Call 01329 844145 - email contact@compassaccountants.co.uk

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Client Focus

This month, we catch up with a Compass client- the Treasurer and Trustee of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust - Chris Bolt.

The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust is a volunteer led charity, originally formed back in 1951 when it was then named ‘The Kennet and Avon Canal Association’. Back then, the goal of the organisation was to restore the derelict canal. 

It was in 1962 that the organisation became a charitable trust, and in 1990, after a long campaign to raise funds for the restoration, the canal was fully restored and reopened by Queen Elizabeth II. Now, the canal is an 87-mile-long heritage and leisure park which runs between Reading and Bristol passing through Newbury, Hungerford, Pewsey, Devizes, Trowbridge, Bradford on Avon, Bath and Bristol.

The Trust’s main responsibility, however, is running the Kennet and Avon Canal centre and museum in Devizes, and the Grade I listed ‘Crofton Beam Engines’ site near Marlborough, which boasts the world’s oldest working steam beam engines still working in its original location and performing its original task. Crofton was built over 200 years ago to supply water to the highest point of the canal and is now considered one of the most important surviving remains of the Industrial Revolution in England. The Trust also has a trading subsidiary which operates trip boats on the canal and licenses tea rooms and cafés in Trust properties along the canal.

“Our museum celebrates the history of the canal” explains Chris Bolt, Treasurer and Trustee of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. “Its artefacts are always being updated as we often receive new items or photos related to the canal donated by members of the surrounding communities or other museums.”

“We have just put in a grant application for the restoration of an Archimedean screw, currently located at the Crofton site, which was used for draining the canal for works in the 19th century. It was recovered from the canal in Hungerford and will now be professionally conserved.”

The Crofton site is set in picturesque grounds overlooking Wilton Water reservoir and the canal, and on specific weekends, in the summer both engines are run, pumping water into the canal with steam being supplied by a coal-fired, Lancashire boiler, just as it was over 100 years ago.

“Seeing the beam engines in operation at Crofton is really quite something, and can attract large crowds when they are in operation” says Chris, “We have as many as 20,000 people visiting a year and hope to develop that further alongside many other special events we have planned for the summer.”

“Last year, at Crofton we received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to preserve the building and develop the activities, and this year we plan to add a family trail and other activities to encourage schools to visit. We also have plans to add activity panels to explain the workings of the engines when they are not in operation and a new play area for children.”

Working with Compass…

“The Compass Accountants team have been extremely helpful and are always available to provide expert advice. I joined the Trust earlier this year and they have been so helpful in getting me up to speed with the accounting audit.” adds Chris. “The Trust’s finance team have always found Compass a pleasure to deal with and going through the accounts for the Trust and the trading subsidiary is always a very smooth process.”

If you are interested in visiting Kennet and Avon Canal Trust’s attractions you can find opening times, directions and anything else you need to know, here:

www.katrust.org.uk

www.croftonbeamengines.org

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Introducing … Evergreen Insurance Services

Compass Accountants would like to introduce you to Dave Gardiner - the founder of the ethical business, Evergreen Insurance Services…

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Evergreen Insurance has been providing personal and commercial services for both individuals and businesses for over 2 years - but it isn’t your average run of the mill provider.

Founder of Evergreen, Dave Gardiner, has a love and passion for nature and the environment, which is the driving force behind the business. With an impressive background in insurance and 20 years’ experience in the industry, Dave launched Evergreen in 2017, when he decided to positively impact the environment whilst providing a service.

How is this done? Well, when clients of Evergreen sign up, they choose from one of over 20 different environmental and wildlife charities that the business supports, and a percentage of the commission fees that Evergreen earns are donated to that particular charity (at no extra cost to clients).

In the first year, this contribution is 10% of Evergreens' commission fee, in the second this rises to 15%, and on the third- (and all other consecutive years)- 25% of profits from each client go to the chosen charities. Evergreen even strives to demonstrate to clients the direct impact their custom has had, by providing tangible evidence and feedback from the respective charity projects.

“What we offer is quite unique.” Explains Dave Gardiner. “Many organisations may make a donation towards a specific project or may have a trust for charities - but there isn’t really anyone like us that says, if you take a policy out with us you will support a particular charity of your choice.”

The charities that Evergreen supports are a varied group of causes including the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, Buglife, LionAid, Butterfly Conservation, Just One Ocean, League Against Cruel Sports, Whale and Dolphin Conservation and many, many more.

“The person taking out the policy can decide on the charity they support – and if they are unable to choose, the profits can be spread across all.” continues Dave, “We are also constantly looking for environmental programmes, charities and conservation parties to team up with to increase the causes we support.”

“We want to grow our business to help our clients with their commercial and personal insurance needs whilst helping to support the natural world. This is a business model that comes from a passionate person, who loves wildlife, who has seen a way of making a change whilst running a business.”

“We are as passionate about providing great insurance solutions coupled with outstanding service as we are about the natural world and want to help raise much needed funds to protect our precious environment. Many people are unaware of the fact that making choices about your day to day purchases can have a huge impact on that planet.”

“We are now about to embark on various other projects, for example we hope to partner with a 100% renewable energy company and a not-for-profit telephony company that buys land to develop and sustain meadow environments.”

If you would like to find out more about Evergreen’s personal OR commercial insurance services, please go to the website and learn about the different charities you can make a difference to.

Evergreen can help with a broad range of insurance needs from charities, offices, shops and vehicle fleets to home, pets and holidays.

You can request your quote from the Evergreen website

www.evergreeninsuranceservices.co.uk

Or by calling: 020 3372 2160 (Mon - Fri – 9am-5.30pm)

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Property campaign

Compass warns landlords of HMRC’s property campaign

Free advice to be offered to landlords

Compass Accountants has issued a warning to landlords in the Hampshire area that the HMRC is about to reinforce its campaign to target residential landlords generating an income from properties. 

We are currently warning landlords that the HMRC is using new information about property rentals to identify property owners who have not fully declared their income.

If an individual does not make a voluntary disclosure now and HMRC finds out later, they could be charged higher penalties, or even face criminal prosecution.

Director of Compass Accountants, Kerry Lawrance explains, “In many cases, certain people are completely unaware of the fact that they need to complete a tax return for money gained through letting. For example, those who have inherited a property, rented out a property to cover mortgage payments, or moved in with someone else and now rent out their property, will all need to pay tax on their earnings. If you are someone who fits into this, or a similar category, we would strongly advise taking action, and making a voluntary disclosure. This way, you will avoid higher penalties or even criminal prosecution.”

There is no specific deadline date for disclosure as the campaign is ongoing. HMRC are expected to consider the circumstances of each individual, however, deliberately withholding information will lead to a higher penalty than if people have simply made a mistake.

We are offering free consultation meetings to discuss the issue with landlords, where we will explain the implications and guide people through the process of disclosure.

To book a free consultation with us, call 01329 844145 or email contact@compassaccountants.co.uk

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Client Focus

This month we catch up with Compass Accountant’s client and business owner, Ian Hooper- of Hooper Services Ltd

It was back in 1990, that as a heating engineer, Ian Hooper decided to launch his own business. Initially, as a sole trader, he focused mainly on the repair of numatic vacuums and ran the business from his mum’s conservatory. Fast forward 29 years, and Hooper Services Ltd is a well-established business with a showroom, offices, workshop and warehouse, employing 14 people from its site in Farlington, Portsmouth.

“Our service offering has continuously developed.” explains Ian. “Now, not only do we provide repairs for cleaning equipment, we also provide Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), we offer training courses, supply white goods, machinery and chemical products and are now the preferred suppliers for around 20 local authorities across the UK.”

The development of the contracts with the various local authorities has also led Hooper Services to generate further business across a variety of fields. “Our work is varied.” continues Ian. “As are the sectors we work within. We have several contracts to supply white goods and cleaning equipment- from a Henry vacuum to machinery that you drive- we also PAT test schools, care homes, offices and factories, to mention a few, and provide janitorial products and electrical maintenance.”

“It’s very rare that we aren’t able to save an organisation money – be it a business or local authority. Because we are independent, we aren’t tied to a brand therefore we can really show people the true breadth of their options. And, we don’t just sell- we repair and service all the items we sell. Typically, if something goes wrong, a business will have to box something up and send it back – all of which is very time consuming. We are able to despatch an engineer immediately, to resolve the issue and we can repair or even replace the goods straight away. We like to think we can go anywhere and come up with a solution to a problem, whether its electrical maintenance, white goods, PAT testing or cleaning machinery.”

“We now have plans of further expansion, as we are about to begin using a brand-new range of products. These are expected to be a huge success as they don’t use chemicals. We are also about to start using a new innovative sanitising product that electrically charges water and allows you to sanitise a room in approximately 15 minutes – which will save organisations a huge amount of time.”

On Meeting Compass

Ian explains how Hooper services came to be a client of Compass Accountants:

“It was a few years ago now, that we had decided that we wanted more from our existing accountancy firm, and so we looked around at other local accountants. We went through a process of interviews and Compass stood out as the most approachable, and amenable. We decided to go with them and weren’t disappointed. They have always been very friendly and easy to work with.”

If you would like to find out more about Hooper Services Ltd - or would like to visit their website - go to www.hooperservices.co.uk

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Client Focus

In this month’s Client Focus, we catch up with Chris Jay, founder and Managing Director of Bascule Disability Training. Bascule is a new social enterprise that provides disability awareness training for businesses that recently provided training for the Compass team…

Chris Jay, the Managing Director and Founder of the recently launched social enterprise, Bascule Disability Training- is no stranger to Compass Accountants. In his role as Executive Chairman for the charity Enable Me, Chris had also previously been a client of Compass.

Sadly, in July 2018, due to a number of contributing factors including a lack of funding for schools and difficulties in recruiting, supporting and retaining volunteers, the charity was forced to close its doors after 14 years of working with schools, businesses and universities.

“Eventually, I had to separate the value of the work Enable Me was doing, from the vehicle that was delivering it.” Explains Chris. “Budgetary restraints and financial pressures have inevitably forced schools to make many cutbacks, leading to a significant reduction in extracurricular activity, resources and training. As a result, the necessity for disability awareness training in schools has become increasingly overlooked.” Says Chris.

After the closure of the charity Chris decided to focus on continuing to deliver disability awareness training for businesses and universities- but through a new social enterprise that would donate 75% of its profits to the provision of free disability awareness training in state schools.

“You could say that Bascule Disability Training is the spiritual successor to Enable Me.” Says Chris.

The unique disability awareness training Bascule provides empowers businesses to provide open, inclusive organisations, for both their staff and their target clientele. Through these user-led, interactive modules and workshops, workforces gain a firmer understanding of disability and its organisational benefits.

“Most importantly, for every business that implements disability awareness training, we are able to deliver two school training sessions, free of charge.” continues Chris.

Facing facts

“Most people are shocked to learn, that ignoring the needs of people with disabilities costs UK businesses around £1.8 billion per month.” Says Chris. “At Bascule we aim to help businesses become disability aware so that they can build the bridge between people, policy and inclusive practice.”

“Another amazing statistic is that 67% of the British public admit to feeling ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘awkward’ when talking to people with disabilities. This is also something we help businesses with, by making staff more aware and understanding of people with disabilities- especially team members that work with the general public.”

Reappointing Compass

As soon as Bascule was in a position to launch, Chris made no hesitation in contacting Compass to reinstate the team.

“I didn’t even consider another accountancy firm” says Chris, “I had no reason to and it wasn’t just for the quality of their core work. It was also because of the 'family feel' that runs through the company.”

Having aspired to be a more inclusive business itself, Compass was one of Bascule’s first clients, and the Compass team were provided with an introduction to disability awareness in October 2018. Compass Director Stuart Lawrance explains: “It is our aim to be in a more favourable position in terms of our appeal to both potential clients and employees with disabilities. Bascule’s introduction was very insightful, informative and enjoyable for all of our team. We already feel more equipped to help facilitate any clients with disabilities in terms of making reasonable adjustments and the whole team has certainly gained a more in-depth understanding of disability.”

Chris added, “Everyone at Compass has a genuine desire to understand and support your business in its development and that counts for so much. You can pick up the phone and talk to someone and not just anyone, but someone experienced and knowledgeable. Being with Compass makes you feel like you are in very safe hands and as someone steering a new business, that reassurance is very important.”

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If you are interested in Bascule’s disability awareness training, or would like to ask Chris more about how Bascule can help your business- call now on 0330 3800662 or email info@bascule.com or to visit the Bascule website go to: www.bascule.com

New App

Compass launches new and improved app!

Following the ever-increasing use of mobile phones in business, Compass has now made further improvements to our company app, to ensure that our clients are even more up-to-date and well informed with all the information, data, news, communication tools and reminders they need.

It’s still completely FREE of charge and now enables you to collaborate with Compass whilst you are on the go, whilst accessing digital tools and critical information - anytime, anyplace.

