Nicola Carter, Senior Partner at Hall Livesey Brown

Could you tell us a little about Hall Livesey Brown and your role within the company?

My journey with Hall Livesey Brown commenced in 2005. I started as an accounts junior at the age of 19, as I decided university wasn’t for me. Accountancy gave me the opportunity to study professional exams whilst gaining invaluable ‘on the job’ experience and earning a salary. Before qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant (FCCA), I began studying and qualifying for the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). later on, I became a Chartered Accountant (ACA).

Over the years I have moved my way up the ranks. Demonstrating expertise across operations, from bookkeeping to managing my own clients and tax advice. Now a Senior partner, I take pride in maintaining direct client relationships. This is a testament to the firm’s commitment to personalised and hands-on service.


How do you stay updated on changes in tax laws and regulations? In addition, how has this knowledge contributed to your ability to maximise capital allowances for your clients?

Legislation changes all the time. This means it can be difficult to stay updated without the correct resources. Leaning on experts in capital allowances has helped contribute to the success of claims for our clients. The CARS teams have provided us with on-hand advice service which has proven invaluable. This support also includes training sessions which many firms would benefit from to help to stay up to date.


In your opinion, what are the common misconceptions or misunderstandings that businesses may have regarding capital allowances? How do you address them in your advisory role?

Clients don’t always realise how much is available within their commercial properties to claim tax relief against. Therefore, they don’t provide the information to us as their accountant. Not having this information and not being aware of expenditure that has been spent, limits how far we can go.

We always aim to provide the best service for clients. Our role as an advisor is to always be on alert and to raise awareness regarding potential unclaimed capital allowances when they arise. Our clients trust us to have their best interests in mind. So we make sure these opportunities don’t get missed, and this helps us to build stronger relationships.


Can you discuss any specific challenges you faced before partnering with us? Then how our support has addressed them, ultimately enhancing your service delivery?

The complexity of capital allowance claims certainly requires specialised support. CARS stepped in, providing expert assistance. This support has significantly improved the efficiency and accuracy of the claims process for our clients. An important part of the process is completing a site survey and valuation of the qualifying items. This section alone is something we weren’t able to facilitate. We are accountants, not property surveyors, and your expertise in this area enabled us to provide a much larger claim for our clients.

Plus, as mentioned before, legislation is constantly changing. As a busy accountancy firm, we are very busy with day-to-day tasks. The CARS team has a huge amount of knowledge and expertise in the area of capital allowances. This has given us peace of mind that the claims being processed for our clients are in line with HMRCs latest guidelines.


What qualities or attributes should accountants look for when seeking external support for capital allowance claims? In turn, how did we align with these criteria for your firm?

I would say look for a team with different skill sets required to carry out these claims. I didn’t realise how many different skills are required. You need a property law specialist, a surveying and valuing specialist, and a tax specialist. Your team provided us with all these resources alongside a thorough process. CARS gave an in-depth service that is backed up with a detailed amount of evidence to support your claims. As an advisor, we are leaning on you to help support our client in ways we don’t have the facilities to. Having this guarantee of a claim being fully backed up is a must to continue to maintain a loyal clientele.

Thank you Nicola for sharing your experience of working alongside us!

If you would like to speak to our team regarding a potential partnership, please get in touch...

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