of the race.   Results of finishing teams as follows:

 

Position

Team

Collective Time

1

Royal Mail

4:41:40

2

BT Adastral Park

4:45:37

3

HM Prison Warren Hill

4:59:31

4

Bucks Consultants

4:59:58

5

SCC Resource Management

5:10:18

6

Willis – Cool Runners

5:11:35

7

Scrutton Bland All Stars

5:27:00

8

Barker Gotelee – BG Trotters

5:31:31

9

George Baker Shipping

5:33:13

10

Willis – Lifers

5:34:08

11

Larking Gowen

5:52:04

12

Smart421 – The Smarties

6:37:10

 

They Ran for Ruth – with £14,000 to show for it!

A 45-strong group of runners sailed through the 13.1miles to achieve their fundraising ambition. The determination of Danny and James Mehmed and their all-in-white team “Running for Ruth” was a talking point of the race and certainly a pinnacle of dedication. With humble expectations, Running for Ruth had aimed to raise £500 for a park bench in honour of Ruth Mehmed who lost her life to a brain tumour last year but instead gained regional charity exposure and a mammoth £14,000 for Brain Tumour Research. Running for Ruth’s fastest finisher, Ben Laud, completed the course in 1h35minutes, just 19minutes behind the race’s fastest overall winner! James “Jim-Bob” Mehmed, brother-in-law of Ruth Mehmed, comments:

“The RFR team performance has been amazing – some of us are running with injuries already but we still managed to pull 13.1miles out of the bag – even on a really hot day! The course supporters and spectators have been amazing and pulled us through when the going got tough. We are overwhelmed by public donations – thank you whole-heartedly”.

 

A new Cancer Centre for Ipswich and a true local heroine

Charity Partner Macmillan is no stranger to sporting events and the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon continued the organisation’s pledge to high fundraising goals. Macmillan’s aim of a new cancer support site – the Woolverstone Centre - at Ipswich Hospital will come to fruition in summer 2016 and the event raised £15,000 for cancer research and support. One fundraiser, cancer patient Bianca Carpenter, invests significant amounts of her time to raise awareness of Macmillan and cancer support in recognition of the support which she and her family received during her cancer diagnoses and treatment. She tackled the half marathon, whilst still in recovery, and generated £1215 for the charity by proudly crossing the finish line with fellow supporter Owen in 2h25m.

Bianca comments on the support:

“I always say "you are only as strong as you believe"! I truly think that it's all about mind over matter when getting through something like having cancer but without Macmillan support I wouldn't be where I am today"

 

Kings of the road: the Centurion Heroes who walked to victory – and quickly!

Daniel and Dominic King took on their first half marathon on Sunday in preparation for international Rio Olympic qualifiers in several weeks. Spectators and runners will have seen the twins in their full race-walk glory – a first for the Larking Gowen Half Marathon and a rare sight at a running race. Daniel and Dominic, both Centurion ultra-marathon walkers, adopted a remarkable and highly-skilled race-walk technique and they completed the 13.1miles within 1h35m and 1h36m. Daniel’s duties to the Community Action Suffolk and provision of event volunteers meant that the duo recognised the commitment involved to make such a large event happen. Daniel King says:

“This is the first time that we have race-walked the Ipswich Half. It certainly is an honest course! The spectators were just amazing. My work at Community Action Suffolk makes me really appreciate what is takes to volunteer at an event like this and today the helpers came out in force.”

Dominic King comments on the half marathon experience:

“We will certainly consider half marathons as part of our continued training into international race-walking. We were so pleased to show our race technique to the people of Ipswich – we really can go fast! I’d like to think that other runners will consider race-walking in the future; it’s great for these with re-occurring injuries as it has much less impact than running.”

