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Summer 2021 Newsletter

by Michael Blaken

Published on 2nd August 2021

Welcome to the summer edition of Nuntium.

In this issue, we talk about the importance of planning ahead and having a comprehensive understanding of your balance sheet.

We meet new members of staff and celebrate the team’s charitable support.

And if you have ever wondered what a property covenant really is, we have the answer here.

Now more than ever business owners need to plan

If you run a business, especially one that had to close during lockdown, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in for a year of reduced turnover and lower profits.

But as accountants we are finding this perception among our clients doesn’t always match the reality. In fact, when you dig down, the figures reveal a different story. In many cases, just because income has fluctuated – with peaks and troughs caused by Covid-related closures – this doesn’t mean it has necessarily decreased.

Government Covid grants and loans are further clouding the situation, by bringing additional income which makes the figures harder to interpret.

Understanding your level of turnover is especially important if your business is not VAT registered but may be heading for the £85,000 registration threshold.

Among our clients is a salon owner who, due to closure, believed profits would be down. In fact, turnover has reached the VAT threshold and she’s now registered for VAT.

This illustrates the importance of preparing well in advance. If you would like to talk to our team, please get in touch.

Read more about VAT and planning here…

What will Stamp Duty Land Tax changes mean for the housing market

With the tapering off of the

holiday on Stamp Duty Land Tax,

what will that mean for

the housing market?

While the holiday was in place – with a nil rate band for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on property sales up to £500,000 – there was a flurry of activity, with buyers seeking to complete their purchase before the June 30 deadline.

There is still a reduction to SDLT in place From July 1 to September 30 the nil rate band is £250,000, returning to the standard amount of £125,000 on October 1.

But as we talked about in our last newsletter, this is by no means so generous, and will only be of significant benefit to property purchases which come in below £250,000.

Many believe the full impact of the SDLT holiday – which was introduced in July 2020 to give the housing market a boost, as the country was coming out of the first lockdown – won’t be known for some time.

Read more about SDLT here..

10 Peaks Challenge boosts charity fundraising

They came, they saw, they didn’t quite conquer but a very big WELL DONE to our team who raised a fantastic £2,195 by taking part in the 10 Peaks Challenge.

It was a daunting task, hiking 34km, with an epic 1,695m of ascent, to cover 10 peaks in the Brecon Beacons, raising money for our charity of the year, the Youth Adventure Trust.

Unfortunately, injury meant Carol was unable to take part, and on the day other small injuries among some of the team – comprising Tracey, Tracey, Rob, Hannah and Liz – meant they didn’t quite complete the challenge. But they put in hours of training in the lead up, and raised a phenomenal amount for a very good cause.

We’re all very proud of Team Optimum, and thank you to everyone who sponsored them. Their goal was to raise £1,500, so they beat that by a mile!

When legal and accountancy teams join forces

More and more of our clients are taking advantage of our forward-thinking service, the offering of two disciplines – legal and accountancy – under one roof.

Here are just two recent examples:

Our client, who has run a manufacturing business for more than 30 years, was planning to retire and brought us in to help with the process.

Our accountancy team helped shape and improve the paperwork and financials, to attract a new buyer. We even found a buyer from among our clients.

Then our legal team stepped in to draw up the share purchase agreement, assist with relevant Companies House forms, and complete the legal process.

The owners were able to plan their exit strategy and retire as tax efficiently as possible. The new owner now has a manufacturing business, in great shape, to add to his portfolio.

And in another example a client, also in manufacturing, wanted to take over a competitor. We were able to provide accountancy advice while the legal division executed the necessary legal side.

Are you one of our accountancy clients wanting legal help? Or a property law client looking for advice on accountancy and tax planning? Then please get in touch.

What is the impact of a covenant in conveyancing

The word ‘covenant’ often crops up in the house buying and selling process. But what does the word mean and how is it involved in a transaction?

What are covenants?

A covenant is a provision or a promise made in relation to a piece of land or to a property. This can be a positive or a restrictive covenant. A positive covenant is a promise to adhere to something or to take action over something; a restrictive covenant, conversely, is a promise not to do something.

An example of a positive covenant would be a promise to maintain a boundary wall or fencing. A restrictive covenant would be a promise not to, for example, build on a piece of land or use a building for a particular purpose.

Positive covenants are often made as a contract between the original parties and don’t therefore bind subsequent owners. The situation is usually more complicated with restrictive covenants, which will generally run with the land.

If you have a covenant on a property or land and would like some legal advice, please get in touch.

Read more about covenants here

New recruits join our legal and accountancy teams

We’re delighted to have welcomed new employees, across our legal and accountancy divisions, and we are continuing to recruit.

Michelle Hasson has joined the team as our new private client manager, working with the legal division and overseeing wills and probate. Also joining the legal side is Sue Hobbs, who has been appointed legal secretary, who will be supporting the team with their workload. Finally, we have Leah Boswell, who is spending a year in legal for a student placement, as part of her law degree.

Our accountancy division has welcomed Sam Townsend, as bookkeeper, and Paige Baskerville, as trainee accountant and bookkeeper.

And we also have a new face joining Helen on reception in Swindon. Tracey Cacchio will be with us on Wednesdays.

The appointments come hot on the heels of our takeover of Chris Mattos Tax, based in Stroud, when two of Chris’s team also joined us – Liz Grange, as payroll manager, and Laura Jenkinson, as a trainee accountant.

Recruiting the new team members reflects our growing client base and increasing demand for seamless accountancy and legal services.

Find out more about career opportunities with Optimum here…

For more information about Optimum’s services please email or visit

To talk to the team, call our Swindon office on 01793 538 198 or our Cheltenham office on 01242 384 936. Our offices are at Vicarage Court, 160 Ermin Street, Stratton, Swindon, SN3 4NE and The Site, 24 Chosen View Road, Cheltenham GL51 9LT.

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