Professional Accountancy, giving you the life of Riley...

Meaning - An easy and pleasant life.

We strive to make the financial aspects of running
your business or organisation as easy as possible.
We're more than just accountants.

We can help you grow your business, and advise you
on the best strategy to give you...the life of Riley.

Job Vacancy – Apprenticeship Business Admin Assistant

Date posted: June 1, 2017

A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Business Admin Apprentice to join the Riley & Co team and develop a promising career.

As an apprentice within Riley & Co, you will work alongside an established team, get real hands on experience and gain an industry recognised qualification.

In brief about the role –

  • To assist in the maintenance of a high quality working environment and to project a suitable corporate image for the Company.
  • To undertake reception duties, answering the telephone, deal with enquiries and greeting clients in a professional manner.
  • To assist toward the professional appearance of communications and other documents issued.
  • To assist with the Company’s incoming and outgoing post ensuring the franking machine is maintained.
  • To assist with the sourcing and maintenance of the Company’s stationary requirements.
  • To assist in the efficient and continuous operation of the Company’s administration and housekeeping systems.

Personal Qualities

  • Excellent communication skills,
  • Ability to prioritise and plan own workloads,
  • Good level of literacy and numeracy,
  • IT literate,
  • Excellent timekeeping and attendance record,
  • Enthusiasm.

Required Qualifications:

  • 5 GCSE passes including Maths & English at grade C or above.

Riley & Co has been providing the highest quality accountancy, audit and tax planning for over 25 years and has become one of the leading independent practices within Calderdale.

Our history charts the success we have enjoyed in helping Calderdale businesses and individuals achieve their financial goals and tax objectives.

If you an articulate, enthusiastic individual and want to be a part of this continued success, for more information please contact Jan Greenwood, Practice Manager on 01422 341019 or email

Mock Tribunal Event

Date posted: May 18, 2017

On Wednesday 10th May, in partnership with Yorkshires Legal people, Chadwick Lawrence, a Mock Employment Tribunal was held to demonstrate the events that occur during an Employment Tribunal case. The event was hosted at Square Chapel in Halifax, and was extremely well attended by local business leaders.

The fictitious case demonstrated what would typically occur during a constructive unfair dismissal and sex discrimination case, and was heard by an ‘Employment Judge’, complete with ‘Claimants’and ‘Respondents’ to ensure delegates received an accurate picture of skills required as a representative or witness in a similar trial.

Trial bundles and witness statements were provided beforehand to ensure maximum understanding of the facts and legal issues before the trial. Throughout the trial, delegates were invited to ask questions of the witnesses and volunteers acted as lay members. After hearing the witness evidence and closing submissions, delegates had the opportunity to ask questions and vote on what they believed the outcome would be prior to the delivery of the final verdict.

Experienced barristers from Broadway House Chambers donated their time to play the parts of Judge and Barristers, and provided delegates with a great opportunity to witness a live mock employment tribunal hearing.

This provided local business members the opportunity to experience how the tribunal process is conducted and to see how the outcome is determined. It also provided delegates with the opportunity to learn how they should prepare should they find themselves in a similar situation, and to appreciate the tension and the drama that can sometimes be involved in cases such as this.

Sam Pawson, Commercial Development Co-ordinator at Chadwick Lawrence, commented: “It was interesting to witness not only the mock tribunal itself, but how our delegates engaged with the event and the questions they proposed throughout. There was a great attendance from local business leaders who have equally praised the event and how informative it was.”

Simon Walton of Riley’s & Co Accountants commented: “We were thrilled by the turnout at the Mock Tribunal event and were happy to be a co-host for such an informative event for the local business community.”

A delegate, Charles Brook of Brooks Business Recovery commented: “I just want to say, thank you, for an excellent event and a superbly managed presentation. It worked really well to underline just why you not only need to have processes and procedures in place to address the issues that it touched upon but, also the fundamental importance of making proper enquiries, keeping contemporaneous notes, notifying and recording the basis of decisions and generally, not acting in an arbitrary manner.
Thanks to you all for co-hosting this exceptionally interesting and useful event and for inviting me. I wish now that I had brought more of my team along. If I have any employment-related issues I will be calling Chadwick Lawrence first”


Vacancy – Apprentice Accountant (ICAEW Level 4 Trailblazer)

Date posted: May 4, 2017

Vacancy – Apprentice Accountant (ICAEW Level 4 Trailblazer)

Job title – Trainee Accountant

Location – Halifax town centre

Weekly Wage – £12,000 pa

Hours – 35 hours per week

Position – permanent to start September 2017

A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a Trainee Accountant to join the Riley & Co team and develop a promising career.

As an apprentice within Riley & Co, you will work alongside an experienced team, get real hands on experience and gain an industry recognised qualification.