 

The Sponsor Partners reflect on the event

The Sponsor Partners are naturally delighted with the event, spectator and runner performance. Kate Wooldridge, Chair for Sponsor Partner Ipswich Jaffa Running Club, comments:

“Everyone has commented on the excellent organisation from the sponsors and the support from the event volunteers has been unprecedented this year. I know how much goes on behind the scenes to make a large event like this happen – I want to thank everyone involved and give a big well done to Carl, Hannah and Alison from Jaffa, Larking Gowen, Macmillan and the events team.”

Larking Gowen Business Development Manager responsible for the marketing and sponsorship of the event, Sharyn Scott comments:

The race and all its elements fits into the community ethic of Larking Gowen and the Sponsor Partners. It is a great outcome that this race continues to grow and goes from strength to strength with record numbers of runners, supporters and charity fundraising this year. We are delighted to be continuing our support to local community events by sponsorship of both the Ipswich and the City of Norwich Half Marathons”.

Responsible for the whole event, Carl Ashton, Race Director for the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon and Jaffa member, reflects on the race.

“We are so pleased that the event continues to go from strength to strength. Each year we are seeing an increase in participant numbers and the large number of spectators along the route is fantastic to see. We had runners from across the country which is having a positive economic impact on the town and also spotlighting Ipswich as a great place to visit and stay. We hope to build on the continuing success next by making the event even bigger and better”.

 

For more information on the race visit: www.ipswichhalfmarathon.co.uk.

 

Press Contact:

Jessica Baldry Momo Marketing e. jess@momo-marketing.co.uk

Larking Gowen is registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. A member of MHA.

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25th August 2015: Larking Gowen is a major independent partnership of Chartered Accountants and business advisors with nine offices across Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk, and is proud to be rated one of the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms.

This year, the 300-strong professional services provider has seen rapid growth with regional practice mergers, continuing the momentum gained within core markets of medical, agriculture, tourism and food & drink. This strategic drive, with a regional focus on Suffolk and North Essex, calls for an organisational boost of resources. As a result, Larking Gowen was only too happy to assign a new Partner to the team.

 

Manager Becky Ames has nearly 20-years’ experience within the firm, joining as a graduate and working in many of the Larking Gowen offices throughout her career to date. Becky is being promoted to Partner as of October 2015, a promotion awarded for her esteemed commitment to Larking Gowen, her adoption of new challenges and her already valued business and committee input into firm-wide developments supporting Small Owner Managed Businesses (SMEs) and private clients.

 

An accredited Chartered Accountant, Becky’s primary focus is working closely with the staff based in Ipswich to increase the client base in Suffolk and Essex. With her team, Becky invests in supporting SMEs by providing business services to start-ups at the challenging “grass roots” beginning. This approach enables Becky to build long-term relationships with clients, and to become an entrusted business advisor as her clients develop, mature and expand.

 

To further support Larking Gowen’s “new generation” bid, Becky also has the rewarding role of identifying the growth potential for the firm’s Ipswich office across a wide range of sectors. A particular focus is the food & drink sector, with emphasis on local produce, management and administration. For many years, Larking Gowen has been the market-leader in providing accountancy services to the agricultural sector in East Anglia, and Becky’s previous dealings with businesses in the tourism and leisure industry provides a commercial overlap. East Anglia is enviably perceived as a food & drink hub of the UK, a market that Becky and her team know only too well!

 

Becky comments:

“I am excited to be working closely with the food and drink industry, a fast-growing and constantly changing marketplace. The food and drink sector is an integral part of the tourism industry in East Anglia, and we understand the issues such businesses are facing.   We work closely with organisations such as Tastes of Anglia and Visit East Anglia, to provide pro-active advice and solutions to business owners facing daily challenges in this market. My aim is to always become a trusted advisor of a business, whether it be a start-up ensuring they have the correct structure in place, to a more established business requiring assistance with obtaining finance as they grow. We pride ourselves on providing excellent client service, and the relationships we build with our clients are key to providing this.

