Saint & Co is expanding to the following locations

Saint is expanding to the following locations

Who’s excited for the next stage of expansion for Saint & Co?

Well, if you’re a business owner who’s spending your time longing for an accountant who’s never far away, then get ready to knock on one of our shiny new doors! Whether you’re wanting to grow, or simply need assistance with your company or personal wealth, expanding for us goes beyond growing our own business. Instead, it has always been, and always will be about remaining at the heart of your business community.

It’s for this reason that we’ve spent the past few months working on expanding with three new offices. So, for those who are eagerly waiting to hear where the three new offices are going to be, wait no longer!

Where are we expanding to? We’re so glad you asked…

Castle Douglas

Jennifer McDairmant, one of the partners currently based in Dumfries and Annan, will be taking the reins at our office in the newest location of Castle Douglas, where we will be based on King Street.

Carlisle (Harraby)

Currently based at our Penrith office, partner Andrew Liddle will also oversee our latest office-based closer to home in Carlisle. Our new premises will be based at Unit 18 at Harraby Green Business Park.

Dumfries

Jennifer will also be handling our second office opening in Dumfries, where in addition to our office on Galloway Street, we will also be opening on George Street.

What does this mean for you?

One of the key values that Saint and Co. stand for is commitment and dedication –We’re determined to help your business flourish and grow, and it all starts with being readily available to you for support and advice. This becomes even more possible with our additional offices, giving us the facility to give you, even more, guidance, support and advice to take you wherever you want to go.

We also know that there’s more to our services than the price; our clients come to us looking for a firm with a high reputation and standard. Our multitude of offices means that we can build on our reputation and high-quality standards, as regardless of where you are, you will always have access to our expert team who are readily available to help solve your problems and ease your pains. This will always remain a cornerstone of our business.

Which office will you be visiting soon? We’d love to hear from you on social media. So why not tweet to us using @Saints_Accs and let us know when you’re dropping in to see us. We’re excited to see you at our new premises and hear all about your business goals for the future!

There’s something exciting coming soon – Saint & Co is expanding

There’s something exciting coming soon – Saint is expanding

We’ve got a surprise announcement for you that we’re excited to share: We’re continuing on expanding our reach for our clients and will be opening 3 new offices.

But what exactly does this mean for you?

Well, our clients know us for our local charm. No matter where you are in the UK, we’ve got the experience of a big accounting firm but with the personality and lure of a local accountant. Even though we’re over 100 years old, we’ve gone from strength to strength over the last few decades, growing on a daily basis as we continue to expand our offices throughout Cumbria and Southwest Scotland.

That’s why we’re thrilled to mark 2017 as another year of expansion for the firm! We’re excited for the next step in growing the business, and continuing further on our journey of providing a long-lasting relationship with you.

This new expansion will mean a lot for not only us, but you as well. We’re building on our commitment and dedication to your business, as our new offices mean it’ll be even easier for you to get in touch, whether you simply fancy a chat on the phone or want to pop in to visit one of our new offices. We’re committed to bringing success for your business, and now we’ll be able to build on our availability which has always been a cornerstone of our business – we love talking to and helping you and even if you want to simply say hello to your partner in charge, you can now just drop in to our offices!

As always, your best interests are always at heart with us, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more information on what offices you can begin to see over the coming weeks and how these are going to enhance the services for your business.

Can you guess where our new offices are going to be? Tweet to us using @Saints_Accs and share where you think we’ll be opening and we’ll reveal all in our next blog post…

The History of Saint & Co. – Part Three

The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

A Roll of Honour: The War Heroes of J. Jackson Saint & Co.

When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot in 1914, few could have predicted the seismic impact of that single bullet. The long, bloody war that followed affected almost every aspect of life in Britain.

Companies like J.Jackson Saint & Co lost their youngest, fittest men to the front line in Europe and the Far East. Some never returned.

Being the owner’s sons, JB and Roland Saint were possibly the highest-profile absences, but they were not the only heroes at the Lowther Street offices. Here we remember just some of the war heroes of J. Jackson Saint & Co.