The App can still be easily downloaded from the Compass website directly onto your iPhone, iPad or any android device. Just some of the new features include:

  • Key dates reminders and push notifications (so you never miss a deadline)
  • Help sheets and a support library
  • QRCode Scanning
  • GPS Mileage Tracker
  • Useful Tax information and resources
  • Calculators allow you to estimate your tax liabilities
  • Log in portals for Sage/ OpenSpace/ Xero/ Iris/ QuickBooks
  • Easy access and quick contact with Compass staff members
  • Free in app messages direct to and from Compass
  • Access to the Compass website, blog and our social media accounts

You can access the links to the app on the Compass Accountants home page- or alternatively search for Accountant Go on Google Play or iTunes, then enter the code- LKETUV or search for Compass Accountants on the ‘Find Your Accountant Screen’.

Jim on a hover board

Jim demonstrates a hover board

Client Focus

In this Client Focus, we visit Jim Gray, Trustee at the Hovercraft Museum - and a Compass Accountants client- based in Lee-on-Solent…

There aren’t many museums that can say they are ‘the only one of their kind in the world’- but the Hovercraft Museum certainly can, and its uniqueness doesn’t end there. As well as being a Transport Heritage site it is also has a Grade 2 listed hangar and 50 different hovercrafts within the confines of its vast location. Walking through the gates alone is a step back in history as the site was previously the HM Naval Seaplane Training School (1917) and the busiest airfield in the South of England on “D” Day. 

All of the hovercraft vary enormously in type, size and historical relevance and after a tour with the museum’s Trustee, Jim Gray, it was swiftly apparent that each and every exhibit also has a fascinating back story.

The first exhibit is the largest of all, a hovercraft Jim describes as ‘The Jewel in the Crown’ also known as The Princess Anne (or the SRN4). It is the largest car carrying hovercraft in the world- and the only one of its kind in existence. Launched in 1969, its final trip as a car carrier took place in 2000, before it was shortly bought back for restoration as an exhibit at the museum.

“This hovercraft would take as little as 35 minutes to travel from Dover to Calais.” explains Jim, “It could take 60 cars and up to 418 passengers, and it could travel in winds of up to gale force 9.”

Boarding the exhibit is like taking a step back in time as it has been left exactly as it was when it was a functioning hovercraft, with mannequins on board donning the original deck crew uniform. There is even a small duty-free bar area, located amongst the craft’s original premier class seating area.

After boarding the Princess Anne, Jim continued with a captivating tour, providing one fascinating story after another, revealing craft of all kinds, from one that had once appeared in a James Bond film, to others that had appeared on the TV show, Scrapheap Challenge, as well as various other commercial, military, multi-purpose and even recreational hovercraft.

Telling stories of the history and the development of the hovercraft, Jim described the relevance of each craft and also gave anecdotes about former owners of the exhibits, such as The Sultan of Oman, who not only owned a craft (now on display), but also contributed towards its restoration costs. Jim also showed an Australian Olympic Opening ceremony hoverboard, a rescue craft, and a few amateur self-built hovercrafts.

“As a museum, we are continuing to develop in many ways. We are currently exploring and devising a programme for groups of children to come, view exhibits and create simple models and gain an understanding of how hovercraft actually work. We also hold annual hovershows, and we work in partnership with Hovertravel- the UK’s only Hovercraft ferry operators, periodically offering rides to the Isle of Wight for lunch as a part of a day at the museum.”

“Now we are looking for volunteers to help us to develop as we rely heavily on their help. There are opportunities in the shop, in the ticket office, Guides to be trained to provide tours, site maintenance, craft restoration, IT and lots more.”

In addition to the exhibits, the museum also boasts the largest hovercraft archive collection in the world with an extensive library, plans, photographs, films, documents, magazines, paintings, models and other artefacts.

Becoming a Compass client

As a relatively new client, Jim explains how The Hovercraft Museum came to know about Compass Accountants, “We met Stuart at a Chamber of Commerce event and were very pleased to learn that Compass was an accountancy firm with expertise in charities and museums. We are so delighted to have made the connection, as their knowledge and guidance has already been so valuable. When Stuart invited us to the Compass office, it was immediately obvious that Compass could provide something we were missing.”

If you are interested in visiting the Hovercraft Museum- go to www.hovercraft-museum.org

If you would like any information on volunteering opportunities email Jim at jim.75gray@gmail.com

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Ten Questions with Compass Accountants Director - Stuart Lawrance

Ten Questions with Compass Accountants Director - Stuart Lawrance

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. After a holiday, a house for each of my adult children.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. My college tutor recommended me for an interview at Compass. Told me not to make a fool of myself and I’d probably get the job – 31 years later and I’m still here.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Notting Hill

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. This one

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. My gran – she died before I passed my professional exams and had my first son- who she would have liked to have known.

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The team are like family

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Telekinesis (probably because of my answer to question 9)

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. It has to be Lake Garda – (it’s where I married Kerry!)

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A Jedi (still do)

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I once rode the Eurostar back from France in the cab of the train. That tunnel isn’t straight!

Compass is Approved to Provide Probate Services

Probate Services

Compass Accountants is proud to announce that Director - Kerry Lawrance, is now fully licensed by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to carry out probate work.

Probate, (the process undertaken throughout the administration the estate of someone who is deceased), was a service limited to solicitors up until recently, and as a result Compass Accountants are one of only a small number of accountancy firms licensed to carry out the services.

Kerry commented, “I am delighted to now be fully licensed to provide probate work as a new service for Compass Accountants. The organisation of the probate of an estate can be very complicated and a daunting procedure and if not done properly, can be expensive. We are therefore very pleased to be able to offer probate services for both new and existing clients, during their difficult times. Combining inheritance tax planning and probate services will now enable Compass to act as a one-stop-shop for our client’s business advisory services.”

Compass Accountants can now guide clients through the complications of inheritance tax, income tax and capital taxes, ensuring that the amount of tax that needs to be paid from the estate is minimised. Furthermore, Compass will work with clients and beneficiaries to set in place plans to minimise future tax burdens.

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Isabella Brady

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Isabella Brady

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I would buy a House!

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I got into it from School

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Gone With The Wind

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I was a Saturday girl in Woolworths

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. It would be my Mum and Dad

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Definitely my work Colleagues

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. I would like to be able to fly – Then I’d never have to sit in traffic!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Australia

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. I wanted to be an actress

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I won’t ever drink shots on a night out!

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Nigel Daruvalla

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Nigel Daruvalla

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I’d go on a world-wide luxury holiday

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I was a clerical trainee at the Portsea Island Co-op head office and after spending time in various accounts departments I really enjoyed working in the management accounts section so decided that was where I wanted to go.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Karate Kid

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Window cleaner as a summer job

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Bruce Springsteen – the Boss!

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people - they are all so friendly and a great team to work with.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To be able to fly so that I can get to places really quickly.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. India – my dad took me there to see where he was brought up and the country, it was a great experience.

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Lorry driver – I think it was the Yorkie bar advert on TV that did it!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. When I was a teenager I (allegedly) swallowed a gold fish at a drunken party.

Compass improves inclusivity with disability awareness training

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We have recently embarked on our first steps in becoming a more inclusive business, by appointing Bascule Disability Training to implement staff training.

Bascule Disability Training – a Southampton based disability awareness training provider (and Compass client) provided a bespoke package specifically for various members of the Compass team. 

Hosted by Chris Jay- the managing director of Bascule - the training content covered issues including disability definition, disclosure and reasonable adjustment. The training was implemented due to Compass’ aspirations to becoming more of an inclusive organisation.

“It is our aim to be in a more favourable position in terms of our appeal to both potential clients and employees with disabilities.” Our Director Stuart Lawrance explained.

“Bascule’s introduction was very insightful, informative and enjoyable for all of our team. We already feel more equipped to help facilitate any clients with disabilities in terms of making reasonable adjustments and the whole team has certainly gained a more in-depth understanding of the true definition of disability.”

As a social enterprise, Bascule Disability Training invests 75% of its profits into providing disability awareness training programmes for pupils in state schools, free of charge, to promote inclusion, understanding and empathy amongst children and young people. Each business training session pays for -on average- two Bascule training sessions in schools.

“It’s been a great pleasure training the staff of Compass Accountants.” explains Bascule’s Managing Director Chris Jay. “Compass have made a big step on their journey to becoming a more inclusive business, which will eventually bring them many benefits. 67% of the British public feel ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘awkward’ talking to disabled people – so any business with client facing staff really should focus on becoming more confident in communicating with people with disabilities and understanding their needs.”

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Client Focus - Laura Bowyer - Employment Matters

Client Focus - Laura Bowyer - Employment Matters

This month, we speak to Laura Bowyer, Compass client, specialist in employment law, HR & mediation and owner of the consultancy firm- Employment Matters.

Eight years ago Laura Bowyer made the bold decision, following her employment with a city based law firm, to start her own firm in Warsash, Southampton. Since making that decision, she has built a strong clientele and the foundations of a business she is proud to be at the helm of. 

Having worked in employment Law for over 25 years now- Laura has honed her skills and expertise to be able to offer a bespoke service to both businesses and individuals, allowing them access to her expertise in a way that best suits them.

“I aim to offer my services either on a retained or on an ad-hoc basis.” explains Laura. “Which allows businesses to access guidance on any HR or employment law issues, as and when they need it. This removes the huge expense of hiring a lawyer or employing an HR Director/Manager.”

“For any business- even if they have as little as one employee – HR and employment law issues are a headache, especially if you aren’t familiar with these areas. For my clients, I am always at the end of the telephone to help. My clients often contact me to just run things past me, get my opinions on the best way to do something. I also do a lot of contracts, review documents, update contracts, deal with discipline, grievances and performance reviews.”

The service Laura provides isn’t limited to companies of any particular size, as she tailors her packages specifically to each individual client, her smallest client being an employer of one staff member, her largest being a retail business chain that employs over 80.

“Of course, the more employees that a business has, the more issues arise.” says Laura. “I am what you would call a one-stop-shop and I’m therefore available to do anything from issuing a dismissal, right up to representing a company at tribunal and dealing with the case in front of a judge. I am often required to handle continued absences and manage redundancies, restructures and bullying and harassment investigations. When a business owner doesn’t have the time- or when they don’t know how to deal with such things- I can be there to develop a strategy.”

Earlier this year Laura had met Compass Director Stuart Lawrance at an event during a time when she was considering moving on from the accountants she currently employed.

“The former accountant I had worked with had presented some unexpected bills from HMRC, and those last-minute surprises were something I wanted to avoid. I met Stuart at a networking event, and we were sat next to each other – so I mentioned this and he explained that Compass always made sure clients knew what they were going to pay well in advance.  

I recently appointed Compass and I am so pleased I did. They have turned everything around and they work so efficiently and quickly.  Also- I was so surprised when Stuart told me that he had originally overestimated the original quote he gave me and therefore would be charging me less. It was so refreshing to meet such an honest and trustworthy company.  I have been really pleased with their service. My husband is a qualified gas engineer, because of the relationship I have developed with Compass, I have recommended that he goes to see Stuart. I also have a friend running their own business that is having a delicate time with their current accountant- and I have said- don’t waste any time - go and see Compass now!”

If you are interested in the HR and Employment Law services that Laura offers, or you have a question for her-  you can visit her website at : www.employ-matters.co.uk

Or email her at laura@employ-matters.co.uk or call her on 07971224791.

Ten Questions with Compass Director Kerry Lawrance

Ten Questions with Compass Director Kerry Lawrance

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Book a luxury holiday to the Maldives. I have always wanted to go, it looks like paradise!

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. It was the only thing I never wanted to do! Both my parents were accountants and you never want to do the same thing as your parents! In the end, I fell into it by accident and realised I loved it.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Notting Hill

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Sales assistant in baby section of Boots The Chemists

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Richard Branson

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Dealing with a wide range of clients, who I love working with and ensure that my days are never dull.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. The power to be invisible. It would be nice to escape from the demands of work and home every now as well as being a fly on the wall some times.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Lake Garda, because I got married there.

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A fashion designer!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I cannot stand people writing in blue pen. I have no reason for it, I just hate blue pens!

Compass Accountants’ Quiz Night raises £3020.00 for Brain Tumour Research

29 different local businesses raise money for Brain Tumour Research at Portsmouth FC grounds.

We are delighted to announce that our third annual Quiz Night and dinner raised over £3k for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

29 local businesses gathered for the evening to raise a grand total of £3020.00 for the charity dedicated to raising funds for scientific research into brain tumours.

Brain Tumour Research were presented with a cheque on the night of the event which took place at Portsmouth Football Club. Guests attending played in their company’s teams before enjoying a dinner, various games and a raffle.

A total of 174 people attended from 29 different organisations each team consisting of six players. ITEC Connect Limited was announced as the winner on the night.

Businesses that attended included – National Museum of the Royal Navy, ITEC Connect Limited, Portchester Engineering Limited, Glanvilles LLP, The Children’s Legal Practice, Matrix IT Solutions Limited, Laura Bowyer – Employ Matters, Stellar Despatch, Portland, Barclays, Verisona Law, HantsWight Searches Limited, Beacon LLP, Liz Dayment, Steve Davis Graphic Design Limited, JPC Property Services Limited, Fareham and Crofton Cricket Club, Santander and Quality Covers All Limited.

