Our News

Our staff training and development continues with successes already this year.

Simon passed his final ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified accountants) exams, Carly passed her final ATT (Association of Tax Technicians) and Danny passed his personal tax module within AAT.

Well done to them all.


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Lettings Conference a huge success

The Base52 team took part in May's D&J lettings conference, joining key industry speakers to advise on a range of key subjects including recent tax changes and the implications for landlords.

There were also talks on mortgage lenders, what they are doing and how to improve the landlord’s position for the best mortgage deals. The final presentation gave advice on the local market and how to invest and manage a portfolio of properties effectively.

The conference ended with a lively Q and A session and a toast to Dharmesh and Jyoti Patadia for their 10 years in Hitchin, managing a successful lettings agency.

Dharmesh Patadia of D&J Lettings & Property Management said: “We were delighted to have such a great turnout, with lots of positive feedback and comments from everyone. An all round very successful morning!”


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App and online tools simplify accounts for Hitchin businesses

Hitchin accountants Base52 have extended their services to include some of the best accountancy technology – all to make accounts easier for their clients.

"We are offering an app and even more online options for businesses in the Hitchin area," said Managing Director Fred McBreen.

"We know some people want to pass us a box of receipts and let us deal with everything and there are others who are confident using accounting software. Now we’re offering a great online option for businesses with no time to update their own financial records regularly.”

Our new Taxapp is designed to help people with daily business and personal tasks. It is available for Apple, Android and Windows devices and features a range of useful tools and valuable tax content, including:

  • key tax dates
  • interactive tax calculators
  • tax tips
  • mileage tracker
  • expenses tracker
  • access to cloud accounting portals
  • and much more!

The new Cloud systems allow businesses to deal with invoices, record expenses, monitor outgoings and pay employees more simply. Whether you’re just starting or growing your business, our systems are intuitive and we’ll help you learn to use them.

“Many of us already use the cloud of ordering goods and we’re familiar with online processes – our app and website now offer so many more tools to help you do business better,” said Fred.


Growth Club flexibility comes to Hitchin

We’ve set up a new Growth Club and the first meeting established its flexibility in networking.

"We just want to get people together in a room four times a year to help us all develop our businesses," said Managing Director Fred McBreen.

"There are some great people running local businesses and Growth Club is about us all learning from each other."

The speaker at the first Growth Club was Stewart Peart, who has plenty of stories to tell. He inspired the collected group of 20 with hints from his own experience and also from books he has read.

A facilitated networking session meant people met each other, whether from local businesses or national organisations and between meetings people will stay in touch by social media.

Fred said: “I also gave a brief book review and our intention is that someone at each session reviews their favourite business book

"It was good to get such a variety of businesses together in one room. We're meeting again in January, with Carole-Anne McConnellogue as our speaker and hope to make it a regular, quarterly opportunity for local businesses to grow together. We're happy to welcome more local businesses and booking online is easy via our Events page.”


Base52 Badmintonathon

The team at Base52 are taking part in an epic, 4 hour Badminton marathon or ‘Badmintonathon’ on Sunday 28th June.

Our aim is to raise some money for a great local charity, North Herts Sanctuary. North Herts Sanctuary is based here in Hitchin and provides a 17 bed night hostel for homeless people. You can find out more about the Sanctuary here www.northhertssanctuary.org.uk

You can support us in 2 ways:

If you play badminton or fancy having a go you can challenge us to a game. The cost for a 15 minute slot is £5. As an added incentive, if you win, Base52 will pay your entry fee. To book your game, please call Delyth on 01462 423152 or email admin@base52.co.uk

If you don’t like the idea of playing but would still like to support us you can sponsor us. The easiest way is to donate via our Virgin moneygiving page here: DONATE

We very much appreciate your support.

Many thanks from all at Base52


Fred McBreen is speaking at Barclay’s Buy to Let Seminar on 16th April

Barclays are running an information evening at Hitchin Priory on 16th April from 5:30pm – 8pm for those considering entering the Buy to Let market and existing landlords. Fred will be speaking on behalf of Base52 about the financial and tax aspects of Buy to Let investment.

The focus of the evening will be around exploring opportunities for property investment in the local market addressing potential pitfalls.

To book your place, contact Helen McAndrew on 07827 807470 or email Helen on helen.mcandrew@barclays.com


Base52 supports The British Schools Museum in Hitchin

We are delighted to be supporting The British Schools Museum in Hitchin as our ‘Charity of the year’ in 2014.

The British Schools Museum is a fantastic local charity that does some great work in the community. The charity is responsible for preserving the historic buildings and classrooms and sharing the history of what education was like several generations ago. To find out more visit http://www.britishschoolsmuseum.co.uk/

We are hoping to raise some funds for the charity with events like our World Cup sweepstake and our lunchtime ‘Knowledge Bites’ meetings.

