Business Advisory & Accounting Services

Our Services

Leading the way can be a lonely experience. Owner managers often say that they feel as if they’ve no one they can open up to or to give them an alternative slant on situations and ideas. That’s why the Wise & Co team works hard on getting to know you and your goals inside out. Having an open and honest relationship with our clients is central to everything we do. Working closely in partnership with you, we’ll offer you the most relevant technical and practical business advice to help you achieve success.

“Always give great service and very helpful. Would happily recommend Wise & Co.”

Kevin Burton
Excel Security Ltd

Our Business Sector Expertise

Whilst we nurture businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes, we’ve developed specialist knowledge in a number of different sectors.

Helpful Publications and Factsheets

Essential tax and business information to help you, your business and your tax planning.

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Get in touch for more information

Should you wish to talk through any part of your business strategy, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Contact us

Academies & Independent Schools

Both academy status and independent schools face their own challenges. Becoming an academy means losing the ‘safety net’ of assistance provided by the Local Authority as Government funding comes via the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). With fresh regulatory challenges and a lot of new information to digest, the process can feel daunting.

The bursars and governors of independent schools face many challenges such as developing a USP to differentiate themselves from their competitors; falling enrolment numbers; the general affordability of private education; offering realistic fees but generating enough income/resources for campus enhancement – to name just a few! You can rely on the Wise & Co team. Acting as auditors and accountants for over 100 Not-for-profit organisations, including private schools and academies, we have extensive experience of your sector.

How we can help

  • Preparing financial statements
  • Annual audit and regulatory review
  • Review of the Academy Accounts Return
  • Forming or joining a Multi-Academy Trust
  • Financial budgets and forecasts
  • End of term management accounts
  • Risk assessment reviews
  • Teachers’ pension scheme

Useful links

“Since becoming an Academy we have lost the safety net of the LA. A lot of new financial accountability and responsibility now lies on the Business Managers shoulders. Having the services of Wise & Co has given me confidence to deal with these new challenges. The young team of accountants that come and do the year end accounts and pension audit are knowledgeable and friendly. Sometimes terminology gets lost in translation, but they are patient and we find a way that we both speak the same language. My manager is always at the end of the phone if I have any questions and full of helpful advice as we are expanding our MAT. We have a director from Wise & Co who takes the time to come to our sign off accounts meeting with the trust board of Directors and answer any concerns they may have. I am not an accountant and do not profess to be able to do their job ,the accountants often remark to me they could not do my job, so our combined skills work well together and there is no such thing as a “silly” question from either side. I highly recommend their services to all my colleagues.”

Melanie Bark, School Business Manager, Ravenscote Junior School

Sector leader

Mark Dickinson

Partner

Barristers

Our knowledge and expertise of barristers’ annual accounts and tax requirement has been built up over many years of acting on their behalf. We have built up a thorough appreciation and understanding of the complexities of your profession and the challenges these can present for your finances – the key one being a lack of time! We take away the strain so you can focus on your day to day work.

How we can help

  • Fixed-fee package tailored to barristers’ needs
  • Annual accounts
  • Correspondence with HMRC on your behalf
  • Tax planning and allowances
  • Save time by visiting you in chambers

“Steve Morgan and Kelly Mowatt have always gone out of their way to help me with my tax affairs. As tax legislation has changed over the years Wise & Co have intelligently responded in effective ways. I can always count on them for excellent advice; they always respond instantly which makes a big difference to my practice as a Barrister.”

Jason Sugarman QC, Foundry Chambers

Sector leader

Stephen Morgan

Partner

Charities & Not-for-profit

Charities and not-for-profit service organisations and their staff and trustees face more and more pressure. Income and funding squeezes are becoming the norm. There are increased and constantly changing regulatory and governance requirements in the form of the Charities Act, the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), and the Charity Commission guidance to name but a few.

We act for over 100 charitable organisations – they range from local ones to those with a national presence and cover many different sectors from independent and academy status schools, clubs and societies to religious charities. This means that we have a solid understanding of the issues you have to deal with.

