On Reflection 2021

As we come to the end of the year, we’d like to take this opportunity to look back at stand out moments from 2021.

Here we share our highlights:

January

Lockdown restrictions continued into the New Year but government support continued with the third Self Employed Income Support Scheme grant scheme becoming available.

January also saw European Union changes for businesses that trade goods within Europe and the hospitality industry were offered a one-off grant of up to £5000.

One of the biggest news stories and activities for us and our clients in January was the continuation of furlough, and the self-assessment deadline which brought the month to an end.

February

February saw an extension to the Coronavirus Act 2020 which provided protection to social and private tenants by delaying when landlords can evict tenants. The provisions in the Act increased the notice periods landlords were required to provide to tenants when seeking possession of a residential property.

Other key highlights from the month include the announcement of a new grant from the government. Employers could apply for a £1,000 cash boost to help them take on new trainees. The new scheme aimed to support young people gain the skills and experience they need from the very start, helping them to get a job, an apprenticeship, or to pursue further study.

The cash boost – which was available until 31 July 2021 – helped businesses with the cost of providing a high-quality work placement for a trainee, including providing facilities, uniforms or helping with travel costs.

In February, the Prime Minister shared a roadmap for lifting lockdown so businesses were able to begin planning a return to normality.

March

The VAT domestic reverse charge was introduced in March 2021 for building and construction services. The legislation requires the recipient (rather than the supplier) to account for the VAT that is due on certain construction services, having a significant impact on accounting practices and business cash flow. It only affects those payments that are required to be reported through the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

In March, the Super-deduction tax relief was also unveiled by the Chancellor as the budget was announced. Amongst the announcements in the March budget was an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until 30 September and confirmation of fourth and fifth SEISS grants.

And as Brits continued to work from home due to lockdown restrictions, we shared insight into the financial implications of a garden office.

April

In line with the government's plans to lift lockdown restrictions, April saw non-essential shops reopen at last and outdoor venues were also able to open.

We were delighted to share a guest blog from Ridley and Hall discussing land for development as well as insight from our friend over at Bramleys on a guide to letting legally.

May

Step 3 of the lockdown restrictions meant that indoor venues could re-open in May, and the rule of 6 applied. 

For May, we focused on upcoming legislation in the property sector as we highlighted key dates for property landlords to mark in their calendars for the rest of the year.

We also received some exciting news in May 2021 that we were shortlisted for two Yorkshire Accountancy Awards. We were shortlisted for both the “Best Employer” and the “Independent Firm of the Year” categories at this year's awards for the third year in a row.

June

In June, we focussed on the construction industry as we shared our top tips to grow your construction business in 2021.

For our property landlords clients, we shared our expert insight into the importance of maintaining a positive cash flow plus top tips to manage cash flow as a landlord.

This month was also our last month of fundraising for our charity of the year The Welcome Centre. The Welcome Centre provides food, toiletries and other essentials alongside a one-to-one advocacy, guidance and support service tailored to people's needs.

But who would we announce as our charity of the year for 2021/22?

July

July was a really exciting month for us as a business. We celebrated two staff anniversaries this month, with our Senior Accountant Rebecca Nicholas having been here for 15 years and Senior Accountant Kevin Sanders clocking up 25 years. 

There was also big news for our self-employed clients as the fifth SEISS grant opened for applications.

We were also delighted to reveal The Kirwood as our charity of the year in July 2021. The Kirkwood provide specialist care, free of charge, to adults in Kirklees with advanced, progressive illnesses at any time from diagnosis to the end of life, respecting their individual needs and wishes. Care and support are also provided for their family members, friends and carers, both during the illness and after death.

August

In August our team expansion and recruitment continued as we began our hunt for a new Bookkeeper. We also brought our new apprentice Ben on board as he shared his background and hobbies with the company.

On 15th August 2021, our Director Carolyn took part in an Epic Lakes Swim, to raise funds for our charity of the year The Kirkwood. Carolyn took part in the Aquasphere Epic Lakes Swim, Coniston and raised £875. Well done Carolyn!!

This month, it was also time to celebrate our shortlisting at the Yorkshire Accountancy Awards via a virtual event on 19th August.

September

Our fundraising efforts continued in September with It's a Knockout! We had a wonderful team who took part in this event at Oakwell Hall to raise awareness, and funds for our charity of the year. 

We also had a team bake-off in the office where cooking skills and taste were judged and enjoyed as part of The Kirkwood's Get Together! 

October

As part of the Huddersfield Business Week 2021, we hosted our first Connection Event of the year focussing on the Construction Industry. This event had guest speakers from Howarths HR and Employment Law and Resolute Commercial Finance. 

This month, we also shared our top tax tips for landlords with our clients and we welcomed Veronica to our cloud accounting team!

November

Our annual quiz night took place at The Huddersfield RUFC, Lockwood in November. We had some amazing raffle prizes from our clients, including a photoshoot from Mark Flynn, an overnight stay at Holme Valley Camping and many more. The night was a huge success and helped us raise some important funds for our charity of the year, The Kirkwood. We were really overwhelmed by the generosity shown by the attendees so thank you again!

In November, we also shared a guest blog from Ellie Hirst, Chadwick Lawrence on Inheritance Tax Planning.

December

We enter a busy period for all accountants with deadlines looming! This month, we had a savoury bake-off for The Kirkwood to try to raise more money for this worthwhile charity.

To date, we've raised a huge £2,025 for The Kirkwood and our fundraising efforts will continue into 2022!

Summary

For us here at Sheards, the general themes for 2021 have been supporting our clients, recruiting, and receiving amazing client feedback from many of our long-standing clients. 

Here's to 2022!

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