Request a Callback

Book a Free Consultation

Try Our App


Practice News

Making Tax Digital - What is it and how does it affect my business?

December 2018

All the way back in 2015 the then Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the spring budget that he wanted businesses and individuals to have an online account with HMRC to declare income and tax information on a regular basis.  To date there has been a significant amount of work that has been carried out in the background to get these services up and running in time for the implementation deadline.  The first tax to be affected will be VAT which starts from April 2019, with other taxes due to follow in subsequent years.

How MTD affects your business

Well, if your business is currently registered for VAT and its turnover is over the registration threshold of £85,000 then come April 2019 it will be required to maintain electronic accounting records and file VAT returns using compliant software.  Yes, that means you will have to do away with those big red cashbooks that you have been diligently and accurately compiling for the last 30 years and move to computer software as paper records will no longer be sufficient.  From April 2020 all other VAT registered businesses will be required to file returns using MTD compliant software.

The first VAT return that will be required to be filed by MTD software will be for periods beginning 1 April 2019 so if you are on a calendar quarter basis your first MTD return will be for the quarter ending 30 June 2019.  Every business over the VAT threshold will need to have completed their first return by early October 2019 when the quarter June 2019 to August 2019 will be filed.

How we can help you

Being familiar with traditional accounting software such as Sage Accounts as well as newer providers such as Xero and QuickBooks Online and with shared access means that we can advise you on quicker and more efficient ways of managing your bookkeeping.  The software pulls all your bank transactions directly into the system freeing up valuable time and resources, thereby giving you a head start.

We are able to offer you all the help that you may need by demonstrating the different software options available so that you make the right decision for your business and the people that work with you.  Hartley Fowler will also be able to provide you with access to additional software like Receipt Bank that saves you time by automating a lot of the input process just by taking a picture of an invoice or receipt on your mobile phone or tablet.  We will look to see if there is any additional software available that could help your business become more efficient or just to provide you with additional management information.

If you are already using software then you are more than likely already compliant with the MTD requirements and you may just be able to carry on as you do now.  However, you will still need to check with your software supplier that the version you are using is compliant with MTD.  If your current software isn’t compliant then are they in the process of making it compliant?  If not then you will have to consider changing your accounting software or look into using bridging software for your MTD requirements.  By using bridging software you will download the quarterly data from your current system into Microsoft Excel and it will create all the necessary electronic links and file your MTD return with HMRC.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to make your life easier and we can help you with that.  There is never any harm in looking at your current software and asking the following questions.

  1. If I was starting my business today would I use this software for my accounting needs?
  1. Are there processes that I am doing manually that could be automated or become part of my overall accounts process with additional software?
  1. Is the business using the accounting software to its capabilities to actually generate useful management information?

Having answered those three questions honestly, do you think you need to do something about your software? 

Give your local Hartley Fowler office a call and we will be happy to sit down with you and look at your current systems and how you use them.  We will give you some useful and unbiased recommendations on what you can do to maximise the use of your current system or if you would prefer, alternative options that are available.

Hartley Fowler are delighted to be sponsoring the Merton Business Awards - But why should you be entering...

June 2018

We are delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Merton Business Awards and have been given some great tips from our friends at Consortium Business Solutions on why you should be entering, how to write a winning entry and getting the most out of your submission.

Why you should be entering

There are so many reasons why entering awards should be part of your promotional activity, regardless of whether you win or not.

  • Business Appraisal

Going through the application process can provide you with the opportunity to take a close look at all facets of your business.

  • Benchmarking

Likewise, the judging process can be used to benchmark yourself against other firms and if they are entering the same category as you they are likely to be a similar size and in a similar market sector.

  • Public Relations

Obviously winning an award can generate great amounts of publicity but just being a finalist or runner-up can give you good coverage. Taking part in the awards also gives you the opportunity to build engagement in social media.  Announcements of nominations followed by messages of good luck to other contestants and general looking forward to the awards posts will be received well by the organisers and other companies attending the awards.

  • Morale

Entering awards and winning can serve as a great pat on the back to employees. It gives recognition to their contribution and helps build a sense of pride.

  • Investment

If you are seeking investment, demonstrating that you have received recognition as the best or most promising firm in your field can really help your case. It may also help to attract to quality candidates when recruiting.

Which business awards should you choose?