How we can help

  • Help you stay on top of regulatory changes and the impact they have on your organisation
  • Perform charity audits
  • Examine accounts
  • Complete Charity Commission annual returns
  • Complete trustee update forms
  • Liaise with the Charity Commission on your behalf
  • Attend trustee meetings and write minutes
  • Assist and advise on income tax and gift aid repayment claims
  • Help you to minimise your exposure to irrecoverable VAT
  • Tax advice on any non-charitable status trading

“In 2007, after many years working with another auditor, the charity engaged the services of Wise & Co as auditors and financial advisers. Over the years Wise & Co have provided a smooth and pain-free audit process, and advised the charity in complex areas such as VAT partial exemption, management of grants and funding streams and changes in financial statutory regulations. Treena and her team are always professional, reliable, friendly and approachable throughout the financial year and provide a timely response to queries. The charity highly values the service received from Wise & Co and would highly recommend them.”

Gill Holderness, Finance Director, Active Nation

Sector leader

Mark Dickinson

Partner

Construction

Many SME businesses operating in the sector have experienced the negative knock-on effects of subcontracting to companies experiencing trading difficulties. As a result their attitude to risk has become even more central to their overall strategy and their decision making process. Our experts have many years of experience providing commercial and technical advice to clients, whether they are the owners of limited companies or partnerships or self-employed individuals. Whatever the size of your business or its structure, we’ll provide you with technical and strategic advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special tax and National Insurance (NI) rules for people who work in the construction industry. Under the rules, contractors must deduct advance tax and National Insurance payments from what they pay their subcontractors. These payments must then be passed to HM Revenue and Customs.

One of the main issues behind the CIS is the status of workers and whether or not they are actually employees rather than subcontractors – this will affect how tax is charged. Furthermore, whilst the scheme has been designed for the construction industry there are sometimes businesses that you wouldn’t normally consider to be traditional builders which fall under the scheme without even realising it.

How we can help

  • Help you to work out if the type of work you are doing falls under the CIS rules.
  • Advise you on whether you are a contractor or a subcontractor and therefore if you need to register for the CIS or not.
  • Help you establish whether people working for you are subcontractors or employees.
  • Assist you with the monthly CIS return

“We have been clients of Wise & Co for 15 years, and have been extremely pleased with all aspects of their service. We use them for business accounts & tax and personal taxation and have found their advice to be of the highest quality. Wise & Co are not just accountants but real added value business advisers (cliché but we really believe it!), who have aided our business to grow and flourish. The service you get is tailor made to suit your personal needs as the partners really take the time to know you individually. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”

Nisha MacPherson, Enbloc Cleanrooms

Sector leader

Steve South

Partner

Digital, Technology & Telecomms

Technology and the digital world never stands still, and neither do the businesses within it. But with rapid change comes opportunity and with technology at the centre of almost everything, there are products and services to improve performance, manage risk and drive innovation. We act for many clients with interests in the technology sector, including software developers, hardware manufacturers and self-employed programmers. The advice that we provide is bespoke taking into consideration your specific circumstances along with your aims and aspirations.

How we can help

  • Advise on structuring finance and the best options suited to your business
  • Assist you in preparing business plans and related financial projections
  • Help you to improve your business operating or financial model
  • Increase productivity by streamlining processes to enhance operational efficiency and manage costs more effectively
  • Assist in the application of patent box, grants, and R&D tax credits
  • Exit planning and strategy
  • Business acquisition advice

“Engaging Wise & Co as our accountants has been one of the best business decisions we have made. We have found the team to be knowledgeable, practical and extremely responsive throughout the 14 years that we have been clients. We always feel that all angles have been considered before advice is given and, where options exist, they are always very clearly explained. And, as important as the first class advice we receive, they are a delight to deal with!”

Michael Burke, Purpose Software Ltd

Sector leader

Steve South

Partner

Financial Services

The financial services sector is a complex and multi-faceted landscape and the challenges of maintaining a profitable and compliant business have never been greater. Our deep understanding of the difficulties and concerns businesses in the financial services industry face means we can give practical, realistic advice to help you succeed. We work with organisations across the financial advisory, insurance and investment management sectors, providing a full service for start-ups to SMEs.

