Read the results and Partner views from our latest national manufacturing industry survey

The Engine – Issue 9

Few will forget the year 2020 and when we concluded our last report we were six months post the first national lockdown with manufacturing and engineering businesses trying to adapt as quickly as possible to the new situation. We were also closing quickly on the deadline for the agreement of a deal on Brexit with “no deal” being spoken of as a real possibility so business was faced with two significant issues on top of everything else.

Things have moved quickly – the UK has now administered a first dose of the vaccine to over 33 million people, the initial stages of the third national lockdown are being lifted and there was a last minute deal on Brexit. Perhaps the deal was not all that might have been envisaged by the slogan “take back control” and early 2021 has seen either “teething problems” or “fundamental flaws” exposed, depending where you sit, but a deal nonetheless. Against this backdrop we revisited the same six questions that we had posed to manufacturing and engineering companies in the UK to see if their answers had changed or whether initial thoughts had been right. We also added two specifically directed Brexit questions.

Download your copy today to read this unique insight straight from the industry.

This update originally appeared on the MHA website.

Receipt Bank rebrands to Dext

In a global webinar in February, Receipt Bank made the announcement that they have rebranded and is now Dext.

The new Dext brand will incorporate Dext Prepare (Receipt Bank) and Dext Precision (Xavier).

Why Dext?

During the announcement, Chief Executive Officer Adrian Blair explained the new name fuses “dexterity with next”: the dexterity that accountants and bookkeepers bring to their clients’ challenges and the next generation attitude that so many have.

What does this mean for you?

For now, there are no changes to how you use Dext Prepare (Receipt Bank) on the web or the app version.  You can continue using the same login details and same mobile app as before, but it will look slightly different.

Mobile app update

If you are using the mobile app, an update is available for Android and iOS devices that will update the app name to Dext.  There will be no changes to how the app works and you can login as you did before.

Getting into Dext

If you are using the web version you can still use, you may be redirected to the new address Similarly with the mobile app, there will be no changes to how it all works and you can login as usual.

How do I email my documents?

Currently each user can email in documents using address, this will now be changed to  The current email address will be supported for the next couple of years, it may be a good time to start using the new address.

Contact us

If you are interested in seeing a demonstration of Dext Prepare (Receipt Bank), how it works or details of the prices, please get in touch with our Digital Solutions team at

Pensions: Changes to Lifetime Allowance

Changes in the 2021 Budget

In April 2016 the Lifetime Allowance (LTA) reduced from £1.25 million down to £1 million and had since received increases in line with inflation, with the allowance standing at £1,073,100 from 6 April 2020. This limit has now been frozen in the March 2021 Budget at £1,073,100 for the tax years up to and including 2025/26.


Inflation remains low at under 1%, so the implications if you are retiring in the next financial year are relatively small as the limit would not have increased by much anyway.  The cumulative effect if you are retiring nearer the end of the frozen period, however, are more significant.  Even if inflation were 1% in the intervening years, the limit would have risen to £1,127,839, meaning £54,739 more capital value of pension would be covered.  The freezing of the limit, even at 1%, would therefore mean an extra £13,685 of tax due.  At 2% inflation, the extra tax would be nearly £28,000.

What should I do?

Individual Protection 2016 (IP2016) is still available for those with pension savings in excess of £1 million at 6 April 2016 and can protect the pot up to £1.25 million.  Individuals should arrange for a review of their pension savings with their financial advisor to consider if they could be in danger of exceeding the lifetime allowance of £1,073,100.  The exposure to the limit is calculated as 20 times the pension plus any lump sum.  Broadly this means that a member of the 1995 section of the pension scheme retiring on a pension of more than £46,656 may pay an LTA tax charge. Commuting of pension to take more lump sum can also reduce the capital value for LTA purposes and therefore reduce the exposure.

No deadline date has currently been set for an application for IP2016, as long as it is done before benefits are drawn, so it is worth checking your pension statements and speaking to us for assistance in applying if you meet the criteria.

Contact us

If you require any advice regarding the above please get in touch with Lisa Pennington, Healthcare Services Director, or alternatively contact us here.

Is 2021 the year of opportunity?

Let us be under no illusion, the last 12 months have been extraordinary.