Sydney Cartmel Heron (1898 – 1968)

Sydney Heron was just 14 when he joined Saint & Co. in 1912. Five years later he would become involved in one of the bloodiest, hopeless battles of the First World War.

The son of a stone-cutter, he grew up in a small house in Denton Holme with his parents, three sisters and a brother.

In 1916, the teenage clerk enlisted to the army, joining the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Remarkably his record of service has survived and it reveals some incredible detail about the young private from Carlisle.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

At 19, he stood at 5ft 8” tall and skinny – the girth of his chest measured 33 inches. He joined the 4th/5th (territorial) battalion and arrived at Le Havre, France with his comrades on February 13, 1917.

It is likely he took part in one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War – Passchendaele, officially the Third Battle of Ypres. During a three month battle, often in deep mud and heavy rain, the Allies accumulated more than 300,000 casualties only to advance their front line by five miles.

Sydney appears to have survived that battle relatively unscathed, but his luck changed on October 22, 1918. Now part of the 1st/4th Battalion, he was badly injured. A contemporary account reported that the battalion moved into billets at Froidmont in Belgium on October 21. It continued:

“At 2 am on the 22nd, we relieved the 1/4th King’s Own in the outpost line – C Company on the right, D on the left, A and B Companies in support.

“We attempted to advance, but were unable to do so owing to heavy machine gun and artillery fire, five other ranks being killed, 14 wounded, and one missing.”

He suffered a shoulder and chest injury on that battlefield, suffering 30% disablement, according to the official records. After being treated at the Kitchener Hospital in Brighton, he was discharged on April 4, 1919, on a weekly pension of 8s, 3d.

Exactly 19 days later, he returned to J.Jackson Saint & Co in Carlisle. As a 15-year-old office boy, he had received 5/- a week. Now a war veteran aged 21, his salary was increased fourfold – to 20/- a week.

Little more than a year after he left the battlefield for the last time, he secured a government grant which enabled him to train as a chartered accountant. In the early 20th century, it was rare that men from such modest backgrounds could secure such precious funding.

It meant that Sydney Heron could afford to be articled to JB Saint for three years and nine months and it stood him in good stead for the rest of his life. He married in 1937 – by then he was living in Cockermouth, a qualified accountant. He was eventually made the manager of Saint’s Workington office.

Clara Fazackerley (1901 – ?)

The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

For many, the First World War provided opportunities that would have been unthinkable just a generation earlier. In 1919, one young Carlisle woman seized an opportunity that was to take her to the other side of the world.

Clara Fazackerley was born in Upperby in 1901, the youngest child of Tom, a railway guard, and Mary Jane. Their life together had been difficult – by 1911, four of their eight children had died.

Her brothers and sisters had all secured employment by the time they were 15. It is likely Clara was a similar age when she joined J.Jackson Saint & Co, one of an increasing number of women in the workplace, eager to contribute to the family finances.

Her time with Saints is recorded in an old employment ledger found at the firm’s current office. In it, it states that her wage increased to 16/6 in the first half of 1918. But it also notes a brave and life-changing decision taken by this forward-thinking young woman.

On March 15th, 1919, almost as soon as she turned 18, she took up a posting with the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF). Employed as a shorthand typist, she had secured one of the most lucrative jobs in this newly-formed branch of the military, earning 36/- a week.

At a time when women over 30 had only just been given the vote and ladies who wore trousers were considered “fast”, it was a courageous move by the Cumbrian teenager. Not only did she give up a secure job, she was also required to move away from her family and her childhood home in Beaconsfield Street, Currock.

Clara would have had to undergo a rigorous and complex selection process before she was recruited as a “penguin”, so-called because women were initially not permitted to fly. As a “member”, rather than an officer, she formed part of the backbone of the service.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

Like her colleagues, she would have adhered to a strict code of conduct which, amongst many other things, forbade smoking in the street. These high standards led them to be viewed as the most professional and disciplined of all the women’s services.