How we can help

  • Business structuring
  • Audit and assurance – both statutory and FCA audit requirements
  • Tax planning and compliance
  • Transactions and restructuring
  • Risk and capital management
  • Business performance improvement consulting (cost reduction, finance function
    effectiveness)
  • IT advisory and consulting

“We have been with Wise & Co since 2010 and are extremely satisfied with the tax and audit services provided for all the companies in our Group. They go out of their way to accommodate our requirements and are very professional, friendly and reliable.”

Richard Mew, SGI Group Ltd / Millman Ltd

Sector leader

Treena Turner

Partner

Fine Art & Antiques

If you have a passion for fine art and antiques, we can help you translate it into sound business practice. It’s a niche area and VAT in particular can be complicated and require specialist advice, but we have key knowledge and the practical experience to help you. So we’ll ensure that you’re correctly treating VAT on imported and exported works of art, thereby minimising your liability.

Here are some other VAT related areas which may apply to you and of course we’re on hand every step of the way if you need our guidance.

VAT due on sales

Most antiques are bought and sold under the margin scheme, which means that instead of VAT being accounted for based on the full selling price, it is based on the profit margin made on the item. Whilst the margin scheme can save you money there are strict rules that you need to be follow. So, we’ve helped many art and antique dealer clients to do the calculations as well as presenting and maintaining their records in the right way to ensure that they comply with HM Revenue & Customs’ requirements. We’ve also been on hand to assist those clients who have had HMRC inspections.

Commission payments and profit shares

On occasions where a number of dealers have shared the purchase or sale of high value items, we’ve helped our clients to determine the correct VAT liability of commissions or profit shares paid between the parties. It can be a very expensive mistake if you get it wrong, but we help our clients avoid any potentially stressful mishaps and unwelcome surprises.

International sales and purchases

Whilst antiques imported into the EU benefit from a reduced import VAT duty of only 5% compared to the normal 20%, the whole import and export process for the goods can be very bureaucratic, especially if they go into bonded warehouse when they get to the UK.

“Wise & Co have been looking after my accounting and business affairs for several years – Sharmini and her team have always been responsive and available. They deal efficiently with thought to all aspects of the business from the accounts to the complexities of VAT, import duty and corporation tax. The art world can offer unusual challenges for a business and Wise & Co have the experience to help me take these on. Most importantly Sharmini’s sage and invaluable advice goes beyond the normal day-to-day aspects of running a business and makes one really consider the bigger picture.”

Stuart Lochhead, Stuart Lochhead Limited

Sector leader

Sharmini Woodings

Managing Partner

Hospitality & Leisure

Businesses operating in the hospitality and leisure sector face tough trading conditions in today’s world and it can take a significant amount of time, energy and investment to turn them into a success.

We’re proud to act for a number of golf clubs, leisure facilities and private health clubs, hotels, pubs, wine bars and restaurants – all with their own particularities!

A flavour of our hospitality and leisure clients

Golf clubs
We act for a number of golf clubs in the area. We understand that it can be a difficult sector to be in these days with some clubs facing increasing challenges to maintain their membership numbers to cover their costs.

Furthermore, there are differences between running a proprietary or a members club and we have a solid appreciation of what they are, based on many years of experience. VAT is one such area, as a “not for profit” organisation can avoid charging output VAT on part of the annual subscription, whereas for members’ clubs it’s vital that they maximise the rate of recovery for input VAT under partial exemption rules.

Leisure clubs
These days many golf clubs have leisure facilities as part of their business – as well as being an important standalone revenue stream, they’re a good way of adding value for existing members and for attracting new ones.

To manage your business effectively and efficiently you need the right information at your fingertips. We understand this and our team will help you produce up to date management detail to enable you to make sound financial decisions.

Hotels
Our hotel clients range from boutiques to those with a nationwide network. We can help you produce the right financial advice ranging from monthly management accounts to year end accounts, payroll, VAT, audit and consultancy work. With our assistance and working as a team, you’ll be in a strong position to predict any financial pressures which may affect your cashflow or tackle and resolve any complex issues that you may encounter.

Pubs, wine bars and restaurants
Over the last 30 years we’ve worked with many pubs, wine bars and restaurants. Our advice is both commercial and practical. We’ll guide you through the accounting and taxation rules and regulations in force to ensure that you make the claims that you’re entitled to, such as capital allowances, and comply with often complex legislation. The licensed trade is increasingly targeted by HMRC, particularly to ensure that you are operating the TRONC system to handle the distribution of tips and service charges. If this happens to you, we can handle their enquiries on your behalf so that you can concentrate on running your business.

