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Lockdown 3.0

  • 5th January 2021

Just as we were preparing to say good riddance to 2020, 2021 hits us with yet another lockdown. We were hoping that we would only have the Brexit impacts to contend with but this virus has once again dealt another blow to the UK economy.

We are here for you to help and advise you and to support you through more turbulent times. Do visit our coronavirus hub page for more extensive links to support available.

What we know so far…

Firstly, although pubs, restaurants etc can only sell food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway they can sell alcoholic drinks by delivery. Whilst this may offer up logistical issues, venues worried about stock going out of date could use this as a way of getting rid of it.

Secondly tradespeople, nannies and cleaners can continue to go to people’s homes to work.

Full details released by the government can be viewed here.

Chancellor announces top-up grants for some businesses

The Chancellor has announced a one-off top up grant for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors worth up to £9,000 per-property.

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

Further information can be found here.

An additional £594m discretionary fund will also be made available through local authorities and devolved administrations to support other businesses affected by the restrictions.

This funding comes in addition to the £1.1bn Local Restriction Support Grants for closed businesses worth up to £3,000 a month.

Further guidance on the Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses) is available here.

These grants will be administered through your local authority so you should visit their coronavirus support pages for further details on how to apply.

As further guidance and clarification is released on these grants will continue to share this.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Follow the Government link for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme here.

The CJRS is available for an employer to claim for employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of Covid-19.

The CJRS has been extended until 30 April 2021. You can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

You can claim for employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed. Grants under the scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can furlough employees on all categories of visa.

Your employee is eligible for the grant and can be furloughed, if they are:

  • unable to work because they are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health guidance
  • unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), including employees that need to look after children

If your employee is on sick leave or self-isolating as a result of coronavirus, they may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not intended for short-term absences from work due to sickness.

Short term illness/self-isolation should not be a consideration in deciding whether to furlough an employee. If, however, employers want to furlough employees for business reasons and they are currently off sick, they are eligible to do so, as with other employees. In these cases, the employee should no longer receive sick pay and would be classified as a furloughed employee.

Employers can furlough employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus. It is up to employers to decide whether to furlough these employees. An employer does not need to be facing a wider reduction in demand or be closed to be eligible to claim for these employees.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The deadline for the third SEISS claim is 29 January 2021. We await further details in relation to any extension to this scheme. Find out more here.

If you would like to discuss your circumstances or how we can assist you, please do contact us for a no obligation initial consultation.

Any news or resources within this section should not be relied upon with regards to figures or data referred to as legislative and policy changes may have occurred.