But Clara’s role in the WRAF was short-lived. With The Great War at an end, the service was being wound up and on September 26, just six months after she was recruited, she was de-mobbed.

She appears to have impressed her superiors during her short time with the force: both her work and her personal character were “very good”, according to her certificate of discharge.

It is unclear what Clara did immediately after leaving the service but in 1922, she married Percy Thomas Cecil Mowbray, the son of a railway signalman, in Oundle, Northamptonshire.

Three years later her life was to change dramatically – again. On November 25, 1925, her 32-year-old husband sailed from Southampton to Uganda to take up employment as a works foreman.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

Ever-adventurous, Clara, 25, followed her husband around the world and she embarked on the same long journey, alone, little more than three months later.

During more than a decade in East Africa – where they welcomed a son, Trevor – they helped establish a modern infrastructure in a country that was previously dangerously dependent on one crop – cotton. As a foreman, and later an overseer earning up to £500 a year, Mr Mowbray is likely to have been involved in building hospitals, colleges and drainage systems.

Herbert James Rigg (1891 – 1976)

A small man, with a slight speech impediment, Herbert “Wigg” was often a figure of fun at the J. Jackson Saint’s Lowther Street offices. Despite that, by common consent, he was a brilliant accountant who commanded respect from his colleagues and staff.

He was eventually to rise to partner of the firm, but the young butcher’s son began his career as an articled clerk just before the outbreak of war.

He was one of seven children brought up by George and Elizabeth Rigg, at the turn of the century, first at 115 Denton Street and later at 61 Dalston Road. His elder brother, George, followed his father into butchery, while another brother, Thomas, became a watchmaker. His sister Ruth was a school teacher.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Three

In 1914 he joined the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry as a corporal, and he joined the frontline in France on July 25 the following year.

He quickly rose through the ranks in the military: by the end of the war, he was a lieutenant with the Lothian and Borders Horse Yeomanry. He returned to Carlisle with decorations including the Victory Medal and the 1915 Star, and on taking up his old job at Saints in 1919, he commanded a salary of £250. But this hefty wage was not enough for the clever and ambitious Mr Rigg. A note under his name in the ledger of employees reads:

“Decided to take up an appointment abroad in Buenos Ayres but reconsidered his decision on having his salary raised to £350 p.a. and a promise of a partnership on becoming a Chartered Accountant.”

True to their word, within a few short years Herbert Rigg became a partner alongside John Boustead and Roland Saint.

He occupied an office on the first floor of the Lowther Street office, where he would walk around the building with a pipe almost constantly hanging from his mouth.

Contemporaries have described their fond memories of him introducing himself to prospective clients as “Herbert Wigg. R-I-G-G.”

Les Robson, an office boy for J.Jackson Saint & Co during the 1939-45 war, remembers Mr Rigg as a “fearsome” man who “ruled with a rod of iron”.

He enforced a strict policy of working from 9am-1pm, and from 2-6pm from Mondays until Fridays, and from 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

And despite his own tobacco habit, he refused to allow staff to smoke in the office – a policy that only started to change after the Second World War when some ex-serviceman were given special dispensation by the partners.

When Andrew Grainger returned from serving with the RAF, he approached Mr Rigg to ask permission to smoke at his desk.

The accounts clerk, who at more than 6ft tall towered over his superior, recalled that his boss looked up at him from behind his desk and said: “No Mr Grainger, I think it might stunt your growth.”

Furious, he handed in his notice the next day. Andrew Grainger went on to become one of the most successful businessmen in Cumbria, establishing one of the county’s first travel agencies, Cumbria Travel, and the accountancy firm Grainger and Platt.

Herbert Rigg retired in the mid-1950s and he died in 1977.

When his Thursby home went on the market shortly after his death, Mr Grainger bought it. He said: “I thought to myself, I’ll buy the bloody thing and I will smoke there.

“So I did.”

Mr Grainger is now a committed non-smoker.

Farming grants currently available in England

hedgerow

There are several grant schemes currently available which may be of interest to farmers, namely Leader programmes, Countryside Stewardship and Countryside Productivity, although there may also be other schemes available, depending on the farms location. Training vouchers and Young Farmers Support are also available via Farmer Network.

