Lucentum’s full service automatic enrolment solution for SMEs demystifies ‘harder than expected’ processes

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Lucentum Chartered Accountants works with many small and medium sized businesses in the South East and throughout the UK but is finding SMEs’ general response to pension auto enrolment is slow and cautious, likely due to the perceived processes which they will need to go through under the new automatic enrolment (AE) system.

Professional Pensions reported at the tail end of January how “two thirds of employers found AE harder than expected”. Understanding the complex process that could be involved for some businesses, Lucentum, an Essex based Chartered Accountants and Business Advisory firm, is offering a ‘full service’ approach to ease the pressure on SMEs.

Fiona Cowie, Associate HR & Reward Consultant for Lucentum, says: “Some businesses are seemingly tackling auto enrolment with their ‘head in the sand’ rather head-on. With staging dates for businesses (with fewer than 250 employees ) looming from 1st April this year, we are urging them to take action and start preparing for the business process and administration changes that this will dictate. It doesn’t have to be a tricky and complex process – but if it is, Lucentum is available to help”.

Not all small businesses have the infrastructure needed to manage such processes (i.e. dedicated Human Resources or Pension department) and it’s the expertise of pension’s advisors and HR that can really be of benefit. Lucentum offers this expertise through Cowie, who is an established HR and Pensions professional, a unique offering for an accountancy firm.

Cowie continues: “It is very common for small businesses to work with IFAs or accountants to help balance the books, but few of these advisors have the expertise in-house to extend their services into end-to-end auto enrolment solutions. Auto enrolment requires a big-shift in business processes, and only having gone through some very detailed steps to meet the new regulations, can a company be confident they are compliant. Very broadly; Lucentum takes a holistic approach, ensuring every aspect is catered for; with a clear three phase service. We aim to work with a business to understand ‘where they’re at now’, and then get them to ‘where they need to be’.

With auto enrolment in process for lots of larger businesses and necessary for smaller businesses from this year, the gaps in available support for SMEs has become apparent: with smaller businesses often relying on their accountant for business support, there has never been more of a need for accountants and HR to have a joined up approach.”

Lucentum Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors are running a series of events for clients and non-clients to find out more about what is needed to get auto enrolment in place. Whether a company still has three to six months, or more, or just three weeks to go, Lucentum is urging people to get in touch and start their preparations.

Lucentum is a proactive company delivering accountancy and business support services to Owner Managed Businesses throughout the UK. The company seeks to challenge traditional methods and business practices to assist SMEs to grow and be as profitable and efficient as they can. Lucentum encourages clients to have clear written goals and aspirations and achieve an acceptable work-life balance and works alongside them to help them achieve whatever they have set out to do. Lucentum itself is a business run by businessmen and women therefore is able to provide appropriate advice and support at all levels. Fixed fees agreed in advance, and plain English explanations ensure that there are a no nasty surprises and a money back guarantee removes risk.

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Melinda Atkinson

Melinda Atkinson
Melinda Atkinson

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