There are a range of awards in the UK to recognise the achievements from the country’s businesses, of all sizes. Some of these celebrate major nationwide and international firms. But there are also a large number of events geared towards innovative and smaller businesses.

There are awards covering regional areas that often have a broad range of categories based on size of firm or industry sector or both. Some celebrate the achievements of individuals while others recognise the team efforts of a whole company. There are also industry specific awards that pitch you against your peers in the same market sector. Or awards for specific activities such as digital marketing campaigns or catalogue production but across a range of industries.

Ok still not sure you should enter? How about Sponsorship?

That’s fine, if you feel you don’t have the resources to put an entry together or you feel that your company isn’t at the right stage of its development to make a credible application why not consider sponsoring the awards. Awards have various different sponsorship packages. Over all or on a category-based level, most packages will offer good promotional coverage to help build awareness and credibility of your firm. A lot of awards organisers also have associated media partners ensuring you will get good coverage in their publications as part of the deal. You often get way more promotional coverage through sponsoring awards than you would get spending the same in just straight advertising.

Best Practice for Entering Awards

Follow the entry instructions

This might sound obvious, but it is one that is often ignored. Most awards offer detailed instructions on how to present the evidence they are looking for. Read the instructions carefully and any ‘terms & conditions’ of entry

They will usually have details on the format required, word count, entry deadlines and how to make payment for entry if required.

You will be penalised if not disqualified for late entry.

Pick the right category

You won’t have a chance of winning if you enter your work into the wrong category. Read the category descriptions and select carefully. Some awards allow you to submit an entry for more than one category but do ensure you tailor each entry form to the specific category criteria.

Judging criteria

Ensure your entry covers the judging criteria for the category you are entering and answers all questions for your category. Judges can only mark you on what is included in your entry form so make sure all-important information is included, and all criteria adhered to. Judges won’t have time to go to your website and start finding information for themselves.

Stick to the word limit

Judges are busy, they could have hundreds or possibly even more entries to wade through so don’t waffle. Judges may mark entries down, or even disqualify them, if they exceed the stated word limit. Please ensure your answers are clear and succinct.

Judges love clear, concise entries – use bullet points or infographics to effectively illustrate points.

Business objectives

Where possible link any evidence and information you are submitting back to your business objectives.

Provide back-up Evidence

Judges love quantified results and want to see some proof of what you’ve achieved. Include facts and figures, quotes from clients or the media, and even images or infographics.

Grab attention

Remember that judges will be reading masses of entries, so you need to make your entry memorable. Make sure your entry is passionate, tells an interesting story and is backed up with statistics and evidence.


Always write in clear, concise English, avoid jargon and never copy and paste from existing materials. Do ask someone to check your entry reads well and is free of typos.

Take your time

Winning award entries take time and effort to write and perfect. Again, we’d highly recommend you get someone to proof read your entry before you submit it.

Don’t wait for the deadline

While we would always recommend that you take your time creating your entry we would also suggest sending it in as soon as you are happy. Many awards organisers, especially those with associated media partners, will often print material about companies that have entered as a way of generating more interest and getting more companies to enter. So, get those entries in, you may be lucky enough to get some extra free promotion in local news publications.

Provide supporting materials

Use a selection of documents and URLs to provide context and background to your entry.

Picture perfect

Attach an image or logo to your entry form. This will be used in the event brochure and presentations should you be shortlisted. Ensure this represents the campaign, product or organisation you are entering.

Being shortlisted for an award brings recognition and an opportunity to celebrate a great piece of work, a fantastic organisation, team or individual. It can motivate employees, promote your business to new customers, and act as an endorsement for your organisation.

It can also help you to evaluate your work, compare yourself to competitors and even identify areas for improvement. A good winning entry takes time and there is a skill in writing a submission.

Getting the most out of your awards entry

Most people are aware these days about why you should be entering business awards. However, your awards process shouldn’t stop there, we have got a few tips to help you get the maximum publicity from your entry, even if you don’t win.

Most business awards will publish (and I know this sounds silly) very long shortlists. While most industry awards are designed to celebrate the best businesses in their sector or individual achievements, they still need to cover their costs. Award ceremonies are expensive, and they need lots of tables filled on awards night and the best way to sell tickets is to lure people with the chance of winning. I’m not taking away the prestige of being shortlisted, the judges will still have strict criteria on who they choose, you still must put in the effort completing a good entry, but they may have a short list of 10 as opposed to just inviting the potential winner and runner-up. So, it’s worth entering if only to take advantage of the shortlist phase.


