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Increases to Minimum Wage
Increases to minimum wage 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Increases to minimum wage

April has bought a change in the national living wage; it has risen from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour. This applies to anyone who is 21 and over. The changes were announced during the Autumn statement and have now been introduced. Anybody who holds a full-time contract and is on minimum wage will now see an increase of £1,800 per annum.

A summary of these changes are as follows:

  • Apprentice: £6.40 (increase from £5.28)
  • Under 18: £6.40 (increase from £5.28)
  • 18 to 20: £8.60 (increase from £7.49)
  • 21+: £11.44 (increase from £10.18 for 21 to 22 and £10.42 for 23+)

The UK is stringent about the national living wage, and for the minimum amount a worker can be paid is set in law. No matter what the size of the business an employer cannot pay less than the minimum wage.

According to government figures, and thanks to ongoing rises, an employed person is earning more than £9,000 per annum compared to the same time in 2010.

Often people are unsure about the difference between national living wage and minimum wage. There is no difference, they both refer to the same thing. The confusion simply occurred with a change in name from minimum wage to national living wage.

Working out the rate of what the minimum wage should be is achieved through a simple process. Firstly, an independent organisation called the Low Pay Commission (LPC) will evaluate and then provide their recommendations on what they feel should be the minimum wage. In November the LPC will present their recommendations to the Government who will then review and decide on what the rate of minimum wage should be. When agreed the new rate is introduced in the following April. For anybody wanting to know more about minimum wage the Government have an excellent calculator that can be used – simply follow this link to find out more.

Finally, it is important to note that differences in the minimum wage might be likely if an employer is providing accommodation for its staff. When this occurs there is an accommodation offset that needs to be taken into consideration. In line with the recent increases in the minimum wage, there is also a change to the accommodation offset. It has risen this month to £9.99 per day (from £9.10 per day) or £69.93 per week. There are no other company benefits (e.g. company car, subsistence or childcare vouchers) that will have an impact on minimum wage.

If you have any questions regarding minimum wage or in fact any aspects of business accountancy, then our team can offer both help and support. Please call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail

You can also book a free 20-minute call with Yarka –

How Is Payroll Changing | Business Payroll Support | Payroll Help Bristol
How is payroll changing? 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

How is payroll changing?

Change is such an important buzz word at the moment. With the tragic news of the loss of Her Majesty we now see a new King at the helm. Alongside this we have also seen a major change at Number 10 with a new Prime Minister also being introduced.

The political landscape in the UK has been turbulent for several months now and it is hoped that a more settled and calm approach is ahead. As expected, when a new cabinet is introduced, those in charge must try to quickly make a positive impression and change is inevitable.

As an accountancy firm, obviously, we monitor very closely any changes that happen in the Cabinet to make sure that we understand the impacts this may have. Something which has already been identified is a change in payroll. Plans were almost immediately announced for taxes to be cut with a proposal to reverse the increase in NI (national insurance) from November 2022 and scrap the planned increase in corporation tax.

When items such as NI and corporation tax are changed, the implications to payroll can be complex. Staying on top of this from a business perspective is mind boggling and this is where the reliance on specialists, who can translate the jargon into plain English, is so important. We saw in July when the last NI change was introduced what a storm it caused, especially at a time when cost of living rates was justifiably causing concern.

With the proposed reversals and changes, it is inevitable that some problems will be experienced. The key will be to let the experts digest it and then consult with them when needed. A similar concept to when a new piece of software is introduced, first the experts test it, then the features are promoted and finally it is rolled out for all to benefit from.

As the transformations in Government continue to settle over the coming months, the one thing that everybody can be assured of is that change will continue to happen. Our team of specialist accountants will continue to monitor the situations and will keep everybody updated.

If you have any questions or need a little help please call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail You can also book a free 30-minute call with Yarka –

Why Are We Regulated | Regulated Accountants Bristol | Importance of Accountancy Regulation
Why are we regulated? 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Why are we regulated?

Did you know that not all accountancy firms are not created equal?

It’s perfectly reasonable for you to assume that your accountancy firm holds at the very least the appropriate qualifications and perhaps is regulated by a professional body, but this is not always the case. Remarkably, there is nothing to prevent anyone from setting up an accountancy practice, even if they hold no qualifications or insurance.

However, by employing a firm that is a member of a regulatory body, you can be assured that the company that you are dealing with are qualified and held to high standards both ethically and in the quality of the advice that they provide. Member firms will be monitored proactively to ensure that they comply with all appropriate regulations and standards. Education and continuous development are also often a requirement of being a member of a professional body as is abiding by a code of ethics and professional standards.

The systems and procedures put in place by the regulatory body can provide peace of mind to anyone using a firm that is registered with them and will also provide a framework should the need to complain arise. These firms must also hold a minimum level of professional indemnity insurance, providing peace of mind for clients should the worst happen.

So, to ensure that you can fully rely on your accountant, check that they are registered with a regulatory body which will provide you with peace of mind that the advice that they are providing is appropriate, ethical, accurate and up to date.

Naturally, here at Stepping Stones we are all appropriately qualified and insured and to help demonstrate this we are licenced with AAT (license number 1001767). Also we have an ACCA qualified accountant and 2 others who are currently in training.

