Vacancy for an AAT Accounts Apprentice (16 – 18 year old)

Vacancy Description:

We are looking for a talented and personable candidate to join us as an AAT Apprentice.

We want our apprentices to learn, grow and become AAT qualified so they have to be ambitious and committed to learning and getting qualified.

Role and Responsibilities:

(1) To initially assist our accounts staff in helping them with basic accountancy administration.

(2) To learn the basics in book keeping and progress to being able to use various packages of accountancy software in order to work on client accounts.

(3) To develop an understanding of payroll and learn to use payroll software.

(4) To play your part in being a positive and helpful team member

Qualifications and Education Requirements:

Ideally we would like the candidate to have an A in Maths and an A or B in English.

Preferred Skills:

Able to use Microsoft Excel and Word to a decent standard. Can listen to and follow instructions. Gives attention to detail. Enjoys working with numbers. Has an aptitude for learning software. Can work on their own as well as with others.

Personal Qualities:

A positive attitude to what is presented to them. A hunger to learn and achieve. A warm and friendly manner. Honest and reliable. An accountancy apprenticeship is their first choice.  Easy to approach and willing to help others.

Future Prospects:

With each level of the AAT course being achieved will come an increase in pay.  Once successfully completed Level 4 of the AAT course you will become an Accounts Assistant.

Finally, some key things to be aware of about this vacancy:

(A) Working hours are Monday – Friday 9am to 5pm with an unpaid lunch break of one hour.  This is a 35 hour week.

(B) This apprenticeship is for 16 – 18 year olds.

(C) The initial pay is £157.50 per week (£4.50 per hour)

(D) We are a successful, warm and friendly general practice serving hundreds of clients with book-keeping, payroll and accountancy services as well as business advice.

(E) You will be required to spend 20% of your time in learning at college and the remainder with your colleagues in the office.  Both elements are essential to us and we hope to you.

If you are this candidate and are interested in this opportunity to kick start your career please send me your CV to

Closing date for applications is 30th October 2020

Tom Bathgate MBA


Plastic bag tax charge to be doubled and extended to all retailers

The fee for plastic shopping bags in England will be doubled to 10 pence and extended to all shops from April 2021.

Small retailers, those employing 250 people or fewer, will no longer be exempt, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

According to Defra, since the charge was first introduced in 2015 it has successfully prevented billions of plastic bags being sold and ending up in the ocean and environment.

Government data shows the current levy, which stands at 5 pence per bag and applies to any retailer employing 250 or more people, has led to a 95% cut in plastic bag sales in major supermarkets since 2015.

Commenting on the announcement, Environment Secretary George Eustice, said:

‘We have all seen the devastating impact plastic bags have on the oceans and on precious marine wildlife, which is why we are taking bold and ambitious action to tackle this issue head on.

‘The UK is already a world-leader in this global effort, and our carrier bag charge has been hugely successful in taking billions of harmful plastic bags out of circulation. But we want to go further by extending this to all retailers so we can continue to cut unnecessary waste and build back greener.’


Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grants

HMRC are inviting those individuals that are self employed or a member of a partnership and have been adversely affected by coronavirus to claim a second grant under the Self Employed Income Support Grant.

Applications for the first grant under the scheme closed on 13 July 2020.

The second and final taxable grant is worth 70% of an individual’s average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total.

Applications for the second and final grant are now open. The grant is only available to businesses that have been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020. Taxpayers must make a claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020.

HMRC will work out businesses’ eligibility for the second grant in the same way as the first grant.

Taxpayers are able to make a claim for the second grant if they are eligible, even if they did not make a claim for the first grant.

HMRC have confirmed that taxpayers can:

  • continue to work
  • start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work and duties as a military reservist.

The grant does not need to be repaid if a taxpayer is eligible, but will be subject to both income tax and self employed National Insurance.

Kickstart Scheme opens for applications

On 2 September 2020, the government’s £2 billion Kickstart Scheme opened for employer applications.

The scheme is part of the Plan for Jobs announced during Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s July Summer Economic Update.

The Kickstart Scheme aims to create work placements for young people who are at risk of becoming unemployed for the long-term. Businesses can join the scheme, with the government paying employers £1,500 to help set up support and training. Funding is available following a successful application process. Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements.

Businesses that are unable to offer this many job placements can partner with other organisations to reach the minimum number.

Selected out-of-work young people will be offered six month work placements for at least 25 hours a week to help them gain experience, skills and confidence. The scheme is designed to be a stepping stone to further employment.

Employers will receive funding for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage (NMW) for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer national insurance contributions (NICs) and employer minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions.

Chancellor Sunak said:

‘This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

‘The scheme will open the door to a brighter future for a new generation and ensure the UK bounces back stronger as a country.’

Why keeping on investing in your business is crucial to your success

Starting your business

Starting your business requires a lot of investment even before you begin in time, effort as well as money but beyond that start up moment, as long as your business exists, investment plays a vital part of its chances of success.

Of course many will see investment as just an expense they can do without, but there are real upsides when you do invest in your business.

Upsides when you keep on investing in your business

We have found that our staff treat it as really good news when they know we are purchasing new equipment, acquiring new software solutions, supporting training and education programs and recruiting new talent.  Having staff who can see the positive benefits of investment and enjoy the results is a real upside and strengthens the company culture.

Not only our staff give us positive feedback but so do our clients like it when we invest in the company and a superb upside of this is that they promote us through word of mouth as they talk about what we are doing in our own business to grow it.

In 2020 we have also been investing in tools and software to help our staff do their jobs more efficiently and as a result we believe we can maintain and improve our client service as a result – that is a real upside!

Because of the current pandemic, we had to quickly supply staff with laptops and remote access to our server.  I’m sure many businesses will have had to invest in such tools and kit to enable customer service to keep to high standards.

To help us improve and grow our practice management we have only this month invested in Accountancy Manager, a piece of software to help us run the firm more efficiently and improve client service.

Employee training of course is a sure way to invest in your business and common sense tells you that there must be an upside to it.

As a chartered accountancy practice our staff have to maintain their CPD (Continuous Professional Development) points so they must attend professional training courses throughout the year to do so.

We also encourage staff to learn new accountancy software and during this month I’m delighted to say that 3 of the Huddart team (Chris, Fiona and Kendal) passed their online exam and each became a Xero Advisor Certified. It was a real buzz when we all applauded their success during our Zoom Team Meeting.

If you don’t know what Xero is, it is a powerful cloud-based accounting software which helps you run your business on the go and enables you to access your accounts whenever and wherever.  It has features such as payroll, invoicing and reporting and much more.

We have at least 100 clients who are using it every day and to ensure we can help, guide and support them it is vital that we are constantly being trained in its use and development.  If you would like to know more about Xero then please drop Andrea (our very own Xero Champion) an email to find out more.  You can reach her at Call the office on 0161 703 8353 if you would like to know more about Xero.





I hope you can see from the above that investing in your business has very real upsides and will increase your chances of success in better customer service, improved products and services and better and more fulfilled employees.  These are terrific wins for any business!