The photo shows our Managing Director, Fred McBreen meeting Andy Gibbs, Museum Manager at British Schools Museum.


Pensions auto-enrolment at Base52 – 8th May 2014

Andy Barr of Foundation Financial Planning was guest presenter at our Knowledge Bites session today at Base52. Andy explained that every employer has a ‘Staging date’ set when they need to enrol their employees in a scheme and make contributions on their behalf. For most small businesses staging dates will be from 2015 to 2017. Andy also covered choosing an appropriate scheme, identifying which employees will be affected and scheme administration. A lively session with lots of questions from those who attended. Contact us if you would like more information about auto enrolment and how it affects your business.

Check out our Knowledge Bites programme for future dates and topics.


We're 10!!

We are celebrating our 10th anniversary of being in business this month. It’s a bit of a cliché but it really has gone very quickly.

The company was founded by Fred McBreen and Phillip Rushton in May 2003. Originally named Rushton McBreen Ltd the name was changed to Base52 Ltd after a few months. We moved into business premises in Bancroft, Hitchin in October 2013 and are still here today. We now occupy a bit more of the ground floor and the team has expanded from 2 to 8 people.

Phillip Rushton left the company in 2006 to start his own accountancy practice and Fred has been Managing Director since then.

Fred said, ‘The early years starting a business are certainly the hardest. My family have been very supportive and patient and allowed me to follow my ambition of building a successful and sustainable accountancy practice. We now have a really strong and capable team and I am very confident that we can continue to grow in a difficult trading environment by looking after our clients.’


Wills & Trusts at Base52 – 19th September 2013

Robert France of HRJ Foreman Laws was guest presenter at our Knowledge Bites session today at Base52. The title of the talk was 'Wills and Trusts – are they for me?' Robert covered reasons for making a will, inheritance tax, trusts and how they might be useful and Lasting Powers of Attorney. A great session with lots of helpful advice and food for thought. Robert even found time for a poem about how taxes catch you on just about everything in life…and then in death as well.

Check out our Knowledge Bites programme for future dates and topics.


Using Social Media at Base52 - 20th June 2013

Dawn Fry of 'The Melting Pot' was guest presenter at our Knowledge Bites session today at Base52. The title of the talk was 'Social Media Matters' and Dawn gave hints and tips on using Facebook and Twitter effectively and the importance of personality and engagement in social media.

Check out our Knowledge Bites programme for future dates and topics.


BUPA Great Manchester Run - 23 May 2013

Fred McBreen, Managing Director of Base52 completed the BUPA Manchester 10k on 23 May. So far over £600 has been raised for StreetInvest. The funds raised will go towards street workers salaries for a project in Sierra Leone. Thank you to all our clients, business contacts and friends who have supported this initiative.


Gianni Campopiano

Personal Financial Planning presentation at Base52

Gianni Campopiano of Foundation Financial Planning gave a presentation at Base52 on 23rd May 2013 as part of our Knowledge Bites series. Areas covered were market update, investment strategy, inheritance tax mitigation, corporate bonds and mini bonds, trusts, capital gains on property disposals. Check out our Knowledge Bites program to book your place for future sessions.


Buy to Let forum at Base52 - 25th April 2013

Luke Mason of Belvoir Lettings gave a great presentation on the ins and outs of ‘Buy to let’ at Base52 in Hitchin as part of our Knowledge Bites series.

People attending ranged from prospective first-time investors to established landlords with multiple properties.

Check out our Knowledge Bites programme for future dates and topics.


Buy to Let Mortgage Clinic at Barclays in Hitchin

Fred McBreen of Base52 Chartered Management Accountants is delighted to be a guest speaker at Barclays buy to let mortgage clinic on the 10th April 2013 from 6pm - 8.30pm at their Hitchin Branch.

The event has been created by Barclays to offer clients who are new to buy to let wanting to get an understanding of the subject as well as, mortgages, taxation and law and will feature a panel of guest speakers as well as Barclays area manager.

If you are interested in attending this event please contact Alison Walrond of Barclays bank at your earliest opportunity by emailing alison.walrond@barclays.com or contact info@base52.co.uk


Fred McBreen will be taking part in the BUPA Great Manchester Run

Fred McBreen will be taking part in the BUPA Great Manchester Run on 26th May this year. He is hoping to raise funds for StreetInvest, a charity which provides support to children living on the street in the UK and overseas. You can sponsor Fred at www.justgiving.com/Fred-McBreen


Base52 are heading North!

We have opened an office in Cheadle near Manchester from this month (November 2012). We already have a number of clients in this region and a local presence will enable us to enhance the service we provide to them. The office will operate on a part-time basis initially and we intend to develop our North West business over a period of time. Watch this space for further details!


