Business finance support during the Covid-19 pandemic

During the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have been under extreme pressure to efficiently run some essential financial functions, and this may continue once lockdown restrictions are fully lifted.

The main areas of concern for many businesses focus around cash flow, as well as internal working practices not being as efficient as they once were.

MHA Moore and Smalley can provide temporary support to relieve such pressures and deliver finance functions which may have previously been done in house or with another adviser.

How we can relieve the burden during this time:

Finance function support secondment

The finance function of any business is key, and it is essential to ensure compliance needs are met, and deadlines are adhered to. As such, our specialists can perform duties on a temporary basis on behalf of staff who may be unavailable. Such roles include:

• Management accountant
• Financial accountant
• Bookkeeper

We can assist with a range of duties usually performed by such individuals in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Management accounts

Management accounts is an essential business function which allows you to make informed decisions, by providing crucial financial and statistical information, in a regular and timely manner. We can assist you in setting up these processes or preparing the information for you. This is integral to the success of any business.

Cash flow forecasts and projections

As we are all unsure how long the restrictions imposed for the Covid-19 pandemic will continue for, as well as the after effects on the economy, it is essential that all businesses assess cash flow immediately and understand how much is required to survive. Many businesses will require additional funding requirements both in the short-term and longer-term. Our specialist Corporate Finance team can assist with:

• Cash flow forecasts including sensitivity analysis
• Financial modelling
• Grant / funding applications

VAT advice and Time to Pay support

There are several areas which can be assessed immediately in order to minimise business interruption and maximise your working capital, including reclaiming VAT and the newly introduced deferral of VAT payments for 3 months.

Getting Time to Pay can hinge on the presentation of information, gathering suitable evidence and negotiation skills; we can support you when approaching HMRC and help you when considering the
wider impacts and implications of Time to Pay.

Our team can also assist with VAT return preparation and submission.

For further information on the various VAT reliefs that can be used to improve cash flow and working capital, please click here.

Payroll services

We can assist with the changes required in the payroll function regarding furlough leave and flexible furlough, under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as well as assisting you with running your payroll if some of your key staff members are unavailable to do so.

Statutory accounts

We are also able to prepare your statutory accounts and other pre-year end related services, including:

• Preparing statutory accounts
• Corporation tax computations
• iXBRL tagging
• R&D claims

Business Healthcheck

We have devised a useful Business Healthcheck Questionnaire to help you identify areas where short term planning and changes may be required due to the impact of Covid-19. This looks at various areas including cashflow management and tax issues.

For further information about how our specialists teams can assist you, please contact us on 08081683464 or email info@mooreandsmalley.co.uk


PCSE message to all GP practices

Due to the ongoing circumstances with the outbreak of Covid-19 and the extra strain that this will place on practices around the country, PCSE will be prioritising certain essential services in order to support NHS England and avoid disruption to front line Primary Care.

These essential services include:

  • Processing and uploading the monthly contractual payments to practices
  • Delivering essential supplies such as needles, syringes and prescriptions
  • Processing patient registrations and removals
  • Processing urgent medical record requests to ensure continued patient care
  • Ensuring that GPs are correctly registered on the Performers List and able to provide services to the NHS
  • Processing retirement, pension opt-out and death in service applications

Please be aware that the focus on these essential services during this time may lead to a delay in processing and resolving queries for other services.

Temporary practice closures

PCSE have stated a willingness to support practices who should need to close temporarily as a precaution against the spread of Coronavirus. For example, they are willing to manage the movement of patient records and postpone deliveries of supplies.

Practices are recommended in the first instance to contact their CCG to discuss options, and PCSE’s supplies team will be happy to discuss possible actions. The team can be contacted using the standard enquiries form on the PCSE website and by selecting ‘Supplies’.

End of year pension forms

PCSE will continue to accept certificates of pensionable pay for 2018/19 end of year, however processing times might be extended due to prioritising activities towards urgent and essential services.

This is likely to mean that shortfalls arising from submission of the certificates will not be dealt with prior to 5 April 2020 and that refunds may not arrive in a timely manner.

We are aware there is still a backlog of processing the 2017/18 certificates so we can be certain that for many GPs they will still not be able to access an up to date TRS and confirm their exposure to pension tax charges.

Service provision

PCSE will continue to work with NHS England to ensure practices are supported. Regular updates can be found on the PCSE website, while queries should be directed to pcse.gpengagement@nhs.net

How we can help

The Healthcare team at MHA Moore and Smalley is committed to providing regular updates for practices and clinicians in the current climate, and we will continue to offer our services to support you in any way we can in the upcoming months.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email Susan Charnock or call 01253 404404 or email Barbara Domanska or call 0115 9721050.