If you are considering any of the above, then you must ensure you are comfortable with the scheme rules.

Countryside Stewardship

Mid-Tier, Higher-Tier, Woodland Grants and Hedgerow & Boundaries Schemes. Mid- Tier now includes Water Capital grants, which now includes flood management features. For Flood Management, you need to be recommended for a grant by your Natural England project officer, and are capped at £10,000, but include grants for concreting yards, livestock tracks, roofing FYM stores, riverbank fencing and more. Higher-Tier covers environmentally significant sites, commons and woodlands. Contact your Natural England project officer for any help & guidance as to what you may qualify for. Woodland Grants scheme is perhaps as generous as it has been for many years. Woodland Creation is a 2 year capital works scheme to cover the capital cost of planting and maintenance for 10 years. The deadline for applications is 16 February 2018. There are minimum areas for creation, and if you are interested, you should engage a woodland consultant/land agent in the first instance to ensure your land is suitable for planting and access. Woodland Management grants are alos available if you already have a forest. Again, consult a woodland land agent if you want to know more.

Hedgerow & Boundaries Scheme

As the name suggests, this is for hedgerows and boundaries, including watercourse banks and stonewall restoration. This grant is limited to £5,000, but could be of benefit to farmers who are already considering boundary repairs over the coming months, in particular when the traditional hedge laying season is nearly upon us.

Countryside Productivity

Water Resource Management is for the storage of irrigation water, so probably irrelevant for Northern England – if only we could store and sell on at a later date! Forestry Productivity is for private forest holders with a minimum of 10 hectares, and small/medium forestry contractors. The grant can cover up to 40% of costs, with the minimum grant being £35,000 with a 3 April 2018 deadline. There is also likely to be an Animal Health & Welfare scheme opening later this year or early 2018.

Leader Programmes

More information is available here –

If you are interested in applying, the first stage is to contact your local Leader office using the e-mail enquiry form on their website or by giving them a call.

Other Schemes

Local Enterprise Partnerships RDPE Growth, with a minimum £35,000 grant in Cumbria relate to food processing, tourism infrastructure and rural business development – more information on http://www.cumbriaesif.co.uk/eafrd.html with a 31 January 2018 deadline. Similar programmes are available in-

Yorkshire http://www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/open-funding/

North and East Yorkshire http://www.be-group.co.uk/services/commercial-development-programmes/lets-grow-north-east-yorkshire/

Yorkshire Dales National Park http://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/living-and-working/sdf

Lake District National Park Communities Fund provides grants between £500 & £3,000 http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/caringfor/localcommunities/communitiesfund

Farmer Network

£200 per year training vouchers for people working on members farms aged between 15 & 40, to include trailer tests, spraying, AI and shearing. Young Farmers Support, funded by the Price’s Trust and provides successful applicants aged 18 to 30 with an understanding of what is needed to run a business and the time to develop business ideas one-to-one with a local experienced farm business adviser. If a business plan proves feasible, they may apply to The Prince’s Trust for a low-interest loan and grants towards market research and training. If they are awarded a loan, they receive ongoing voluntary support from a local business mentor. More information available from Kate Gascoyne on 01768 881462, Mobile 07548934282 or E mail: kate@thefarmernetwork.co.uk

If you want to discuss any of the above, then please contact any of our farming team.

How To Solve The Biggest Problems With Recruitment

How To Solve The Biggest Problems With Recruitment

Hiring a new member of staff is always challenging, but luckily we’re here to help you solve these 3 common recruitment problems.

No matter where you are in your business life cycle, hiring the right people will always be crucial to the well-being and performance of your company. But before your ideal candidate signs on the dotted line, you’re sure to encounter a number of recruitment challenges.

Here we take a look at 3 of the most common, and explain how you can overcome them.

1. Your ideal candidates are thin on the ground

Or at least that’s how it can seem. While your industry might be experiencing something of a talent shortage, if you don’t find a way to cut through the noise on social media and the vast number of job sites, your own employment opportunities can be easily missed.

