What you need to know...

Terms and Conditions

Here are more detailed terms and conditions that apply to our service can be found here at www.nextlevelbusiness.co.uk/terms which you agree we may update from time to time and that those updates are incorporated into our engagement agreement. These updates might include information relating to pandemics, new services, changes to existing service and other new or updated terms and conditions that apply to our services. Where there is any difference between our engagement agreement and the terms on this page then this page is deemed more current as takes precedence.

Investment Business

Next Level Business is regulated by the ICAEW, as acting as our designated professional body (DPB), for certain investment business. For clarity we are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority or a similar body.

The main activities that a DPB licensed firm such as ourselves can undertake are as follows:

  1. advise on the sale or purchase of shares which are not admitted to dealing, nor to be admitted to dealing, on any exchange (e.g. listed company shares);
  2. advise on the sale (but not purchase) of shares which are admitted to, or to be admitted to dealing on any exchange (e.g. listed company shares);
  3. arrange the purchase of shares;
  4. explain, evaluate and agree or disagree with the advice given by a permitted third party (including that given by independent financial advisers and mortgage brokers), but not substitute the firm's own recommendation;
  5. advise on and/or arrange contracts of general insurance;
  6. help clients with insurance claims handling;
  7. contact an independent financial adviser to introduce a client for pension advice;
  8. contact an insurance broker to introduce a client for general insurance advice.

If for any reason, I (as Principal) am unable to run Next Level Business, I have made arrangements for the continuation of services to clients.

If, during the provision of professional services to you, you need advice on investments, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, as we are not. However, as we are licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales we may be able to provide certain investment services where these are complementary to or arise out of the professional services we are providing to you. Such services may include those as described above.

Next Level Business is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance distribution activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.fca.org.uk/register

If you would like to talk to us about how we could improve our service to you, or if you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, please let us know by telephoning Paul Layte FCA.

We will carefully consider any complaint as soon as we receive it and do all we can to explain the position to you. If we do not answer your complaint to your satisfaction, you may of course take up the matter with the Institute.

In the unlikely event that we cannot meet our liabilities to you, you may be able to claim compensation under the Chartered Accountants' Compensation Scheme

Auto Pilot

Auto Pilot is an additional service from Next Level Business. It aims to make running your business smoother, almost like it is on auto pilot. Given the increasingly regulatory complexity and demands on your time auto pilot is designed to make things easier and quicker for you. In general where things are relatively straight forward with minimal changes occurring we will apply auto pilot. Auto pilot is defined more fully on a service basis below.

With your permission auto pilot allows us to perform certain limited activity across several services on your behalf for your business. You give your permission to us unconditionally for this however you can opt out of auto pilot altogether or on individual services simply by informing your client manager at any time. We reserve the right to adjust your service plan for any additional approval steps you request.


Auto Pilot applies where there are up to 3 changes in your payroll. Where this occurs we will simply complete your payroll and file it automatically with HMRC and provide you with copies of the normal payroll reports and outputs as usual.

A change is a salary change, employee tax code change, adhoc bonus you asked us to apply, a new benefit, a new starter and other similar changes.

If you payroll contains a leavers and/or variable pay we will always send these to you for approval first. We will also send you payroll to approve where there are more than 3 changes or if in our judgement feel you need to approve.  


Auto Pilot applies to standard UK VAT returns where all 3 criteria are met. 1) VAT return is up to a £20k payment or repayment 2) Queries are below the HMRC adjustment threshold 3) Your client manager does not believe is needs your attention. Where this occurs we will prepare and file your VAT return automatically and provide you a copy of the return and any payment/repayment due once this is complete.

For the purposes of auto pilot a standard UK VAT is a single company VAT return with any postponed VAT adjustments fully complete. It does not include partial exemption returns, any return with postponed VAT adjustments not fully complete or a group VAT return.

HMRC adjustment threshold as stated at gov.uk/vat-corrections.

Your client manager will flag for your attention where they believe the change is large or abnormal or you have changed from a payment to repayment or vice versa for the first time. Your client manager may also over ride auto pilot if in our judgement feel you need to approve.

Confirmation Statements

Auto Pilot applies where 1) There are up to 3 changes in your confirmation statement and 2) You have not made us aware of any changes following us sending a draft to you a month before it is due and 3) Your client manager is not aware of any changes that need to be made. Where this occurs we will prepare and file the confirmation on the due date and provide you a copy of the information.

Your client manager may also over ride auto pilot if in our judgement feel you need to approve.

Accounts Receivable

Auto Pilot applies to sending chases to unpaid invoices where you have not specifically responded to the summary of invoices to be chased sent one working day prior to the chase date requesting a particular supplier or invoice not to be chased. Where auto pilot applies we will send email chases to all customers with outstanding invoices on the agreed chase day automatically.

Accounts Payable

Auto Pilot applies to bill runs prepared ready for your bill run date based on the bills you mark to pay a minimum of one working day before the bill run date. We will then automatically go through the preparer and reviewer stage and pass the bill run onto you for approval. Only once you approve a bill run and transfer funds can a bill run be complete. As a reminder you have final responsibility for any money leaving your business.