Stuart Lawrance, Compass Director, said: “This is the third Compass Accountant’s Quiz Night we have organised – and we are pleased to say that both the number of people attending and the amount we have raised, continues to rise. All teams have been very generous and have helped to contribute towards the £7m per year Brain Tumour Research must raise to fund its Centres of Research Excellence across the UK.”

Tim Green – Senior Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research said, “We are extremely grateful for the support of the Compass Accountants and everyone involved in the quiz. Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. We cannot allow this situation to continue.”

“Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.”

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Linda Hopwood

Ten Questions with Compass team member Linda Hopwood

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Someone to cook dinner every night and wash up afterwards.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. My friend said, ‘you’re good at numbers, why don’t you work in finance?’ She later handed in my CV to Compass!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Grease

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Sales assistant in a shoe shop

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Isambard Kingdom Brunel

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. I love my job.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To turn back time

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. New York

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Air hostess

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I have a NATO medal for active service in Former Yugoslavia during the 1993 conflict.

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member katy walden

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Katy Walden

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A luxury holiday!

  3. How did you get into admin?
  4. I started in admin when I first volunteered at QA Hospital.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Die Hard

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I was a Saturday assistant in a hairdressers

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. David Beckham

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people that work for Compass and the social events.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. I’d like to be able to control time – rewind, fast forward and slow it down.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. New Zealand

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A hairdresser

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I always need the volume on my tv or car radio to be on numbers ending in 0 or 5.

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Sam Beaven

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Sam Beaven

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I would book a luxury holiday to the Maldives.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I did work experience at school in an accountants.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Dirty Dancing

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. In an accountants – it was my dad’s accountant at the time.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Diana Ross

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The clients and staff are really friendly and we work as a team. The social events are always good fun.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To be invisible so that you could spy on people.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Sri Lanka

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A vet until I realised that I didn’t like blood!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I’ve been told that I have a fascination with Budda’s I have them all in my house and garden!

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Stacey Leggett

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member Stacey Leggett

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. I would pay off my mortgage.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I heard about a temporary position from my next-door neighbour, who at the time worked for Compass. The position then became part time and then full time.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Notting Hill is one of my faves, I also love the Marvell movies.

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I worked at Holland and Barratt as a Saturday girl.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. My grandma and Michael Buble so he could serenade us!

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. My fellow staff are great and the flexibility.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. The power of speed.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Hawaii

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. A vet

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. As a child I used to dip my toast crusts in my orange juice and eat them.

Ten Questions with Joe Curtis

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Joe Curtis

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Probably a Classic Mini Cooper – pearl white - black roof.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. It was actually a career I got into by mistake!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Any given Sunday

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. Unwrapping and placing inserts into newspapers for the co-op.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Rhod Gilbert

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Healing – you could do anything without having to worry about the consequences.

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Iceland

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Fireman

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I’m a small animal enthusiast.

Client Focus- Meet Katherine and Terri from Vintage Inspired

Client Focus- Meet Katherine and Terri from Vintage Inspired!

This month we catch up with Katherine and Terri, owners of the new boutique and online vintage clothing shop, Vintage Inspired…

It was through their common interest of dance and all things vintage that Katherine and Terri met- and when Terri discovered Katherine had plans to open up a boutique selling vintage clothing and accessories, a partnership in retail was born.

Having launched the boutique based in Gosport, only a few weeks ago, Vintage Inspired has already got off to a successful start with Katherine and Terri receiving great interest from the public.

Vintage Inspired is a predominantly online business, but not limited to the internet, as it was Terri and Katherine’s intention to create a ladies boutique boudoir that allows their clients to come in peruse the garments available, and experiment with various vintage styles.

Katherine explains, “As well as offer online products, we also wanted to create an environment whereby people could come in and try on a garment from the vintage era, that they might not ordinarily wear, to open up their opportunities and have some fun. We are also offering this to small groups of ladies for hen parties and events, that may wish to explore and experiment with a vintage style, with hair and make up and even a glass or two of bubbles!”

As well as selling online and in the boutique, a great deal of Vintage Inspired’s custom is generated at various events. “We are involved in a whole range of different events and sell garments at revival weekends, such as Southwick Revival as well as military events, or occasions that don’t particularly have a vintage theme.” adds Katherine.

A large majority of the clothing Vintage Inspired sell is from vintage manufacturers, Lindy Bop - a company famous for its unique, highly collectable, limited edition, vintage prints. Vintage Inspired sell the company’s end of line stock and returns at a fraction of the original cost.  

Whilst Vintage Inspired has got off to a flying start, Katherine and Terri have not always been in the retail market. “This is relatively new to us” explains Terri, “Katherine is a qualified teacher working in parent support, and I was formerly a support worker, working with adults with challenging behaviour and learning difficulties.”

“Despite not having a background in retail, we have the skill set between us to develop, and have the capacity to understand which direction we need to go in.” adds Katherine. “We have been fortunate enough to have some very good connections in the industry that we hope to develop further.”

Looking to the future, Vintage Inspired already has aspirations to gain a stronger foothold in the online market, and raise its presence further. “We want to really develop the online aspect of our custom, and have already appointed someone to develop our online presence and increase our internet sales.” says Terri. “We are also looking to attend workshops to learn how to develop more vintage hairstyles  to broaden our offering for hen parties and ladies team building events.”

“Compass have been incredible- and we are so pleased to have them on-board.” says Katherine. They have really been a great help. They have supported us, in every step of our journey. They came to our opening -which they covered on their social media- they have been easy to talk to, very approachable and the work that they have done was completed within a very tight deadline. We have been very impressed and have already recommended them to our own contacts!”

For more information on Vintage Inspired- to contact Katherine or Terri, or to see the Vintage Inspired clothing range, visit: www.vintageinspired.co.uk

Or- pop in and browse the vintage clothing, visit First Floor, 95 Priory Road, Hardway, Gosport on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10am and 3pm.

Ten Questions with Natalie Farley

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Natalie Farley

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A family holiday to Lapland.

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I saw an advert in the local newspaper.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Wild Hearts can’t be broken

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I had a job as a cleaner in a local school in the holidays.

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. It would be Vin Diesel

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Definitely the staff and the flexibility.

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. I would choose invisibility - I would love to be a fly on the wall!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Thailand

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. An estate agent because I’m soooo nosey!

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I love lettuce on my curry!

Ten Questions with Sarah Harwood

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Sarah Harwood

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A long family holiday!

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I started at Walton and Co (Compass’ former name), as an Admin Junior, I still remember my interview with John Holloway!

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Moulin Rouge

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. A Saturday job in WHSmiths

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. My Nan and Grandad

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. The people - they are not just colleagues- but also friends

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To heal people

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. My favourite place is home

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. I wanted to be a nurse

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I once had the pleasure of meeting Princess Diana whilst I was skipping college.

Client Focus - Lindsey Hood

This month, we catch up with Lindsey Hood - a Compass Accountants client and professional life and executive coach- who specialises in helping individuals with imposter syndrome…

It may come as a surprise to some, but many people’s careers are held back by the overwhelming feeling that they shouldn’t be where they are. These feelings of inadequacy, (often experienced by those in high-achieving professional positions), are also known as having ‘Imposter Syndrome’.

Those that experience imposter syndrome usually feel that they have landed in an unearned position, purely by luck or chance, despite the fact that most are intelligent and successful professionals. As a syndrome that was first identified over 40 years ago, the term is becoming more widely recognised, having been coined by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes.

Lindsey Hood is a Life and Executive Coach, (and client of Compass Accountants), and one of the very few people in the UK that has developed a specialism in working with imposter syndrome. Lindsey now uses her skills to help clients all over the UK and overseas, to learn to accept and work with these feelings.

“Initially, I use a a mixture of psychometric tools and coaching to deepen self-awareness.” explains Lindsey. “This gradually allows clients to appreciate their own unique attributes, giving them the ability to harness them and to excel in their chosen careers.”

“It’s largely about understanding yourself, who you are, where you get your energies and how you can learn to use these to develop strategies that allow and enable you to be reach beyond your potential.”

“The ability to know and identify what gives us energy means you can utilise your own uniqueness to be able to implement simple strategies, to show up in all situations in a way that is authentic to your true self.” adds Lindsey.

Based in Southampton, many of Lindsey’s clients are from the Hampshire area- but she has also worked with various organisations in London. However, her clients are not limited to the UK, as many of her sessions take place via Skype or Zoom - allowing her services to reach as far as the US.

“At the moment there are many companies trying to reduce the gender pay gap, and as a result, more and more women are moving into senior positions. This has meant that I am working with various organisations looking to offer support to female staff members who may need assistance with that transition. Of course, not everyone does- but often certain individuals require some support to help them get up to speed. Assisting those returning from maternity leave is another area I am supporting many businesses with.”

Having been qualified as a life coach for almost 6 years, it was in 2017 that Lindsey made the jump to develop the services she has been offering into a full-time business.

“I made the decision that I wanted to be the UK’s ‘Go-To’ life coach for imposter syndrome and it wasn’t long after I made that decision, that I met Stuart from Compass, who explained that it was the perfect time to get an accountant on board.”

“Because I offer a service -and I am the product- I hadn’t really properly considered running things as ‘a business’ as such, but Compass gave me a great framework to work with and sat down and talked to me about making the right plans. They gave me the grounding and explained both what I need to think about- and what I don’t need to- which was really useful. They simplified everything.”

“It was great to speak with an accountancy firm that was totally honest and transparent- and they couldn’t be nicer! There was no pressure to come on board – but I came away and thought- I fully trust them- and I feel confident that they’ll do a great job for me.”

If you are interested in the life and executive coach services Lindsey offers or you would like to find out more about imposter syndrome – visit her website www.lindseyhood.net.

Ten Questions with

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Sarah McInnes

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. Holiday

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. By accident – started at a firm training as a bookkeeper and was given the opportunity to train as an accountant.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Dirty Dancing

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. A fruit & veg shop worker in Waterlooviille

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. No-one famous – my Dad

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. Definitely the people

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. To read peoples minds

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. My bed

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. An English teacher

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I am a big fan of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)

Ten Questions with

Ten Questions with Compass Team Member - Becky

  1. What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
  2. A Villa in Florida

  3. How did you get into accounting?
  4. I always liked maths and art and so I decided that there was probably more money to be made in maths and so I did a maths degree at Uni.

  5. What is your favourite film?
  6. Spectre - or my favourite film growing up - The Three Musketeers (the Disney one). I would struggle to choose between the two.

  7. What was your first ever job?
  8. I was a pot washer at a pub owned by my mum’s friend at 15. When I was old enough I started behind the bar and loved it!

  9. If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to your dinner party who would you invite?
  10. Walt Disney

  11. What do you like most about working for Compass Accountants?
  12. I have made a lot of friends working here. I like the way we all get on and help each other. And we also have lots of fun!

  13. Which super power would you most like to have and why?
  14. Fly – save on airfares!

  15. What is your favourite place in the world that you have been?
  16. Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  18. Something arty. I’d still like to be arty when I grow up…

  19. Tell us one strange or unique fact about yourself!
  20. I was born on the anniversary of Walt Disney’s death. There must be something in that…

CEO Sleepout for charity

Compass ‘sleeps rough’ and raises over £1k for local homelessness

Compass Accountants team members Stuart Lawrance and Natalie Farley, recently joined almost 100 other business men and women from the Portsmouth area, to raise funds for local homelessness.

As a part of the CEO Sleepout -an event whereby business leaders ‘sleep rough’ to raise both money and awareness for homelessness- Stuart (Compass Director) and Natalie, (Marketing Manager), spent the night in Portsmouth Football Club’s stadium, Fratton Park. 

Between them, Stuart and Natalie raised over £1,000, but the grand total of money raised by all of the participants at the event is expected to be close to £50,000.

“This was a great event to be involved in and we are both very proud to have come together with other businesses and members of the community to raise awareness and funds for such an important cause” said Stuart Lawrance.  

The money raised from the event will now be split between the Society of St James, Pompey in the Community and the national CEO Sleepout.

M.S King and Son

This month we catch up with Compass Client, Kevin King, owner of the Butcher shop- M.S King and Son, who talks about the importance of trust in the community, and the 8 million sausages he has made by hand...

MS King and Son today

It was back in 1964 that Kevin King’s dad, Malcolm began working in a butcher shop in Milton, near Southsea. After working at the butchers (then named ‘Coopers), for one year, he then became manager and by 1972, he bought the business. Fast forward to 2018 and his son Kevin is running the shop, but Malcolm, now aged 73, is still very much still in the frame, helping Kevin out during the busiest times.

Kevin starts work with his dad

“I started working for my dad as soon as I could, which was on Saturdays when I was just 12-years-old.” says Kevin. “Back then, the shop was called ‘M.S King- Family Butchers’, but when I left school at 16, I started full time. It was then that dad renamed the business to ‘M.S King and Son’.”