We have seen the implementation of multiple lockdowns, the uncertainty of entire sectors prevalent for months on end and only now are we seeing a roadmap back to normality in the UK. However, as experience tells us, nothing is certain, and macro-factors can at any time significantly change the landscape once more.

The impact hasn’t just been on company profits, but also, and possibly more importantly, on personal circumstances, families and the overall wellbeing of not just the UK, but the entire world. Everything seems to have been challenged during this period, and many questions asked of ourselves whether it be our business life, goals and aspirations or our social interaction with the wider environment we exist in.

Many people we have spoken to believe that their mindset has changed permanently, and who would blame them?

One thing though is for sure, those businesses that have been able to navigate successfully through this period of uncertainty are now finding that 2021 may well be the land of opportunity. However, defining ‘opportunity’ is the key differential.

We have seen various themes of thought from discussions with business owners:

  • Keep calm and carry on – with the support of various Government schemes, businesses are either on hold or are continuing as best as they can under the current circumstances. Whilst this may be the less ‘aggressive’ option, it may be the most difficult in the current environment, especially as competitors or new market entrants may be bold in their actions.
  • Pivot – many businesses have evaluated their current operations to assess the viability of current products, markets and the relevant associated cost-base to emerge as a leaner and more effective business going forward. The last 12 months may have triggered a belated business health check and such businesses have pivoted to strengthen their position in the market.
  • Invest for growth – well capitalised businesses may now have significant cash reserves or access to funding at low interest rates, and possible acquisition targets may be more susceptible to a transaction depending on their circumstances. Has there ever been a better opportunity to make a strategic acquisition?
  • Get me out of here – after the trials and tribulations of the last 12 months, the appetite of running a business in a post COVID/Brexit era may be somewhat diminished. Added to this, with the widely muted change to Capital Gains Tax (incl. Business Asset Disposal Relief) absent from the March 2020 Budget, there are an increasing number of businesses looking to facilitate an exit whether this is through a MBO or sale to a third party or private equity fund.

Whilst the above are distinct and varied situations, there is one common theme throughout – the need for independent holistic advice to challenge, support and help deliver the desired outcome, whether this has changed fundamentally or not.

What is your opportunity in 2021, and are you prepared to take advantage of it?

Contact Us

If you would like further information about this topic, please contact Peter Williams, Corporate Finance Director on 0161 519 5050 or email

Our 2021 Manufacturing and Engineering Survey is now open!

It’s a challenging time for the manufacturing sector and the wider world as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily and working lives. Last year, we undertook a national sector health check survey asking manufacturing firms across the UK how they have managed through the crisis.

We are running a second Manufacturing & Engineering temperature check to help us compile the latest nationwide picture of the state of the sector. Your feedback will help our specialist advisers gauge where the sector is and what can be done to respond to current challenges.  

This mini survey focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and how firms are responding to industry changes.    

The survey should take no longer than 1 minute. It will be used to compile benchmark data, which will help us better understand how the sector is responding to current challenges.  

If you have any queries about the survey or would like to know more about the services MHA Moore and Smalley provide, please contact Ginni Cooper, Partner and Head of Manufacturing and Engineering.

21 tips for 2021

21 tips for 2021

Planning for a better future

Now, for tomorrow

As the clock chimed midnight on 31 December 2019 and we hugged, yes hugged, our family and friends and wished them a Happy New Year little did we know what 2020 would bring.

We had no knowledge that in 2021 we would learn a whole new vocabulary. Coronavirus, lockdown, furlough and social distancing were soon to become all too familiar terms. As for Zoom? Well that was previously a 1980s classic tune by Fat Larry’s band!

In this review we look back at last year and also look forward to 2021, we share some of our best insight articles, videos, factsheets, reports and publications from 2020 and mix and match these with some great fresh content. All of our articles have one thing in common – planning for a better future. Now, for Tomorrow.

Looking after your mental health

Taking care of your mind as well as your body is always important but now, more than ever, it is essential.
We set out some tips to help and support you, your team and your family and friends during this time.

Building financial resilience

Back to basics became a key personal finance theme in 2020 and continues on into 2021. The economic impact of the pandemic has clearly resulted in many people’s finances becoming severely stretched. Read our tips on becoming more financially resilient.

EMI share option schemes

In difficult times it is important to consider the need to retain key value-generating employees that are critical to the survival and future success of a company. EMI schemes offer flexibility and for key employees are a great alternative to a bonus or a pay rise.