How can we help:

  • Specialist advice on VAT including maximising the rate of recovery for input VAT
  • In-depth financial advice on buying and selling a business
  • Raising finance
  • Preparation of monthly management accounts
  • Year-end accounts preparation
  • Payroll and PAYE
  • The correct operation of a TRONC system to handle distribution of tips and service charges
  • VAT advice
  • Audit
  • Budget reviews
  • Cash flow forecasts
  • Capital allowance claims

Over the last 30 years we’ve worked with many pubs, wine bars and restaurants providing them with technical, commercial and practical advice. Combining our in-depth experience of the industry sector with our expert knowledge of the accounting and taxation rules and regulations we’ll make sure that your business remains efficient and in particular that you claim the reliefs you’re entitled to, for example capital allowances [insert hyper link to capital allowances].

Businesses operating in the licensed trade are often targeted by HMRC, usually to ensure that they’re correctly operating the TRONC system, which deals with tips and service charges. Should you find yourself under HMRC’s scrutiny, we can handle their enquiries on your behalf.

Sector leader

Stephen Morgan

Partner

Manufacturing & Engineering

We work with many manufacturers making everything from rubber to plastic moulding to bespoke vehicles for both the UK market and for export, as well as specialist engineers, who produce innovative new product designs and creations. They are an important part the UK economy.

Research and Development tax relief – are you eligible?

The Government is keen to promote British innovation and to incentivise more businesses with their research and development work by making tax relief available to them. Over the years we’ve helped many of our clients to make research and development tax relief claims. These claims can save you corporation tax and, if they are back dated, they can also result in cash repayments. The amounts for SMEs have increased substantially in recent years and have reached 230% while loss making businesses can receive the cash back equivalent of 33.5% of the qualifying expenditure. We believe that you should always consider whether you’re eligible, as you’d be surprised which changes in designs or processes would qualify! Chat it through with us and we can guide you every step of the way to make your claim.

Our help covering other areas of your business

Whereas we’ll always help you to claim all the reliefs that you’re entitled to, there are other key areas that you need a good handle on. We’ll help you with all aspects of your day to day accounts reporting needs so that you have the information you require to run your business efficiently and are able to make informed decisions – for example capital allowance claims on plant and equipment purchases, stock control and costing systems, profit calculations for work in progress or long-term contracts.

How we can help

  • Accounts
  • Tax
  • Capital allowance claims on plant and equipment purchases
  • Research and development claims
  • Stock control and costing systems
  • Profit calculations
  • Help you avoid costly pitfalls

“We have retained Wise & Co as our chartered accountants for a number of years and have always found that they offer a friendly, efficient, professional and flexible service. We use their expertise to advise us on strategic financial planning, as well as preparing our year-end financial accounts.”

Norton Welch, JB Corrie & Co Ltd

Sector leader

Steve South

Partner

Media & Creative Industry

We have our very own office at Pinewood Studios dedicated to our media and creative industry clients. The experience and understanding we’ve built up over the years means that we can provide the specialist advice and guidance that you need whilst you focus on your artistic goals.

Whether you’re just starting out, are growing or are more established, our team will provide you with the support you need tailored to your stage of your business’ lifecycle. Our clients includes film, music and TV production companies, agents, actors, presenters, directors, writers and technicians. We also have a proven track record advising creative businesses in advertising, PR, marketing, digital and design.

How we can help

  • Filing your annual accounts
  • Tax affairs, planning and dealing with HM Revenue & Customs
  • Advice on shareholding structures
  • Exit planning

“We have worked with Wise & Co since we started our business back in 2007 and through these last 10 years have found them to always be professional and on hand to offer sound advice. As a small start-up business, Stephen Morgan helped us enormously in the early days of the business, introducing us to the unfamiliar world of accounting, and he remains our main contact to this day. It is very reassuring for us to know that Steve is just a phone call away and always on hand to give advice on various financial issues. The team, and in particular Steve and Maxine who we liaise with most frequently, are always approachable and certainly know their stuff. We would recommend them highly.”