15 years ago, Malcolm handed the keys over to Kevin, but he has always been involved in the business. Even after retiring three years ago, Malcolm returns from his house in Spain from May to June, and during Christmas and other busy periods, to help out.  Keeping with family tradition, Kevin’s nephew also works at the butchers, and has done for over 18 years.

Located in the heart of the community of Milton, M.S King and Son has continued to be a thriving business throughout the 55 years it has been open. “Lately we have seen even more of a rise in custom- and this is mainly because peopletrust their local butcher.” says Kevin. “The larger supermarkets have been the centre of all sorts of scandals, and as a result, people feel like they don’t know where their meat is coming from. We, on the other hand are completely traceable- we have good relationships with the farms we use, which are three very reputable suppliers, so we’re confident about the quality of our produce and where it has come from. People trust us- and have done for many years, so it’s very important for us to provide the best possible produce and service.”

In May 2015, the shop was awarded third place, in The News’ ‘Butcher of the Year Award’ and most recently, M.S King and Son received a certificate from the Mayor of Portsmouth for its work with charities and the community, having regularly been involved in fundraising and volunteering for local causes. “We have always felt it is important to give a bit of time and money back to the loyal community that come in your shop.” said Kevin.

When asked about the secret of M.S King and Son’s long-term success, Kevin explained the importance of community. “Firstly – we care about our customers- they come in and chat and we are seen as part of the community, not just a business. We see our customers as people, not a number. They are our friends, and so we love to give them our time. We are also proud of the quality we provide. A good example of this, is that we do a lot of carcass beef, lamb and pork. Supermarkets don’t do this- it’s all boxed- whereas we take it off the bone. And, if a customer wants something specific or needs a certain cut- then we can do it.”

Another reason for the shop’s success is Kevin’s reputation as the best sausage maker in town. Not only has this skill earnt him several awards-  he also estimates that he has handmade around 8 million sausages since the 1980s!

Working with Compass

M.S King and Son’s long history as a local business and part of the community is also reflected in its relationship with Compass Accountants, having been one of the first businesses that Compass ever signed.

“I think Dad joined Compass very soon after the company was launched which would have been in 1981! I do believe that M.S King and Sons were the third client Compass ever had!”

“The amount of years we have been with Compass is testament to their service. With Compass as your accountants, everything just runs smoothly – they deal with all our finance without any fuss, and I would, without a doubt recommend them to anyone!”

If would like to find out more about M.S. King and Sons, they are located on 273 Milton Road, Milton, Portsmouth, PO4 8PQ.

You can find them on Facebook (HERE ), or you can contact Malcolm onkevsking@icloud.com or023 9275 2015

CEO Sleepout for charity

Compass Staff Join in on the CEO Sleepout for charity

Compass Director, Stuart Lawrance and Marketing Manager Natalie Farley are preparing to raise money for homelessness and poverty in Portsmouth, by sleeping on the pitch of Fratton Park, (Portsmouth Football Club’s stadium), as a part of the ‘CEO Sleepout’.

The Compass team members will swap the comfort of their beds to sleep under the stars in a sleeping bag for just one night to help raise vital funds to combat poverty and homelessness alongside other local executives and business leaders in Portsmouth.

Stuart and Natalie will aim to raise £1000 on JustGiving by asking contacts, colleagues, friends and family to sponsor them.

Stuart Lawrance commented, “We hadn't appreciated the scale of homelessness in our own area and when we found out about the CEO Sleepout, Natalie and I thought it would be very different way to raise awareness and funds to help combat this.”

The CEO Sleepout takes place on 16th April 2018.

If you would like to sponsor Stuart and Natalie on their sleepout- please go to their Just Giving page:www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nataliestuart1

Beleza Beauty

This month, we catch up with Compass Client, Michele Tull, who tells us about the launch of her new business venture, Beleza Beauty...

It was back in April that Michele discovered that her local beauty salon was up for sale. Having been a regular customer at the salon for some time, and understanding the excellent location and premises of the salon, Michele saw this as a great opportunity and bought the business.

Based in the heart of Warsash Village, the beauty salon, (then named ‘Pink Me Up Boutique’) already had an established clientele, which Michele was certain she could develop further through the refurbishment and redecoration of the salon. Michele also introduced new treatments and products, and rebranded the beauty salon, to become Beleza Beauty.

“It was always my aim to offer all the beauty treatments and pampering services which our customers wanted, under one roof and within a beautiful and tranquil setting.” explains Michele. “We have quite a large space to do this in, with three separate treatment rooms, a large main manicure area, a pedicure area and a tanning room.”

In this space, the salon offers a wide variation of treatments including manicures, pedicures, waxing, threading, acrylic nails, nail art, tanning, facials, massages, eye-lash tinting, eye-lash lifts and extensions, hopi ear candles, make-up and hair up and more.

“The aim is to provide a spa experience in one day” explains Michele. “Having become the owner of the business, I have been lucky enough to retain some of the staff, but I also have recruited more staff to expand further. Generally, the whole reopening has been a great success and we are all very pleased.”

Having hit the ground running with the reopening of the salon, and now employing seven members of staff, Michele is now keen to enhance the treatments and what we can offer. “We have recently teamed up with Chris Airey from CJA Aesthetics and will now offer non-surgical aesthetic treatments for subtle, beautiful, lasting results. Again, more to follow.” Adds Michele.

Still very much involved in her other business, Building Integrated Services, Michele explains how she was already aware of Compass Accountants.

“Obviously, my husband and I were already clients of Compass through our other business, and over the years, we had been more than happy with the service we had received, so it made perfect sense for me to get Compass on board for the launch of Beleza Beauty.”

“As predicted Compass have been fabulous - they are always so helpful. They have done lots to help with the new business and also look after the wages for the salon. They always help me with any queries I have. The wonderful thing about Compass is that they talk to you in a very normal language. Some accountants can throw all the information and jargon at you, but Compass break it all down and keep it simple. Running a business can mean you have a lot to do - and Compass understand that. They simplify everything to make life easier for you.”

If you are interested in visiting Beleza Beauty or would like to find out more about treatments at the salon, visitwww.belezabeauty.co.uk or call 01489 557 961 to book an appointment.

Compass reaches finals for The News Business Excellence Awards!

We are delighted to announce that we have been named as finalists in the category of ‘Employer of the Year’ at The News Business Excellence Awards.

The awards are designed to recognise, reward and celebrate successful businesses and professional individuals in the Portsmouth region.

Entries for the awards, now in their seventeenth year, were assessed by a panel of judges who reviewed the evidence of each business considering achievements and excellence in their field.

“We are very proud to have been selected as finalists for the ‘Employer of the Year’ category and are looking forward to the ceremony on February 23rd.” Said Director Kerry Lawrance.

“We feel being named as finalist - for what is an extremely competitive award - is already a great achievement. The Compass team is critical to the company’s success, therefore to be recognised for our staff relations, training, retention and care- is a great honour.”

Judging will be undertaken by a panel of experts representing the business community and the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

The winners of these highly-prestigious awards will be announced at a gala black-tie dinner held at the Portsmouth Guildhall on Friday, February 23rd 2018.

Wish us luck!

Portchester Engineering

Portchester Engineering logo

This month we catch up with Sam Morrison, Managing Director of Portchester Engineering, who tells us about her career journey from the workshop to the Director’s office…

As a specialist manufacturer of complex components, Portchester Engineering was established back in 1959, when the current Managing Director’s father-in-law launched the business.

Since then, the business has evolved from being a manual machine workshop, to a fast and flexible, 24/7 ‘computer numerically controlled’ (or CNC) facility. This means that computers control the machinery throughout the manufacturing process, allowing Portchester Engineering to meet the tight deadlines for orders- whilst still reaching a standard of excellence in all their products.

Based in Fareham, the business works in several sectors providing components for super-yachts, motor sports and the aerospace sector - as well providing components for the machinery used in food production, the marine industry and for medical equipment.

Over the years, Managing Director, Sam Morrison has seen several changes having started her career with the business back in 1994, when she cut her teeth on the workshop floor. Now she owns the business having bought it from her father-in-law back in 2002.

“Things have certainly changed a lot since then” explains Sam, “Technology has advanced rapidly, and – like any business- it is important for us to keep abreast with such advances. We therefore continually invest in the latest high-tech CNC machinery, tooling & CAD machining software, all of which enables us to accept our customers machining requirements via the internet.”

“I feel that starting my career on the workshop floor has been of great benefit to how I run the business in terms of having the knowledge and understanding how the manufacturing process works. In fact- I still go out and work on the workshop floor now- if things get very busy!”

To cope with the rising demand and increased workload, Portchester Engineering is currently developing the machinery it uses to improve output and the speed of the components it manufactures.

“We currently employ eight members of staff,” adds Sam, “But once the new units are up and running, we plan on expanding our workforce.”

As a long term client of Portchester Engineering, Sam appointed Compass Accountants’ service the same year she took over the company, back in 2002.

“We had an accountant back then, but were interested in changing. I remember doing a little research and coming across Compass. That is when we met Kerry, who still works with us, and has been absolutely great over the years. Compass help us with all of our tax needs and are always quick to respond with useful and helpful advice. We consider them a part of our overall team now.”

If you would like to find out more about Portchester Engineering’s services- call 023 9237 4771 - Or, email Sam Morrison - Managing Director onsam@portchesterengineering.co.uk
www.portchesterengineering.co.uk

Compass ‘Quiz Night’ raises £2k for Children’s Charity

125 people attend from 12 different organisations to raise money for LUPS at Portsmouth FC

We are very proud to announce that our second annual Quiz Night was a huge success. The quiz and dinner raised a total of £2,000.00 for the Fareham based charity LUPS (Let Us Play Scheme).

It was a fantastic evening with many of our colleagues, partners and clients attending. LUPS, the charity that enables children with disabilities to reach their potential in interactive play environments, received the proceeds from the evening.

The Quiz took place at Portsmouth Football Club, and guests enjoyed a dinner, various games and a raffle.  A total of 125 people from 12 different organisations played in 19 different teams of six players. It was Copyrite that were announced as winners at the end of the evening!

We would like to offer a big thanks to all the other teams that attended including, Matrix IT Solutions Limited, JPC Property Services Limited, Glanvilles, Portland Business and Financial Solutions, Stokes Solicitors, The Children’s Legal Practice, Hants Wight Searches, Hampshire Hackers and QCA -Quality Covers All.

Stuart Lawrance, Director of Compass Accountants said, “We are delighted that the quiz has been such a success. Everyone who has attended has generously contributed to a very worthy cause. LUPS are an important local charity that not only provides a wonderful service to children with disabilities- it also provides families with very much needed short breaks.”

Liza Byatt - Pups and Mutts

This month we catch up with our client Liza Byatt, who explains how she broke out of office confinement to launch her own dog walking and grooming business- ‘Pups and Mutts’

For someone that is adventurous, enjoys the outdoors, loves walking and adores dogs- making the decision to launch a dog walking business was an easy one. Liza Byatt launched Pups and Mutts in November 2016 and since then, she has developed a strong clientele of dog owners in the Lee on Solent, Stubbington, Titchfield and Locks Heath area.

“I had been working in an office job in the telecommunications industry for about two years- but being confined to an office is not where I pictured myself.” Explains Liza. “So, I decided to combine all the things I love to develop a dog walking and grooming business, which I must say, is a decision I’m glad I made.”

Liza now offers local dog owners a menu of flexible services, including garden visits -where she drops into customer’s homes to let their dog out- group walks -where she walks a number of dogs together- and private walks where she takes single dogs out for a stroll.

Looking forward, Liza has plans to develop her business by extending her offering and creating a studio to provide a purpose-built space for dog grooming. She says, “I’m currently studying for a City and Guilds (Level 3) in dog grooming and so I attend college once a week. The course focuses on the principles and practices of modern dog grooming techniques. It also covers health and safety, dog behaviour, handling techniques, animal welfare and much more.”

“Dog owners want to be assured that you have a good knowledge of all aspects of looking after their pets- and that they will be safely supervised and well looked after,” explains Liza. “In this business you have to be well prepared and have all the right equipment.”

“Eventually I’ll be adding dog day care and boarding- for clients looking for regular support and care. I’ll offer a service for those looking for dog care when they are at work. I’ll also cater for those going on holiday.” Looking to the future, Liza aims to buy a house in the next three years, and will convert an area of her home into a grooming studio for clients.

“In the next few months, I aim to get a van- and before I do, Compass will be the first people I approach for advice.” she adds. “Since launching the business, using Compass has been one of the best moves I have made. My brother recommended Compass- as he uses them, and my Dad originally recommended them to my brother- so you could say the firm is in the family! My brother and dad had only good things to say about them, so I knew they’d be right for me.”

“I wasn’t going to get an accountant at first- but when I spoke to them they made everything clear and easy. It was an immediate weight off my shoulders, knowing everything was in safe hands. They were they were so helpful- so kind and friendly. Now, I just don’t worry anymore!

From an outsiders point of view its daunting becoming self-employed or a sole trader. Even my self-employed friends couldn’t answer some of the questions I had - but now I know -my accountant always has the answer!