Approval Channels

Where auto pilot does not apply and we require your approval we would normally need this in writing. However we may utilise different channels such as electronic email, electronic message, e-sign, portals from time to time to make things as easy as possible.

Rolling Service Plans & Notice

We operate service plans for all our clients. The service plans generally cover the scope of the regular work we do for you and are covered in your engagement letter. Service plans are billed monthly by direct debit. These are rolling service plans which continue from month to month and year to year perpetually until you cancel in writing. For work that occurs outside a monthly frequency, for example annual year end accounts, annual corporation tax returns and annual R&D tax credits you need to provide notice prior to the end of the relevant accounting or tax period to end the engagement. If notice is received after the end of the period then it applies to the next period. Notice periods for service plans are as follows. For Accounting Plans (those plans including annual accounts & tax, bookkeeping and payroll only) is 1 whole month. For example if you request to cancel your service on the 20th of a month the next whole month is your whole months notice period. For all plans other than Accounting Plans (like our FC or CFO plans or any plan with any services not included in the accounting plan specified above) the notice period is 3 whole months.

Fee's (Changes, Standard Fee's, Additional Services)

Changes to your service plan and therefore fee’s may happen in many different ways. We set out those ways below.

Scope Changes

The work we are undertaking may change in scope (for whatever reason) this will be automatically applied to your service plan. If it is not applied at the same time as the scope change we may bill later for these scope changes. For example you may add an employee to payroll or you increase the size of your business turnover.

Additional Services

You may request additional service from us from time to time and we would usually provide a fee at that time or if not possible an estimate or if that isn’t possible agreeing it to be done on a support credit basis. If the additional service is just extra work that needs to be done for whatever reason and we do not have a standard fee for this work then it will be done on a support credit basis and billed accordingly. These additional services if ongoing will be added to your service plan and if one off like a project will be invoiced separately and billed to the same direct debit account. For example you might ask us to complete a mortgage reference for you as a one off project or you may ask us to send you regular management accounts as an ongoing service.

Standard Fee's

We have standard fee's for certain services where they are not included in your initial engagement letter or are additional services you request from time to time. Where you require additional financial support we have support credits. These are typically circa 30 minutes of time with a one credit minimum. Support credits are banded as follows: bookkeeper/accountant £50, senior accountant/client manager/financial controller £75, senior financial controller/finance director £125, CFO £150. For R&D tax credit services unless stipulated in the engagement letter or agreed in writing otherwise default standard fee's for the small business (SME) scheme are 5% of the eligible costs. If however you have state aid grants or other criteria that mean the large business scheme (RDEC) needs to be used which is less generous our fee reflect that at 2.5% of the eligible costs.

Tax Investigation 

Tax investigations come up from time to time across all taxes (personal, corporate, VAT, R&D). Unless specified in your engagement letter we have not provided any tax investigation fee insurance to you or our own guarantee to support the investigation at no additional fee. If that is the case support for tax investigations is chargeable using our support credits or for complex investigations based on the professional level required to support.

Inflationary Increases

Each April your service plan will increase by the consumer price index (CPI) plus 3.9%. If CPI if negative, we’ll only apply the 3.9%. This increase won’t apply in the first April if you have joined as a new client in the last 3 months before April. If you wish to know more about CPI you can go here, www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices. For example if your service plan was £150 (ex vat) per month and CPI was 5.4% your service plan would be adjusted by £13.95 (ex vat).

Late, Incomplete and Rework Fee's

Our services are priced assuming that you provide the necessary information and do the necessary activities as required and on time. We will inform you of what is needed and when. If however you do not provide the necessary information on time or it is incomplete or not provided at all then we reserve the right to charge additional fee's. For example if you provide us payroll information after the cut off date we will charge a late fee and if it is provided after the payroll has already been drafted we will charge a rework fee. Another example is maintaining bank feed connections into the accounting software, if these expire and we have to loan bank statements manually a charge per bank account per load will apply. If, in the rare instance, your choice of bank means no automatic banks feeds are available or the feeds are not reliable then we will apply a manual load fee each month this occurs. Other information for VAT returns, Accounts, Tax Return not provided on time may mean either inclusion in the next period or additional fee's.

Payments Service

Our payments service involves us creating bill runs for you to pay employees and suppliers for you. We can only use our bill payment software to produce pay runs and require you to sign up to the software to have an account. By doing this you accept the software’s own terms and conditions which you will see when you sign up. We cannot prepare pay runs using other approval software or have access directly to your bank account other than any view only or accountants access you might give us for other purposes.  

Next Level Business will prepare those bill runs based on your instructions which we might vary together from time to time such as what to pay and when. Next Level Business will prepare and review a pay run and send it to you for approval. You are responsible for final approval of the bill run and therefore for funds leaving your bank account. By using the payments service you agree Next Level Business is not responsible for fraud, phishing, supplier or employee error or any other type of error leading to monies being sent to a recipient it was not intended to go to. These are risks you would have when doing payments yourself and those risks are not transferred to Next Level Business when we perform the payment service for you.