An Introduction to Martin Johnson

Background:

Born in Poole in Dorset, I moved to Taunton when I was young and attended a local village primary school. My education in accountancy started at college when I completed my A levels and continued when I joined Milsted Langdon in September 2007.

At Milsted Langdon I studied with the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and then continue on to complete the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification, becoming a chartered accountant in 2014.

Following my qualification as a chartered accountant, I have progressed through the company and became an accounts manager in May 2017.

What I do at work:

I am based in the Taunton Office of the practice, mainly covering the Somerset area; however I also have strong links with the firm’s Bath office and the Wiltshire area.

My portfolio covers a number of differing clients from sole traders and individuals to differing size limited companies. This includes a wide range of industries, but predominantly in the agricultural sector.

I was part of the creation of the agricultural and rural affairs team at Milsted Langdon and look mainly at the how I can best help farms on a regular basis with their annual accounts work. This, I feel, gives me a better insight into the unique workings of a farm and enables me to tailor my work to best suit the needs of farmers.

As part of my role in the company I have strong links with banks, agents and consultants in the agricultural sector, which enables me to provide my clients with the links they need at any time.

With the formation of the agricultural and rural affairs team we are aiming to build our profile in the South West.

My spare time:

In my spare time I am part of the board of directors at the Yeovil Show and help as part of the organisation’s Committee for their annual agricultural event. I also compete in a number of sports during the year, with a number of clubs across the South West.

Each year I also spend time out of work to help family friends on an Exmoor farm with their lambing. They have over 700 sheep which lamb over a three week period in March.

My girlfriend’s family are dairy farmers situated on the Quantock hills in Somerset. I therefore end up spending most weekends up on the farm helping out with a number of tasks, from helping with the young livestock to milking the cows.

An Introduction to Mike Seymour

Background…

Born and bred in Somerset I studied locally at Stanchester School and Strode College, where I had originally planned to take up a career in Archaeology!

After deciding on a change in career path, in my late teens, I started my working life as a purchase ledger clerk in a local motor company, where I began my accountancy studies. After completing my qualification in the Association of Accounting Technician’s (AAT) in 2010 I moved on to a regional accountancy firm where I began studying in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), completing my studies in 2014.

Finally, I moved to Milsted Langdon in November 2014 where I took up a role as GP Assistant Manager in the Yeovil office.

What I do at work…

Predominantly based out of the Yeovil office my role generally involves assisting clients with accounts and taxation compliance, although it’s not uncommon that I will also help with VAT, bookkeeping, payroll and one off cashflow/projection projects.

I look after a varied portfolio of clients, varying from sole traders to limited companies and take responsibility for most of the agricultural clients in the Yeovil office. Agricultural clients range from small contractors to landed estates and most others in between.

My aim is to try and work closely with my clients to help them not only comply with the deluge of deadlines and statutory regulations that plague every business but also to give them more worthwhile information relating to how their business is performing.

I’m lucky enough to have time to visit clients and enjoy the interaction you get from seeing how their business ‘ticks’. I try not to be permanently attached to my desk!

More recently I became part of the Agricultural and Rural Affairs (ARA) team. We were recently formed with the intention of helping to promote what Milsted Langdon has to offer to agricultural businesses. If you see us at any local agricultural shows please come over and say hello.

What I do in my spare time…

I enjoy a lot of sports and can quite often be found cheering on Tottenham Hotspur around the country… I’m certainly better at watching sports than playing them.

Mike Seymour (GP Assistant Manager) is a member of the Agricultural and Rural Affairs team and is based in the Yeovil office.

An Introduction to Mark Wilson

40 years ago this year (2017) I stepped through the doors of a long established firm of Chartered Accountants based in Bridgwater, to commence my career in the accountancy profession.

On that first day I was tasked with preparing the accounts for a landscape contractor, one of whose partners was also a farmer. I’m proud to say that that farmer is still a client on my portfolio today and he is still farming, even though he is well into his eighties, and with no sign of giving up completely!

My first job involved dealing with a wide variety of clients, but the majority were farmers or businesses operating in the rural economy. Eventually I arrived at the doorstep of Milsted Langdon, some 20+ years ago (1996), to manage a portfolio of clients that includes a reasonable number of farmers or other businesses working in agriculture and/or the rural economy.

