Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

5 Myths about Automatic Enrolment

Auto Enrolment has already begun for large businesses, and is just around the corner for small businesses. With not much time left, it appears that many business owners are worried and confused with what lies around the corner. In the article as well as our specialist edge (See above) articles we aim to take the stress of the unknown away.

The first common myth is that if you outsource your payroll then you do not need to worry about Auto Enrolment. This however is not true, as an employer you are legally responsible for making sure that you are compliant with Auto Enrolment. Information on what you need to do to prepare for Auto Enrolment can be found on our sister website at The pension’s regulator recommends that you allow yourself and your company from 12 to 18 months in order to prepare and implement the requirements of Auto Enrolment.

A second myth is that if you ask your payroll team to work extra hours, then you will have no need for change in your systems. With compliance a mandatory requirement of Auto Enrolment the new pension’s arrangements will have to be introduced into your system or indeed a new system. With new processes, you will likely find that the administration burden of additional record keeping and data submissions to the pension’s regulator may be a step too far for your current team, with all the new and added pressures. To help you save time and money you could look to payroll software that automatically complies to the Auto Enrolment legislation, for a closer look at such software see our sister website

The third myth is that because it is believed that many people will opt out, that you do not need to have everything set up in time for your staging date. Scottish Widows recently conducted a survey that contradicts the original belief that as many as 30% of workers could opt out of Auto Enrolment. They found that only around 8% of people will be looking to opt out of the scheme. You are also as an employer, required by law to automatically enrol any eligible worker (Aged above 22 to 74, earning above £9,440 and working within the UK).

The Fourth myth of Auto Enrolment is that if you already have a pension scheme within your workplace, mean you don’t need to worry about Auto Enrolment as you can offer your employees this scheme. Auto Enrolment is part of the Workplace Pension Reform. If you are an employer within the UK then you are by law obligated to address your current scheme and compare it to the requirements of Auto Enrolment and make any changes that may be required to make sure that you’re scheme complies with the new laws. You will have new legal duties and conditions that you may find your existing scheme does not meet. You will also need to make sure you asses all of your employees eligibility for Auto Enrolment and not just those who are in your current scheme, as all eligible workers must be enrolled, and it is their decision if they choose to stay within the scheme or not.

The final myth is that you don’t need to start Auto Enrolment too early as you can use the 12 weeks postponement to gain extra time. Auto Enrolment will take you time to plan and prepare for, which is why we advise you do this well before you start your staging. Once you have made all necessary arrangements however, Auto Enrolment is manageable once you get to grips with it. Postponing Auto Enrolment will not necessarily make things easier for you and your payroll team to manage. There are certain rules that need to be followed and these could cause problems and more work, such as the obligatory letter you need to send your employees if you do choose to postpone, telling them you have postponed, and then once you begin to stage you must reassess your employees.

Don’t be held back and confused by mere rumours that you may hear. Putting off your responsibilities now will only mean hassle in the long run. There is no need to panic about Auto Enrolment; we have many useful resources on our sister website and in our up and coming newsletters including our Specialist Edge segments by David Perry from Alan Boswell Group. We also sell fully compliant software with the Auto Enrolment Legislation which can be found at

Not forgetting RTI

We now know that automatic enrolment is soon to be the next big thing for payroll, but that doesn’t mean RTI (Real Time Information) should take a back seat.

RTI is as important as ever, and we’re still here to help you with any queries you may have. We still have many online resources on our website about RTI including what RTI is and how what steps you as a new business need to take in order to prepare for RTI.

Common questions we received last month were around month end and the employer payment summary (EPS). To help you understand whether you need to submit an EPS and if so, how to do it correctly.

To remind yourself what RTI is by watching our video here

If you’d like more information on RTI please visit our sister companies website at or contact us on 01603 516350 or email us on

MIS going live……

September 2013 see’s Mint Consult’s sister company officially launching. The sister company first went live a year ago and has been working to support Mint Consult’s activities, undertaking several projects and Sage installations.  We are now pleased to say that the official launch of Mint MIS is just around the corner. It’s an exciting time for everyone at Mint on both sides of the business and we look forward to updating you on our hopeful success and planned growth in the near future.

Mint MIS are certified Sage business partners that specialise in the sale and support of Sage 50 Accounts, Payroll and ACT! They also sell the complete line of Sage 50 products from Forecasting to Instant Accounts. Mint MIS are also in the process of developing bespoke online dashboards (in support of Excel based dashboards) to help businesses understand and implement their KPI’s. They are also utilising Roambi, a mobile app business intelligence solution that transforms data from major BI systems into highly immersive dashboard style mobile analytics.

Specialist Edge returns

Mint’s blog shall be restarting soon following the release of our fourth birthday newsletter. We are looking forward to reintroducing our technical content feature ‘Specialist Edge’. The latest series of articles will be on the ever more important ‘Auto Enrolment’ legislation. Over the coming months, we shall welcome David Perry (Head of Employee Benefits) from the Alan Boswell Group to contribute to this series of articles introducing the new legislation changes which are designed to encourage employees to save for their retirement.

The series shall be released over the next few months in our newsletters. Please subscribe to our newsletters here


Specialist Edge: Valuing Your Business (Edward O’Rourke from Ashton KCJ)

For this edition of the Specialist Edge, we welcome Edward O’Rourke from Ashton KCJ to talk about correctly valuing your business:

“Over the years I have witnessed many business owners fail to sell their businesses because they have latched on to the valuation given to them by their advisers as though it was a statement of fact and not opinion.

