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Unlocking Success – Essential KPIs for Owner-Managed Businesses

As an owner-manager of a business, staying on top of your company’s performance is paramount. In this article, I’ll unveil four essential KPIs that every owner-managed business should embrace for a prosperous future.

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Transforming Retail: Overcoming Challenges with Digital Innovation

In this article, we will explore the challenges faced by the retail industry and how digital transformation is helping to address and overcome these challenges.

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Introducing our NEW Cybersecurity Analysis Service

At Ballards LLP, we understand the significance of cybersecurity in today’s environment, which is why we’re thrilled to introduce our latest offering – Cybersecurity Analysis Service. A service designed to help businesses, especially Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), in improving their cybersecurity, even when resources are limited.  

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Higher Interest Rates – Interesting for Savers?

As the Bank of England raises interest rates, there’s a growing debate about how to ensure our money works best for us in higher interest, inflation economy. Here’s 4 tips from Ben Powell about maximising your interest rates.

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Property Watch – July 2023 UK residential property transactions

In this article, we look at the UK residential property transactions for UK housing market for the year to 31 July 2023 with comparatives for the same period to July 2022.

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Submitting an R&D Claim in the Current Climate

Research and Development (R&D) activities play a crucial role in fostering innovation, and governments worldwide recognise this by offering tax incentives to companies engaging in R&D initiatives. However, as a Corporate Tax Manager specialising in this field, I have witnessed firsthand the challenges that companies now face when submitting R&D claims in the current climate. This article delves into some of the major obstacles and offers insights on how to overcome them.

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Are there tax consequences if I sell the house I live in?

Are there tax consequences of selling the house I live in? In the world of taxation, it’s often said that the answer to many questions is “It depends.” When it comes to Principal Private Residence (PPR) Relief, this statement rings particularly true.

Let’s delve into the essential conditions that influence the applicability of PPR Relief, shedding light on both objective and subjective factors.

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Safe as Houses? – The Post-Covid Property Boom

The post-Covid property boom has had a profound impact on the UK housing market, resulting in a substantial increase in property values across the country. As a consequence, homeowners are now facing a new challenge: a record-high average mortgage that stands at 3.5 times their annual income.

Offering valuable insight on this situation, Ben Powell, a seasoned expert in the industry, sheds light on the implications of these rising mortgage costs and shares practical advice for homeowners.

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Property Watch – June 2023 UK residential property transactions

In this article, we look at the UK residential property transactions for UK housing market transactions for the year to 30 June 2023 with comparatives for the same period to June 2022.

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R&D – The Summarised Update

Any company looking to claim R&D at the moment may understandably be bombarded and overwhelmed by the information being released. What’s new and when do I have to do what?

The following article gives a condensed summary of recent and upcoming changes.

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Exploring the Benefits and Considerations of Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs)

Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs) have gained attention and popularity as a means of promoting employee ownership, fostering a positive work environment, and offering a tax-efficient exit option for existing shareholders.

In this insight, we will examine key aspects and significant considerations related to EOT ownership structures.

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Ballards LLP and Four Squared Recruitment Unite to Support Worcester Foodbank with Triathlon Fundraiser

Worcestershire-based accountancy firm Ballards LLP, along with their partner company Four Squared Recruitment, is once again joining forces to raise funds for the Worcester Foodbank.
Members from both Ballards LLP and Four Squared Recruitment will be participating in the Droitwich Sprint Triathlon, scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 16th.

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What is the Right Business Structure for Your Startup?

Choosing the right business model is crucial for the long-term success of a new business. The decisions you make early on can have a significant impact later on. In this article, we will discuss two common options for a startup business: setting up as a Sole Trader or incorporating as a Limited Company.

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Property Watch – May 2023 UK residential property transactions

In this article, we look at the UK residential property transactions for UK housing market transactions for the year to 31 May 2023 with comparatives for the same period to May 2022.

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Introducing the R&D Additional Information Form

Effective from 1 August 2023, a new requirement has been introduced to further streamline the Research and Development (R&D) tax credit claim process. Businesses seeking to claim R&D tax credits will need to complete the R&D Additional Information Form (AIF), an essential component aimed at enhancing transparency, improving claim accuracy, and facilitating efficient processing. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of the R&D additional form and its significance in optimizing R&D tax credit claims.

