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Dear Clients and Friends of Rayner Essex

Welcome to our Autumn 2020 Newsletter.

It's been a few months since our last newsletter and so we thought we would give you a few updates as to what has been happening at Rayner Essex.

We are pleased to say that our office in St Albans has remained open and whilst London opened briefly we have taken the decision to close it again for the time being. Risk assessments have been carried out and we are able to follow all the government guidance on safe working. We are still encouraging our staff to work from home, especially during this second lockdown, but this gives our staff the flexibility to choose the environment that suits them best, we even have a member of the team working in Poland! We continue to meet with clients via Zoom and Teams and are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to both offices once the lockdown measures have eased. Unfortunately it looks like our popular events will have to wait a good while longer.

The team at Rayner Essex have adapted well to working from home and quickly embraced new technology to ensure that your service and support is of the highest quality and uninterrupted. We also hope that you have been enjoying our regular updates which have been designed to summarise and simplify some of the measures announced to support you and your business.

We thought we would also take this opportunity to let you know about some of the other news we have.

COVID-19 Business Update
Click on the links below to see the latest changes to the covid - 19 financial support schemes:
Brexit: Services
Our VAT Director Jason Croke has compiled a series of updates on the changes businesses will see when the UK finally exits the EU at the end of the year. The first update covering place of supply of services can be accessed here and if you save the link on the button below you will be able to see all new updates as they are added.
In this article, Jason looks at the VAT rules when selling services to the EU or buying services from the EU post Brexit. We recommend this article if you have a services type business such as consultancy, legal or advisory.
Latest Brexit Updates
Life Raft of Laws to keep Companies Buoyant
‘The most significant reforms of UK insolvency law for a decade’?
The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 puts in place a series of measures amending insolvency and company law. Some are temporary, some permanent.
Many have been in the pipeline for some time, but the final timing of the legislation, mid-pandemic, should provide a considerable help to companies combating the storms of COVID-19. Insolvency provisions differ in the detail in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but broadly, the measures apply across the UK.
The Act is relevant not just to companies in difficulty. It also makes important reading for businesses dealing with such companies. If, for example, your business supplies a company that you think is struggling financially, you may want to consider the implications of your relationship now.

Key provisions:
  • introduction of a moratorium. This gives 20 business days’ breathing space, (with the possibility of extending this), to companies unable, or likely to become unable, to pay their debts. Putting creditor action on pause, it leaves directors at the helm to look at rescue and restructuring options. During this time, no legal action can be taken against the company without leave of the court. The process is overseen by a monitor who must be a licensed insolvency practitioner
  • protecting supplies to the company by preventing suppliers enforcing termination clauses in their contracts. There is a temporary exemption for small company suppliers during the COVID-19 emergency. Generally, safeguards for suppliers are included, so that a business which would experience hardship if required to continue to supply the company can apply to terminate a contract
  • bringing in a new restructuring plan which will be binding on particular classes of creditors in some circumstances
  • bringing in various temporary COVID-19 easements, for example by allowing companies to hold closed AGMs, conduct business and communicate with members electronically.
Some of the measures are not available to financial services firms and contracts.

There are various temporary changes to ease the administrative burden on companies. Many filing deadlines are extended automatically, and the Companies House website usefully summarises the position Note though, that as some COVID-19 easements are introduced, others are now expiring. The usual process for companies applying for voluntary strike off resumed on 10 September 2020. And from 10 October 2020, the compulsory strike off procedure restarts for companies which are believed no longer to be carrying on business or in operation. The suspension of directors’ liability for wrongful trading was also temporary, covering the period until 30 September 2020. Companies House general COVID-19 guidance is here
Rayner Essex is delighted to welcome Darren Hill to the firm in his new role as Partner.

To help you get to know him better, we decided to ask Darren a few questions to see how he's been settling in and find out how he's found working at Rayner Essex during the current pandemic.
Question 1 | How are you settling in at Rayner Essex and how has it been starting a new job whilst working from home?
I have settled in well at the firm and everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. It has certainly been quite a unique start joining during a pandemic and predominantly working from home. It has been great to still be able to virtually “meet” the team during video calls however I am really looking forward to seeing everyone in person in the office and at social events whenever that becomes possible.

Question 2 | What attracted you to Rayner Essex?
The key aspects which attracted me to the firm are the approachable nature and the varied skillsets of its partners, the scope for future growth and its investment in staff. The fact that many people have remained at the firm for a significant period of time and the firm’s Silver Investors in People accreditation are testament to that.

Question 3 | Which areas do you specialise in?
The areas I specialise in are group accounting and auditing, International Financial Reporting Standards and financial due diligence work. Rather unusually I do really enjoy the more technically challenging aspects of the role. I also have a keen interest in Expert Witness work and this is an area that I will be seeking to develop over the coming months. I was recently elected as an Associate Member of the
Academy of Experts and also work with Resolution to advise in matrimonial financial matters.
View Darren's Profile Here
Lucy Ghawss - Executive Manager, Audit
Lucy has recently joined the ICAEW Beds, Bucks and Herts District Society Management Committee and has helped to start up a new BBH Women's Network. The aim of this network is to support the ever growing Women in Finance Community of the ICAEW by hosting workshops, networking events, self development courses and return to work initiatives. You can get in touch with Lucy to find out more.

ACCA Exam Passes
Rupert Cunnington
George Nash
Congratulations to Rupert for being promoted to semi senior in our Accounting Solutions Team.
Congratulations to Felicity Crabtree in our Accounting Solutions Team for successfully completing her level 3 apprenticeship and who is staying with us to complete level 4
Rayner Essex Welcomes New Recruits 
We are delighted to announce that we have been able to add to our team throughout the office closures and lockdown holding interviews via zoom. Whilst for some it's been an unusual start to a new role working from home we are pleased to say everyone is settling in well and our service to our clients is uninterrupted and being maintained at the highest levels.
Welcome to:
Mat Guy, Ammad Saeed and Leo Sarkeshik in the tax team
Shannon McArdle in Payroll
Ruth McKenna and Moaluda Begum in Accounting Solutions
Bethany Thomas in Audit who returns to us on a training contract after completing her placement with us last year.
Growing Families
We are very excited to announce the birth of 3 new baby boys during the summer. All healthy and doing well.

Surely one of them will be an accountant! 😊
Sadly all of our events have been cancelled or postponed but we are hoping (subject to COVID-19 developments) to be hosting some events next year.
Copyright © 2020 Rayner Essex LLP, All rights reserved.

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