The impact of Covid on the world of work

A recent IMF report has concluded that the impact of Covid on the world of work is that it has accelerated existing waves of change which were moving through societies and the businesses which operate in them. How can you ensure these changes benefit your business?

Are changes to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) coming?

The Office for Tax Simplification has suggested some changes to CGT. If you are considering selling an asset, gifting a business asset, making a gift to a trust or carrying out IHT planning in the near future, it may be worth completing transactions sooner rather than later.

Our top tips on planning for retirement

Most of us will be looking forward to the day when we can stop work, retire and enjoy the lifestyle that we had hoped for. It does not matter if you are just starting out, have been working for some time or are approaching retirement we have some top tips to help you plan.

How can I attract and retain the best people?

As the pace of life moves faster and faster the demands on our time continue to increase. Many employees are now turning to their employer to help them manage their work-life balance.

How to manage cash flow in a small business

We help start-ups and small businesses to understand and manage their cash flow to their best advantage. Here are our 5 top tips to help you keep on top of your cash management.

Managing the art of good listening

Listening to your clients and customers is a key skill in business but can you really claim to be a good listener? Our podcast has useful tips to help you improve your listening skills.

Protect your investment portfolio

The pandemic has placed immense pressure on financial markets across the globe. Markets hate uncertainty and, in recent months, that has been one commodity not in short supply. Read our advice on how to protect your investments.

Year End Tax Planning Guide 2021

Our national tax team have worked together to create a handy Year End Tax Planning Guide, which is available for you to download for free. The guide is for individuals and companies and summarises some key tax and financial planning tips.

How hard are your cash deposits working?

Many of us know we should be looking at our cash deposits and switching them to a more competitive deal. Yet in reality many of us never get round to it due to the perceived hassle or because we think that the rates elsewhere are no better.

Taking advantage of digital solutions

In this insight post we set out ways to help you get the most out of your current bookkeeping software to help improve accuracy and efficiency.

Benefits of carbon and energy reporting

Quoted companies have been required to report on energy and carbon usage since 2013, but now large unquoted companies are also required to report on their carbon and energy use in the director’s report of their financial statements. Our latest insight helps turn this into a opportunity to tell positive stories and make operational changes.

Business Protection: Tax efficient life cover

Although state benefits provide some support, few families want to rely on the state to maintain their standard of living. It is therefore crucial to keep abreast of the level of your insurance cover. Our insight look at the different types of protection a business owner should consider.

Changes to the Annual Investment Allowance

The temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) limit to £1,000,000 has been extended to 31 December 2021. Our insight provides what is AIA and what changes have been made.

Agriculture & Rural Business Newsletter

For most people 2020 will be remembered as the year of Covid 19, lockdowns, furloughing and in some cases, acute financial hardship. For the agricultural sector, it may, in the long term, end up being equally memorable but perhaps for different reasons.

Global event: In pursuit of tomorrow

As we emerge from 2020, a year which has shaken the global economy to its core and forced a reset of norms, how do we prepare to pursue tomorrow? Attend our global event with Kevin Gaskell, former CEO of Porsche, Lamborghini and BMW for advice and tips.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) FAQs

Our corporate finance team has been supporting clients in their CBILS applications ever since the scheme was announced. They have created a handy fact sheet setting out the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the scheme prior to it drawing to a close at the end of March.

Off Payroll Workers – Time to review existing arrangements

Major employment tax changes are coming into force soon and will affect any medium or large-sized businesses who engage individuals via personal service companies. In our webinar on 25 February MHA IR35 specialists will set out what you should be doing now to ensure that your business is compliant from 6 April 2021.

Don't miss out on future events, fact sheets and important updates

MHA Moore and Smalley and our national and global networks are committed to providing timely, pro-active advice to our clients. Sign up to receive our newsletters directly to your inbox and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to ensure you are amongst the first to find out how to access first class advice. Now for Tomorrow.

Contact Us

How to manage cash flow in a small business

Whatever your business is and however big or small it is, you need control over your cash flow to make sure you stay afloat and keep moving in the right direction.

Let’s get our terms right: your cash flow relates to the predictions you can make about what your business can spend in the coming months.