Liza offers group dog walking services for £10.00, single dog walking services for £15.00 and garden visits for £7- she also has various loyalty schemes and offers. If you would like to enquire about her services call her on 07387070481 or message her on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pupsandmutts/

Compass Team celebrate with a weekend away in London

This August the Compass Team were treated to a no-expenses spared, five-star weekend away in London to say ‘thanks’ for all their recent hard work.

The Directors hired a ‘party bus’ to take the team from the office to London, driving directly to the luxurious rooms of The Shangri-La Hotel in The Shard, where all 16 staff members stayed.

The team then celebrated with drinks and a private dining experience in the hotel and then, the following day, they took in the sights, enjoyed a river cruise on the Thames and visited some of London’s most famous landmarks.

Director Stuart Lawrance also marked the occasion by celebrating his 30th year with Compass. Having begun working at Compass Accountants as a trainee accountant at the age of 18, Stuart is now a director of the organisation, which he co-owns with wife, Kerry.

Stuart said, “This trip has been a celebration of all the hard work and dedication of every member of the Compass team given over many years, and this is our way of thanking everyone for their loyalty and commitment to the company.”

Compass welcomes the Museum of Army Flying

Compass Accountants is very pleased to welcome on board its newest client, The Museum of Army Flying.

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The Museum of Army Flying. The museum, based in Middle Wallop, tells the distinguished and powerful story of flying in the British Army - from experiments with balloons in the 19th century to today’s modern Army Air Corps.

The museum itself contains over 40 aircraft and hundreds of interesting artefacts, with archives holding over 500,000 documents and 30,000 photographs. Located next to the Army’s airfield at Middle Wallop, visitors can sit on the café balcony and watch operational aircraft going through their paces, often just a few yards away. Young children can also enjoy the outdoor play area adjacent to the airfield.

When tickets are purchased with Gift Aid, a ticket holder has free access to the museum for a whole year –and during school holidays, the museum provides children’s activities each day between 11am and 2pm.

The museum hosts a series of fascinating talks by renowned historians as well as those giving first-hand accounts of operations in which they were previously involved with.

Last year, the Heritage Lottery Fund approved the Museum’s plans to undergo a major programme of modernisation (named‘Project Eagle’) costing £2.3m, to which the Museum has to contribute £800k. There is therefore a major fundraising campaign in progress.

The museum hopes to complete the modernisation project by late 2019. Details of all the Museum has to offer and how you can support the modernisation project can be found on their websitehttps://www.armyflying.com

Stuart Lawrance, director of Compass, says ‘not only does the Museum have a huge selection of full size exhibits, but being situated adjacent to such a large grass airfield makes a visit to the café especially enjoyable.’

The Mary Rose Trust

This month, we catch up with client Sally Tyrell, the Head of Development at The Mary Rose Trust, who explains how the latest £5 million museum makeover has allowed visitors to experience the Tudor warship in a whole new way…

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34 years ago, back in 1982, The Mary Rose was raised from the depths of the Solent and since then the ship has become a British icon and major attraction within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Having sunk nearly 500 years ago, the Mary Rose is unique in that it is the only surviving 16th century warship on display, anywhere in the world.

The ship offers an unrivalled insight into Tudor life, with over 19,000 artefacts from the crew to their personal possessions and professional tools – and even the skeleton of the ship’s dog. It is no wonder that the Mary Rose Museum has earnt the title of ‘England’s Pompeii’ - (a phrase that was coined by the famous Historian, David Starkey).

Earlier this year, the Mary Rose underwent a further £5 million makeover, in a project that enabled the removal of the black drying tubes that surrounded the ship. This allows visitors to experience Henry VIII’s warship in a whole new way, offering uninhibited views and providing the most intense experience of what life was like for its crew.

'Everything on board the ship, from the crew to their possessions were found in the ship - and many thousands are on display for visitors to see” explains Sally Tyrell, Head of Development at the Trust. “Since this latest phase of work, the remaining hull can now be seen on all three levels and in all nine of galleries, meaning wherever you are in the museum, you can see the hull and relate it back to the artefacts.'

A purpose-built, state of the art museum was constructed and opened in May 2013 which reunited the hull with her unique collection of artefacts. In November 2015 the Museum closed in order for the full reveal of the hull to take place, with the new visitor experience opening to visitors again in July 2016.

'The removal of the air-drying tubes means we are now able to reveal so much more about life on the ship,' adds Sally, 'For example, we now project members of the crew directly on to the ship, demonstrating how they would have functioned- both in war and peacetime.'

'These new additions really introduce details- not just about the ship - but its crew and their human endeavour. You can follow the carpenter, master gunner, archers, the cook and many more. It really turns the wreck into a living ship.'

The overall investment of both phases of the development has cost a total of £39 million pounds. Over the years the Trust has received funds from The Heritage Lottery Fund as well as the support of many other trusts, foundations and individuals.

'Despite the Mary Rose being internationally known, we are an independent charity and receive no core government funding or grants, so we rely on income from our visitors and other money raised by ourselves. In addition we hire the venue, offering the whole museum to host seated dinners, receptions, talks and presentations, for businesses and individuals. It’s a unique venue for a gathering. In fact, we even had our first wedding this year!'

(Next year) The Mary Rose celebrates 35 years since being raised and Sally and the team are already planning celebrations and events - including a reunion of the divers that helped bring her up.

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Working with Compass

The Mary Rose has been a client of Compass Accountants for over eleven years now, as Mrs Sue Wright, Head of Finance at the Trust explains: 'I joined The Mary Rose Trust back in 2013- and by then Compass had established a very strong working relationship with the charity. Since I have worked with them, they have always provided a professional and tailored service both in answering ad hoc queries, preparation of annual accounts and audits.'

'Compass have always accommodated our deadlines for accounts and audits and respond to queries quickly- they consistently take both a professional and pragmatic approach.'

'Being a small organisation, it helps really helps to work with someone who is always available to offer good advice. I really appreciate that I can call Compass with a query and speak to someone who understands and has knowledge of our organisation.'


If you would like to find out more about the Mary Rose, or you would like to support the charity by making a donation- go towww.maryrose.org

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Are you benefiting from the FREE Compass App?

If you haven’t already downloaded the free Compass App, you may be missing out on easy access to all the accounting data you need.

It’s easily downloadable, available on most mobile devices and can be found on our website, or oniTunes orGoogle Play.

Once downloaded on to your device, you’ll have easy access to useful features including tax tables, calculators, GPS mileage trackers, photo receipt managers, finance news, notifications, messaging tools and lots more.

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Our client, Sarah Sayers (a Financial Controller at Clemtech), has been using the app and has said:

 “After downloading the Compass App on my iPhone, I have found it very useful especially for checking tax brackets and using the mortgage calculators. In fact, it has actually helped me to decide how much we need to borrow to buy our new home!”

“I find having access to this information very convenient and helpful, and recommend the app to any smart phone users who need financial information at the press of a button.”

Why not try the App today, it is free, easy to download and will help you with all of your financial needs - don’t hesitate- and download yours:

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Children’s Legal Practice (CLP)

This month, we catch up with client, Sarah Palmer, the Director and founder of the Children’s Legal Practice based in Fareham…

As a specialist firm of solicitors, The Children’s Legal Practice (CLP) was formed back in 2004, solely to deal with legal issues relating to children and their families. Based in Fareham, CLP’s focus is to secure the best possible outcomes for the families they work with, by drawing on their specialist expertise in law, education, and family proceedings. This expertise comes from a team of nine, led by Directors, Sarah Palmer and Kirti Patel – both of whom are members of the Law Society’s Children’s Panel.

Sarah explains, “At CLP, we provide a range of services, from dealing with care proceedings to trying to get the appropriate support for a child with complex Special Educational Needs. A large proportion of our work consists of assisting parents in finding the best educational placement to ensure their needs are met. So, for example, if a child is born with complex special needs, and is a wheelchair user, or non-verbal, then it may be parent’s wish for their child to attend a specialist school. The costs of funding this can be very high, so often the local authority must be taken to a tribunal appeal to gain that funding. Which is where we come in.”

“If you are challenging a local authority, this procedure can be very complex. Over the years we have assisted parents with virtually every special need there is, helping families with children who have autism, down-syndrome, birth injuries, dyslexia, learning needs, visual impairments- to mention just a few.”

Whilst the CLP is a small practice based in Fareham, the practice’s clients stretch as far as the midlands, but most are located in Hampshire, London, Surrey and West Sussex. Sarah attributes the success of the practice to the reputation it has earnt through recommendations from other parents with children who have complex special needs. CLP’s internet presence, and recommendations from schools, solicitors and other professionals working in this area, also contribute to the practices strong reputation.

“We have recently moved into new offices and now we are considering expansion of the CLP team.” explains Sarah. “Of course, Compass has been with us throughout every step of our journey, joining us in 2004 when company was launched. They have been a fantastic help for us over the years- and have supported us through many changes, especially with our recent move. When we relocated, we went from renting a property to purchasing our offices- and during that process, we had Stuart on speed-dial! Now we have a bigger office, and therefore we have the capacity to expand.”

“For us, having a personal relationship with your accountant really counts for a lot. We feel that Stuart knows our business very well, and can therefore tailor his advice specifically to our needs.”

To find out more about the Children’s Legal Practice- visitwww.childrenslegalpractice.com or call 01329 823322.

Fleet Air Arm Museum

Visiting Fleet Air Arm Museum - Linda’s trip down memory lane

Last month, we sent Compass Accounts’ team member, Linda Hopwood - (formally a Wren) to visit a client, at Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) at Yeovilton. Here she describes how she is reunited with a familiar friend on her trip down memory lane:

“In my previous life (BC – before children) I was fortunate enough to serve as a Wren Air Engineering Mechanic (Mechanical) in the Royal Navy.  I was based at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton on 899 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) working on Sea Harriers. At that time women did not serve at sea, so the wrens on 899 NAS tended to work on the two seater training aircraft, locally known as T-Birds. The aircraft I looked after was ZB604 – Zebedee (he was already named when I took over).

Fast forward a few years and I am part of the audit team responsible for National Museum of the Royal Navy (MNRN) and Stuart asks for volunteers to visit the Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) at Yeovilton. As I drive down the A303 for RNAS Yeovilton and reach the summit of Camel Hill I view my spiritual home for the first time in years. I am met by Marc Farrance and his team and am very excited to view their collection of beautiful aircraft. Dave Morris then escorts me to Cobham Hall where 30 more aircraft are cared for as there just isn’t the room to display all the aircraft in the museum. There, to one side of the hangar in all his glory is my Zebedee and we are once again reunited.  It is a very emotional moment.  Both of us have altered a little over the time and are showing signs of age, although Zebedee is sporting a new beautiful black coat (of paint). Dave tells me that Zebedee’s fate was nearly very different.  He spent 3 years outside the hangar collecting rust and dust until the FAAM asked to adopt him to complete their set of Harriers. 

Huge thanks must go to Marc, Nicky, Bob, Barbara and especially Dave for their time indulging me in my trip down memory lane.”

Linda Hopwood, Member of the Compass Accountants Team.

Blue Lamp Trust

This month, we catch up with Jim Bettley- the General Manager of the charity The Blue Lamp Trust...

In 2010, The Blue Lamp Trust was established to promote and enhance safety in communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Since then the trust has successfully continued to provide this free of charge service – supporting people through the development of itsBobby Scheme, which helps to prevent crime and improve the safety of thousands of homes across the county.  The scheme helps elderly and vulnerable people, enabling them to live independently with a sense of confidence and security in their own home.

In addition to this, The Blue Lamp Trust has become a leading provider of Driver Safety Training Courses. “Our Driver Training courses allow people and businesses to do many things, from lower risk and cost to reducing energy use.” explains General Manager, Jim Bettley, “Last year we helped train the staff of a company that had experienced so many accidents, that it was virtually uninsurable. After training their drivers for a year - we managed to, not only improve the situation, but actually help them significantly lower their insurance costs.”

“Our courses include taxi assessments, mini bus training, defensive driving, lorry driver accreditation, motorcycle training- you name it we do it! We also provide the only Eco-Safe driving course fully approved by the Energy Saving Trust themselves.”

The Blue Lamp Trust has keep abreast with modern technological advances and as a result, offers e-learning courses as well as more traditional classroom based courses. Looking to the future, the Trust is currently researching the utilisation of virtual reality technology to further enhance its training offering.

Jim continues, “In this modern age, people want to log-on and complete a course from their own devices, in their own locations, at their own convenience- and so our e-learning training has become very popular. However, in my opinion, nothing beats hands-on-driving courses- and technology will never replicate the variables you are exposed to when at the wheel.”

Prior to his appointment as General Manager at The Blue Lamp Trust in 2014, Jim spent 33 years with the Hampshire Constabulary as Chief inspector and as a Forensic Crash Investigator.

“Most of our drivers are ex-blue lamp driver trainers and so they have delivered training of the highest level including pursuit and response training. We can certainly say that we have the highest qualified driver trainers in the country working with us.”