Make-sure you use your newsletters to let people know you have been shortlisted or nominated (even if you nominated yourself, although you might want to leave that detail out of your newsletter!). This is particularly important if your chosen award has any sort of voting associated with it. Also, by announcing your success at this stage, if you go on to win, it means you have two opportunities for communication.

Social media

A cost-effective communication tool - use your awards entry to give your social profiles a boost. Make sure you always use the organisers handle in your posts, find out what hashtags are being used. The organisers will pretty much always repost your updates if you mention them which can give a massive increase to your social reach and you could pick-up new followers that stay with you after the campaign. Prepare some posts for before the awards, i.e. ‘so pleased to be nominated for the #WonderfulAwards18 thanks to @BusinessAwardsPeople for letting us know’, ‘Looking forward to….One week to go’ etc etc. Also, name drop other shortlisted companies to wish them luck.

Get someone to take pictures and do some live posting during the event, congratulating winners as they are announced, the name-dropped companies will always respond even if it’s a day or two later after they have recovered from their celebrations.

Then after the event, if you won, let everyone know but even if you didn’t, post about how great the event was and thank the organisers. If you got talking to other businesses during the evening create a post name dropping them about how nice it was see them there etc.


Awards create a great opportunity for networking. The entertainment and dare I say a glass or two of something, can create a much more relaxed atmosphere than traditional networking events. Use the opportunity to get to know others on your table. Or if booking a whole at table, think strategically about who fills that table, could inclusion be a reward for a high performing team member? Do you have clients you particularly want to thank for their support? or are there prospects that you want to start building a relationship with? Using the awards for corporate hospitality can be a lot cheaper than creating your own event.

If you win make sure you make use of the logos that are often provided by the organisers, use them on your website and email signatures. It is often worth waiting for the official photographs before popping on your website, you may be able to get away with slightly fuzzy phone snaps on a tweet but you need the best quality for your website. Contact the press, both online and print, both industry and local community publications. If you are successful at getting them to publish, make sure publish your coverage through social media again name dropping the awards organisers and the publication, they won’t be able to resist re-posting and extending your reach.

To enter the Merton Business awards please visit Or if you would like help with creating your business awards entry or making the most of it, please do get in touch with our friends at Consortium Business Solutions who have offered anyone who quotes HFblog a 10% off awards writing fees.


June 2018

Hartley Fowler were delighted to sponsor and participate in the annual Wombledon Rounders tournament on Friday 8th June 2018, and for the first time ever won!

12 teams made up of local businesses competed against each other for a traditional game of rounders in what has become a sell-out annual event at the Old Rutlishian Cricket & Rugby Club in Merton Park. In truly family-friendly style, children through to grandparents joined in the fun and enjoyed a BBQ and drinks alongside rounders - and the sun even shone for us!

At the end of the highly contested game, Hartley Fowler topped the leaderboard, followed by Oomph Wellness in second and Samuel Estates Lettings & Sales in third place. The game was followed by a disco and further celebratory drinks. We can't wait to defend our title in next year's 40th anniversary edition!

Images of the event can be found here


November 2015

See here for further details following an audience with Denise Elphick, founder of Top Table and Pets Pyjamas.


October 2015

Click here for further details of the event which takes place at Cannizaro House Hotel, Wimbledon Common on Thursday 19 November 2015.


June 2015

Last Friday 12th June saw the great and good of Wimbledon's business community get together once again to battle it out on the Rounders field. Now in its 42nd Year, Wombledon Rounders is a hugely popular evening, sponsored and hosted by Hartley Fowler, with 12 teams battling it out for the coveted trophy, followed by a BBQ and disco.

This year we decamped to a fantastic new venue at Old Rutlishians Cricket & Rugby Club in Merton Park but it was business as usual otherwise, with the event being oversubscribed within days of being announced.

Teams are made up of children and adults and very much a family affair which saw mother and son competing against each other and someone's grandfather stepping up to the plate as well.

After the initial rounds in which the run rate slowed as the drinks flowed, the semi-finals saw the competition hot up. A sudden downpour dampened the pitch but not our spirits and the break in play meant the last two remaining teams were ready and eager for a fiercely fought final.