We help startups and small businesses to understand and manage their cash flow right. In this post, we share our best tips on how you can do the same.

Make every penny count

It’s the old adage “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.”

Spending wisely means keeping a close eye on your outgoings and being able to justify every single business expense you make.

All expenses must bring new value to your business or they must represent an essential expense that you can’t avoid.

Remember: treat every penny as a prisoner.

Check who owes you money

It’s all too easy to generate and send invoices, then to forget about them and move on. But it’s wrong to assume that every invoice will be paid correctly or to the timescale you expect.

Do your checks: see that your invoices are paid properly and at the right times. If you’ve agreed 30 or 60-day terms of payment, your customers should stick to them. So long as both parties agree upfront, keep in mind that you’re allowed to set your own boundaries for payment.

The important thing is to follow up and ensure that what you’ve agreed is what’s actually happening.

This doesn’t have to be a manual chore. Cloud accounting software such as QuickBooks and Xero will show you at a glance who owes you money. Keeping a close eye on things should mean that more of your invoices are paid on time.

Keep your VAT money in a second account

If you’re VAT registered, it can be easy to forget that 20% of the takings that go into your main bank account will need to be paid back during quarterly VAT returns.

To avoid the risk of accidentally spending that money, we recommend creating a second bank account into which you place 20% of all income from your invoices.

That way, when it’s time to submit your VAT return, there’s no stress because you’ll always have funds available to pay the bill.

Set up alerts to check bank balances

Many bank accounts offer free SMS or app alerts to let you know when your balance is above or below a threshold. Take advantage of these so you can be informed of an unexpected drain or surplus on your account.

Checking your bank balance regularly is sensible practice – especially to help you avoid potential fraud – but the true view of your accounting situation should come from your accounting records, which we recommend storing through a cloud accounting package such as QuickBooks or Xero.

Let’s sum up

We hope these tips help you to take control of the cash flow in your small business.

If you need more advice or direct help managing your accounts, please get in touch with our Digital Solutions team at

This update originally appeared on the website of our colleagues at MHA Henderson Loggie

Brexit: At last, a Free Trade Deal

Brexit Deal: Imposition of Rules of Origin for goods set to be one of biggest changes for business

Following the news of a Brexit deal, Jonathan Main, VAT and Indirect Taxes Partner at MHA Moore and Smalley, says the agreement is excellent news for business but that businesses need to bear in mind that it does not eliminate the need to address rules of origins and other costly import formalities:

“A Free Trade deal with the EU is very good news, but it does not mean that everything will carry on as it does today. The deal means that there will be no import duties on the movement of goods produced in both the UK and the EU (the so-called ‘origin goods’). This is a massive boost for businesses on both sides. The most significant change businesses will have to navigate will be the rules of origin requirements.

“Unlike a Customs Union, a free trade deal is a bilateral agreement which only allows tariff free movement of goods produced in either the UK or EU. The finer detail of the trade deal will confirm the origin rules, but it may help to provide an illustration. For example, there are commonly three ways to assess the origin of clothing: the production of yarn; turning yarn into fabric; and turning fabric into a finished garment. Unless two of the three stages happen within either the UK or EU, the finished garment will not be a UK or EU origin good and as such will not benefit from tariff free movement between the EU and UK.

“Aside from rules of origin, import formalities will also rear their head. These will add to cost and reduce profit margins. Businesses importing from and exporting to the EU will need to consult with their customers and suppliers and decide who is responsible for import formalities. If the UK business agrees to take responsibility for import formalities, it will be shipping goods DDP (deliver duty paid) to its customers.

“DDP is one of a range of Incoterms, a set of internationally recognised rules which define the movement of goods between supplier and customer, and determine which party takes responsibility for freight, insurance, risk and import formalities on that journey. If a supplier sends goods DDP to its customer, it will have an obligation to register for VAT in the customer’s country, as it will be the ‘importer of record’ in that country. It may also have to appoint a fiscal representative to act on its behalf.

“No matter what the final fine print will look like, businesses in both the UK and the EU will need to adjust to the new way of operating and ensure they fully understand the impact on supply chains and profit margins.”

Find out more

In our latest Brexit publication we set out the key points to take-away from the announcement.

Attend our event

Join us for a post Brexit update and discussion on 6 January 2020. 

