May 2020

Technical and Client Update

In this issue

Technical and Client Update

New Partners

Coronavirus Hub

Moving to Digital - Accounting, Payroll and VAT

Business and Tax Return Records

What is your post-lockdown strategy?

Technical and Client Update

The Partners and staff at Humphrey & Co hope that all our clients and contacts are keeping well and staying safe. We would like to reassure you that Humphrey & Co continue to support you in this very unsettling time.

Following the latest announcement from the Government regarding the move into the next phase of managing the Coronavirus pandemic, we would like to update you as to how we at Humphrey & Co are continuing to support our clients and our staff, including adapting our working practices to accord with the Government guidelines.

Safety is paramount so our offices remain closed to client meetings but we continue to assist our clients and deal with new enquiries whilst working from home over secure connections.  Also, since 18 May, following a comprehensive risk assessment of our offices in respect of the threat of Covid-19 in our workplace, we have a reception team member who will facilitate the delivery of records and documents. If clients would like papers delivered to the Eastbourne office, please liaise with your usual Humphrey & Co contact who will arrange for access at an agreed time, so papers can be safely and securely dropped off. If records need to be returned to clients whilst the office is closed to the public again please request this via your usual contact.

Where we would usually meet with you face to face we can arrange a meeting via video link using either Zoom or Skype. Rest assured that our reception team are taking calls as normal and we all have access to our emails so if you have any questions or concerns please either call the office during our office hours of 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday on 01323 730631 or email your usual contact.

All members of our technical team continue to keep abreast of the updates issued by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in relation to financial support and initiatives; key updates with web links are on our Coronavirus Hub. Again, if clients wish to discuss how specific changes affect them or if assistance is required in claiming financial support (and agents are allowed to submit such claims to HMRC on behalf of clients) we are of course here to help.

We aim to provide more direct access to our offices and our team only when it is safe to do so. We will provide further updates once further Government guidance is issued.  

New Partners

We are delighted to announce that our two Associates have become Partners this month.

Lewis Hampton and Mike Bryan have both been working for the practice for a number of years and their dedication to providing excellent service for their clients is being recognised with their progression to partners within the firm.

Lewis joined us in 2010 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser in 2011 and 2017 respectively. Lewis is based in our Eastbourne office and acts for a broad range of clients located in different areas of the UK. He has a special interest in individuals and corporate bodies associated with the Lloyd’s of London insurance market and provides a number of specialist services including auditing, valuations and tax advisory and compliance.

Mike Bryan completed his honours degree in Accountancy & Finance in 2010; he then went on to study for his Chartered Accountant qualification which he achieved shortly after joining the firm in 2014. Mike has worked within the healthcare sector throughout his career and has expert knowledge and experience in this industry. He also presents seminars on accountancy and taxation to healthcare professionals and has provided healthcare updates to some of the leading UK banks.

Lewis said “I am delighted and extremely proud to be appointed a partner of the firm after many years of hard work. It has been my aim since starting my accountancy career to become a partner so I am pleased to have been able to achieve this with a firm like Humphrey & Co.

I’m looking forward to working with the other partners to drive the firm forward during this challenging time whilst continuing to provide an excellent service to our clients”.

“Joining the partnership in May 2020 was an immensely proud occasion” said Mike. “I would like to thank the partners for allowing me to achieve my ambition since embarking on a career in accountancy 10 years ago.

The partners continue to inspire and motivate our team by proving that hard work, motivation and sound knowledge can be rewarded with career progression.

I will continue to provide my clients with a pro-active and exemplary service, assist clients to overcome the challenges that COVID-19 presents and look forward to positively impacting the firm and my clients in the years ahead.”

Anthony Smith, Senior Partner comments “Succession within any professional services firm is critically important and we often plan years in advance to ensure a seamless transition for our clients and continuity of service. We also need new partners to fuel our continued growth especially in our niche areas.