If you have any questions or need some accountancy help, please call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail You can also book a free 30 minute call with Yarka –

Feeling Satisfied That The Tax Return Is Completed | Help Completing Tax Return
Feeling satisfied that the tax return is completed 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Feeling satisfied that the tax return is completed

The thought of completing tax returns or doing bookkeeping can turn even the most productive of us into professional procrastinators. Anything that can help avoid the task can suddenly seem like the most essential thing on your to do list. Meaning that you can very easily fritter away the most important asset in your business – your time! As the business owner it is vital that you are efficient with your time to maximise the amount that you can achieve in your day.

So, how can you stop putting it off? Make it fun!

Ok, so maybe fun is pushing it but injecting a little bit of light-heartedness into the situation can help make the task seem not so daunting.  Here are some ideas to try, but feel free to create your own handy tips.

Firstly, get yourself ready:

  • Allocate yourself a specific cup that you love for that all important coffee. One that is fun and makes you smile is an added bonus.
  • Use that cup every time you sit down to do your bookkeeping or tax return and only then.
  • Have a special stationery box for the occasion. You can have a fun pen, highlighters, special post it notes and even your Peppa Pig ruler. No judgement, whatever makes it more enjoyable for you.


  • Choose your favourite music to match the mood. Perhaps some classical to calm the mind or some techno to get the blood pumping and the mind working? Find the genre of music that makes you most productive and gives you a lift.
  • Think about what scents calm you. Perhaps a certain candle or air fresher can provide an aroma to provide a tranquil workspace?
  • Another trick that all great procrastinators have up their sleeve is the snack walk. The need to just get a quick snack before your settle down to the task. If you plan ahead and have your snacks to hand, there really is no need to go wandering. Even better, it could be a special treat that you only allow yourself when you do your accounts thus giving you something to look forward to.

In short attaching positive associations to a task that you are not looking forward to can make it seem much more attractive and more likely to get done. Freeing your time up to get on with running your business.

If you have any questions or need some help with your tax return, please call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail You can also book a free 30 minute call with Yarka –

Bookkeeping and why to do it regularly | Bookkeeping Bristol | Help with Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping and why to do it regularly 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Bookkeeping and why to do it regularly

Whilst the words bookkeeping, spreadsheets and accountancy software can fill you with dread and the thought of inputting all that data and ensuring that it all adds up can be overwhelming, a little planning can make the whole process much more manageable.

By allocating your bank transactions on a regular basis you can save yourself a huge headache at the end of the year. Not only will it seem less daunting, but it can also provide you with many other benefits:

  • It delivers an accurate picture of how your business is doing.
  • By completing it whilst transactions are fresh in your mind, it can provide up to date profit reports.
  • It lessens the delay of completing tax returns and year end accounts.
  • Little and often is key. It will take much longer to complete if it is only done every 6 months or worse, once a year.
  • What takes longer, costs more!

If you are struggling with sticking to a regular bookkeeping routine, ask your accountant, they will be very happy to help.

Alternatively if you are looking for a new accountant we would be delighted to offer our support. Please call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail You can also book a free 30 minute call with Yarka –

Implementing a monthly accountancy routine 150 150 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Implementing a monthly accountancy routine

This animated video explores the benefits of why a business or sole trader should immediately implement a monthly accountancy routine

Introducing the Stepping Stones team 150 150 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Introducing the Stepping Stones team

We thought it was time that we introduced you all to the Stepping Stones Accountancy team.

Key accountancy dates to remember 150 150 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Key accountancy dates to remember

In this latest animated video we provide some of the key accountancy dates that everybody should be aware of.

Accountancy Advice When Starting A New Business | Accountants for Start Up | Accountancy Help for Business Start-Up
Accountancy advice when starting a business 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Accountancy advice when starting a business

The COVID Pandemic has seen many changes to the world of employment across the world. From remote working whilst home-schooling to zoom meetings from makeshift home offices, the workplace landscape has changed dramatically. Many businesses were forced to scale back their workforce and many industries had to shut completely. Indeed, 16 months ago many of us had not even heard of the word furlough!

They say though necessity is the mother of invention and never has this been truer than over the last year. Indeed in 2020 Companies House saw a significant surge in first-time entrepreneurs seizing the opportunity to turn an idea into a reality. Whether it was new business ideas as a result of life with COVID or those that had been dreaming of being their own boss for a long time, many individuals decided it was the right time to take the plunge.

As an accountancy firm we recommend that for those just starting out, there are a few basic steps which need to be covered to ensure a successful start.

Firstly, ensure that you have a business bank account. Many sole traders try to make do with using their personal bank account but having a separate business account makes it easier to separate personal and business transactions and simplify tax returns.

Secondly, good cashflow is vital. Monitoring income and expenditure enables you to make informed business decisions, pay your suppliers and keep on top of outstanding payments. This can be done easily with one of the many software programmes available, which your accountants can then use to assist you with your end of year accounts.

Knowing where to go to access funding is vital for any growing businesses. Whether it is your bank, invoice and asset financing or peer-to-peer lending making sense of all the options can be tricky and something which your accountant can help you navigate.

Lastly, setting up in business can sometimes feel like quite a lonely place to be, particularly if you have come from a busy office environment to being a sole trader. Long hours and long to do lists can be all consuming. This is where meeting like-minded individuals can really help. Your accountant will know others in the same boat as you and the local business networks which will be good to join. Never be afraid to ask for advice or recommendations, having someone to talk to can make a big difference when you are starting out.

If you have any questions or are in need of any help please feel free to call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail

Complete your tax return in June 150 150 Stepping Stones Accountancy

Complete your tax return in June

In our latest animated video we explain why you should completed your tax return in June.

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