Cirrus has its head in the Cloud

Bank House Investment team

Bank House Investment team - Credit: Archant

Over 60 businesses attended a breakfast seminar held by Cirrus Cloud Accounting at the Cheltenham Chase Hotel to hear about the benefits of offsite accounting and data storage.

Speakers at the event, Jim Glanville and Sam Deeley from Cirrus and Leigh Stallard from Xero

Speakers at the event, Jim Glanville and Sam Deeley from Cirrus and Leigh Stallard from Xero - Credit: © Thousand Word Media

Cloud accounting is the future says Cirrus

According to Cirrus’ Cloud Accounting Manager, Sam Deeley, with faster broadband speeds and increasingly reliable internet connections, more companies are operating their accounts systems via a cloud-based system.

Cloud accounting means that data is automatically backed up in safe storage warehouses so the threat of faulty office back-up systems recedes. For businesses struggling with reduced manpower and high IT costs, the adoption of Cloud accounting sounds like a no-brainer to us: There is no large capital outlay on servers every few years and any number of users can log in from anywhere, so no cumbersome VPN links for homeworkers. Office IT support can be reduced and Cloud providers always have the latest version of the software, so no tricky upgrades to run either.

Cirrus has chosen to work with Xero Software to deliver its cloud-based service.

Companies can do as much or as little of the book-keeping as they want. A typical split of duties could be the company generating sales invoices, debt chasing and processing of purchase invoices with Cirrus undertaking such jobs as bank reconciliations, monthly wages, VAT returns, management accounts, taxation and a company’s Annual Return.

Its sounds a great way to free up time-poor company directors who don’t want to be working on their accounts at midnight because they’re too busy looking after their customers during the day.

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Bank House Investment arrives

Bank House Investment has moved into 125 the Promenade. Having grown a successful fee based organisation from scratch over 8 years, directors Tristen Free and Robert Ward felt it was time to tell people that Bank House is a growing business. The building, previously home to Harrison Clarke, has been taken over by Bank House as an investment into the future of the Bank House business.

The extra space will allow Bank House to grow its investment team this year. Robert said: “We wanted to make a statement that Bank House is a serious business and the move to the prestigious office building on the Promenade is part of the future growth of the business”

Alpha Colour Printers invests in carbon neutral printing tech

Gloucester-based Alpha Colour Printers has invested in a state-of-the-art Heidelberg Carbon Neutral Colour Press with a funding package from Santander Corporate & Commercial.

Founded in 1979 by Jeff Williams, the firm employs 35 members of staff in the Gloucester area.

The purchase of the Heidelberg Colour Press will allow Alpha to improve efficiency, maintain its position as employing equipment of the highest quality and enhance its green credentials. The hi-tech 4 Colour Press is carbon neutral and will allow customers to use such certification in their printed material. The press is expected to produce a 20% increase in productivity in terms of speed of production and at least a 10% reduction in energy utilisation and is one of the first carbon neutral presses in the country.

Maitland Walker expands after hat trick of Court of Appeal wins

Leading solicitors Maitland Walker continues to expand its litigation team as the firm celebrates three successive Court of Appeal wins.

The litigation team, led by Rupert Croft in the firm’s Cheltenham office, has more than doubled in size over the last eighteen months after attracting instructions on the back of a number of high profile Court of Appeal cases.

Rupert said: “We continue to build up a strong litigation team in Cheltenham with the depth and breadth of experience and expertise to resolve the most complex of disputes, often in the High Court.”

Maitland Walker’s three successive Court of Appeal wins include two potential landmark cases. The first concerns the high profile case of minicab operator Addison Lee, which is fighting for the right to use bus lanes in London. Under current regulations, only black cabs are able to use bus lanes, other minicab drivers risk being fined. In 2012, the High Court decided Addison Lee taxis were not eligible to use bus lanes. However, Maitland Walker took its client’s case to the Court of Appeal arguing that this ruling was in breach of both UK and EU competition law. The Court of Appeal has now referred the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) where it could be decided that black cabs are, in effect, receiving illegal state aid because they enjoy a government backed competitive advantage over other licensed minicabs.

Maitland Walker has also won an important decision in the Court of Appeal on the free movement of goods in the EU. The firm’s client Sigma Pharmaceuticals imported large quantities of asthma preventative Singulair into the UK from Poland. Pharmaceutical giant Merck, the patent holder of Singulair, obtained an injunction preventing further imports and an order for Sigma to pay damages. Maitland Walker successfully persuaded the Court of Appeal to refer the case to the ECJ.

In another recent Court of Appeal triumph, Forest of Dean businessman Richard Gabriel, the founder of parcel company Interlink, tried to overturn a High Court decision about a claim he had made against Maitland Walker’s clients Peter Little and his Gloucestershire based building company High Tech Design and Build Ltd.

Gabriel claimed he had been misled by Little over a loan made in connection with a property at Kemble Airport. Following a nine-day trial in London, the High Court rejected Gabriel’s claim so he took it to the Court of Appeal. This court also ruled in Little’s favour and ordered Gabriel to pay his costs of the case - estimated to be around £500,000.

Lloyds Bank supporting social entrepreneurs

Lloyds Bank is supporting social entrepreneurs across the UK through its partnership with the School of Social Entrepreneurs. It is one of its flagship programmes designed to support social entrepreneurs in communities to help stimulate economic growth and regeneration across the UK.

The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) has 16 years of experience designing and delivering action learning programmes for social entrepreneurs. The year-long Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs programme provides practical facilitated learning and financial grants to help budding entrepreneurs develop their social enterprise ideas. The Start-up programme offers £4,000 funding and a year of training for aspiring entrepreneurs who have a unique idea. Meanwhile, the Scale-Up programme provides £15,000 funding and support for existing social entrepreneurs who would like to expand their enterprise and achieve maximum social impact. All social entrepreneurs on the programme receive mentoring from Lloyds Bank colleagues and one of the Scale-Up students will be voted by the public as the Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

One Gloucester student currently on the programme is Raston Williams, Gloucester, Fresh Air Foundations who uses the arts and media as a way of developing learning aids that may be used by organisations and community groups. By providing information and encouraging discussion on important issues, the beneficiaries are encouraged to lead a healthier lifestyle, reducing the impact on society.

Graham Lindsay, Director, Responsible Business, Lloyds Bank, said: “We believe that social entrepreneurs have real potential to deliver a positive impact on society.”

Alastair Wilson, CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “Working in partnership with Lloyds Bank has enabled us to support some of the most dynamic and promising social enterprises in the UK. This year we’re thrilled to be supporting almost 300 individuals with bright ideas for social change and look forward to seeing their enterprises develop over the course of the programme.”