Combined accountancy and legal services are winning formula

by Rob Stokes

Published on 14th September 2020

When Optimum was set up in 2017, ours was the first professional services company in the Swindon area to offer accountancy and legal services under one roof.

accountancy and legal services

Our pioneering business model, of providing a seamless service, all in one place for the convenience of clients, has proved a runaway success.

Now three years on, our unique mix of accountancy (including bookkeeping, accounts, payroll, audit, business planning and tax planning) and legal services (specialising in conveyancing, wills and probate) is helping businesses and individuals across Swindon and Wiltshire.

Here are just three recent examples of how our accountancy and legal teams are working together to help clients.

Supporting a construction company

We helped a Wiltshire-based building company, when the owner – at that point a sole trader – contacted us, initially for legal advice over a property issue.

During that first meeting, accountancy services came up because the client was looking for a new, proactive accountant to help move his business forward. Our accountancy team stepped in to organise the current year’s accounts, provide advice for incorporation of the business into a limited company, and put a plan in place to support the business going forward. And of course, our legal team were able to resolve the original property matter.

Products to succession planning

A manufacturer of metal goods contacted us for advice on costings of and accounting for its product range, as a one off project. After staying involved with the client after completion of the initial project, we’ve used our expertise to help with a management buyout, as part of the succession planning for the original shareholder.

Our accounts team looked at the most tax efficient way for the business to be passed on, while the legal team dealt with the legalities around executing the regulatory aspects of the buyout.

Selling land to boost a pension pot

A long-standing client of our Accounts Director, Michael Blaken, wanted assistance with selling a parcel of land.

“He’s been a client of mine since I did my training, so we have a very close working relationship,” said Michael. “When he said he wanted to sell some land, I was able to refer him straight to our legal team. Iain Mason, our Head of Legal, drew up all the leases and organised the transfer.”

The main advantage here came with providing the tax and legal advice together for a smooth transaction, rather than having to arrange separate meetings and subsequent phone calls between Michael and another legal firm. This became even more important due the Covid lockdown, as Michael and Iain were able to hold socially distanced meetings at our Swindon offices to get all the details finalised quickly and efficiently.

Capital Gains Tax and second homes

When it comes to clients who are selling a second or additional home, our legal and accountancy departments once again work hand-in-hand.

Iain and our conveyancers will deal with the legal stages of the house selling process. Michael and the tax team can advise on Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) typically doesn’t apply when selling a main residence, but may apply when selling a second or additional home. Everyone has an annual CGT allowance, which is currently £12,300. So if a gain made, plus any other profit from sale of capital e.g. shares, doesn’t go over this threshold, then there is no CGT to pay.

If the sale is liable to CGT, there has been an important change to when this needs to be paid to HMRC. All CGT owing now has to be paid within 30 days of completion of the sale. This is a big difference from historically, when the payment did not need to be made until the end of the January after the tax year in which the gain arose.

If you need to access accountancy and legal services and want a joined up approach, then contact the team here at Optimum.

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