Earlier this year, The Blue Lamp Trust became a Compass client, as Jim explains:

“Compass Accountants came highly recommended by one our trustees, and so when it was time to appoint a new accountant they were our first choice. So far we have been very impressed. They have just completed our annual return which all ran very smoothly. In fact, it was a lot less stressful than last year. We are looking forward to continuing our work with them!”

If you would like to find out more about the Blue Lamp Trust, its driving training, the Bobby Scheme or any other of its services, visit:www.bluelamptrust.org.uk

Also- if you would like to see the Trust’s video of its latest conference - which members of the Compass team were lucky enough to attend - thenCLICK HERE

Enable Me Raises £2,350 at its Charity Golf Day

Enable Me Raises £2,350 at its Charity Golf Day

Compass Accountants’ client Enable Me recently hosted a fundraising event raising over £2,350 at its Golf Day in Littlehampton Golf Club. Compass Accountants were delighted to be co-sponsors of the golf day together with Active Pump Services of Arundel.    

The event, now in its third year, saw a record number of 42 players compete in teams of four, playing for several prizes including nearest to the pin, longest drive and best score of the day.

The teams played an enjoyable but challenging round - courtesy of a blustery north wind - but it was the Compass team that were crowned winners of the overall event!

Compass’ Jeff Walton who led the team, said, “We at Compass have long been advocates of Enable Me and always strive to fully support its cause. Today has been an excellent and fun day, and I’m delighted that it has been such a success for Enable Me.”

Compass was pleased to have had support from friends and clients including TS Tyre Repairs of Fareham, Kraft Recruitment of Portsmouth and Holmes & Quinn of Titchfield playing as The Royals.

Due to the popularity of the event Enable Me is hoping to make the date bi-annual in order to raise more funds and to accommodate the players that were unable to book a place on the day.

It is likely the next Golf Day will be on a different course, with rumours of it being closer to Compass’ offices in Hampshire- (keep an eye on the Compass Newsletter for further updates if you are interested in playing).

About Enable Me

Enable Me is a unique user led disability awareness charity, meaning every employee and volunteer working for the charity has a disability themselves. The charity specialises in providing disability awareness training for businesses, schools, universities and for children of all ages.

The charity helps to demonstrate the needs, challenges and unique life experiences of disabled people in a variety of environments.

Having most recently extended its offering to businesses, Enable Me now offers training for organisations of all sizes based around etiquette, communication, correct use of language, and inclusive behaviour, as well as legislation and adapting the business environment.

www.enablemeproject.org.uk

APR Powder Coatings LTD

This month, we catch up with the owner of APR Powder coatings, Jim Merriott- who explains how expansion, relocation and developing the largest independent oven on the South coast, has helped his business to thrive…

APR Powder Coatings has been providing its customers with high quality powder coating services for over twenty years and in that time, it has firmly established itself as a leader in its industry. As specialists in powder coating, (a method of covering metal surfaces, widely perceived as a superior alternative to using paint), APR prides itself on its ability to offer high quality, durable and corrosion resistant finishes on various forms of metal surface.

Whilst the process of finishing metal surfaces with dry powder has been used in the UK since the mid 50’s, it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Powder applications are most frequently used in the industrial and automotive industries, offering superior results in terms of both quality and cost.

There are cost advantages to powder coating when compared to solvent laden liquid coating. Powder coated parts are cured when they leave the oven, (as the powder is heated to fuse into a protective layer), unlike many wet coatings which have post cure ageing requirements. This means the total processing time is far shorter, therefore there is a faster turnaround time and reduced labour costs, allowing the client to receive their product in a ready to use state.

Based in Waterlooville, APR have developed a strong foothold in the industry, specifically with heavy goods vehicles and trailer manufacturers. The company boasts several well-known clients, such as Lewmar Marine, Lawrence David, Thomas Sanderson Blinds and many more.

Having very recently moved premises, it seems APR now has expansion, development and a significant increase in clientele on the horizon. The premises APR has now moved into now boasts a new, improved, larger building that provides enough space to increase the size of the oven APR were previously using.

“We have always used a large oven”, explains Jim, “But this one will take the business to a whole new level. To my knowledge it is the largest independent oven on the South Coast. An oven of this capacity will enable us to -not only increase the type of goods we are able to powder coat- but also increase the speed we work at, as well as the amount of work we complete.”

The next step in the organisation’s expansion is increasing the number of employees to cope with the soar in its workload, which Jim claims the new building is absolutely ideal for.

“It has been quite a journey for us- and Compass have been with us all of the way,” explains Jim, “They know our business well, having first assisted us with the company launch. Of course, back then we were an entirely different type of organisation, but Compass have always assisted with new territories and aided our growth.”

“They have helped us with everything- especially in the last two years. Now, they visit us as regularly and are part of the company. They are great to have around to ask questions like-How do we get over this problem? orHow do we approach this? If I’m completely honest, I think of them more as friends now than as accountants, and I think that is quite an important thing in business.”

Sam ready for the bike ride

Compass Client to Cycle 100km for charity

Sam Morrison – the Director of Portchester Engineering- is saddling up for a 100 km (62 mile) cycle ride to raise money for Women V Cancer.

After being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in October 2015, Sam underwent surgery and also had a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Now fully on the road to recovery, Sam will be taking to the road with two friends, and participating with thousands of other women in the ‘Ride the Night’ cycle challenge.

Taking place 27th May, the ride follows a fantastic night-time route starting and finishing at Royal Windsor Racecourse and cycling past iconic London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and The London Eye.

Women V Cancer is a special fundraising partnership between Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. The cycle rides have previously raised over £7 million for the three charities.

All donations for Sam’s cycle through the night are very much appreciated and will be gratefully received.

Sam’s JustGiving page can be found here:https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sammorrison74

Best of luck from everyone at Compass Sam!

Wananchi

This month, we catch up with Malcolm Padwick, the founder of Wananchi- an organisation that develops innovative mobile water purification systems- hear about how the groundbreaking product was developed…

Back in 2008, Malcolm Padwick had a ‘eureka’ moment that resulted in the development of his first mobile water purification system and the birth of his business -Wananchi Ltd. At the time, Malcolm was employed in South Sudan; working on a village water purification project, located on the edge of the river Nile, for a South African organisation.

Whilst working on this project Malcolm lived with mine clearance teams, and in conversation discovered that they were regularly flying in bottled water from a neighbouring country. Malcolm learnt that this water was arriving at the cost of $3 per litre which made him consider a solution to the costly import process which was a clearly a global problem. That evening, Malcolm drew a plan out of what would become the first design of the Wananchi prototype.

“I sketched out an idea for a system that would allow the user to purify the water at the source, to eliminate having to import it at inflated costs.” explains Malcolm. “As soon as I returned to the UK, I began work on developing the system. I registered Wananchi (a Swahili word meaning `for the people`) as a company, and then put everything into the design and build of the first prototypes. To fund the business at the early stages, I temporarily lived in a caravan and earned a living/survival wage working as security at a local nightclub.”

Since launching the company the prototype has undergone many levels of development. The final product is a self-contained, portable device that can purify up to 2,000 litres of water on a single battery change. This means water doesn’t have to be imported, carried around or transported across land by lorry- instead it is purified at its source, on the spot.

Since developing the brand and fully establishing Wananchi in 2010, three core markets have been identified - military, commercial and humanitarian (or emergency). The military market has by far been the most successful. The combat water supply chain in a military war environment incurs massive cost, uses up valuable man power and equipment to protect the water -and furthermore, it puts extra risk into an obviously already, high risk environment.

“I wanted to make a highly efficient and easy to use system.” explains Malcolm. “Using the Wananchi system is simple -you connect the single red hose and place into the source water, switch on the device, and then the blue hose dispenses clean, potable water - it really is that simple. There are no complicated instructions - it is as straightforward and effective as it could be.” 

Whilst there are a few water purification systems on the market, Wananchi is the leader in terms of its ease of use. “Most of our competitors’ products are cumbersome, they are complicated have many components and pipes, making them vulnerable and therefore easily broken. The Wananchi system however, is easy to use, robust and virtually unbreakable. ” says Malcolm.

The robustness of the system is one of the reasons why Wananchi has had so much interest from the military market, with an impressive sales pipeline that ranges from the British Army, Belgian Army, Italian Airforce, Mauritanian Army, Italian Army, Vietnamese Army and Bangladesh Border Guard.

The system has also seen interest from organisers of expeditions for commercial activities, where people are working in remote areas where there is great need for water.

To take the business to the next stage Malcolm is in the process of seeking investors in Wananchi. “We are now looking for the second round of investment to develop our team, increase our marketing efforts and enhance our ability to cope with some of the pending orders of various international military organisations. The business has huge potential - and is likely to expand at a very fast pace.”

Wananchi is based in The Tanneries in Titchfield, alongside the Compass Accountants’ office. Malcolm explains, “It’s great to be located so closely to Compass. As neighbours we chose to use their services as soon as we arrived, and they helped Wananchi to become fully established. They have always gone above and beyond their services and constantly keep our business in mind.”

“A good example of this is when Jeff Walton of Compass, arranged a networking meeting with an organisation that is now actually a partner of ours. This introduction created an opportunity for us that we are still very grateful for. Compass are always there to help and will proactively look for ways for Wananchi to improve. I always recommend them highly as an accountancy firm.”

malcolm.padwick@wananchi.co.uk
Wananchi: 01329 248 247
www.wananchi.co.uk

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Compass welcomes Stacey’s new arrival!

We are delighted to announce that Compass’ very own, Stacey Leggatt has given birth to a beautiful baby girl!

Emilia Ivy Julie Leggett was born on Wednesday 15th March and weighed in at 6lb 15oz.

On behalf of the entire Compass team - congratulations to Stacey and Damien, we wish you a lifetime of joy and happiness as a new family!

Compass welcomes new client- Enable Me

Compass Accountants is delighted to welcome its newest client, Enable Me- a disability awareness charity based in Littlehampton.

Enable Me is unique in that it is a user led disability awareness charity, meaning every employee and volunteer working for the charity has a disability themselves. The charity specialises in providing disability awareness training for businesses, schools, universities and for children of all ages.

The charity helps to demonstrate the needs, challenges and unique life experiences of disabled people in a variety of environments.

Having most recently extended its offering to businesses, Enable Me now offers training for organisations of all sizes based around etiquette, communication, correct use of language, and inclusive behaviour, as well as legislation and adapting the business environment.

Most recently, Enable Me has been working with businesses in the hospitality sector, helping them to improve their customer service, but is currently working with Coutts Bank, helping them to further promote inclusivity in the workplace.

Compass and Enable Me already have a good relationship, following Compass’ efforts to help the charity raise funds in various ways, including the donations generated at the 2016 Compass Quiz Night.

Chris Jay, Executive Chairman of the charity said, “Compass has been an advocate and supporter of Enable Me’s work for some time now- but it wasn’t just its generosity and understanding of disability awareness that has gained our custom. They are also recognised for their expertise in the charity sector and for their experience of working with high profile non-profit organisations. We are delighted to be working with them and look forward to a long future together!”

Stuart Lawrance, Director of Compass said, “We are very pleased to welcome Enable Me as a client. Staff at Compass have already shown great support for the organisation’s cause - it will be a great pleasure for us to offer our comprehensive range of services to support the charity in meeting all its financial and compliance needs.”

Compass will be sponsoring the Enable Me Golf Day, which will take place on Friday 28th April 2017, at Littlehampton Golf Club (see below).

Compass to sponsor the Enable Me Golf Day in Littlehampton

Compass Accountants is proud to announce that it will be the main sponsor of the ‘Enable Me Charity Golf Day’ – an annual event that helps the Littlehampton charity to raise funds.

The Golf Day will take place on Friday 28th April 2017, and will include a set lunch and refreshments, with various golfing competitions including ‘nearest to the pin’ and ‘longest drive’.

The day will take place at the Littlehampton Golf Club (dress codes apply), and will begin with brunch at 10.30am- with the last tee off at around 13.00.

The cost for entry is £45 per player which includes a set lunch (£20 - for Littlehampton Golf Club members).

Enable Me is a unique not-for-profit organisation based in Littlehampton working to raise disability awareness, providing services that include awareness workshops and training programmes for businesses, schools and sports professionals.

Compass’ Business Development Specialist- Jeff Walton, will be representing Compass and competing on the day. Jeff said, “It’s a great pleasure to sponsor this event, and as a keen golfer, it will also be a pleasure to participate! Enable Me’s cause is one that Compass proudly supports, so we are honoured to be contributing through sponsorship. It will also be a great occasion to meet new people, and to see friends and colleagues at the event!”

For further details, entry forms and booking tee times, contact Sue at Enable Me :office@enablemeproject.org.uk Tel: 01903 734400

The Compass Accountants App

The Calculator tools and what they do…

Following the release of the recently developed ‘Compass Accountants App’, we have received fantastic feedback from clients, especially regarding the mileage GPS tracking system and the receipt management tools- which allow you to precisely track your travel expenses and digitally store all of your receipts.