“I am very proud to be appointed a Partner of the firm which has provided the opportunities for me to develop my skills and career to this point. There are undoubtedly exciting challenges ahead and I am looking forward to working with my fellow partners to develop the firm, and in playing a key role in helping businesses in Suffolk and Essex to prosper and grow. By achieving growth within the firm we can provide opportunities for others to have similarly fulfilling careers at Larking Gowen.” Becky.ames@larking-gowen.co.uk

 

For more information on Larking Gowen: www.larking-gowen.co.uk

For more information on Larking Gowen Hubbard Lloyd: www.hubbardlloyd.co.uk

 

About Larking Gowen

Larking Gowen is a major regional independent partnership and one of the UK’s top 40 accountancy firms.

The firm has experience and expert knowledge across a wide range of sectors including agriculture, medical, charities, education, legal, construction and tourism, as well as specialist teams in corporate finance, personal and corporate tax, VAT, business strategy and support and business recovery.

A member of national association MHA, the firm is registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland and regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Founded in 1888, today Larking Gowen has a team of approximately 300 people across nine offices throughout East Anglia. Following a merger in 2014, this includes the specialist medical practice, trading under the name Hubbard Lloyd.

 

Press Contact:

Jessica Baldry Momo Marketing e. jess@momo-marketing.co.uk

 

Larking Gowen is registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. A member of MHA.

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19th August 2015: Liverpool Victoria is one of the country’s largest insurance companies with over five million customers and a product portfolio ranging from car, home, travel and life insurance to investment and retirement solutions. The company operates from 16-national offices with one local branch situated in Crown Street in Ipswich town centre.

As a business, LV= is fully committed to supporting local community activities and when a member of the Ipswich office, Lewis Brown-Sawyer, introduced the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon to the rest of the team, the insurance firm saw it as an ideal company initiative with its close location and backing of the company pledge of local charity fundraising.

 

Getting ready to run with The Business Challenge

Sponsored by local partners Larking Gowen, Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich JAFFA Running Club, the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon has already reached record entrant numbers and has committed to a series of profile-building and community-driven activities to bring together local individuals and companies. The Business Challenge is an inter-company “best-time” competition which has previously attracted participation from businesses wanting to take on the 13.1 race as a team initiative – building corporate team spirit, increasing fitness and competing with industry associates!

This corporate contest is open to regional businesses who wish to enter a collective group of runners (4 runners per team) into the race; a team’s best collective finishing time from 3 of its members count towards the overall team score. Winners are awarded a handsome trophy for their efforts, event publicity and importantly, a £100 donation to the charity of their choice. As part of the event’s marketing plans, entrant’s profiles will also be included in digital campaigns to boost exposure to local and regional contacts.

 

Forming an alliance in a race to the finish line

Lewis also saw commercial merit in entering the race as a team initiative to publicly support the LV= brand and to reinforce group unity amongst staff. Recognising the growing popularity of the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon and actively encouraging staff to sign up to the challenge – ultimately committing 13-staff in 4-teams. The sporting history of the group was varied – some had never completed a long-distance run and a few members were frequent participants of other races – including the LV= sponsored Brentwood Half Marathon. Tim Buttle, fellow entrant, says:

“The 2015 Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon is my fourth Ipswich Half; I started running them in 2012 after being inspired by the efforts of our Olympians that year. I also wanted to make some positive lifestyle changes and running was one of them. The biggest challenge was definitely Constitution Hill at both 5 miles and 9 miles. The route planner was obviously trying to test race participants - I can’t believe they found so many hills in what is known as a flat part of the country!”

 

Bringing the LV= values to Ipswich

Sustained community action is a corporate aspiration for LV=; the firm’s 6000 employees are involved in community fundraising and volunteering nationally and on a local level. LV= Ipswich nominated a cause close to their hearts; the National MPS Society which provides research and support of Sanfilippo Syndrome – a genetic metabolic disorder which was recently diagnosed to a colleague’s child. LV= has been contributing to the charity over the last year and hopes that the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon will further enhance their charitable aims.