To counter this, you need to learn how to creatively market your available roles so that they reach your ideal candidates. This can be via social media, email marketing, or in person at job fairs or graduate events.

Here’s a terrific article outlining 29 ways to find employees to inspire you.

2. The candidates responding aren’t qualified

If you hit every available job board, post consistently on your social media accounts, and put a ‘help wanted’ sign front and centre on your website, chances are you’ll be inundated with applications.

But will they all be qualified for the role? More often than not, the answer is no.

To overcome this, you need to go back to the beginning and look at your job description. Are you accurately explaining the skills and qualifications you expect from a new employee? Are you expecting too much in terms of experience or education? Are you paying the going rate for the level of expertise you require to take your business forward?

You need to effectively screen candidates that are incompatible for the role by being crystal clear as to your requirements. If you can, use an existing employee who excels at their job to help you draft a more accurate description.

3. Your candidates are accepting other offers

It’s clear that a talented individual who demonstrates the ideal level of skill and experience in your industry will attract the attention of your competition. To ensure you don’t lose out on the hire to one of your competitors, you need to monitor the entire recruitment process from beginning to end.

This means being more responsive to new applications, and communicating decisions in a timely fashion. You might even consider issuing reminders to both candidates and interviewers with regards to upcoming interviews.

Beyond being more organised, you need to make sure the interviews themselves are memorable, enjoyable, and indicative of the overall working experience. Delivering such an interview can be enough to sway a prospective candidate’s opinion in your favour.

Need Some Advice? Let’s Talk

With over 130 years in business, we’ve encountered and overcome a number of recruitment challenges. We can help you do the same by offering advice as trusted business advisers, or by introducing you to someone in our extensive network.

Simply fill out our contact form, or call us on 01228 534371 to get started.

Who Should I Employ?

Who Should I Employ?

Hiring a new member of staff can be a leap into the unknown. Here’s our advice for putting your best foot forward.

As the founder of a flourishing small business, there will come a point where you can no longer go it alone. If you have designs on growth and success, you will need help. But hiring a new employee isn’t something you should rush.

You need to identify the right candidates, and choose the right person who fits with your company’s culture and ambition. If you get that choice wrong, it could be costly, not only in terms of money, but also time spent finding their replacement.

To reduce the risk of bringing the wrong candidate onboard, you should look to hire someone with experience working for small and growing businesses. Typically, these candidates are well-versed in working with autonomy, leaving you to do what you do best. The last thing you want with a new employee is months of handholding and firefighting.

You might think that, in order to counter this scenario, you should fish in a bigger pond and hire candidates with a big-business background. However, this can result in even more time spent coaching your new hire, as they’re more suited to an environment shaped by rules, regulations, and processes. In the early days of a small business, they’ll be expected to roll up their sleeves and muck in with a little bit of everything, and they may not be prepared to do so coming from such a rigid background.

Where to Look for New Employees?

Often there’s a temptation to skip a few steps in the search for new employees, and jump straight to advertising on one of the big job sites or working with specialist recruiters. But as a small business, this is a needless expense; one that can actually prolong the recruitment process as you’ll have more candidates to review and interview.

Your best bet for finding your first batch of employees is by tapping into your existing network. Speak with friends, family, industry colleagues, and business advisers, such as your accountant, and ask for referrals and recommendations. If someone experienced in your industry, or someone you trust, recommends a candidate, you can be relatively sure they’ll be a good fit.

And once you’ve made a few new hires, you can start an internal referral scheme to incentivise recommendations for existing employees.

Only after you’ve exhausted your network, and that of your employees, should you turn to the job sites. Even then, look to niche job boards that specialise in your industry instead of the larger sites to help you narrow your focus.

Need a Helping Hand?

If you’d like guidance in getting your first hire spot on, an introduction to someone in our network, or even a recommendation, we can help. After all, you don’t get to 130 years in business without knowing a thing or two about recruitment.