NHS Digital – Open Exeter

A recent message that appeared on the NHS Digital website suggested that the Exeter system was going to be decommissioned from 31st March 2020.

We can confirm that this was in fact misleading. In fact only a small, isolated part of the system will be withdrawn.

It is expected that the Exeter system will continue be used into 2021, giving practices access to key financial and performance information required to populate practice accounting systems.

GP+ App

Monthly contract statements can currently be downloaded from Open Exeter and imported to Quickbooks and Xero in order to give more detailed and accurate management information regarding the breakdown of your practice’s NHS income. However, we understand this can be an onerous and time-consuming exercise.

We have worked closely with dedicated developers from Lincify to create an app which can easily analyse and upload your monthly statement to Quickbooks in just a few clicks. This app, called GP+, works on the same principle as cloud accounting software. All of the entries on the open Exeter statements are matched to your chart of accounts and inserted into QuickBooks at the click of a button. Once set up, the App remembers and replicates from your previous postings and automatically matches them, meaning all that is required is a quick review to confirm.

This ensures absolute consistency of allocations of NHS entries from the statements and can save you over an hour a month when compared to manual entry of this data.

If you feel you could benefit from GP+ at your practice, please get in touch for a discussion about the benefits of setting you up with an account.

How we can help

In the current climate, with the ongoing circumstances surrounding Covid-19, the Healthcare team at MHA Moore and Smalley is committed to providing regular updates for practices and clinicians, and we will continue to offer our services to support you in the coming months.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email Susan Charnock or call 01253 404404 or email Barbara Domanska or call 01559 721050.

Legal Benchmarking Annual Report 2020

We are delighted to launch the 2020 MHA Legal Benchmarking Report.

Now in its eighth year, the latest report reveals that the sector is investing in its future skills needs, fee earning potential and the retaining of key talent.

Some of the report highlights:

  • The majority of firms experienced growth in income
  • There is a real profitability divide between the largest and some of the smallest firms
  • Succession planning and skills retention are at the heart of increases in the number of fee earning staff and partners
  • Some smaller firms reverse a four-year increase in lock up levels
  • New funding streams and favourable economic facilities are reducing the call on partners to contribute personal funding into their practices

This report draws insight from legal practices across the UK and focuses on some of the pertinent issues and trends in income, profitability, employment costs and lock up.

You will be able to use this analysis to compare your own firm’s performance and identify areas where you could improve efficiencies, along with the key actions to apply.

This year, Howden UK Group Limited has also provided technical advice on the PII critical issues when considering a merger or acquisition.

Budget 2020: Government to alleviate NHS pension woes?

In
the weeks preceding the 2019 General Election, the political hot-potato that is
the NHS was never too far from the headlines. Amongst the fears of
privatisation and a winter crisis came a rather startling break from convention
by health secretary Matt Hancock, who risked violating purdah rules to announce
a one-off intervention to annual allowance for 2019/20.

The
contractual agreement, as devised by NHS England, promised that where a
clinician elects for the pension scheme to pay their 2019/20 annual allowance
tax charge, the government will, upon retirement, compensate in full the
pension reduction that will be suffered due to submission of the scheme pays
election.

For
clinicians, the tax savings arising from this may not be obvious beyond the fine
print of their pension projections, though for many it will amount to five-figure
savings upon taking their pension.

While
this move has been welcomed, it is also undeniably a temporary measure.
Pertinently, it is also in effect an admission that the current legislation
concerning pension tax relief is not working to the benefit of the NHS or its
clinicians. This brings us to promises published in the Conservative
pre-election manifesto, and looking forward, what we might expect from the upcoming
budget due on the 11th March.

Tapered
Annual Allowance

Working
alongside the BMA, the government promised a review of the tapered annual
allowance, which reduces the standard £40,000 allowance available on pension
contributions down to a minimum of £10,000, where individuals have income
exceeding £110,000 and income plus pension growth in the year above £150,000.

Since
the introduction of the taper in April 2016, there has been a gradually
increasing trend of clinicians refusing additional work or even opting for
early retirement due to the exorbitant marginal tax rate that can arise on
additional income when subjected to the taper. This is a significant factor in
the stagnation of FTE GPs in the four years to September 2019, the consequences
of which are being felt throughout Primary Care and, ipso facto, the NHS as a
whole. As the situation had progressed, the need for reform has become ever
more apparent.