LV= is passionate about making a positive impact on charity aid, localities and event sponsorship. On a national level, the organisation are active supporters of Rugby and Cricket through sponsoring of the LV= Cup and the LV= County Championship.

Commenting on the Ipswich team participation from the head office, LV= Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Samantha Preece asserts the firm’s charitable qualities:

“I’m delighted that so many of our people are getting involved in this iconic town event. They should be proud that their efforts will result in raising much needed funds for such a worthwhile charity”

Sharyn Scott, Business Development Manager for event’s title sponsor Larking Gowen comments on the LV= commitment:

"The Business Challenge adds a real element of corporate competition and a commercial edge to the event. We invest in profile-building of Business Challenge participants within our scope of media partners and event sponsors; the results have proved rewarding for local companies and the inter-firm adrenaline is an original and exhilarating part of the Larking Gowen Ipswich Half Marathon.

We are naturally thrilled with the level of commitment shown by LV= Ipswich and the strength of corporate support from their head office – we wish them the very best of luck in meeting their charity goals and hope that other local Insurance providers are able to step up to the Business Challenge and give LV= a run-for-their-money!”

 

Enter the Business Challenge: http://www.ipswichhalfmarathon.com/business-challenge/

For more information on the race visit: www.ipswichhalfmarathon.co.uk.

 

Press Contact:

Jessica Baldry Momo Marketing e. jess@momo-marketing.co.uk

Larking Gowen is registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. A member of MHA.

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On 22nd July 2015 HMRC issued a consultation document on this subject stating that by their estimation in 2012/2013, some £5.9bn tax was lost to the economy by businesses or individuals failing to declare a source of income.

The basic idea is to collect data from third parties who facilitate trade either between businesses or business to consumers and largely through those providing the online facilities through which these transactions take place.  This will affect those selling through ebay, amazon, etsy, airbnb and paypal including apps sold through Apple’s App store and the Google Play Store.

Let’s look at it simply, banks are already obliged to provide HMRC with details of interest paid to individuals and businesses and when tax returns are submitted HMRC can run a simple cross check with returns and throw out any mismatches for further potential checks.

If we apply the same principal to the number of, or value of, transactions flowing through the websites listed above then HMRC will have the data they need to check if tax is being paid where it should be.  Current legislative powers allows HMRC to demand details of Income, Transactions and Assets as well as name and address information and this will be extended to Electronic payment providers and business intermediaries.

So!

Advertising boards and Platforms – linking a supplier with potential customers.

App Stores – a platform for applications for devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Booking and Reservation Intermediaries – reservation of goods or services and perhaps taking deposits.

All are likely to be affected.

It won’t just be sellers of good that will be affected but rental income and commissions to which this new approach will apply.

If you are a trader selling goods or services through a website, and remember my list is not exclusive, or you have a property which you let through an internet intermediary and don’t include the income you generate in your accounts or on your tax return for the relevant year you might receive a letter from HMRC enquiring into your tax return. That initial letter might look relatively innocuous at first but could broaden out into a full blown investigation with the risk of significant penalties if you are found to have concealed undisclosed income.

Who will the Revenue go for at first? They might go for the ‘big boys’, those with significant volumes of transactions or value of transactions, or they might test the water, and their systems, with smaller operators. However, what is clear is that with increasing amounts of business being transacted through the internet, HMRC will look to this as an increasing sources of funds and, no doubt, they will have the technology as well as the legislation to do this.

HMRC calculate that an attack on this basis will yield £860 million over the next 5 years.  This isn’t significant even when you look at 2020/2021, where they anticipate raising £285 million, when compared to the £5.9 billion lost through the black economy, but it will have an effect on non compliant Small or Medium Sized  Businesses or Sole Traders who don’t declare their full income and may encourage more of these to comply with tax legislation..

With an increasing use of the internet for shopping the government see an increasing ability for the evader to operate and I think we can see greater emphasis being placed on clamping down on ‘rogue’ traders. This is likely to be only the thin edge of the wedge.