In brief the role will comprise:

  • Accounts preparation
  • Bookkeeping and vat returns
  • Audit work
  • Answering client queries by email and telephone
  • Using in house accounting and tax software
  • Assisting with administrative duties where required

Personal Qualities:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to prioritise and plan own workloads
  • Good level of literacy and numeracy
  • Strong IT skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent timekeeping and attendance record
  • Enthusiasm

Required Qualifications:

  • 3 A level (or equivalent) passes at grade C or above
  • 5 GCSE passes including Maths & English at grade C or above

Riley & Co has been providing the highest quality accountancy, audit and tax planning services for over 30 years and has become one of the leading independent practices within Calderdale.

Our history charts the success we have enjoyed in helping Calderdale businesses and individuals achieve their financial goals and tax objectives.

If you are an articulate, enthusiastic individual and want to be a part of this continued success, please send your CV together with a covering letter to Vicky Atkinson (Director) by email to

What’s the problem with Mortgage References?

Date posted: May 4, 2017

More and more we are being asked to assist clients with mortgage lending references.

These requests can come directly from the lender, via a mortgage broker or from the client themselves and very often they can be a cause of consternation with the lender in terms of the type of information we are able to provide.

A mortgage reference will usually ask us to confirm that we act for the client, confirm the period for which we have acted, and in relation to the accounts of the business to confirm details relating to income, business profits and salary levels of the business owners. The reference will also very often ask us to provide projections or estimates for those periods where accounts are not available or for future periods.

The issue that arises is that as a firm of Chartered Accountants, which operates under the rules of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW), is that the ICAEW specifically precludes us from providing anything except factual information in response to such requests. We are also restricted in relation to provision of information of this kind by our public indemnity insurers. This is because of the risk to the firm of the information being used to support a lending decision, and the potential for us to be contractually obligated if the lending provided is not subsequently repaid. This is also the reason that reference requests are not charged for by ICAEW member firms.

Before we consider what we can and can’t provide, it is also worth noting that we can only respond to a formal request from the lender themselves. This should be in writing and addressed specifically to the firm. If a mortgage broker made a general request for a reference to hold on file, ‘just in case’, we would be unable to provide a response in that case, the reference needs to relate to a specific application to a specific lender.

In limited cases it might be appropriate for us to refuse to provide a reference at all and for new clients it may be inappropriate for us to provide a reference relating to periods where we have not acted for them.

So what can we provide?

  • Factual information relating to accounting periods where the accounts have been completed and submitted to HMRC by ourselves
  • Factual information relating to business ownership
  • Details of the dates we have acted for the client
  • Details of the dates the business commenced trading (if known)
  • A limited opinion ‘that in our experience we would have no reason to suppose the client would enter into an agreement which they were not able to fulfil’

What can’t we provide?


  • Opinions on the future of the business
  • Confirmation of future earnings

We will always work with our clients and the lenders concerned to try and reach a solution to any issues in relation to the provision of mortgage references, lenders may claim that other firms are happy to provide this information ‘why are you being obstructive!’, but this is not the case for any firm operating under the rules of the ICAEW. Very often we can provide much of the information required, but using our own templates and wording as per ICAEW guidance.

Mock Employment Tribunal Hearing

Date posted: May 2, 2017

In partnership with Chadwick Lawrence, we are hosting a live mock employment tribunal.  On this occasion, the event will be delivered by barristers and solicitors and is a great opportunity to observe the cross examination skills you may experience as a ‘representative’ or a ‘claimant’.

For more details of this event see below:

A presentation from Chase de Vere on Tuesday 25 April 2017

Date posted: April 12, 2017

An Invitation to a Presentation from Chase de Vere Independent Financial Advisers and Guest Speaker on

Tuesday 25th April 2017

We would like to invite you to a presentation by Chase de Vere Independent Financial Advisers and their guest speaker Alastair Mundy Investec Asset Management.

Alastair is head of the Value team at Investec Asset Management and manages a number of funds including the Investec Cautious Managed Fund and the Investec UK Special Situations Fund. Alistair has endeared himself to the public and media alike with his no-nonsense views on the complex world of personal finance. Over coffee and pastries Alistair will provide us with his assessments, predictions and witty observations of the markets and provide an economic update.

Garry Ibison and Jan Anderson from Chase de Vere will also give you an update on anything relevant that comes out of the Spring budget and accountants from Riley & Co will be on hand to provide you with tax planning hints and tips.

We would be delighted if you would join us, Chase de Vere and Alastair Mundy at the Shay Stadium, Halifax, HX1 2YT on Tuesday 25th April between 10.30am -12.00noon.  Coffee and Pastries will be served from 10.00am.

To reserve your place (and a place for anyone else you think might benefit from this event) please email or telephone Reception on 01422 341019.

Payroll Year End and P11D Benefits in Kind

Date posted: April 10, 2017

With spring just around the corner we at Riley & Co are turning our attention to the ‘end of the tax year’ duties.

Two of the most important of these are the payroll year end and the declaration of P11D and P9D forms to declare benefits in kind.

