2015's been an amazing year. Here's to an even better 2016!

Thursday December 17, 2015

First things first, let us wish an extremely merry Christmas to all the bold adventurers, intrepid explorers and stalwart residents of the RIFT. May your bells be jingly and your nights silent over the festive period. Take some well earned time to recharge your batteries and get ready for a fresh assault on the summit of your personal business mountain next year!

At RIFT, we've had an astounding 2015. We've helped more businesses than ever before, built stronger relationships with our clients and added new services. We've won awards, hit milestones and set even more ambitious goals for the future. Let's take a moment to look back over an incredible year in the RIFT...

Look How We've Grown

2015 marks 15 years of operations for the RIFT Group. For a decade and a half, we've been helping small businesses fulfil their biggest ambitions, grappling with the taxman and making business personal. In that time, we've seen clients grow into real powerhouses, and hunted down over £100 million in tax refunds for RIFT explorers! We've done it by sticking closely to our core beliefs and founding principles. We're a family business, and that family includes every adventurer we work with.

Our 255% growth in the past four years was also the key to RIFT winning bronze in the Megagrowth 50 awards. This is a prestigious league table identifying the 50 fastest-growing businesses in Kent!

When RIFT M.D. Jan Post first spotted an elderly construction worker carrying a jacket potato back to his caravan at the crack of dawn on a cold winter's day, she started thinking about how many people like him were having their pockets picked by the taxman. RIFT is built on helping business underdogs get the full, fair treatment they're entitled to, but which the whole system seems determined to deny them. Jan's determination is reflected in everything we do at RIFT, and it's the reason for our success.

Awards and Achievements

That success is getting noticed, too. Back in June we won the Kent Excellence in Business Award for Customer Service and Commitment. The judging panel said that the award reflected our "unremitting drive for top-notch customer service".

We were thrilled to be named finalists in the upcoming 2016 ‘InMoment Customer Commitment Award’, judged by the renowned Institute of Customer Service (ICS). This is especially fulfilling, as our focus on customer service isn’t just an abstract guiding principle. It's something we're formally, permanently committed to.

We also recently achieved a World Class score for our customer service from the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), and we're currently working to attain the ICS Service Mark in 2016!

Finally on the award front, RIFT Accounting was Highly Commended in the Small Business category at the British Accountancy Awards and Chris Gaze was judged one of the 35 Under 35 best young accountants in the UK. That's not bad for our first year of trading! We've already got high hopes for next year and we know that the way to win is to constantly listen to your feedback about how we can be better so please never stop telling us. You can always get in touch with MD Jane Ollis at jollis@riftgroup.com with any concerns or ideas for improvement.

Of course, it's not just RIFT's successes we're celebrating this year. As sponsors of the 2015 Kent Independent Traders Awards, we had the chance to see some of the brightest lights on the small business landscape really shine. It's always inspiring to see so much drive and ingenuity on display, and Paul Andrews of the Business Bunker radio show delivered a speech that perfectly captured the moment. He really pulled into focus the value and importance of small businesses to the economy as a whole - and seeing people using the event to forge new relationships and share new ideas was incredibly exciting.

There's a huge upheaval sweeping through the business landscape, and its tremors are being felt at the roots of even the tallest mountains. Throughout the economy, small business explorers are driving their industries forward and forcing the Big Boys to pay attention. The message couldn't be clearer: small business is good business, and good business always brings rewards.

Surveys and Reviews

We've did our first customer survey to celebrate our first birthday and it was great to hear what you thought. Interestingly the thing you said you most valued about our service was always being able to talk to someone and so we are going to make it even easier to get hold of us in 2016, including evenings and weekends – basically when it suits you.

Many of our clients have this year taken up the opportunity to review their figures each quarter and discuss challenges and opportunities with our in-house growth experts, Jane Ollis & Annette Bunn. We have been able to help with securing funding, dealing with debtors, entering new markets, employing staff, protecting intellectual property – the full range of issues you might expect to see.

In the New Year we want to take this to the next level and encourage all our clients to set their goals for the year and share with us. That way our quarterly reviews can be a genuine touch point along the way to see how things are progressing and help you keep everything on track. Our aim is to see your business grow and you successful. So get thinking and we look forward to talking in January to hear about your plans!

What's on the horizon for 2016?

For many it will be the year in which auto-enrolment kicks in and you will need to offer your employees a pension scheme that you enrol them in. In October another Rift Accounting client, Rebecca Robertson from Financial Planning for Women, posted a guest blog about it.

You will also need to be aware of the mandatory living wage for employees which for people over 18 will be increased from £6.50 to £7.20 from April. Again read more from Rift Accounting client Jackie Brooker in her guest blog.

Finally next year also heralds changes to the way dividends will be taxed and for many of us that will mean paying more tax. If you are concerned or have any questions about how this will impact your planned income for the year please get in touch with us.

So once more, merry Christmas to you all! Pull crackers, stuff turkeys and celebrate another year of grand adventures. When you're ready to break camp and charge headlong into the New Year, we'll be waiting for you - out in the RIFT...


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