Valuing a business is an art and not a science but there are some things a business owner can do to ensure their valuation is fit for its purpose.  These are:

-Determine the purpose for which you require the valuation – There are many reasons why the value of a business may need to be known; a sale; a purchase; a merger; an investment; borrowings/overdraft;  understanding tax consequences of certain decisions; the estate planning of the owners. The valuation in each of these instances will have subtle differences;

-Choose the right professional advisers – The choice of professional may vary depending upon the purpose for which the valuation is required;

-Understand the valuation method used and the reason that method has been chosen – There are numerous ways in which to value businesses and different valuation methods are going to be appropriate for different business types. Knowing the basis used in your business will help you counter arguments that a different valuation method should have been used;

Read more →

Recent event: Financial Directors Information Management Forum

Annual Financial Director Information Management Forum








Location: St Pancras, London

Date: 17 November 2011

We attended this event for the first time, expecting to be able to review emerging technologies and bring tips back to the office to share with our clients. The action packed agenda provided a great insight into how much larger global organisations from across the UK operate.

The day was split into 8 sessions, with a choice of afternoon focus groups. We thought it useful to blog and highlight the main areas of interest from the day and share some of the key messages with you.

We will focus on a few sessions and pull out the key messages.

1. What does Management Information mean in today’s business environment? Is it actually working?

A panel of top finance execs debated the topic, chaired by Joe Peppard (Professor of Information Systems at Cranfield School of Management). The main consideration was that MI historically has only considered Profit and Loss, Cashflow and Balance sheets and the real purpose of MI is indeed to inform management. The often cumbersome routine of month end procedures often gets in the way of FD’s looking forward and with FD’s hoping to spend 80% of their time doing just this, it is time that MI systems were better geared up to facilitate this.

Key messages

a. Spend time looking forward – 80%

b. Technology is the enabler, not the solution

c. Ensure training is provided to staff

d. Having good MI is not useful – actually use it!


2. Management Information at board level

Jennifer Harris, MD of Board Intelligence discussed how to ensure board reports are effective and informative for board members.

Directors cannot be expected to make robust decisions governing the future direction of their organisation without having first being given decent information.

Read more →

Specialist Edge: Pension Changes (Richard Escott from the Alan Boswell Group)

Richard Escott - Mint NorwichWe welcome Richard Escott from the Alan Boswell Group to share his specialist knowledge on new pension rules. Richard writes…..”Subject to Royal Assent, the new pension rules in the Finance Act are very attractive indeed, compared to the previous rules, and those expected, as far as ‘high earners’ are concerned.

Each individual with sufficient earnings will be able to invest up to £50,000 gross (paid £40,000 net of basic rate tax relief at source), and will be able to achieve income tax relief at their highest marginal rate. It was expected that relief would be restricted to the 40% rate even for 50% tax payers.

In addition, individuals can pay extra to make up for any shortfall in the previous three tax years between what was actually paid and £50,000. For example, an individual who had not paid anything at all since 6 April 2008 would be able to pay up to £200,000 in the current tax year if they had earnings to support it, and had an existing pension in place throughout that period. For employees such as directors, the opportunity to reduce salary or bonus, and have a corresponding employer pension contribution remains and has the additional benefit of saving both employee and employer National Insurance. Employer contributions must also qualify under the ‘wholly and exclusively’ rules for business expenditure generally.

One negative change is that the Lifetime Allowance will drop from £1.8m to £1.5m from April 2012 although those with particularly large pension pots can keep the limit at the £1.8m level, making an election before 5 April 2012, and ensuring that they pay no pension contributions whatsoever after that. Any excess pension value over the Lifetime Allowance suffers a punitive tax charge so careful planning may be required for some.”

Richard would be delighted to review your pension strategy. As a fee based adviser his advice would be independent and uninfluenced by provider commission. For more details, please contact Richard on 01603 218065 or email

Summer Solstice

Mint Norwich - Summer SolsticeToday is the longest day of the year, caused when the earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun. Did you know that today the equator will receive exactly twelve hours of daylight; there are 24 hours of daylight at the North Pole and 24 hours of darkness at the South Pole! Read more here.

The longest day is unlikely to give any direct benefts to your business, however according to reports, the improved sunlight throughout the Summer is supposed to improve health and productivity by boosting Vitamin D levels.

Gadgets galore!!


We are embracing technology here at Mint.


We have been experimenting with ways in which the new Ipad2 can be used effectively in business.

We firmly believe that technology has an ever useful presence in business, not only for staff to use, but for business owners to monitor and control their organisations.


From Internet Banking (including business banking apps) to full blown Mobile Analytics we use them all in our business and with our clients.

We recently developed our Mobile Analytics service, see here. We work with the business owner and key management to develop methods to extract or amend existing Management Information into a suitable format. It is then uploaded to the web and delivered to either your Apple Ipad or Iphone.

The end product is fully customisable to your business and really does allow you to walk away from your business with all of the key information available at a click of a button and in a graphical drillable format.

We have also been using Mailchimp for our newsletters and their new app (Chimpadeedoo) allows people to sign up to our enewsletter using the Ipad. We also use Numbers and Quickoffice, not to mention BBC iPlayer and the ability to use the Ipad as a fantastic promotional tool, through the ability to watch our video.


Mint in the News

A graduate internship programme run by the University of East Anglia is set to continue after exceeding its original targets.

The Project Evolve Graduate Internship Programme has been extended until the end of July after 198 placements were secured for students – surpassing a target of 170.

The scheme, which was due to draw to a close in March, offers local businesses the opportunity to secure a graduate to work on a specific project for up to 12 weeks, either full or part-time.

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