Lewis and Mike have shown determination and ambition over the past 2 or 3 years especially, and we are delighted that they have now committed to Humphrey & Co for the long term. These are undoubtedly extremely challenging times, and as a partnership, we are confident both Lewis and Mike will skilfully guide our clients to calmer waters on the other side, and beyond.

We have big plans for them both and combined with their skill sets, we are excited about the future. In the meantime, all the existing partners offer their sincere congratulations. It’s just a pity we can’t celebrate together at this time in a more traditional fashion!”

Coronavirus Update

During the Covid-19 crisis we have been updating our Coronavirus Hub with the information issued by the Government to support businesses and individuals.

We will continue to update the hub with the latest developments so please check back regularly. Alternatively you can follow us on our social media channels below:


The full range of support measures can be found at:

Or find out what support is available by completing this survey:

Please contact us if you need help and advice in relation to any of the support schemes available to you.

Moving to Digital - Accounting, Payroll and VAT

Keeping your financial records will become increasingly digital and most businesses will need to use software or apps to keep business records - the days of manual record keeping are over.

We consider Xero to be the software of choice and we use this to provide our clients with the best possible fully compliant accounts package, and there are significant benefits to your business if you use us to help:

  • It’s on the Cloud so you can get a clear view of your finances any time any place.
  • Run your business from work, home or on your mobile.
  • It automatically grabs bank receipts and payments in real time and
  • Use your mobile to photograph purchase invoices and expenses and upload these to the software.

Please talk to us about moving your records to Digital especially payroll where we can assist with the Job Retention Furlough calculations.

Business and Tax Return records

We are encouraging all clients to provide their tax year end records as soon as possible, so we can better plan for forthcoming tax liabilities.

For our dental clients you will have received an email instructing you on how to provide this digitally. If you are unsure if you have received this request please email and a member of the team will resend the instructions.

For all other clients please contact your usual Partner to arrange the transfer of digital records or the delivery of physical records.

What is your post-lockdown strategy?

Now is the time to think about how you are going to grow your business, after the lockdown.

Set out your goals

The current disruption being experienced by businesses across the world is a huge challenge. However it may also be an opportunity for your firm. Start by thinking about your current market position, relative to your key competitors. Where would you like your firm to be in 12 months’ time? Is there an opportunity to overtake a competitor? Take some time to set out your key business objectives for the next year including the key deliverables that you will need to focus on each month.

New opportunities

Is there an opportunity to make some changes to your business model? Perhaps your firm has the opportunity to embrace automation, take a new approach to its distribution model or expand into new markets. As businesses return to normal in the next few months, they will have to contend with various unknowns. The firms that succeed will be the ones that are agile enough to pivot their strategic focus, when the right opportunity presents itself.

Cultural change

Changing the culture of a business is a very difficult thing to do. However, the return to “business as usual” post-pandemic gives firms an opportunity to drive cultural change. Will your firm embrace remote working after the lockdown? How will this affect the culture of your firm?  It’s important to set out your vision for the firm and communicate that to everyone across the business. Your vision should set out the key attributes of the new culture. Managers should be prepared to lead by example and develop their teams through training, follow-up and feedback. Sharing success stories of individuals and teams across your business will help to influence others and drive cultural change.

Be prepared

Your firm will need to be ready to take on new projects, execute business development plans and drive change. Take some time to map out the key behaviours that you will need your people to adopt as you move forward, after the lockdown. If training is going to be needed, perhaps this could be provided, online, now. Doing as much pre-work as possible now will ensure that your team is ready to hit the ground running as the country emerges from lockdown. Be careful not to take on too many new projects at once. Regardless of the size of your business, resources are finite. Prioritise the key projects that are likely to have the biggest impact on your business.

Review the goals that you set out at the beginning of your strategic planning process and identify the projects that align with the achievement of those goals. Ensure that your management team are on board and that they understand the overarching objectives of the firm. This will help each team to move forward in a joined-up manner.