Possible
reforms

The government has a
number of options available to remedy this problem and achieve a more long-term
solution which still incentivises saving for retirement. Some of these options include
scrapping the tapered annual allowance entirely, this would take us back to pre-2017
where a lot fewer clinicians were affected, though this would come at a
forecast cost of £7bn to the Treasury over the next five years. Alternatively, increasing
the £110,000 threshold income, again trying to reduce the number of people
affected by the taper.

Summary

While the promise of
review and possible reform was included in the Conservative party manifesto,
the recent resignation of Chancellor Sajid Javid does pose a question as to
whether his commitment to look at pension taxes will be shared by Rishi Sunak,
the newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer.

We also can’t forget the discrimination case that the BMA won against the government with regards to the NHS Pension Scheme and transition members.  We will have to wait and see what impact this has on pensions and Annual Allowance charges for both transition and non-transition members.

If you have questions on the above, please get in touch with a member of our Healthcare team.

Changes to the Performer Lists

The Performers List service is used for

  • approving Performers who are leaving and joining practices
  • changing details of Performers linked to your practice
  • adding new Performers to the Performers List for England.

A new online service for the administration of Performer Lists launched on 2nd December, removing the need to download and send paper forms for submitting, approving and tracking performer list applications and change notifications. You can now also change your details whenever you like and track changes as they are made.

PCSE Online users within GP Practices will need to be registered on PCSE Online in order to access the new Performer List service. PCSE sent out letters containing a unique access code to the CQC Registered Manager earlier in the year. If your CQC registered manager hasn’t received a letter, they should inform PCSE by emailing pcse.user-registration@nhs.net.

The GPs registered with your practice will be registered automatically but will need to verify their account. To verify the GP’s account, PCSE have been contacting the email address that the GP has registered with the GMC with their GMC Online account. Once they have received this email, verifying their account is as simple as clicking on the link sent to them by PCSE within 72 hours of receiving it. If the link has expired, they can use the ‘Forgotten your login details?’ button on the PCSE Online home page.

Before PCSE have registered your practice and performers to use the new online services you can continue to submit NPL2 and NPL3 forms using the old process and PCSE will process them as usual.

If you need any assistance or information, please contact one of your Healthcare Services team members at MHA Moore and Smalley

Useful links and contacts:

Useful guides for Performer List administration – https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/services/performers-lists/available-support/

PCSE Customer Support Centre – 0333 014 2884

Changes to submission of pension certificates

For the most recent financial year, 2018/2019, NHS Pensions have now released the Type 1 Annual Certificate of Pensionable Profits and the Type 2 Self-Assessment of Tiered contributions form. PCSE will process certificates submitted by the deadline on 28 February 2020.

For the 2018/19 certificates, submissions will still be made via the current processing of the form on the ‘Contact Us’ page on the PCSE website.

PCSE have announced that an automated, efficient and easy to use online payments and pensions service for GP practices will be introduced from May 2020.

Regarding the process of submitting superannuation certificates, this new online system should help GP practices to access pension information, manage their submissions and check their progress.

Electronic processes and online validation will improve the quality of information provided and accuracy of payments.

If you need any assistance or information, please contact one of your Healthcare Services team members at MHA Moore and Smalley

Useful links and contacts:

Superannuation certificates – Type 1 https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/help/gp-pensions/annual-certificates-of-pensionable-profits-type-1/

Superannuation certificates – Type 2 – https://pcse.england.nhs.uk/help/gp-pensions/type-2-medical-practitioner-self-assessment-of-tiered-contributions/

PCSE Customer Support Centre – 0333 014 2884

ICO Fines Companies for not paying Data Protection Fee

Advice for our clients

The ICO has issued the first fines for not paying the data protection fee to organisations across a range of sectors including business services, construction, finance, health and childcare.

All organisations, companies and sole traders that process personal data must pay an annual fee to the ICO unless they are exempt. Fines for not paying can be up to a maximum of £4,350.


This follows regulations which came into force alongside the new Data Protection Act on 25 May 2018.

These first organisations have been fined for not renewing their fees following their expiry and more fines are set to follow. More than 900 notices of intent to fine have been issued by the ICO since September and more than 100 penalty notices are being issued in this first round.

If you receive a query from your client regarding this, please urge them to visit the ICO website for further information on how to pay the fee to avoid a fine. The page also includes a self-assessment toolkit to enable the client to establish if they need to pay and how much. 


ICO

For very small organisations, the fee won’t be any higher than the £35 they paid before May 2018 (if they take advantage of a £5 reduction for paying by direct debit).

Larger organisations will be required to pay £2,900. The fee is higher because these organisations are likely to hold and process the largest volumes of data and therefore represent a greater level of risk.

Failure to pay the data protection fee is now a civil offence under the GDPR, previously this was a criminal offence under the Data Protection Act 1998.