Government announces further extension to Furlough Scheme

On 5 November 2020 the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – will be extended for a further five months.

The furlough scheme was initially extended until 2 December. However, evidence from the first lockdown showed that the economic effects are much longer lasting for businesses than the duration of restrictions. Hence the Government has decided to extend the scheme until the end of March 2021, with a review in January.

CJRS key points to note

  • The grant will be paid at the rate of 80% of reference pay, capped at £2,500 per month
  • Employers will therefore still need to pay:
  • Employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs), and
  • Pension contributions
  • Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing
  • Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS that was in place from March to October
  • There will be no gap in eligibility for support between CJRS schemes

While the government updates the system, employers will submit their wage claim to the government, and be refunded afterwards. After that, they will be paid upfront to cover the cost.

Further details, including when claims can first be made in respect wage costs during November and how to claim this extended support through an updated claims service will be provided shortly.

It is still unclear what reference pay will be applied, as there are now ‘new’ employees able to participate. The working assumption is that, like the delayed JSS arrangements, it will be the higher of the normal regular contractual pay at 19th March or at 30th October. We will advise as soon as this is clarified or confirmed.

Qualification is as previously, but as a reminder:

Employers must have:

  • A UK bank account and
  • A UK PAYE scheme
  • Agree any working arrangements with employees

Eligible employees are:

  • Those on an Employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30th October 2020. This means employees included in a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC on or before 30th October 2020
  • Employees can be on any type of contract

Need further advice?

We will provide a further update when more details are known, but if you have queries in the meantime please contact our tax team if you require advice on this issues.

Budgeting for January 2021 tax liabilities

As we are fast approaching the deadline for 2019/20 Self Assessment tax returns to be filed and self assessment tax liabilities to be settled in January 2021 there may be an extra amount to be taken into account if you availed yourself of the option to defer the July 2020 tax payment on account due to having been affected financially due to COVID.

Personal finances may be constrained due to various issues such as a reduction in outside earnings or practice cash flow issues due to certain income streams reducing. If this has been identified as a cashflow issue by practice managers there may have been a reduction in drawings to ensure working capital is maintained.  This may have resulted in less available money to pay your tax bill in January.

Therefore early notice of your 31 January 2021 tax liabilities is vital to ensure you have enough in the bank (either personal if you pay it yourself or the practice bank account if this is paid via the practice) to settle the July 2020 payment on account and the January 2021 balancing payment for 2019/20 and the first payment on account for 2020/21 which will also be due in January 2021.

However a lifeline has been offered if individuals are experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic with Self Assessment customers being able to apply online for additional support to help spread the cost of their tax bill into monthly payments without the need to call HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

HMRC have said:  

The online payment plan service can already be used to set up instalment arrangements for paying tax liabilities up to £10,000. From 1 October 2020, HMRC has increased the threshold to £30,000 for Self Assessment customers, to help ease any potential financial burden they may be experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The increased self-serve Time to Pay limit of £30,000 follows the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on 24 September to increase support for businesses and individuals through the uncertain months ahead.

As part of his speech, the Chancellor announced that Self Assessment customers could pay their deferred payment on account bill from July 2020, any outstanding tax owed for 2019 to 2020 and their first payment on account bill for this current tax year in monthly instalments, up to 12 months, via this self-serve tool. Customers who need longer than 12 months to settle their tax liabilities are invited to contact HMRC in the usual way.

Customers who wish to set up their own self-serve Time to Pay arrangements must meet the following requirements:

  • they need to have no:
    • outstanding tax returns
    • other tax debts
    • other HMRC payment plans set up
  • the debt needs to be between £32 and £30,000
  • the payment plan needs to be set up no later than 60 days after the due date of a debt

Customers using self-serve Time to Pay will be required to pay any interest on the tax owed. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

If your Self Assessment debts are over £30,000, or you need longer than 12 months to pay your debt in full, you may still be able to set up a Time to Pay arrangement by calling the Self Assessment Payment Helpline.

If you anticipate that profits have reduced in the 2020/21 tax year please contact us to consider reducing your 2020/21 payments on account due January and July 2021. We can prepare draft calculations to estimate your 2020/21 tax liability. Fees will be available on request.

Contact us

If you require any advice regarding the above please get in touch with Lisa Pennington, Healthcare Services Director, or alternatively contact us here.