Vehicle Excise Duty

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered some major changes relating to Vehicle Excise Duty that will come into effect in the coming year:

  • the way Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is calculated and spent;
  • new bands of VED; and
  • extending the deadline for the first MOT on new cars and motorcycles.

The way VED is calculated and spent will come into effect from 2017. The Chancellor in his Budget speech, confirmed that the success of low emission cars is having an adverse effect on the amount of money raised from VED.

Three new bands of VED are being introduced from 2017:

  • zero emission;
  • standard; and
  • premium.

Existing cars already on the road will not be affected by the changes. The standard rate which will apply to most new cars will be £140, less than the average paid by motorists today.

Good news for those purchasing new cars: the Government will extend the deadline for the first MOT of new cars and motorcycles from 3 years to 4 years.

Source: HM Government

Online business accounting

Mobile technology has enabled many of us to have much freedom and flexibility – in our personal lives and professional lives.

We carry the internet in our pockets and bags on our mobiles. We carry it around the house and sit in bed with it on our tablets. We still use our laptops and computers in work and some of us have internet TV – accessibility points are endless.

We’ve never been more connected in the modern world. It has become the norm.


Work anytime, anywhere

Being able to use accountancy packages 24/7 is hugely advantageous for those who don’t work regular 9-to-5 work hours, the ability to get things done at any time of the day or night is a huge advantage for many business owners. And it’s ideal for those who aren’t office-based.

Online business accounting apps like Xero, allow you to check the business accounts with the click of a button, rather going into work for an update.

Today, anyone can work around the hours and locations that suit them, bringing a flexibility never seen before. Used right, this can really help with achieving a better work life balance.


Current offer

Xero are offering a Sage to Xero free conversion which is usually £200!! PLUS 6 months 50% off subscription costs!

If you would like a free demonstration on how Xero works, its benefits and to see for yourself how easy it is to use, please get in touch on 01656 867167 or – we can help you convert from Sage to Xero without interruption to your data or the daily running of your business.


If you have recently emailed us using our address and have not received a response, please accept our deepest apologies. We have experienced some technical issues that have only now been identified.

I can confirm that the email is now fully functional!

Should you wish to speak to one of our team directly then please call us on 01656 867167 and we will do our utmost to help.

Have a great day!

Benefits of an external audit

Most directors consider the annual audit to be a necessary costly evil, however if it is dealt with in the right way it can help you to improve your business.


  • Identifying weaknesses within the internal control of the business


An external auditor is not only tasked with verifying if a company’s financial information is correct but also that the process used to report and compile that financial information has enough internal controls in place to reduce the chance of misreporting or fraud. A review of the internal controls by the auditor will include:

  • ensuring an adequate paper trail – essential if the company is ever subjected to a HMRC tax investigation;
  • review of the financial systems used to process the information – advise of better products or services which would better suit the business;
  • review of segregation of duties among employees – although not always possible in smaller businesses, a certain level of segregation is essential to safeguard fraud and human error.


At the end of an audit auditors are required to provide you with a list of “weaknesses” which they have identified, although some directors take this as a criticism of their work. If reviewed correctly and suggestions implemented, this will not only help with a smoother audit but should provide efficiencies and improvements in the day-to-day running of the business.


  • Lends credibility to the accounts


Financial statements that have been audited and verified by an external auditor are considered more reliable than those that have not. Lenders often require externally-audited accounts as a term of a loan, however quite often suppliers or potential customers will also review your financial statements.  Quite often offer better terms can be agreed if the company has audited accounts as they provide some security that the accounts are free from error and that the company is less likely to have committed fraud.


  • Unbiased Expert Recommendation


External auditors are trained specifically to focus on tightening and improving business procedures without letting their judgement be clouded by personal favouritisms, which may be the case for the business’ current management.  Directors may often delay implementing changes as they may think this will take a long time and deviate from the company’s core activities, however an auditor works with the single-minded purpose of improving the business’ systems.


Key staff promotions at Clay Shaw Thomas

We are pleased to announce some key staff promotions at Clay Shaw Thomas!

James Burnett has been promoted to Director having qualified as a Chartered and Certified Accountant with the firm.


Clay Shaw Thomas_2

Pictured L-R: Sara Lathwood, Lauren Hooper, Gemma Jones, James Burnett, Laura Steele


James has been a key member of the management team for some time. No business decision is made without his input and his commercial logic and strategic approach to the business has been invaluable. We are very much looking forward to achieving further growth in the business and I am sure that with James’ formal appointment to the Board our continued success will be assured.

Other promotions within the firm include Gemma Jones, Sara Lathwood and Laura Steele to Lead Consultants, David Sullivan to Senior Consultant and we have appointed Lauren Hooper’s appointment as trainee accountant has been confirmed after Lauren provided valuable input to the business during her university years until graduating last year.

We have a very dedicated and hard-working team who are completely committed to providing thorough and excellent customer service to our clients. The Board has recognised their achievements by acknowledging the contribution that they are able to make in promoting them to the Senior Management Team.



Summer Budget 2015

The Summer Budget 2015 has dominated the news since the Conservatives took power just two months ago in May. The Chancellor delivered a significant amount in his “big Budget” of Summer 2015. In many ways, Mr Osborne’s announcements this time around are more important than in March. The proof will now be in the pudding as to whether or not they can deliver what they had set out to achieve to win their place as the leading party and whether the general public will be behind their proposals in this Budget. This Budget sets out many of the measures the Conservatives have wanted to put in place for some time.

‘How will this Budget affect me?’ I hear you ask.

One of the most talked about features has been the plan to cut the welfare bill by £12bn, as Mr Osborne aims to be “bold in building the aspirations of working people”. There will be major changes to the system of tax credits, with only those lowest-income families being able to claim tax credits. This will be combined with changes to entitlement to Universal Credit.

Property also featured heavily, with some important changes for landlords:

  • Tax relief on mortgage interest payments on residential property will be restricted to the basic rate of tax, a change that will be phased in over four years from April 2017.
  • Private landlords will also see the 10% wear and tear allowance replaced by deductions for the actual cost of replacing furnishings.
  • There will be an extra inheritance tax nil rate band for main residences passed on death to descendants, starting at £100,000 in 2017-18 and rising to £175,000 by 2020/21.

There will also be radical reform of the system of tax relief for pensions.

And the introduction of the secondary market in pension annuities has been postponed until 2017.

George Osborne delivered is ‘big Budget’ of Summer 2015 and there is a lot to take in. We are on hand to help you if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in the Summer Budget in further detail. We will be pleased to hear from you.

Read our Summer Budget 2015 summary.

Please either contact me directly on or the office on 01656 867167.

This article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice. Please contact your usual adviser at CST Wealth Management Ltd if you have any questions relating to your own personal circumstances or if you would like to make an appointment to discuss your financial plan. Contact details can be found on our Meet the Team page or by contacting us via or 01656 867167.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.

CST Wealth is the trading name of CST Wealth Management Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.