I find farmers a fascinating group of people to work with and I like nothing better than visiting the farm, to see the new barn or tractor. These visits are invaluable, helping me to better understand clients and their businesses, which in turn helps me to deliver targeted advice and support. Most clients welcome this level of involvement, knowing that I can then talk to their farm business consultant, bank manager or lawyer with a greater understanding of their business.

Team Focus: Rachel Bailey, Yeovil office

Rachel Bailey, 21, left the family’s dairy farm to embrace a 9-5 life, but despite some office comforts, the young farmer still has connections with the industry she loves through her job

From the age of four, when we moved into the family dairy farm, based in West Chinnock, I was tasked with helping out, even if it was just feeding the cats to start with.  I enjoyed growing up on the farm, and I was always inviting friends over from school – after all, there is no better place for hide-and-seek than a hay barn!

Towards the end of my GCSE’s I became interested in the farm paperwork side of things, and there is a lot of it!  From recording payments and receipts, submitting VAT returns, registering livestock movements, ordering in feeds… the list goes on.  So I got involved and assisted my Mum.  I also continued to work on the farm, varying from milking the cows, yard scraping and assisting with calvings – there was never a dull day!

I went on to study A-levels – Accountancy, Business Studies and Mathematics, and soon after leaving College I joined Milsted Langdon LLP.  My role as a general accounts and tax assistant is a far cry from the normal farm work.

What I do at work…

I prepare and submit tax returns for clients with a variety of occupations and income streams, but a large proportion of my client portfolio is agricultural-based. I also contact HM Revenue & Customs on behalf of our clients with various issues and to request SA302 forms which are often required for mortgage applications.

The majority of my role involves producing statutory accounts from a range of records and accounting software packages. Our agricultural clients use: Xero, Farmplan, Promar, and Sage software.

I also produce cash flow statements, five year summaries and graphs on an individual basis to suit client needs. These are to assist the client in understanding the trends of the business and provide additional information which can be used in decision making.

I deal with a wide range of accounting and taxation issues.  It’s a varied job and I like the fact no two jobs are the same.

I am part of the newly formed Agricultural and Rural Affairs (ARA) team put together to promote services we can offer agricultural clients.  We often hold meetings to discuss recent farming issues, hold seminars and take part in trade shows. We had a stand at the Yeovil show in 2016 which I helped out with and we plan to attend again in 2017.

Through Milsted Langdon I have completed the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification, and I am currently working towards Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT). I hope to progress my career with Milsted Langdon and work more closely with clients in the future.

What I do in my spare time…

When I arrive home, I often change from being professionally dressed to old jeans and a pair wellies to help out on the farm. When I can get away, I enjoy and take part in several sports through being a member of the local Young Farmers Club.  I am also the treasurer of Wessex Young Farmer Club.

Rachel Bailey is a member of the Agricultural and Rural affairs team and is based in the Yeovil office.

Her contact details are…..

Contact Rachel

AIA – A Double Edged Relief?

Many in the farming sector, not least accountants dealing with farmers, cheered the announcement, albeit for a limited period, of the £250,000 annual investment allowance (AIA). But, who really benefits from this?

Is it really the farmer?

All it does is encourage him or her to spend to save tax rather than to invest in their business for sound economic reasons. Is it really worth spending many tens of thousands of pounds on new machinery to save 40%, or perhaps 45%, of that spend in immediate tax relief? Should that tractor be replaced just yet, or will it go on for a year or two? Is it really worth spending £50,000 to save £20,000 to replace it now or could the capital be invested in the business in other ways, for greater long term benefit?

There’s also a tendency to overlook the fact that the AIA is an acceleration of the tax relief rather than an additional relief. The capital allowance regime was already in place to provide relief on unlimited amounts of qualifying capital expenditure, albeit over many years but the relief was there. With larger family partnerships there could even be a higher level of overall tax saving under the pre-existing rules as the deferred allowances would be relieved against the top slice of future business income, and consequently at the highest tax rates.

So, who is benefitting most from the AIA? It’s my guess that the allowance, coupled with the weak GBP , has the foreign manufacturers rubbing their hands with glee!