Simply fill out our contact form, or call us on 01228 534371 to get started.

The History of Saint & Co. – Part Two

The Saint brothers, on the battlefield and the sports field

Upon the death of John Jackson Saint in 1918, the accountancy firm was passed to his sons John Boustead and Roland Cyril.

However, prior to this, the brothers already held near-celebrity status in Cumbria during the early decades of the 20th century. Accomplished cricketers and rugby players, John Boustead, the elder brother, and Roland, three years his junior, both represented their city and county in both sports. And all while learning their trade as articled clerks at their father’s accountancy firm.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Two

Roland, the most naturally gifted of the brothers, was just 17 and a pupil at Carlisle Grammar School when he scored a try that helped the city team lift the Cumberland Rugby Cup in 1910.

The local newspaper described him as a “half of uncommon ability” who “won praise from every quarter of the field”, including the team’s vice-captain – his elder brother.

A Sporting Life

Their many achievements are documented in a bulging scrapbook of press cuttings, collected by their mother, Charlotte, and treasured by the family ever since.

In 1911, both brothers were selected to play for a “North” team against a visiting Springboks side. Their performance was praised in the press:

“Although Cumberland had only two players taking part in the second North encounter against the South Africans, the display given by the brothers Saint did them every credit.

“[Roland] timed his passes beautifully, and gave such a display as will cause his career to be watched with close interest by England’s selectors.

“[John] was somewhat at fault over the Colonial’s first try, but the way in which he hauled down Mills or threw him into touch when danger threatened was as fine as anything one could wish to see.”

Despite those early predictions, Roland was never picked by the England selectors – an unfortunate result of his home in Carlisle, according to one commentator of the time:

“Were he in a south country team, R Saint would be reckoned one of the ‘geniuses’,” he wrote.

For King and Country

The History of Saint & Co. - Part Two

Roland was just 21 when war broke out in Europe in 1914. Both he and his brother put their sporting ambitions to one side and quickly signed up to serve King and country.

John and Roland served with the Border Regiment during the First World War, with both achieving the rank of Second Lieutenant. Their day-to-day life is documented in a series of letters to each other and to their mother in Carlisle, that have been preserved by their descendants.

While John was posted to Burma, his brother served in France. Rather than detail their role in the war effort, their messages home contained accounts of the troop’s cricket matches and requests for home comforts.

In one indiscreet letter to Roland, John reveals that he had been doing the accounts for the Mandalay Race Course. We have reprinted this letter at the bottom of this blog post.

Hard Hitters

The History of Saint & Co. - Part Two

On their return, cricket came to replace rugby as their major passion. Roland became legendary for his hard-hitting at the Carlisle club, where he was part of a team that regularly drew thousands to the banks of Edenside.

He was “an exceptional player”, according to Tom Hamilton, who recalled the golden days of cricket in an article for Carlisle’s News and Star in 1994.

“His arrival at the crease after the first wicket down was always eagerly awaited by spectators. He kept the bank alive with his fabulous driving and lightening scoring.

“More balls than we could count landed in the River Eden – feats of distance we never see today. Other great hits lodged on the hoods of cars parked within the enclosure. The adjacent tennis courts and the Edenside bowling green also testified to Saint’s massive driving.“

In 1926, he was one of an invitational XI selected to play a touring Australian team at Edenside. More than 5,000 spectators streamed onto the banks to watch the match and, to this day, it remains the largest gathering of first-class cricketers ever seen at the ground.

Both brothers were clearly passionate about their sports, but a speech made by Roly upon his retirement as captain of Carlisle Cricket Club reveals the sociable side of his nature.

One newspaper reported Roland’s words:

“Cricket, to his mind, was one of the best games. It inculcated unselfishness, reliance, and self-control. It also helped people to acquire one of the best things in life, that as friends.

“He had been up and down the country and had made a tremendous number of friends throughout England. He would treasure the gift so long as his memory enabled him to recall the very happy times he had had in connection with the club and so long as he could remember the many sportsmen he had met on and off the field, and who he hoped he would always be able to call friends.”