Protocol Education had dominated the competition scoring over 400 runs in the initial rounds, but newcomers to Wimbledon and the tournament, Venture Marketing Group, were determined to make a lasting first impression.

In the end it was Venture Marketing Group who took the trophy playing a closely scored and evenly matched game. Congratulations and we expect to see you back to defend your title.

The winning team: Venture Marketing Group

Celebrations and commiserations ensued with everyone enjoying the excellent BBQ food and drinks and finally getting down to some serious partying, not least the school boys showing the oldies how it was done on the dance-floor!

Photos from the event are available to view here

Hartley Fowler would like to say well done to all of the teams and their supporters for taking part, to Old Rutlishians for use of their grounds and clubhouse, to Merton Chamber for their support and particularly to Wendy and Sara of G&T Business for making it all possible.

We hope to see you all again and more next year!


April 2015

Hartley Fowler are very proud to announce that one of our Brighton students, Maddie Killick, has won an ICAEW prize during her recent exam sitting. She won the Arthur Swinson prize for achieving 6th place in the international order of merit for the professional stage exams. Maddie's average mark was 83 from six exams with around three and a half thousand students taking the exams internationally.

Congratulations Maddie - the partners and staff at HF are extremely proud of your achievement.


April 2015

Congratulations to both Joy and Sue from our Horsham office who won prizes at the highly anticipated inaugural event. Joy came away with first prize of a bottle of wine and the Cup. It looks like fun was had by all. Nice matching shoes ladies...


January 2015

Jodie Deakin was announced as the 2015 winner of Young Startup Talent 2015 for Brighton & Hove.

As main sponsors Hartley Fowler wish Jodie and her fellow finalists all the very best for the future. Jodie has won a prize package worth £50,000 which includes the provision of accountancy services from Dan and his team at the Brighton office of Hartley Fowler for the next twelve months.

We hope she makes good use of her prize package which will help to flourish her business into a successful enterprise.


Here is Dan (fourth from right) with Jodie, the other finalists and judges

The whole process was filmed by YST and Latest TV in Brighton. Watch out for a six part program being aired to Channel 8 later in the year. In the meantime, here is a link to the video which was premiered at the Showcase Final.


January 2015

For the second year running, Hartley Fowler are proud to be one of the main sponsors for this inspiring event in Brighton & Hove, encouraging young entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into potential businesses. The judging day was held on Thursday 8 January 2015 at the British Engineerium in Hove. Dan Simpson, one of our Brighton Partners, was again one of the event's judges. The eventual winner will be announced at the Showcase Final on 29 January 2015.


Here is Dan (fourth from left) with the finalists and judges


November 2014

Hartley Fowler has always aimed to pack a punch when it comes to dealing with our client's accounts.

So we were delighted to sponsor Katarzyna Kuczynska, a Wimbledon resident and amateur Kickboxer who earned a place to compete in the WAKO European Championships for TeamGB.

Katarzyna has been training at a Wimbledon based Martial Arts Dojo, The Holistic Fitness Studios for over 4 years and is currently a brown belt grade. Friendly, smiling and feminine Kat looks like she wouldn't hurt a fly, but a quick peek at her in action on YouTube and we decided it best not to mess with her!

Steve Dixon, Owner of The Holistic Fitness Studios told us how Kat has competed on a almost weekly basis at various competitions throughout the UK and has won many certificates, medals and geegaws for her trophy cabinet and so was not at all surprised when WAKO approached Kat at a competition asking her to train with them with the view to becoming part of the GB Team.

However like all of her team mates and competitors Kickboxing is not eligible for funding from Sport England and so Kat must fund the associated costs of all her fights herself this is where Hartley Fowler stepped in.

Helping people to achieve their business ambitions is one of Hartley Fowlers key values and so seeing The Holistic Fitness Studios appealing to their members to help raise money to send Kat to the championships and discovering that Steve and Kat have bother personally given up their time to help other local charities we felt that helping them would mean they continue to help others. We also now feel a little bit safer walking the mean streets of Wimbledon knowing we have help we can call on!

We wish Katarzyna the best of British luck!


April 2014

Hartley Fowler are now on Twitter. Follow us for useful tips, tweets and reminders.


