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You are here: Home » About Lambert Roper & Horsfield Limited » Testimonials » Combined Masonry Supplies

Combined Masonry Supplies


Richard Neal is a busy man. Since leaving his native north-east to set up Combined Masonry Supplies (CMS) more than 20 years ago, his hard work has helped it grow into a thriving business that has twice outgrown previous premises and now employs a 15-strong team at a large, modern unit on Bradford’s Ripley Road Business Park.

As well as his role as co-director of the company – which supplies tools and other equipment to the granite and stone trade, including monumental masons and quarries – Richard takes a very hands-on approach to dealing with customers and all the other day-to-day issues that arise. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also set up a couple of other businesses.

So knowing that he can always rely on Lambert Roper & Horsfield’s Nick Frost and his team to give him a fast, efficient service – whether it’s dealing with a telephone query or producing user-friendly management accounts from data supplied by CMS – is invaluable.

Richard says: “If I ask them to do something, it’s done. I don’t have to chase anything because it will come straight back and I can get it out of my mind. That’s really important when you’re running a business.”

CMS dates back to 1986, when Richard decided to go it alone after working as a sales rep in the masonry business. He wanted his employer, a north-east company, to set up another branch to cover his Yorkshire territory but when they were reluctant to do so, he took the opportunity himself.

For almost 20 years, CMS used the same accountant the company had had since day one. When, at his instigation, they decided to go their separate ways two or three years ago, he was happy to recommend Lambert Roper & Horsfield, and Richard hasn’t looked back since.

He explains: “We meet up with Nick at least every four to five weeks – more often if there is an issue, good or bad, to be dealt with – but I know that I can pick up the phone to Nick at most hours of the day and ask for help. If he’s not immediately available, he’ll always get back to me.

“They are a very efficient firm. We do our own accounts and send them over to Nick for conversion into management accounts and if he spots any issues, he’ll let me know straight away. The management accounts give us an almost instant overview of the business, for example illustrating the percentages on materials against sales.”

Richard also likes the fact that Lambert Roper & Horsfield is well respected within the accountancy profession and in the finance sector, including CMS’s own bank.

That reputation and corporate finance expertise was particularly useful a couple of years ago, when Richard was involved in setting up a couple of other companies – also clients of Lambert Roper & Horsfield – producing granite and corian worktops. The firm drew up a successful proposal for funding to support the businesses to take to the bank.

Richard sums up: “Lambert Roper & Horsfield are very efficient, very objective and they carry a lot of respect. As a client, that gives me confidence.”

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Latest News

How hard-pressed SMEs can obtain business support

June 10th, 2022

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy, but with rapid inflation and other economic headwinds making trade difficult, they can struggle to access support.

There is a wide range of important tax reliefs available to SMEs, which could provide some much-needed financial assistance.

These include:

Employment Allowance claims

This scheme allows eligible businesses to reduce their National Insurance contributions (NICs) bills by claiming up to £5,000 each year of their NIC bill. This is available to employers if their Class 1 National Insurance liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous tax year.

Super-deduction and Annual Investment Allowance

Businesses can cut their tax bill through the super deduction by up to 25p for every £1 they invest in qualifying equipment, which can include machinery, computers, most commercial vehicles and office furniture.

The temporary £1 million limit for the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) has also been extended to the end of March‌‌‌ 2023.

The AIA allows businesses to spend up to £1 million on qualifying business equipment, and deduct in-year its full cost before calculating their taxable profits.

Business rates savings

Any tax cut is welcome, which is why the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, should take advantage of the 50 per cent business rates cut.

The Government says this is worth £1.7 billion for up to 400,000 eligible properties.

The business rates multiplier has also been frozen for another year. This is used to calculate business rates and usually rises with inflation each year, but for the coming year has been held at 49.9p and 51.2p, depending on the type of business.

There is further relief through green technologies, where there will be no business rates from April this year and eligible heat networks will also receive 100 per cent relief.

Big discounts on digital technology

Eligible businesses can receive a 50 per cent discount on buying new software worth up to £5,000 with the Government’s Help to Grow: Digital initiative, which also offers free impartial advice and guidance on the best technology to choose.

Its sister scheme, Help to Grow: Management, is 90 per cent funded by the Government and uses UK business schools and one-to-one mentoring to deliver business expertise on everything from leadership and financial management to marketing and digital adoption.

Claimants for both schemes must:

  • Be based in the UK;
  • Have actively traded for at least a year; and
  • Have between five and 249 staff members.

Fuel duty savings for businesses

The Government has cut fuel duty on petrol and diesel by five pence per litre for 12 months.

The Government says that this represents a saving of £200 for the average van driver and £1,500 for the average haulier.

However, the reality is that many of these savings have been absorbed by fuel retailers who have continued pushing up the price at the pumps.

As a result, Boris Johnson has reportedly asked transport officials to draw up plans to target petrol stations that choose not to pass on the 5p fuel duty cut to customers.

According to reports in The Telegraph, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has suggested a “pump watch” name-and-shame scheme, with Downing Street officials confirming that they “are considering mechanisms available to expose those companies that aren’t passing on tax benefits to consumers.”

Link: Five ways SMEs can get financial support for their business

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