Richard Hume, Hume Whitehead

Sector leader

Stephen Morgan

Partner

Personal Service & Consultancy Companies

Are you planning to do contract work?

Many people provide services to clients through their own companies and we have lots who follow this model. However, there are some “dos and don’ts” that you need to take into consideration, and so we recommend having a chat with a professional adviser early on.

Before starting any new business, it’s sensible to take advice as to which structure best suits you and your future plans. There are differences in your legal obligations and the way you are taxed if you opt to run your business as a sole trader or as a limited company. We explore all the options with our clients, understanding their aims and goals, so they arrive at the best way to set up their business.

How we can help

  • Prepare your year-end accounts
  • Assist with your personal tax return
  • Provide advice on structuring your business in the most tax efficient way
  • Personal tax planning advice

Sector leader

Joanne Colwell

Partner

Professional Services

Our specialist team helps professional services businesses like yours to maximise opportunities, determine a clear strategy for growth, manage change efficiently and successfully, and minimise risk.

We’ve built a long-standing relationship with many professional firms, which we believe comes from focusing on the people behind the business and sharing their vision. Our specialists provide an integrated service, incorporating compliance and advisory services tailored to your needs, advising you on the latest developments and providing guidance on best practice.

Every professional practice is unique, with a continually evolving set of needs. Our expertise spans a range of professions, including solicitors, barristers, business consultants, architects, surveyors, recruitment consultants, and marketing and communications agencies – so you can be safe in the knowledge that we understand your business and can overcome the challenges you face.

How we can help

  • Identifying and adopting the appropriate strategy
  • Raising external debt or equity funding
  • Assisting with mergers and acquisitions
  • Advising on the most suitable business structure, whether corporate, LLP or partnership
  • Reviewing working capital management policies to ensure optimum use of cash resources
  • Creating effective remuneration strategies to reward and incentivise key staff and owners
  • Reviewing internal controls, procedures and business processes to maximise efficiency and deter fraud
  • Advising on succession planning issues, or the departure of key individuals, ensuring a smooth transition or exit
  • Providing effective personal tax planning for partners, directors and employees

“We are very pleased with the prompt, reliable and helpful service from Wise & Co; their expertise is particularly useful for our busy, small practice. We are particularly grateful for the tax guidance we received for our office refurbishment project. We feel we have greatly benefited from their wide ranging skills.”

Rosemary Tomkins, Abode Architects LLP

Sector leader

Mark Dickinson

Partner

Property

Whether it’s a property investment or a property development, a start-up or a large group, we understand that no two projects or transactions are alike, and that there are many factors that may affect its commercial viability. We have the experience and the knowledge to assist you and to make a real difference.

Residential and commercial landlords

Renting out commercial or residential property can make your financial affairs complicated and it’s likely that you’ll need help preparing your tax return or company accounts. We can assist you with filing rental income returns with HMRC and help you to minimise your tax liabilities by ensuring you claim the reliefs that you’re entitled to. For example, if a client were to acquire a commercial freehold property, we’d ensure that they maximised their capital allowances with a 100% initial allowance and deducted the annual allowances from the gross income that they’re entitled to. Handled properly, expenses and the way in which the property is financed can also give rise to tax breaks, so taking professional advice is key.

If you’re a landlord we’ll advise you about the tax position of the property you’re renting out and, if you should decide to sell it, if there’s any potential capital gains tax liability or any reliefs available that you can claim.

How we can help

  • Tax planning
  • Preparing tax returns and company accounts
  • VAT issues
  • Filing rental income returns with HMRC
  • Capital allowances claims on the acquisition of a commercial property or on ones which you already own

“Having Wise & Co there supporting my business means I can get on and concentrate on creating deals. Wise & Co have served me extremely well for over 30 years with a friendly and efficient service.”

Martyn Guess, Martyn Guess & Company Limited

Sector leader

Stephen Morgan

Partner

Retail & Wholesale

Whether your business is impacted by economic and political uncertainty, increased competition from established and emerging brands, cyber risk, changing consumer behaviour due to the digital age, cost cutting, or rising customer expectations, today’s market is tough for retail and wholesale business. They need to find new ways to gain and engage customers, as brand story and ethical sourcing become increasingly more important. Our team understands these challenges so we can help you to manage sector risks and be on top of your cash flow and working capital requirements, thereby improving your business’ overall performance.