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The Importance of a Wealth Review

A periodic wealth review is an essential step in achieving financial optimisation, ensuring tax efficiency, and aligning your financial strategy with your long-term goals. In this article, we look at what a wealth review will help you to identify.

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Ballards Run for Foodbank

Ballards LLP has collaborated with Four Squared Recruitment to embark on a series of fundraising initiatives in support of their chosen charity of the year, the Worcester Foodbank. One of the standout events in their fundraising campaign was the recent Worcester half marathon, which took place on Sunday, 21 May.

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Property Watch – April 2023 UK residential property transactions

In this article, we look at the UK residential property transactions for UK housing market transactions for the year to 30 April 2023 with comparatives for the same period to April 2022.

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Top 10 tips to minimise Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Capital Gains Tax (“CGT”) is a complex tax with different rates of tax being paid on the same transaction, depending on reliefs claimed, levels of income, and other gains in the year. So here are our ten top tips on how to minimise the tax you pay.

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The potential downsides of an EOT

While Employee ownership trusts (EOTs) may seem like an attractive option on the surface, there are several downsides that business owners should consider before deciding to pursue this route.

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The Benefits of Fractional IT Directors for Business Success

In this article, we will explore the advantages of engaging a fractional IT Director and how they can drive business success.

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Holding Companies – Why use them?

This video delves into the concept of holding companies and highlights three benefits of using them.

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Property Watch – March 2023 UK residential property transactions

In this article, we look at the UK residential property transactions for UK housing market transactions for the year to 31 March 2023 with comparatives for the same period to March 2022

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Are there tax implications on crypto assets for individuals?

HMRC recognizes crypto assets as intangible assets, which can potentially give rise to tax liabilities. To gain an understanding of the intricacies involved, please read this latest insight.

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6 ways to utilise liquid assets

When a company has excess cash not being utilised in a bank account, it may choose to invest that money in ways that can potentially earn a higher return than by simply earning a small amount of annual interest.

In this article we share 6 ways a company may better utilise its assets to become less liquid.

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Capital Allowances: Full Expensing Available to Limited Companies

From 1 April 2023, the previously introduced Super Deduction capital allowances at 130% are being withdrawn. In an effort to continue encouraging capital investment, read this article to find out what new measures have come into place.

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EOT – What does it mean for employees?

An employee ownership trust (EOT) is a unique type of trust that enables employees to own a stake in their company, providing them with a sense of ownership and control over the business. In this article we delve deeper into what an EOT means for employees.

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Property Watch – February 2023 UK residential property transactions

In this article, we look at the UK residential property transactions for UK housing market transactions for the year to 28 February 2023 with comparatives for the same period to February 2022.

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Changes to the Pension Annual Allowance

Recently, the Spring Budget announced a change in Pension Annual Allowance that may impact small business owners or sole traders. we have created a short video that provides clarity on what the change means and what steps you should take next.

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Ballards Acquire Creative Design Agency

Ballards LLP has made the move to purchase CreativeFolks in an effort to expand its service offerings as clients look for a more “holistic approach” to their business needs.

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EMI Administration Simplification

The recent budget saw some welcomed simplification to the strict rules that need to be adhered to for Enterprise Management Incentive(EMI) options to qualify for the generous tax breaks provided by the scheme.

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Setting up an Unlimited Company – The Risks and Benefits

When setting up a new business it is important to consider the legal structure that best suits your needs. There are several forms that this can take, including trading as a Sole Trader, a Partnership, a Limited company and an Unlimited company, among others.

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The Fractional IT Director Service

In this short video, I will outline three key advantages that your business can gain from appointing an IT Director. 

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Additional Tax Relief for R&D Intensive SME Companies

A technical note has been released, ahead of legislation due to be published later this year in relation to additional tax relief available for R&D intensive SME companies.

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What Is The Patent Box Regime?

The UK government implemented the Patent Box tax structure in 2013. The regime offers a lower rate of corporation tax on earnings from patented discoveries in order to encourage businesses to invest in research and development (R&D). In this article, we will explore what the Patent Box regime is, how it works, and what kind of projects it could be used for.

