Accountancy & Tax
Most people use their accountants to help compile their accounts and check the figures. HCA is different. Many of our clients are small and medium sized businesses and can’t justify employing a financial director. There’s no need to, because we take on that role. We like our clients to see us as an extension of their own organisation rather than an external advisor. Sometimes smaller organisations and owner managed businesses aren’t financially orientated. We provide that service on demand, as and when needed. We offer a financial health check to businesses and out of that can come areas for improvement. This can result in tightening spending and increase in sales.
HMRC Tax Enquiries
There’s nothing worse than getting bogged down with bureaucratic red tape. We speak their language so when you use HCA we can help guide you through the minefield and deal with the authorities on your behalf. This can be anything from a few casual enquiries to a detailed investigation into your tax affairs or those of your business. Our knowledge of HMRC’s investigative procedures and powers of enforcement have been built up over many years. We are able to quickly assess what they are looking to achieve. This will be of great assistance in agreeing a settlement with interest and penalties being kept to a minimum.
Misfeasance claims against Directors
We can hear you asking what is a misfeasance claim against a director? If your company is unfortunate enough to be wound up, liquidators can bring such claims. They often involve an allegation that a director has misapplied money or company property or breached their statutory duties. These claims can be highly stressful and may lead to disqualification from holding directorships in the future and having to resign from current directorships. We work closely with specialist lawyers on the legal defences, so if you find yourself in this situation we can help. Consider us as your friend and contact us as soon as possible.
Business and personal relationships can break down for many reasons. A break down in a marriage or in a business relationship can often lead to the demise of an otherwise perfectly viable business where both parties have a financial interest. We have witnessed many situations where breakdown in business relationships could have been resolved more amicably. We are able to stand aside from the personal grievances and focus on negotiating a financial settlement. To avoid a conflict of interest, we only act for one of the parties. This means we can concentrate on that person’s interests. We aim to avoid these situations resulting in legal action which only heightens the tension and increases the costs. If you are experiencing such difficulties, don’t despair, call us and have a no obligation / no cost chat.
Have you received a letter from the Insolvency Service, a government agency, threatening Director Disqualification. Are you sitting at home worrying and wondering what to do about it? This can be highly stressful. It can be the start of an investigation into your conduct as a director of a liquidated company. It can be on a civil or criminal basis regarding your conduct. We know how much worry and stress such investigations can cause. We are here to help you if you find yourself in this position. If you receive such a letter, it is likely that the Insolvency Service has already gathered enough evidence to give it a degree of confidence that the investigation is merited and stands a chance of success. Directors can be disqualified for up to 15 years and this only adds to the stress. Unfit conduct can be anything from
Misuse of Covid funding
Not keeping adequate company books and records.
Not paying taxes owed by the company to the Crown and/or not making required VAT Returns
Trading whilst insolvent;
Maintaining an overdrawn Directors Loan Account.
Just because the Insolvency Service believes you to be an unfit director, all is not lost. We would consider the following in presenting your response in a focused and precise way.
Written draft evidence can be requested.
Witness statements to be obtained from third parties.
Supplying documents such as emails.
Oral or written responses from the director.
Each year up to 1,500 directors are disqualified for between 2 to 15 years. However, there are many more directors than that receive a letter from the Insolvency Service notifying an intent to investigate but where they abandon the investigation, often because of professionally written representations made by or on behalf of the director. The receipt of an Insolvency Service letter should not be the beginning of the end. The Insolvency Service can and does abandon cases when presented with compelling responses.
We will work with you and learn the full background to your case and investigate the facts. We will then present the Insolvency Service with evidence as to why the investigation should not go ahead.
If you receive a letter threatening a director disqualification investigation, you should act quickly and contact us. We will gather together documentary evidence to build and support your case. This may include obtaining evidence such as company records; emails and witness statements from company employees, suppliers and the company accountant. We will scrutinise and interpret your accounts and email exchanges. We will consider all the circumstances of the case and communicate them to the Insolvency Service. We will support your position during this very stressful period.
Insolvency & Debt Solutions
APPROVED BY THE FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY (“FCA”)
Are you on a financial treadmill, where your debts keep increasing , despite paying what you can afford? Your debts never seem to get any less. Having previously acted as trustees in bankruptcy and liquidators, we understand how insolvency and the thinking behind it, works. If you find yourself in that position or if you are at the start of that journey, we can advise you how to turn your fortunes round without losing what you have spent a long time in building up. There are a number of ways, both formally and informally that your position can be improved. We will discuss your financial position with you and engage with one of our FCA approved partners to put together a plan to move you forward. We talk “the same language” as those who are putting pressure on you.
Prisoners convicted of crimes subject to a Proceeds of Crimes Act (POCA) order often have to pay for their crimes twice. The amount of the financial penalty imposed on them by the courts is speculative based on incomplete information and usually in excess of reality. Using a criminal lawyer alone on reducing this amount is usually not totally effective. By seeking the advice of a competent forensic accountant, the amount of financial penalty imposed, can be significantly reduced by careful examination of the facts surrounding the case and the prisoner’s financial history. HCA works directly with prisoners and their legal representatives to achieve significant reductions in the amounts they are required to pay.
Prisoners Financial Affairs
In addition to their incarceration, prisoners lose the ability to manage their financial affairs. Consequently, their families suffer too for crimes they have not committed. HCA can manage prisoners’ financial affairs, often acting with a Power of Attorney. We can assist you in opening bank accounts and selling assets. Time is always of the essence in these situations and we can move swiftly, sometimes working with prisoners’ legal advisors, to help relieve the burden and feeling of helplessness.
Lennie Harris is an Associate Member of the Expert Witness Institute . Over the years, he has worked with clients’ legal teams, using his expertise as a forensic accountant. He is regularly asked to review financial records and documents with a view to preparing an independent report for his clients, focussing on information that will assist them in disputes.