An Epilogue

It is perhaps all the more tragic that this supremely fit man was just 48 when he died in 1940, having been struck down by a bout of appendicitis. He left his young wife, Kathleen, and two very young children, Oliver and Joceline.

This must have been a devastating shock for the whole family, not least his brother and business partner, John Boustead. People who worked with the elder Saint brother described him as a “gruff” and serious man who rarely left his office on the ground floor of the Lowther Street building.

But he was well-respected around Carlisle and in the accountancy industry. A long-standing resident of the small village of Wreay, to the south of the city, he was also known for his charity work as one of the Twelve Men of Wreay.The History of Saint & Co. - Part Two

Following his death aged 72, in 1962, The Cumberland News ran a glowing obituary. It read:

“In his professional capacity Mr Saint audited the accounts of many city firms and had seen the rise of many of them from small beginnings.

“During his long career he saw the growing importance of his profession in modern business and industry and he assisted by wise advice on financial matters to many local firms. He also undertook the audit of many local charities.”

He was survived by his wife Beryl, and his daughters, Jennifer and Ann.

John Boustead’s letter to his brother Roland, dated 22nd January 1916.

D. Company
¼ Border Regiment
Mandalay
Jan 22.16

Dear Roland,

Last week’s mails, contrary to what the Post Office people told us, went down in the SS Persia and this week’s are four days late, not being due until Wednesday night.

Yesterday I got the accounts of the Mandalay Race Course posted together with a report on them, which amount to five pages, and of which I was quite proud. I have to check the a/cs in connection with a sweep which that have on every race and as there are over 50,000 books to examine it will be rather a big job. They make a nice profit out of this – 62,000 Rupees this year – in fact if it was not for this sweep they would make a loss of over 16,000 Rs a year.

Two items I came across in doing the vouching rather amused me, they were:

  • To Coolie bringing steam roller to race course – Rs1.
  • To Coolie getting steam roller out of mud – Rs3.

Of course it did not say whether it was the same Coolie or not, if it was, he had a good eye for business.

Most of the invoices were in English but among them was one in Chinese and several in Burmese; the latter I had to get one of the boys to translate. What else could I have done when figures such as… Stared me in the face? It seemed very like shorthand but I was told they meant Rs83, 22/8 and 6.

Last Sunday we had another game of cricket and like the previous week only three of us were wanted – Halstead, Jimmy and I. The match this time was “The Volunteers” v “The Rest”, Jimmy played for the “Volunteers” as they were a man short. They started jolly well, a chap called Harper Knocking up 50 in no time and about 4 o’clock they returned with 167 and only four wickets down. W.S.C. had gone in first and made 18 before he was caught.

We had an hour and a half before us, in which to knock off the runs. I was lucky again, getting 39. Liest Uruston, a very amusing chap who was in with me, got 50 odd in about 30 minutes. Guy Heelis got 6 or 7, Beuole (who is growing as fat as a pig) got a blob and Haldstead 1. We eventually finished up just as the bugle in the Pioneer lines blew retreat (5.30pm) with 168 and two wickets to fall.

There is nothing more to say, and a letter with a lot of questions would be most acceptable but as it is not forthcoming I will close.

Boustead.

Trivial Benefits

 

Remember that from 6 April 2016, benefits are exempt from tax and NICs if all the following conditions are satisfied:

  • the cost of providing the benefit does not exceed £50;
  • the benefit is not cash or a cash voucher;
  • the employee is not entitled to the benefit as part of their employment conditions; and
  • the employer does not provide the benefit in recognition of particular services provided by the employee

Where the employer is a close company and the benefit is provided to an individual who is a director or other office holder of the company (or to a member of their family or household) the exemption is capped at a total cost of £300 in the tax year.

The History of Saint & Co. – Part One

Looking back on over 130 years of excellenceThe History of Saint & Co. - Part One

Every business has a story, and every story has to start somewhere. Ours begins with our founder John Jackson Saint.

John Jackson was an accountant, businessman, and public servant, who was born in 1861, and died in 1918. He lived a busy and eventful life, typified by an entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude.