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Ballards Have Charity Efforts All Wrapped Up For Worcester’s Foodbank

Kind-hearted staff at Ballards LLP broke out the paper and sellotape to wrap gifts as part of the Lowesmoor lifeline’s latest bid to help those most in need.

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Are you aware of the inheritance tax exposure on your business assets?

Business owners, are you aware of the inheritance tax exposure on your business assets?

If the answer is no, then you’ll want to watch this video, as I may have a great solution.

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Using Digital Technology To Make Better Business Decisions

In today’s world, businesses are facing increased pressure to make informed decisions that drive growth and success. To do this, they need access to accurate and timely data, and the ability to analyse it effectively. Digital technology has revolutionised the way businesses operate, and can be a powerful tool for making better business decisions.

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Property Watch – January 2023 UK residential property transactions

In this article, we look at the UK residential property transactions for the UK housing market transactions for the year to 31 January 2023 with comparatives for the same period to January 2022.

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Mortgage relief restriction – Does the change in interest rate affect landlords?

You will be aware of the recent increases in the Bank of England base rates which currently stands at 4%, up from an all-time low of 0.1% only just over a year ago. What you may not have realised yet is what effect this has on a non-corporate landlord’s tax position.

With the advent of higher interest rates, the restriction to claiming higher rate tax relief on mortgage interest is becoming increasingly important.

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Basis Period Reform: Everything you need to know

The Basis Period Reform, find out how this may affect you and your available options.

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Property Watch – December 2022 UK residential property transactions

In this article, we look at the UK residential property transactions for the UK housing market transactions for the years 31 December 2021 and 2022 as reported by HMRC through Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reporting.

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Making R&D claims – Are you providing detailed work evidence?

It may be clear to you that you are undertaking innovative and qualifying activities for R&D purposes, however, it needs to be presented to HMRC in a clear and understandable way to evidence that it meets the criteria for relief.

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Changes to VAT penalty regime

For VAT periods starting on or after 1 January 2023, HMRC has abolished the old surcharges and changed the way penalties are applied to late returns. Here is everything you need to know.

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Teens to Retirees – HMRC reveals who files a tax return

Did you know 16% of those who filed tax returns for the 2020–2021 tax year were 65 years of age and older?

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How long do we need to retain business records?

Having complete business records in place allows you to answer any queries HM Revenue and Customs may have. But how long do you have to retain these records? The answer depends…

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How to write an accurate business case

You want to invest, but you don’t know how much to invest, what to invest in or when to invest. In times like this, we turn to a business case.

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Property Watch – November 2022 UK residential property transactions

In this article we look at the UK residential property transactions for the UK housing market transactions for the years 30 November 2021 and 2022 as reported by HMRC through Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reporting.

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Selling Residential Property – Do I need to pay tax?

This is a question I’m often asked; in this video, I give my answer in relation to selling residential property and paying tax on the sale. 

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The tax implications of making a loan to an employee

Businesses with spare cash are increasingly helping out their employees with short-term loans, especially due to the cost of living increases. If you are thinking of doing so, here are the things you need to know.

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James Syree Ballards LLP

James Syree FCA

Partner & CEO

James is responsible for the overall running of the firm and works with a number of corporate clients and individuals across a number of sectors. He has a particular interest in technology and how the firm can automate as much of the compliance function in order to free up time to spend providing business and planning advice to clients. James oversees a number of large corporate audits but is equally comfortable supporting start ups. He has experience working with venture capitalist backed projects and private equity houses and is passionate about providing sensible, practical advice to business owners and leaders.

Mark Skellum Ballards LLP

Mark Skellum FCA

Partner & CFO

Prior to working with the firm, Mark spent time working with a number of national and international accountancy firms managing a portfolio of large audit clients. He soon realised that he wanted to work closer with business owners and provide a more personal service delivering timely strategic advice. Mark is an expert in business structuring for operational and tax efficiencies. Mark is also a Head of our specialist Healthcare offering in which he works with a number of private consultants and GP surgeries as well as larger corporate healthcare entities such as Super Partnerships and federated entities. Mark is widely recognised as one of the region’s leading authorities on accountancy within the medical sector.