If there is anything in this article you wish to discuss further please contact your nearest office or alternatively email Philip directly at: philip.hunt@astonshaw.co.uk

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If there’s one thing we know about us Brits, it’s that we love our property. With the issue nothing short of a national obsession, it’s no surprise that Estate Agents large and small have invested heavily in all things digital to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour. Digital has well and truly disrupted the way we buy, sell and rent homes.

We’re not just flocking to our laptop or PC to browse for homes, though – today’s house-hunter is more mobile than ever before. In fact, research by property company Rightmove earlier this year revealed that smartphones and tablets account for an impressive 40% of page views, and drive up site traffic by 27%.

With property-seekers going mobile (a trend that, no doubt, will continue to skyrocket), what’s next for Estate Agents? We think that Augmented Reality (AR) is set to have a real impact on the property market, enabling companies to gain a unique competitive advantage in an increasingly heated market – and all while providing a valuable experience for the end-user. In fact this shift is already well under way with the more enlightened and innovative businesses in the sector.

As anyone who has gone through the process of buying a property will know, access to information is everything. With the move to mobile, having the right information at your finger tips at the right time is a real value-add for the consumer. It’s perhaps why QR codes were so keenly adopted within the sector as a short cut to an agent’s website and property details in the past. Unfortunately the act of scanning QR codes and poorly optimised webpages for mobile meant that the user experience was far from perfect. (A case of right idea wrong execution).

With AR technology it's now a different story. With easy-to-scan codes and tailor-made experiences that deliver the content you need  instantly: be that floor plans, additional photos of the property, video tour, street map, the agent’s contact details saved direct to your device or open days as calendar reminder.

As an Agent it means that all your marketing becomes a multimedia portal transforming print materials into an interactive wonderland, helping your window displays, for sale boards and business cards all work harder for you delivering greater engagement and dwell time. And all at the most affordable price on the market.

Estate Agents like Spicerhaart and Felicity J Lord have brought Augmented Reality to their signage and magazines, giving readers access to details like floor plans, complete and up-to-date specifications and the opportunity to connect with agents directly.

Regional newspaper advertising remains a really important avenue for estate agents to secure instructions, but now with the ability to join together print with Augmented Reality embedded into the newspaper advertising , agents can open up a truly interactive experience for potential buyers.

The property market is one that has already seen extraordinary disruption with the likes of Zoopla and Right Move changing the dynamics of search and advertising forever. Augmented reality offers another digital utility mobilising the physical world of Estate Agents marketing mix to benefit end users. With the benefits the Augmented Reality solution brings to the market we’re delighted to be pioneering this exciting new opportunity for local independent Estate Agents.

 

BeeAppy Limited is an Ipswich based ‘Out of Home’ advertising business. We offer a content management service based on the Zappar Augmented Reality platform.

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The number of public Wi-Fi hotspots has grown massively in recent years. One report suggests the UK has one for every 11 people while worldwide there is one for every 150 people. It estimates there will be nearly 47 million public hotspots across the globe by the end of 2014.

While this coverage is a boon for an increasing number of users with smartphones, especially those in urban areas, this new age of open access has brought with it a number of security issues.

The biggest safety concern is that the data being transmitted over these public hotspots normally isn’t encrypted. This means that if someone is monitoring a particular hotspot they will be able to see everything an individual is typing, including valuable information such as usernames, passwords and bank account details.

And while using a reputable Wi-Fi provider, such as BT or O2, shouldn’t cause a problem, users have no guarantees of security.

Another current security concern about the plethora of free Wi-Fi access and public access points is that very little work has taken place to verify the identity of the organisations behind the access points. The reason this is important is because public hotspots are easy to mimic and a growing number of the trusting public are quick to use them. Casual passers-by are now used to finding free and open Wi-Fi and so are more likely to discover they have become the potential victim of criminals and those wishing to capture their information.

If criminals want to set up a scam it is straightforward to install an open wireless connection outside a café or other public space and give it a convincing name. All they then need is some software to monitor traffic and log everything that happens over that connection.

