Research and reports
There have been a number of recent money changes that could affect how small business owners manage their money.
And with the cost of living increasing, it’s important to stay on top of these updates to help you plan and budget effectively.
When the government announced a National Insurance hike last year, the cost of living crisis hadn’t completely hit (although small businesses were already experiencing supply shortages and rising costs).
The 1.25 percentage point increase eventually happened in April 2022, amid high energy prices and a record jump in inflation.
The government subsequently decided to increase National Insurance thresholds to let people earn more before paying tax. Here are the changes for the self-employed:
You pay National Insurance as part of your annual Self Assessment. Your return for 2022-23 will be due in January 2024.
For employers, make sure that you’re claiming the Employment Allowance, which reduces your Class 1 National Insurance liability by up to £5,000 (up from £4,000 last year).
The current inflation rate is 9.4 per cent. This has been driven by increasing fuel and food prices, as consumers struggle with the cost of living crisis.
Inflation means that it costs small businesses more to buy materials and stock. You may be faced with deciding whether to pass increases onto consumers.
When it comes to contractors and freelancers, you might be looking at ways to increase your rates, so you make enough to cover your business costs and day-to-day living.
The Bank of England has increased interest rates to 1.25 per cent to tackle inflation. It says it can’t predict “exactly how high” inflation will go, but it isn’t likely to hit the high levels that people experienced in the past.
Read our SME Insights Report to find out how small businesses feel about their current challenges.
These three steps may help small businesses:
Audit your prices. A fresh break even analysis could help you work out whether price increases can lead to better profit margins. But don’t take this decision lightly, as customers and clients may be used to current prices.
Audit your costs. Similarly, take a new look at your expenses to see if you can reduce them. Can you cut any inefficiencies? Lean manufacturing principles may help you find ‘waste’ in your current processes.
Come up with new plans and forecasts. Your plans may need to adapt to a changing world. Take a look at your business plan to see whether there’s anything that needs updating. You can also create a new cash flow forecast and update your budget.
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are battling to become the next leader of the Conservatives – and by extension, prime minister.
But what are they promising to do for your money? Here’s what we know so far.
You might have pensions from old jobs or be paying into a personal pension that’s suitable for the self-employed.
This is to stop you from making a bad financial decision.
As Pension Wise can only offer guidance, not advice, they can’t recommend what to do. But they will discuss the options available.
You don’t have to wait until you’re 55 to speak to Pension Wise. You can book a free appointment if you’re:
You can also get in touch with Pension Wise if you have any general questions about pensions.
If you have any old £20 and £50 paper banknotes at home or still circulating in your business, you should think about spending them.
They won’t be legal tender after 30 September, so if you don’t use them, you’ll have to exchange them with the Bank of England.
In June, the Bank of England said that £8.2 billion in old £50 notes and £6.3 billion in £20 notes were still in circulation.
Following suggestions that a permanent Recovery Loan Scheme replacement might be needed, the government announced in July that they are extending it by two years.
The details are:
The government guarantees 70 per cent of the finance to the lender.
But the borrower is 100 per cent liable and lenders may now ask for a personal guarantee, meaning you could lose your home if you don’t repay.
With the cost of living hitting small businesses hard, the FCA has told banks that they should treat small business customers fairly when it comes to recovering debt.
The FCA looked at the collection practices of 11 banks. They detail these main problems:
The FCA has given feedback to individual banks, but it wants to see action from the sector as a whole.
If you have one employee (who isn’t an owner), you could save up to £5,000 on the cost of new software through Help to Grow: Digital.
The government expanded the scheme’s eligibility after complaints that it didn’t reach enough businesses (you previously had to have five employees).
You can get a discount on these types of software:
How have you been staying on top of your money this summer? Let us know in the comments below.
Sam has more than 10 years of experience in writing for financial services. He specialises in illuminating complicated topics, from IR35 to ISAs, and identifying emerging trends that audiences want to know about. Sam spent five years at Simply Business, where he was Senior Copywriter.
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