April 2014

Hartley Fowler have been very proud to have been one of the main sponsors of the Brighton & Hove version of Young Startup Talent for 2014. The Grand Final was on Tuesday 22nd April at Brighton Racecourse where the winner was announced.

Dan Simpson, a partner in our Brighton office, was also one of the Judges and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience of meeting with young motivated people with the hope that some will have the spirit and drive to become entrepreneurs in the local economy.

Many congratulations to Natalie Evans from 42Juice who was announced as the winner of the event. She will receive a prize fund of £50,000 including the provision of accountancy services by Hartley Fowler for the next twelve months.

Congratulations from Hartley Fowler to all of the finalists who did a fantastic job in getting as far as they did.

Here is Dan (third from right) with the finalists and judges


March 2014

Hartley Fowler has been associated with the Merton Best Business Awards for a number of years and, in particular, sponsoring the Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Merton has a vibrant business community and is a great place to do business. Hartley Fowler is one of the leading firms of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors in the Merton area and we are pleased to support such an exciting and vibrant business community and we see through our own business the success than many organisations in the area enjoy.

The entrepreneurial spirit is important for the continued growth of not just the UK economy, but the local economy as well.

The Business Awards are a prestigious way of promoting your business to the wider community and also encourages business owners to continue to develop their own business and also inspires other to create new ventures, thus ensuring the continued success of the Merton Borough.

We wish all entrants the best of luck.

Peter Collins and Jonathan Askew attending the Launch Event

The Business Awards Workshop & Meet the Judges Event will be held on 10th June 2014.


March 2014

As one of the Judges, Dan Simpson, from our Brighton office, recently attended the YST Semi-Final at City College, Brighton. He and the other Judges / Sponsors individually listened to pitches from the fourteen young entrepreneurs and offered them advice on their business plans. At the end of the event, the Judges and Sponsors met to select six of the best business ideas and take them through to Finals Day.

The eventual winner will be announced at the Young Startup Talent Showcase Event on Tuesday 22nd April 2014.

Dan's 121 with Ricardo Mwe-Di-Mailila

See the full press release


October 2013

Hartley Fowler are proud to announce that they recently agreed to become one of the main sponsors of Brighton & Hove Young Startup Talent. Additionally, one of our Brighton partners, Dan Simpson, will be a judge on the panel.

Young Startup Talent ("YST") is the brainchild of Matt Turner, the Gatwick Diamond Young Entrepreneur of the Year and MD of Creative Pod, and Lorraine Nugent the MD of Media Word Waves Ltd, a PR and Marketing Company.

Essentially, YST is an entrepreneurial initiative aimed at inspiring young 16 to 25 year old people into starting their own business. It allows a young entrepreneur to draw off the knowledge and expertise of a panel of professionals in different fields. Hartley Fowler have many years experience in assisting startup businesses and have the capability to guide the new entrepreneurs through the difficult early years. As part of the prize package, Hartley Fowler will provide necessary accountancy services to the winning entrepreneur free of charge for the first year.

The whole prize fund for the winner is worth about £50,000 in products and services to help launch and support the winner over the next twelve months.

Dan recently met with Matt, Lorraine and Tina from City College, Brighton and Hove to meet with some of the budding entrepreneurs.

See the full press release


April 2013

We are proud to announce that Hartley Fowler are sponsoring Jessica Goodrich and Rachel Ireland from Horsham to run the 2013 London Marathon in support of Cancer Research UK.

The girls are hoping to raise over £4,000 and Hartley Fowler are pleased to contribute towards this very worthwhile cause.

Unfortunately Matt Cleghorn (pictured with Jessica and Rachel) from our Horsham office will not be running but might be applying for a job as the next six million dollar man!

All of the staff at Hartley Fowler wish Jessica, Rachel and the rest of the marathon runners the very best of luck.


March 2013

Hartley Fowler are delighted to announce that we are sponsoring the Entrepreneur of the Year Category in the 2013 Merton Best Business Awards. The winner will be announced at the Presentation Dinner on 25 September.


Our e-newsletter is a great way to receive tax tips and news


It's crucial for any company to keep up to date with the latest tax information in the labyrinthine and dynamic business world.

We can help you along the way by publishing our monthly newsletters aimed at giving your businesses the information you need to operate efficiently.



- =