Once again it is time to look back at an eventful year for us all. The one word I don’t need to use is unprecedented, as a year ago I was writing a similar themed article.

The latest restrictions are disappointing in that I had seen many of our clients returning to a good form of successful working. Amongst our clients, fortunes have been mixed. Those operating in sectors such as hospitality have clearly had a difficult year. Yet many clients connected with this industry have done well and there are a host of other sectors that have had a very good year.

This, I think, has been down to two main factors. Whilst there were those who unfairly missed out, the furlough scheme, though very expensive, achieved its purpose of enabling businesses to switch on and off their labour supply as required. It also enabled businesses to have a ready supply of labour available once some form of normality returned.

The second reason is that many business owners used this period as a time for managing their business, the old adage of working “on” your business rather than “in” your business has never been more true.  Unnecessary costs have been eliminated and, as an example,  I was with a client last week who had dramatically increased their gross margin by completely transforming the way they operated.

I think that the Government may be surprised by higher than expected tax receipts in January 2022 – although I can assure our businesses and personal clients that you will not pay a penny more than you are required to!

Hopefully 2022 will see a change in circumstances enabling our clients to plan and operate with some form of certainty.

On behalf of all my fellow partners, I would particularly like to thank the excellent staff at George Hay for their commitment throughout the year. A year in which the continued success of the firm has seen staff numbers grow by eight.

I would like to thank all of our clients for their support and look forward to us working with you in 2022.

I wish you all as good a festive season as possible and a successful New Year.

Barry Jeffered
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