We have specialist knowledge of businesses that sell both vehicle parts and vehicles. Our experience enables us to provide clients with srategic advice to help them tackle issues facing the automotive sector such as tax and profitability pressures, the result of changing economic and regulatory challenges.

How we can help

  • Financial reporting
  • Advice on policies, controls and KPIs to ensure they are the right level for the size and
    complexity of the business
  • Provide audit services
  • Provide a one-stop-shop for outsourcing needs including payroll and IT
  • Advise on tax and VAT tailored to your needs and ensuring compliance
  • Implementation of tax efficient share option schemes for managers and staff to encourage greater engagement in your business’ future success

“Wise & Co have been our auditors for several years and we are very happy with their professionalism and support. They are just the right size firm, big enough to have the experience to hand but small enough so we know their key people by name. They are transparent about what they require from us, and are always at the end of a phone or happy to pop in for a meeting with our finance team to answer any questions. All in all we are very happy with the auditing services from Wise & Co. Additionally the business advice and support that I receive from Wise & Co is invaluable.”

Ryan Leighton, Leightons Ltd

Sector leader

Treena Turner

Partner

Service Charge Accounts

You’re a landlord; you’re a tenant property management company; or you’re a property management agent. Whichever one you are, you have to deal with service charges, or in other words monies collected for the upkeep of communal areas such as a parking area, a garden, the building’s roof or its outside façade.

The trouble is the way in which service charges are accounted for in the property industry is a specialist area that requires expertise and technical understanding. But, we’re to help you.
Putting it into context, service charge accounts are covered under the Landlord and Tenant Act (LTA), which serves to protect tenants against landlords collecting unreasonable service charge fees. Its other purpose is to give tenants transparency as landlords are legally obliged to provide them with details of the fees being charged in the form of a summary of costs. The important point to note is that these service fees are held in trust for the tenants and cannot be treated as assets of the property management company. This means that they cannot be included in the company’s statutory accounts and must be managed properly in order to avoid any pitfalls.

So, if you have to prepare service charge accounts and you’re not sure, take advice especially as regulations change and these accounts need to have been completed within six months of the financial year end.

We act for over 100 service charge clients. The assistance we provide is bespoke and aims to take away the strain by focusing on the legal requirements of both Companies House and the Landlord and Tenant Act on your behalf and ensuring that you comply. To do this our specialist team will work closely with you ensuring that all expenditure is verified and treated correctly.

And that’s not everything. Following an announcement by HM Revenue & Customs that property management companies are expected to account for VAT properly, VAT is another key area for this sector especially as it’s expected that HMRC will increasingly target them more for inspection visits. Our in-house VAT specialists will assist you to stay on top of the VAT rules or with any related HMRC enquiries you may have.

How we can help

  • Preparing tax returns and company accounts
  • Filing rental income returns with HMRC
  • Capital allowances claims on the acquisition of a commercial property or on ones which you already own
  • Other technical tax advice
  • Wealth management advice

Sector leader

Treena Turner

Partner

Solicitors

On a business level we advise our clients on practice management and financial forecasts, mergers and acquisitions, opening branch offices, the introduction of new partners and planning for a partner’s retirement. Our dedicated team has a practical approach to problem solving and understands the pressures and issues that legal practices may face in the twenty first century.

Our in-depth knowledge of Solicitors Regulation Accounts Rules (SRA) has been built up over many years and we complete the SRA audit and Accountant’s Report for a number of legal practices. If you are a legal practice with client monies passing through your client accounts, then you will be subject to the SRA accounts rules.

How we can help

  • Prepare reports to Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Liaise with HMRC while completing both partnership and personal tax returns
  • Draw up annual accounts – whether for a limited company, sole trader, partnership or a limited liabillity partnership
  • Probate taxation

“With the growth of the business we face new challenges and the requirement for first rate expertise and proactive guidance interwoven with specific industry knowledge. Retaining Wise & Co ensures that the business is in the very best hands to fulfil our needs.”

Amanda Glover, Bakerlaw LLP

Sector leader

Mark Dickinson

Partner