Mobile technology has become an intrinsic element of modern business - for example, did you know that over half of the visitors to your website will now view it on a smartphone or tablet- and over 85% of businesses now use smartphone apps?

As trusted accountants, we strive to move with the times and aim to provide the tools that will enable our clients to work more efficiently -and the Compass App has been designed specifically to do this.

As well as the GPS mileage tracking system and the receipt management tools, the Compass App also offers 15 different types of calculator. Here is a brief breakdown of each one, what they do and how they work:

  • APR -Want to know the APR based on a nominal rate of interest? Just enter the figures and tap ‘calculate’.
  • VAT -Use this calculator to work out the amount of VAT included in any figure, or the VAT that needs to be added to a VAT-exclusive amount.
  • Stamp Duty -This calculator determines the amount of stamp duty chargeable on the purchase of property or shares. Stamp Duty is a complex tax, so please contact Compass directly if you are unsure of how it is applied.
  • Loan -This calculator helps you work out the amount of interest and fixed monthly repayments on any loan.
  • Inheritance Tax -Careful planning is required whenever Inheritance Tax is involved. This calculator provides a simple answer to the amount of Inheritance Tax payable if little or no planning is undertaken.
  • Mortgage -This mortgage calculator works out how much monthly repayments will be depending on the size of the mortgage, the term of the loan and the current interest rate being charged.
  • Contractors -Enter your daily or hourly rate of pay into this calculator and it will show your monthly and annual contract values and your expected monthly take-home pay.
  • Savings -This calculator enables you to calculate the growth in your savings over a fixed period and how much you could expect in interest if you reinvest the total amount at the end of the term.
  • Payslip -Simply enter your tax code and gross salary and this calculator will show you how much your net pay will be after tax and NI deductions.
  • Company Car -How much will you be taxed if you have the benefit of a company car? Just enter the details in this calculator and it will show you how much tax you will have to pay for the company car and related fuel benefits.
  • Income Tax -Want to know how much your annual take-home pay will be? Just enter the amount of your weekly or monthly pay and you’ll be able to see the total deductions for tax and NI and your net earnings.
  • Increased Profit -Want to see what a 10% increase in sales will do to your profitability? Enter the figures from your latest accounts and this calculator allows you to use ‘what-if’ options to see what happens to your net profit.
  • Dividend vs Salary -Is it more advantageous to take profits from your business as salary, or dividends? Just enter your net profit figure and you’ll see what the different answers are.(Note- This is to be used as a guide only- Contact Compass for more professional advice.)
  • Corporation Tax -Enter your profits for the year and you’ll see how much Corporation Tax you’ll have to pay and what your Profit After Tax will be.
  • Income Tax -Enter your gross pay and whether you are paid weekly or monthly and you’ll see how much tax and NIC you’ll pay and what your take-home pay will be.

All these calculators are included with the Compass App which is FREE - even if you aren’t a Compass client, (so feel free to pass the details on to friends and colleagues!)

The app can be downloaded directly from iTunes or Google Play- (by searching for Compass Accountants) – or alternatively go to ourhome page and click the link to download them directly.

If it sounds like the App will be of benefit to you - don’t hesitate- and download yours free from the Compass website today…

Sam Beaven prepares for the
Great South Run in Portsmouth

Compass staff raise money on charity run

Compass Accountants team members, Sarah Harwood and Sam Beaven have both been busy recently, raising money for charities by participating in ‘The Great South Run’ in Southsea, Portsmouth.

The 10 mile running event took place in October, with runners passing through the iconic sights of Southsea and Portsmouth, including the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, home of HMS Victory, past Spinnaker Tower, with a grand finish on the seafront.

Both Sam and Sarah ran a distance of ten miles – both completing the race in good time – (1hr and 46 for Sam and 1hr and 55 for Sarah).

Sam ran to raise money for Macmillan and Sarah ran to raise funds for Cancer Research as both of their families had previously been affected by cancer.

Sam raised a total of £355.00, and gained support from Compass through activities such as cake making and office games, and Sarah raised a total of £200.00. Both have said they would definitely consider running again next year!

Compass Accountants raises £2,000 on Charity Quiz Night

The attendance of 26 local businesses helps raise funds for Motiv8 and Enable Me

Compass Accountants is pleased to announce that a total of £2,000 was raised for charities following our quiz night and dinner for local businesses in the Hampshire region.

The event raised funds for Motiv8 -the charity based in Portsmouth that works to improve the life chances of young people- and Enable Me- the charity that works to help businesses, schools and Universities across the South with disability awareness training.

The Quiz Night took place at Portsmouth Football Club, and included a dinner, games and a raffle, helping to raise funds for both charities.  26 different local businesses and organisations joined Compass on the night.

Chris Jay, Executive Chairman of the charity Enable Me explains, “It was a great honour to have been selected as one of the charities Compass raised funds for. We are very grateful that disability awareness is something Compass are keen to support. Plus- they know how to organise a fantastic evening! A great night was had by all.”

Martin Wood, the Finance Director with Motiv8 South Ltd, was also present and said, “It was both a privilege and a pleasure to partner with Compass Accountants at what proved to be a really successful, well managed, well-run, most enjoyable Charity Quiz Night. The event generated an amazing donation of £1,000 for Motiv8 which will enable us to continue to provide life chances for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and families in the communities that we serve.”

Each business attending entered a team of six players, with a total of 26 teams competing. The winning team on the night were Portsmouth based, HW Conveyancing Searches.

Stuart Lawrance, Director of Compass Accountants said, “The quiz has been a great success, not only as a means of raising funds for two very important charities- but also in bringing together clients and local businesses- allowing them to let their hair down and enjoy the night!”

Civic Leaders visit for APR Powder Coatings

This month, we were honoured to join our client, APR Powder Coatings in Waterlooville, for a Civic Visit, where 20 Civic Leaders from across Hampshire came to see their new facilities.

The Civic Party visited APR as a part of a tour of exemplar businesses in the Havant and Waterlooville region - led by Mayor of Havant -Councillor Faith Ponsonby.

The Mayor of Havant, who came to be familiar with APR Powder Coatings when she attended the grand opening of the new site, asked owner Jim Merriott to lead her Civic leader associates on a tour of APR, whilst demonstrating the size of the ovens and specialist equipment.

Following APR’s recent relocation, expansion and its development of the largest independent oven on the South coast, the company has seen a huge increase in business, whilst almost doubling its workforce.

APR had already developed a strong foothold in the industry, specifically with heavy goods vehicles and trailer manufacturers. With its site expansion, and increase in large specialist ovens, the powder coating business has now ventured into a larger volume of work, specifically within the marine industry.

The company has also introduced Quality Control Procedures, employing staff and putting processes in place that guarantee all APR’s work consistently reaches the highest standard.

Mayor of Havant, Councillor Faith Ponsonby said, “I wanted to bring fellow Civic Leaders from around the county to see exactly what APR are doing by bringing employment to the area and by providing a high quality service for boat building and manufacturers in the Southern region.”

Jeff Walton of Compass Accountants attended the event and said, “It’s a huge pleasure to see APR experience such recognition for the rapid growth and great success they have worked hard for - to be a showcase business for a Civic Visit is a fantastic achievement!”

Say Goodbye to ‘receipt management’ with the new Compass’ App

Let’s face it – keeping, organising and filing receipts is no fun! However, it is something most of us have to do. Whilst we can’t eliminate the necessity to retain receipts and invoices, we can help you simplify the process of maintaining your expenses- without ever losing a receipt again.

The new Compass Accountants App has a ‘receipt manager’ function that allows you to scan, save and store your receipts with the click of a button from your smart phone. After downloading the app from the homepage of our website- (or iTunes/Google Play) you can use the camera function of your device to photograph it, then it automatically saves through the App.

You can then store it using any information you choose -such as amount, client, category, or date. You can even add notes to the receipt for later and once the receipt is stored, you can simply press ‘email accountant’ and the receipt will be sent to a pre-agreed email address, with an auto-populated subject line for ease of filing and reference. Simple.

And, just in case you are concerned about HMRC’s policies on digital paperwork – it has now confirmed that it is completely acceptable to have digital versions of receipts and invoices, but it is worth noting they should be kept for the same amount of time as paper documents (which is 5 years after the filing date).
So, say goodbye to receipts now - and download the Compass Accountants App!
Also, don’t forget to tell your colleagues, family and friends about the Compass App- as it is not exclusive to Compass clients -and entirely free to download!

To download the Compass Accountants App go towww.CompassAccountants.co.uk and download from the home page or download directly fromiTunes orGoogle Play by searching for Compass Accountants.

Compass Celebrates Joe’s Success!

Everyone at Compass was delighted to celebrate the news that Joe Curtis, recently passed his level 3 AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting, with flying colours.

Joe, a trainee accountant at Compass, has been working hard and regularly studying at Itchen College in Southampton to gain the qualification. Having graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Business and Financial Management in 2010, Joe worked for a period of five years at Tesco, before joining Compass Accountants in 2015. Since then he has rapidly made progression, gaining confidence in industry practice.

Having passed his Level 3 AAT he now plans to continue to study, with a view to becoming a fully ACCA qualified member of the Compass team. His progress with the AAT Level 4 Diploma, which covers high-level accounting and finance topics and tasks, has already begun following his enrolment on the course.

“It’s always great to see colleagues develop” says Director, Stuart Lawrance – “Joe has certainly proven that he has the skill and determination to go far here at Compass!”

Business miles simplified with the new Compass App

Anyone that claims for business mileage, will know that keeping track of previous journeys can be a frustrating task. Maintaining an account of every individual trip and calculating the precise distances through Google maps can be a time consuming burden. Which is why we are delighted to announce, that our new smartphone app has been designed to simplify this entire process for you.

The new Compass App, (which is free of charge and downloadable from iTunes and Google Play) allows you to permanently record all the information you need directly on to your smartphone.

Once the app is downloaded you simply set the mileage Calculator to ‘Start Trip’, and let the wonders of your GPS system do the rest, recording all the details of your journey, alongside a precise number of miles covered. When you arrive at your destination just click ‘End Trip’ and all details are automatically saved in your account.

You can also view all the details of your previous trips, including the dates of travel, times, reasons for travel, miles covered and more. These details can then be instantly emailed to Compass Accountants, or your head office or payroll department – depending on who requires the information.

In addition to the business mileage tracker the app also boasts tax tables, calculators, photo receipt managers, finance news, notifications, messaging tools and lots more.

If you haven’t downloaded the Compass App already, go straight to the homepage on the Compass website and download it now using the link -or alternatively, go to iTunes or Google Play and search for ‘Compass Accountants’.

If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss a specific issue related to company cars or the tax implications of reclaiming mileage, please feel free to contact us onhere.

Join us on the Compass’ Charity Quiz Night

Compass Accountants is excited to be hosting a Charity Quiz Night, on Thursday 29th September at Portsmouth Football Club.

The event will raise funds for the disability awareness charity Enable me and for the charity that works to improve the life chances of young people-Motiv8, both of whom work in Portsmouth and the surrounding area.

The Quiz Night will include dinner and a raffle with a range of superb prizes, with teams of up to six members participating (although companies are free to enter more than one team or table).

The fee is a £60 per entry fee per table of six, which includes a meal on the night. If you are interested in attending, book NOW as there are only a few days left to register your team and limited space exists.

Book your table byCLICKING HERE to download the booking form- Then, fill out the details and return to natalief@compassaccountants.co.uk

Entries must reach Compass by the 5th September 2016.

If you are also interested in donating a raffle prize for the event, please also contact Natalie using the email address above.

We hope to see you there!

The Compass App is here!

Compass Accountants are delighted to announce that you can now download our brand new App, FREE of charge, allowing you to have full access to all your key accounting data- anytime, anyplace.

The App can be easily downloaded from the Compass website directly onto your iPhone, iPad or any android device, and is packed full of useful features including tax tables, calculators, GPS mileage trackers, photo receipt managers, finance news, notifications, messaging tools and lots more.

Following the ever increasing use of mobile telephones in business, the Compass App has been designed to keep our clients up-to-date and well informed, with news, views, dates, data, reminders and tips.

Furthermore, the App also offers a simpler method of gathering and collating accounting information through features such as the receipt management tool. Here you can simply take a picture of the receipt and save it to the App, (if you like, you can even send it directly to Compass in this format). You can also search and track expenses and all other receipts- at the touch of a button.

The mileage tracker also makes keeping a record of journeys and precise distances very simple, using GPS*. Here, the GPS system in your device is accessed by the App, allowing you to save and store details of every mile in every journey, enabling you to review, edit and even email journey details with ease.

So, if you wanted to calculate the tax on certain company cars, assess how much tax you owe, check Stamp Duty costs, or just see how you might increase profits in your business- download the free App, and this can all be done from your phone.

The App will also allow you to browse a library of tax tables and show you the latest tax rates- 24/7. You can search for data on details such as Income Tax or Tax credits- and have immediate access to the information you need.

In addition, the App also makes it simple for us to communicate together, with push notification reminders and easy access to all of our contact details, including links to the Compass Social media pages.