One recent experiment by IT security firm F-Secure saw the company set up a monitored public Wi-Fi hotspot in a busy London location for half an hour. In that time 33 users had connected to the service and 32MB of traffic had been collected including sensitive information from e-mails.

The answer to improving this growing problem is that a joined up approach from all stakeholders is required – device manufacturers need to make phones that are more secure while telecoms providers need to be more upfront about

what data is being taken from a customer‘s device in return for a Wi-Fi service over and above the terms and conditions.

Individual users can protect themselves in a number of ways – by adopting a Virtual Private Network (VPN), turning off the Wi-Fi on handheld devices when on the move and only using trusted Wi-Fi access points secured with a password.

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In what is seen as a surprise, Budget announcement investors who receive more than £5,000 from company dividends held outside tax-efficient plans such as ISAs will pay more tax from April 2016.

At present, dividends paid to basic-rate taxpayers are regarded as taxed already within the corporate tax system so there is no further tax to pay. Under the new rules only the first £5,000 a year of dividend income will remain tax free.

For dividend income above this allowance, basic-rate taxpayers will pay 7.5%, whilst higher-rate taxpayers will pay 32.5% tax and those who pay the additional-rate will face 38.1% tax.

While these rates are below the main rates of income tax, the Government says people who received significant dividend income – for example from very large shareholdings typically of more than £140,000 if a 3.5p% yield is assumed – would pay more than they do currently.

The table compares the current rates with the new ones just announced t:

 

20% taxpayers

40%taxpayers

45% taxpayers

Effective dividend tax rate now

   0%

   25%

30.56%

Rate after April 2016 (after £5,000 allowance)

   7.5%

32.5%

38.1%

Source: HM Treasury

The Budget announcement clearly represents a potentially significant tax increase for people with high incomes. While 1 million people who receive dividends will see an effective £5,000 tax-free allowance, the changes will increase top-rate taxpayers’ contributions by at least 25%. Despite the Chancellor wanting to encourage saving the new tax structure could now do exactly the opposite.  

The Treasury said the changes "will ensure that ordinary investors with smaller portfolios and modest dividend income will see no change in their tax liability – and some will pay less tax".  It added: "Combined with the increases the Government has made to the personal allowance and the introduction of the personal savings allowance [which allows interest on savings accounts to be paid tax-free], from April 2016 individuals will be able to receive up to £17,000 of income per annum tax-free.

By way of a background, the current system of tax credits on dividends was designed over 40 years ago when corporation tax was more than 50% and the total tax bill on dividends for some was more than 80%.  Fortunately since then tax rates including corporation tax have fallen, leaving the dividend tax credit as an arguably arcane and complex feature of the tax system.  Gordon Brown angered investors in 1997 when he stopped pension funds and non-taxpayers from reclaiming the tax credit on dividends; a move blamed in part for deficits later experienced by pension funds.

Alongside further cuts to corporation tax rates for all businesses, the Government is committed to reforming and simplifying the system of dividend taxation, whilst maintaining the extensive tax reliefs for investments held in ISAs and pensions. However the agenda is clear. The changes will inevitably start to reduce the incentive for workers to set up companies through which to be reward themselves by means of dividends rather than national insurance – bearing wages.  “This will reduce the cost to the Exchequer of future 'tax-motivated incorporation' (or TMI) by £500m a year from 2019-20”, the Treasury said, adding that the tax system "will continue to encourage entrepreneurship and investment including through lower rates of corporation tax".

It seems this reform will have impact on SMEs and their remuneration strategy particularly.  We recommend that between now and April 2016 people consider (with our advice) the tax impacts of the change on company shareholders.  The change is so significant that under the new system a person with no other income would be able to extract only £15,600 tax (and NI) free from their company, compared to nearly £39,000 currently - which explains the fact that around £2bn is expected to be raised overall by the change.

Larking Gowen is registered to carry out audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. A member of MHA.

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