Benefits in Kind – the basics

The important question to ask yourself is “Do we, the employer, pay for anything which the employee enjoys for personal use?”

If the answer is yes then you probably need to complete a benefit in kind declaration and tell HMRC, and your employee, so that any tax and national insurance due can be collected.

The most common benefits in kind include:

  • Company car and/or payment of private fuel costs
  • Private Health Cover
  • Overdrawn Directors Loan account or low interest loans to employees
  • Personal Tax Bill or Accountancy costs paid for on behalf of the employer

This of course is not an exhaustive list. There are far more examples in the HMRC A-Z list of expenses and benefits here; anything which is already dealt with through a payroll scheme like a bonus, is not relevant for this exercise.

Benefits in Kind – further considerations

Have you made a declaration with your payroll year end?

It used to be the case that when you did your payroll year end you could make a declaration regarding benefits in kind to say ‘Are not due’ or ‘Will be sent later’. With the introduction of RTI (Real Time Information), these are no longer legally required but most software providers have chosen to keep them anyway.

Therefore, if you have declared that they ‘Will be sent later’ as part of the year end submission you MUST do a P11D declaration even if it is nil. If you do not send one at all there will likely be a financial penalty levied which will increase until one is submitted.

Equally, if HMRC send you a P11D notification to complete you must do so unless you are able to declare ‘Are not due’ with your final payroll submission.

We, at Riley & Co are contacting our clients in the next few weeks to discuss these matters. We provide this as a service to all clients affected. If you feel like we can help you and your company please call us on 01422 341019 or email us at

Am I buying a car or a van for my business? Well Sir it’s actually a car-derived combi van

Date posted: April 4, 2017


A business can recover its input VAT on a van but not on a car. Car lease VAT cost is also restricted. In addition, there are different rules for VAT on private fuel use and vehicle resale.


The benefit in kind tax charge on a van is still determined on a flat rate whereas a car is based on a combination of the list price when new and the cars Co2 output. The benefit for private fuel funded by the company is also much more favourable for van drivers as well as there being lots of other preferential benefits such as relaxed rules on whether the van is a benefit at all.

So getting the definition of the vehicle right is crucial and you should be certain before you purchase what category it falls into.


For VAT registered businesses the link below provides HMRC’s list so you can determine if VAT can be claimed.

But what if yours is not on the list? (See link below)

If you are comparing a Ford Transit to a Jaguar X type, this is quite an easy answer but there are many vehicles where the distinction is not clear.

HMRC have a very rigid definition for both cars and vans which mainly focus on the intention of the design rather than its actual use. Questions that need to be asked; does it have a barrier between the front seats and the space in the back? Can it carry a payload of more than 1 tonne? If yes then it is likely to be a van. However, if there are windows in the rear or sides and/or passenger seats behind the driver, then it is likely you are purchasing a vehicle for Tax purposes.

Of course these are just guidelines and if the answer is not obvious and you need some specific advice on the vehicle you plan to buy, please contact us on or 01422 341019.

HMRC List –

Wear & Tear Allowance rule change – Are you working out your property Landlord Tax properly?

Date posted: March 27, 2017

Property Landlords would be forgiven for thinking that HMRC have a personal vendetta against them of late. Firstly with the restriction of loan interest followed by the stamp duty hike and then the higher rates of capital gains tax.

In April 2016 another shot was taken at Landlords with the rules changing from ‘Wear & Tear’ to the new ‘replacement relief’. This, generally, is going to hit landlords in the pocket again.

Wear & Tear

Under the old rules (pre 6 April 2016) where a landlord rented out a property furnished they were automatically allowed a deduction of 10% of their total income as an expense to cover wear and replacement of furnishings. In most cases the 10% exceeded claims lost for actual cost and over a number of years would almost always benefit the landlord.

HMRC have now deemed that this relief is too generous and have withdrawn it to make way for the new ‘replacement relief’.

Replacement relief

Under the new rules you are allowed to claim relief only when replacing furnishings, furniture and household appliances (except integrated ones) on a like-for-like basis. The claim is also allowable when replacing an old, worn down furnishing for the modern equivalent.

Any purchase of new or improved furnishings will not be allowable for any tax relief at all.

Two conclusions to note

  1. When buying a new property, if it was empty and you had to equip it from scratch you would not be able to claim a penny for purchasing the furnishings but if the property had old, worn down furnishings then paying to replace them would get full relief.
  2. It is now important to keep full receipts and details of furnishings etc. replaced and ideally photos to show that the replacements are like-for-like.

If you are a property landlord and want more information of any of the topics mentioned here or any other matter please contact our Property Tax Specialist on 01422 341019 or

Dividend Templates 2017

Date posted: March 20, 2017

To help you with completing your dividend paperwork, the templates for the minutes and tax voucher are below. A link to our January blog  provides you with details on how to pay yourself a dividend.

Dividend Minutes Template

Tax Voucher template

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need any help.