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Ben Allman FCA CTA

Partner & COO

Ben works closely with Owner Manager Businesses across the region. He is known for having a very hands on approach and providing tailored services. He is an expert in cloud accounting using software such as Xero and Quickbooks to provide clients with real time management information to support sound decision making. Ben is both a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor which provides an added dimension to strategic discussions. Ben also heads up the firm’s Agribusiness offering which supports clients varying from rural estates and farming families to large corporate agricultural manufacturers and distributors.

Matthew Watson Ballards LLP

Matthew Watson FCA CTA


Matthew is a second generation dedicated healthcare accountant. As a Head of our Healthcare offering, there are few if any that have more experience than Matthew in this area from an accounting and strategic advice point of view. He works with a large number of GP surgeries, hundreds of medical consultants and Directors and a number of corporate healthcare entities such as federations and Super Partnerships. Matthew works closely with Practice Managers and is very hands on with his approach. He particularly enjoys getting under then skin of clients and supporting strategic planning and streamlining clients internal processes. Matthew is both a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor.

James Maynell Ballards LLP

James Maynell FCA


James joined the firm from global accountancy firm Ernst & Young where he worked on operational and transactional projects with large national and international entities as well as private equity houses. He now works with clients on a range of operational objectives including, sales and purchases, KPI monitoring and uplift, efficiencies, cost reduction and structuring. James is comfortable providing these services as a package or stand alone projects to SMEs and large corporates alike.

Steve Jones Ballards LLP

Steven Jones MCIM

Business Development Partner & CMO

Steven is a partner with the firm and oversees all sales and marketing activities. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and also deals with new client engagement and onboarding. He has a particular interest in digital marketing and often supports clients with their own marketing plans and strategies. Steven also oversees new product development within the firm, diversification, commercial partnerships and client communications.

Ben Powell Ballards LLP

Ben Powell ACA CTA

Partner & CTO

Ben is a partner and Chief Technical Officer for the firm. He is recognised across the region as one of the sector’s most technical accountants gaining prizes from both the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and the Chartered Institute of Taxation (and is also qualified in both disciplines). Ben works with a varied range of clients including Owner Managed Businesses, large corporates and private clients. He is also one of our leads within the Healthcare team working with GPs, surgeries and corporate healthcare businesses. Ben has advanced experience of systems implementation and is one of the firm’s leads on cloud accounting.

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Krista Woodman ATT CTA

Tax Partner - Head of Private Client

Having qualified with the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) in 1996 and the Chartered Institute of Tax (CTA) in 1998, Krista has approaching 25 years post qualification experience in advising in tax. This experience has been attained in a variety of firms including Big 4, trust companies and wealth management firms. Her unusual and varied background, both inside and outside of the tax world, helps her to bring a different perspective and understanding to challenges faced by her clients.

Phil Waller Ballards LLP

Phil Waller FCA CTA

Tax Partner

Phil specialises in taxation matters and his experience covers all aspects of the tax spectrum with the possible exception of VAT! He has worked in the area of taxation since 1986 and has developed specialisms in advising owner managers with strategic taxation issues, including group reorganisations and succession/retirement matters. He also has great experience in dealing with the government’s innovative tax reliefs for research and development and patent box, and also shareholder investment decisions involving the many venture capital reliefs, particularly the enterprise investment schemes.

Phil takes pride in helping clients with their business/commercial decisions and how best to take advantage of taxation reliefs which may be available in carrying through those decisions.

Martin Adams Ballards LLP

Martin Adams FCA CTA

Tax Partner

Both a chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor, Martin operates as a mixed tax practitioner who also works closely with our corporate finance team to deliver transactional tax advice for both corporate and property transactions. Such advice includes EIS/SEIS tax relief and EMI management incentives considerations.

As well as tax advice Martin provides valuation services for taxation and commercial purposes, he also takes appointments for contentious valuations in an expert witness/advisor capacity.

Martin is able to advise and help plan for all aspects of a transaction and he regularly provides capital gains tax and inheritance tax advice as part of wider advisory projects. He also enjoys working on R&D tax relief claims.