Recently the ICAEW IT faculty launched 'Twenty principles for good spreadsheet practice'

The twenty principles in brief are:

1. Determine what role spreadsheets play in your business, and plan your spreadsheet standards and processes accordingly.
2. Adopt a standard for your organisation and stick to it.
3. Ensure that everyone involved in the creation or use of spreadsheets has an appropriate level of know¬ledge and competence.
4. Work collaboratively, share ownership, peer review.
5. Before starting, satisfy yourself that a spreadsheet is the appropriate tool for the job.
6. Identify the audience. If a spreadsheet is intended to be understood and used by others, the design should facilitate this.
7. Include an ‘About’ or ‘Welcome’ sheet to document the spreadsheet.
8. Design for longevity.
9. Focus on the required outputs.
10. Separate and clearly identify inputs, workings and outputs.
11. Be consistent in structure.
12. Be consistent in the use of formulae.
13. Keep formulae short and simple.
14. Never embed in a formula anything that might change or need to be changed.
15. Perform a calculation once and then refer back to that calculation.
16. Avoid using advanced features where simpler features could achieve the same result.
17. Have a system of backup and version control, which should be applied consistently within an organisation.
18. Rigorously test the workbook.
19. Build in checks, controls and alerts from the outset and during the course of spreadsheet design.
20. Protect parts of the workbook that are not supposed to be changed by users.

 For more information click here


Not long now until the Devon agricultural shows, this year Thomas Westcott will be attending four around the county. Please pop in and see us for a friendly chat, some complimentary refreshments and a chance to win a luxury hamper full of delicious Devon goodies.


Once again charities are under investigation over business rates relief.

The Charity commission is warning charities to be aware of entering into leases on commercial premises, resulting in the charity becoming liable for the payment of significant business rates. Currently five charities are under investigation in connection with their business rates relief arrangements. Charity trustees need to consider their legal duties carefully when taking on the lease of a property even if it is a currently empty property. For more information go to or call Steve Cresswell on 01271 374138.


The Charity Commission have published at 5pm on 15 July 2014 the 2 new Charity SORPs. These are the new accounting framework for charities following on from the publication of FRS 102 in 2013. The new regulations will apply to accounting years beginning on or after 1 January 2015.We will provide further details in due course.


The Charity Commission has reported that following its investigation into ‘double defaulting charities’ in September 2013, 33 charities have now complied with their reporting obligations. From November 2013 charities with between £250,000 and £500,000 gross income are being investigated if they have failed to file accounts for 2 years.
The Charity Commission find it difficult to understand why charities comply with Companies House filing regulations but not those of the Charity Commission.
The names of charities being investigated are available on the website.

If you have any questions about this topic or any other charity issues, please contact Steve Cresswell - Head of the Thomas Westcott Charity Team on 01271 374138 or email


Are you considering using a low CO2 emissions car for your business? Read here for more information on the tax implications.

To read our Fact Sheet on the Subcontractor Annual Compliance Review please  Click Here


 This year Thomas Westcott supported the Michelmores 5k Charity Run in Exeter by entering 8 runners, all the runners did really well and for some it was the first time they had entered an organised race.

 Below are the Thomas Westcott runners and their times, the runners also raised nearly £400 for Macmillan Cancer Support through sponsorship.



Chip Time 


Dan Cornish  00:22:29 123 
Tim Wardale  00:25:15 243 
James Lowe  00:25:28 256 
Sonia Cleeve 00:31:41 520
Charlotte Cann  00:31:41 521 
Kathryn Stanton  00:32:07 540 
Charlotte Palmer  00:33:13 577 
Joanna Robson  00:35:08  607 


Well done to all the runners.