If it sounds like the App will be of benefit to you - don’t hesitate- and download yours free from the Compass website today…

07 July 2016

Compass sponsors up-and-coming athlete!

Compass Accountants is proudly sponsoring local athlete and potential future Olympian, 13 year-old Elisha Parham.

As a pupil at Cams Hill School in Fareham, Elisha has shown great promise, competing in 100m, 200m, and 300m races- as well as competing in the long-jump. Having run in numerous competitions Elisha is a member of the Southampton Athletics Club and is currently rated third girl in the under 15’s for the 100m and 200m, and fourth for the 300m.

Elisha

Elisha with Compass Directors, Stuart Lawrance and Kerry Lawrance.

Earlier this month, Elisha’s 4x 300m relay team smashed the club record by 7 seconds and as a result the team are now ranked as number 4 in the UK. She is also a member of the Wessex League team and YDL league team.

Elisha’s Southampton team also competed in the indoor league in the winter, where they finished in 3rd place in the national finals after winning the regional finals.

To help her on her sporting journey, Compass have sponsored Elisha, providing her with sporting equipment including sports bag, windcheater jacket, clothing and running spikes.

Stuart Lawrance, Director of Compass Accountants said, “We are delighted to be helping Elisha on her journey as an athlete and wish her the best of luck in developing her sporting ability and achieving her goals. All the team at Compass Accountants are very much looking forward to watching Elisha’s promising career develop over the coming years.”

20 June 2016

Compass Continues to Expand with New Appointments

We are delighted to announce that Compass has expanded its team with the appointment of two new Senior Payroll and Accounts Managers, Isabella Brady and Sarah McInnes.

Isabella and Sarah join Compass Accountants, following our continued expansion and the recent launch of our new office in Portsmouth.

Sarah and Isabelle

Sarah - left, Isabella - right

Both Isabella and Sarah will further strengthen the Compass team bringing with them a wide and impressive background in the sector. Isabella has worked in accountancy roles for over 40 years, and brings with her strong experience of working with museums and non-for profit organisations- both of which are sectors Compass specialises in.

Isabella explains, “It’s an exciting time to join the team at Compass. I’m delighted to be joining a firm with such a prominent stance in the local region. I’m hoping my experience and knowledge will contribute to the company’s ongoing development.”

Sarah has worked with accountancy practices for just over 16 years and has experience in all aspects of accountancy services from audit and accounts preparation, to VAT compliance, management accounts and bookkeeping.

Sarah adds “It’s a great pleasure for me to join the Compass team. I was already familiar with Compass as a local practice, and was aware of their reputation as a friendly and personable team- so was very pleased when the opportunity arose. I have been made to feel very welcome and look forward to contributing to Compass’ reputation and services in the region.”

Stuart Lawrance, our company Director said, “The appointment of Sarah and Isabella puts us in an even stronger position to provide the highest standard of service we can, for both our existing and prospective clients. I am certain that their experience and backgrounds will deliver positive results for both Compass and its clients.”

26 May 2016

Compass Wins Charity Quiz

We are very proud to have been named the winners at the recent CMA charity quiz in aid of St Wilfrid's Hospice, which took place at Portsmouth Football Ground.

St Wilfred's are an independent local charity that cares and supports those in our community in the last phase of their lives.

Here is a picture of our winning team holding the award for first place.

Well done team Compass!

09 May 2016

Simple online payments for Compass’ clients

We are very pleased to announce that Compass clients can now conveniently make payments via our very own website. Our new WorldPay system, which has been incorporated into the Compass website, provides our clients with a fast, simple and straightforward way to pay.

Clients can be confident that their payment details are processed securely in line with PCI DSS compliance, allowing our clients to make quick, simple and secure transactions via ourpayment page.

To access the payment link, just go to the menu at the side of the Compass home page, and click ‘Pay Online’ -then follow the simple instructions. All major credit and debit cards are accepted through the website.

The addition of the online payment system precedes the launch of the ‘Compass Accountants App’- which will enable our clients to have ground-breaking technology at their fingertips.

The Compass App will allow clients to manage their accounts from their mobile devices, accessing financial information, receiving messages, tips, utilising tools, and features such as tracking, storing and managing mileage, photo receipt management and calculators for -savings, mortgage, company cars, loans, Pay slips, VAT and more. The app will be compatible with mobile devices including smart phones and tablets.

More information on the app will be available very soon!

2nd March 2016

Compass continues to provide services to the travel industry as a licensed practitioner

Compass Accountants is delighted to announce that we are now fully licensed as an ‘ATOL Reporting Accountancy Firm’, following Director, Kerry Lawrance’s recent achievements in passing the required ICAEW training.

As from the 1st April 2016, any accountant that acts on behalf of an ATOL licence holder, or wishes to submit ATOL Accountants’ Reports to CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), must be an ‘ATOL Reporting Accountant.’

Kerry Daly

The CAA has developed the scheme to help improve the standard of ATOL reporting and to provide assurance that any financial information submitted to them is accurate.

They have designed the scheme to ensure accountants are sufficiently knowledgeable about the travel industry as well as the requirements of the ATOL scheme.

As a uniquely complex and specialist area, ATOL reporting demands that licensed practitioners possess a strong knowledge of both the travel sector and the ATOL regulatory environment. Having proven this throughout her recent training and examinations, Kerry is now approved as a license practitioner, and is therefore able to continue her work with clients, as a specialist in the travel industry.

Kerry explains, “We are thrilled to be able to continue working with businesses in the travel sector as we have established strength in this industry. It also allows us to reach out to other businesses in this sector, who may not be aware of the changes, or may not be currently be receiving this level of expertise from their advisor.”

If your accountant has not submitted their application in time, or is no longer a licence holding practitioner, call us now.

For any further information on Compass as an ATOL Reporting Accountant, or to discuss our services in the travel industry- contact Kerry on 01329 443457

25th January 2016

Not for Profit Bulletin – (Winter 2015/2016)

The Compass Accountants Not for Profit Bulletin – (Winter 2015/2016) is available to read, offering Charities, Museums, Galleries, Schools & Academies, up-to-date news, information, guidance and tips. This edition covers:

  • Gift Aid: Partnership Declarations
  • More on Gift Aid Declarations
  • Accounting for Donated Goods - FRS102 & SORP

2015

  • Company Cars - latest advisory fuel rates
  • Supplies of sporting services - VAT reclaims
  • Community amateur sports clubs - VAT reclaims
  • Professional bodies approved for tax relief

Download the newsletter now using the link below:

Not for Profit Bulletin – (Winter 2015/2016)

25th January 2016

Compass expands with a new Portsmouth branch

Compass Accountants is delighted to announce that a new office, at Gatcombe House in Portsmouth has been launched. The new branch will enable us to further establish a strong clientele in the city.

Following the demand to support an increasing number of Portsmouth based clients, the new office was launched with a celebratory networking lunch event. Many of our current Portsmouth clients attended the opening, joining the company’s Directors, staff members, associates and partners on the day.

Compass Accountants’ Director, Kerry Lawrance explains, “Over the years, we have found that more and more of our clients are based in the Portsmouth area, so it makes perfect sense for us to open another office that is in closer proximity to them. Furthermore, we are now in an improved position to expand our reach to other businesses and charities in the area.”

The opening of the new branch marks a continued period of growth for Compass. For 35 years, we have worked with an increasing number of Hampshire based organisations in various sectors from small to medium businesses to charities, schools and non-profit organisations.

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In addition to the opening of the Portsmouth Compass is undertaking a recruitment drive to increase the existing team in the Titchfield branch.(Click here to find out more).

Kerry concludes, “This is a very exciting and progressive time for us - the positioning of our two branches places us in an ideal position to grow even further in the future, allowing us to reach out to the business community of Portsmouth and all its surrounding areas.”

18th August 2015

R&D Tax Credits- The untapped benefit for small businesses

This article was previously published in August 2015 on FreshBusinessThinking.com- the UK’s largest online resource for small business owners and directors...

Research and Development Tax Credits remain untapped by many of Britain’s eligible SMEs, who view the relief as inaccessible. Kerry Lawrance, Director of Compass Accountants, offers guidance on how to claim and who can apply, whilst debunking some of the myths associated with the credit…

In April 2015, the rate of relief for SME businesses claiming Research and Development Tax Credits increased to improve investment and innovation. However, despite these increases, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of small businesses continue to remain either unaware or uncertain of their eligibility to claim the credits. As a result, R&D tax credits are an untapped benefit for the SME. Consequently, millions of pounds remain unclaimed.

Whilst the larger organisations are reaping the rewards for these credits, the truth of the matter is, the smaller business is either unaware of the opportunity, or oblivious to exactlywhat can be claimed for.

So, who qualifies?

When people hear the words ‘research and development’, many unfortunately think of onsite laboratories, workers in white coats, or corporate research teams making ground breaking technological advances. However, in reality there are many unexpected industries that businesses can be in to claim, and the credits certainly aren’t limited to frontline innovation. Makingany technical change can count as an eligible process, and a business ofany size can be eligible to claim.  

For example, industries such as food production, cosmetics, electronics, mechanical engineering, IT, transport, materials engineering, architecture, construction, furniture manufacturing, and leisure canallbe appropriate industries for the R&D tax claim.

HMRC themselves state that the claim can be made by any company aiming to achieve- ‘an advance in overall knowledge or capability in a field of science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty’.

So, as long as the project involves a process that fits this description, and sits within the company’s existing trade, (or one the company has plans on diversifying into), then the process can be claimed for.

What counts as R&D?

One of the most common misconceptions -and consequently, the biggest reason for small businesses not claiming- is the false belief that claims must that involve the process of inventing something ‘new’.

Whilst the credit certainly can be used for new developments and patenting products, it is largely used by organisations which are in the process of making improvements or modifications to a process or product. This means that you could be eligible for any process that occurs when your business is attempting to -for example- improve the speed of production, reduce the price of a product, or make it more environmentally friendly- and so, many industries -such as software, agriculture, chemicals, electronics, food processing etc– can then become potential industries the credit may be relevant to.

Solving a customer’s problem, addressing an issue in production, or improving the speed of assembly or manufacturing, using scientific principles, can all count as eligible processes for the claim, whether it is in the company warehouse, out in the field, on even in a home office -on a PC . Here the labour spent, materials used and consumables lost throughout these developments can be claimed for- and these often overlooked elements can lead to a substantial R&D tax return.

Making the claim

Whist the benefits of the tax credits are clearly valuable, many smaller businesses are still put off by the belief that the process of application will be arduous, complicated and lengthy. This also contributes to the reason why many smaller businesses fail to apply.

In actual fact, the process of application can be very simple.  Firstly, details of eligible research and development activities must be identified.  In the next stage a technical report must be prepared (which can be made by the business itself, or by an accountant specialising in this particular area).  The report needs to include full details of the research and development being undertaken together with a detailed assessment of the costs incurred on the project.  Here understanding the requirements of the HMRC and preparing a report that will withstand scrutiny is very important.

Once complete, the claim for tax relief is included on the company’s corporation tax return (CT600) and this together with the report can be submitted to HMRC for an inspector to evaluate.

This process can be simplified even further, by approaching an accountancy firm, (such as Compass Accountants) that specialises in compiling technical R&D claim reports. We undertake work to establish and document which activities in your business are eligible and document the relevant costs. We complete a full technical report including details of your claim and the financial costs associated. If we are unsuccessful with your claim there will beNO COST TO YOU.

So, businesses really do have nothing to lose.

The fact of the matter is, failing to make the first step in applying for R&D credits, means you’ll never know if you are eligible, and to what extent - and this could mean your business may be missing out on a substantial amount of money. After making the first step, the process of application is quicker, easier and more rewarding than most small business owners think- and if you choose Compass Accountants- finding out more about your eligibility poses no risk or cost whatsoever.

Find out more about your eligibility now byCLICKING HERE or call Kerry Lawrance, Compass Accountants’ specialist in Research and Development Tax Claims on01329 443457.

6th July 2015

Compass Accountants listed in Charity Financials ‘Top 50 Auditors Listings’

We were very pleased to discover that in the latest bi-annual report from CharityFinancials, Compass Accountants has been ranked in its Top 50 auditors!

In it’s report, – ‘Charity Audit Spotlight’- CharityFinancials, the online tool that offers financial information on 163,000 charities, ranked Compass Accountants among some of the largest accountancy firms including PwC, Baker Tilly and Grant Thornton UK.

The report listed the ‘top 50 auditors by income audited’, with Compass coming in at number 41 in the list of UK accountants.

The report is designed to examine the audit market by reviewing a sample of the largest 5000 charities. CharityFinancials invites charities to use the report to help them in their selection process, should they be in the process of changing their auditor.

Stuart Lawrance Director of Compass explains, “This is great news for Compass, we are delighted to be ranked in this listing alongside some of the biggest firms in the UK. This shows that the personal and understanding service we offer, combined with our competitive value proposition, enables us to be listed alongside the giants in our industry.”

“Compass works with many charities, and we are delighted that the level of income we have audited has been recognised by what is a very well respected source.”