When he was just 20-years-old, he moved from Haltwhistle to Carlisle in 1881, and within three years he had qualified as a chartered accountant and had set up his own business. Working from 10 Bank Street, this savvy young man must have known this prime location in the town’s financial district would win him customers. By 1886, he appeared to capitalise on new bankruptcy laws, and in May of that year, he was named in the Carlisle Patriot as a trustee of the estate of a bankrupt firm of builders.

As his business developed, his personal life blossomed too. In 1888 he married Charlotte Boustead, the daughter of a butcher and hotelier, who was 10 years his senior. The following year, they welcomed their first child, a son named John Boustead Saint. Both he and his younger brother, Roland Cyril, who was born in 1892, would go on to become partners in the family firm.

A Life Led in Public

A fledgling business and a young family would be enough to keep most 29-year-olds busy nowadays but, like his Methodist prayer leader father, John Jackson was keen to become involved in public life.

In 1890, having lived in the Border City for just nine years, he won a closely-fought election to represent Botchergate on Carlisle City Council. He was made an alderman (a senior member of the council) eight years later.

His obituary, printed in the Carlisle Journal in October 1918, gives a clear insight into his political leanings. It said:

“…Besides being a busy man professionally, he took an active interest in public affairs…

“He was chairman of the Markets and Tolls Committee, frequently intervening in debates on financial matters. For some time also he was one of the city representatives on the County Council.

“In politics Mr Saint was a strong Conservative, and was for many years chairman of the Carlisle Conservative Club as well as vice-president of the Conservative Association…”

A Growing Business and Personal TroublesThe History of Saint & Co. - Part One

Despite his apparently hectic life during the late 1880s and the early 1890s, John Jackson Saint & Co appears to have gone from strength to strength. Not only did the family have two servants living with them at 4 Cavendish Place, John Jackson had lofty aspirations to relocate and expand his prosperous business.

On July 8, 1892 he published an advert in The Carlisle Journal appealing for tenders to build a new office building in Lowther Street. And within a few short years, John Jackson Saint & Co occupied all four floors of the new building, remaining there for many years. Today the inscription over the door still reads JJS 1892.

However, his life was not without personal difficulties. In 1895, his wife gave birth to a daughter, Charlotte Gladys, who was disabled, and the following year the couple lost their infant son Samuel Aldrick. It must have been a bitter blow.

A Chapter ClosesThe History of Saint & Co. - Part One

During the 1890s, John Jackson was in partnership with accountants Arthur Ebenezer Slater Cook and Francis James Livesey and, according to official records, they ran branches in Carlisle, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Workington.

But by 1902 the partnership had been dissolved and John Jackson Saint was in sole charge of his own company.

When he died on October 13, 1918, following a period of illness, tributes appeared in newspapers beyond Cumbria. The Leeds Intelligencer said he was a man “who was known throughout the north of England.”

Despite John Jackson Saint’s death, his name lived on during a new era for the accountancy firm. With his sons, John Boustead and Roland, at the helm following their service in The Great War, the business continued to grow and prosper.

Reporting VAT online – aren’t we doing that already?

The Government recently announced the delay of Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB) to 2020 at the earliest but that quarterly VAT reporting, using the new system will be mandatory from 2019.

Surely we are doing that already you might say. However, currently businesses are only required to complete 9 boxes when they submit their quarterly, monthly, or annual VAT return online. Under the latest proposal for MTDfB the business will be required to submit the detailed transaction data supporting the output tax and input tax figures on a quarterly basis. This will therefore require those businesses affected to keep their accounting records digitally from the 2019 start date.

These changes won’t affect business that are not VAT registered such as buy to let landlords for whom MTDfB will not apply until 2020 at the earliest, and even then only if their gross rental income exceeds the VAT registration threshold.

In preparation for the new reporting requirements we recommend that you review your accounting systems and if necessary  speak to us about using a package such as Xero which will enable you to report under the new rules.  If you update your system now then the chances of errors once the new rules are in will be minimised.