Blaze for Malawi

Fred McBreen, managing director of Base52 Ltd has joined with three other local businesses to raise funds for 'Medic Malawi'. Medic Malawi http://www.medicmalawi.org/ is a UK registered charity which provides financial and practical support to a small community in Malawi (Mtunthama). A small donation can make a big difference.

The 'Blaze for Malawi' team which includes Stewart Peart and James Pascoe from Applied IT, John Staveley from T4 Telecommunications and Ron Webster from RA Webster (Associates) Ltd will be taking part in various physical challenges (including a marathon and a long distance cycle ride) and organizing a number of events to raise money for the charity. Fred, Stewart and John are all members of BNI Blaze breakfast club in Hitchin, http://www.bniblaze.co.uk/ - hence the team name.

To donate to Medic Malawi please visit the Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/blaze4malawi


Beachy Head Marathon
22nd October 2011

We've done it! After 6 months of training the big day finally arrived and all 6 of the Blaze for Malawi team - me, Stewart Peart, James Pascoe, John Stavely, Ron Webster and Paul Morton managed to complete the course.

We would all like to say a huge thank you to Stuart Hyams of Back on Track, Personal Training and Sports Injury Clinic who prepared our training plans and supported us throughout. A massive thank you our breakfast club colleagues at Blaze and to everyone else who has supported us and contributed to our charity. To check how much we have raised so far or to sponsor us, please visit www.justgiving.com/blaze4malawi

Even with all the training, nothing quite prepares you for the Beachy Head course which is very, very hilly. One of our team, Stewart went over on his ankle at around the 16 mile marker and had to hop and limp the last 10 miles or so over the toughest and hilliest part of the course. He had an X ray the following day and found out he had fractured his ankle. Now that's commitment!

Fred McBreen, 24th October


'Hitchin to Hitchin' Cycle ride
23rd to 26th September 2011

This is my Blog of 4 day cycle ride with 5 business colleages - Stewart, John, Laurie, Keith and Tim.

Day 1 Cycle from Hitchin to Milton Keynes. Train to Whitehaven. Cycle to B&B. Total 59 miles.

Wow! That was much tougher than expected. I know I'm fit because I've been in training for the marathon next month but I just couldn't keep up with everyone else. They are on mountain bikes. I have a 20 year old Raleigh Hybrid which I thought would be fine. It probably is fine for trundling around Hitchin but not for long distance cycling with hills. Anyway, game on! Arriving at Milton Keynes station was heaven. Just about made our train connections with me slowing everything down. Lovely journey along cycle routes 33 and 51, so off road most of way. Arrived late in Whitehaven. Town very quiet. Last heave up hill to the B&B and then a Chinese Restaurant for the evening.

Day 2 Cycle from Whitehaven to Penrith. Total 53 miles

Oh dear! Woke at 6.30 to sound of rain and wind. Not looking forward to today. Set off a bit late from an overcast Whitehaven. Steady climb but not as bad as expected. Puncture on the way fixed by our leader, Stewart. Made Keswick by 3ish. Quick snack at a cafe and arrived in Penrith at about 6. There were a few tough climbs on route with me as the back marker again. All in all though, a better day than expected. Weather turned out ok and we reached Penrith before nightfall. My bike is the source of much banter. It has been compared to Miss Marple's and there is disappointment that I don't have a basket on the front.

Day 3 Cycle from Penrith to Allanheads. Total about 40 miles

Shorter run today but with the biggest hills. For me, that was the toughest physical challenge I have ever done. After this, the marathon should be a walk in the park (I might live to regret saying that). There was a very long, exhausting climb to Hartside Top over bleak and windy moorland. At the summit is a café frequented mainly by bikers and cyclists. We tucked into some great food and got ready for the next stage. My coping strategy has been not to look at the maps and see what might be coming. I think if I had known what hills were coming I might have stayed in the café. After a long downhill we climbed again from Garrigill and then again from Nentheads up to over 500m. It was just head down and pedal, pedal, pedal. We arrived in Allanheads at about 6 and stayed in the local pub.

Day 4 Cycle from Allanheads to Newcastle. Train to Stevenage. Cycle to Hitchin. Total about 46 miles

Very tough start with a very steep climb out of Allanheads. What comes up must come down so a great down hill section to Rookhope. One last climb on an off road section to Stanhope, then a lovely long downhill to the Tyne. Great views up on the tops and old mine workings (lead or tin we thought?). Good place for grouse with lots popping up out of the heather. Arrived in Newcastle at lunchtime and found a great pub by the Tyne with burgers and beer for a fiver. Sat outside in the sunshine and felt very satisfied. Final leg was train to Stevenage and race back on cycle route 12 to Hitchin. Two of our party had spilt from us to finish the 'coast to coast' in Sunderland. They just beat us back to Hitchin market square. A final drink to celebrate and all off home.

Job done. A great experience and certainly the toughest physical challenge I have ever done. Would I do it again? Not on that bike!

Fred McBreen 27th September

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