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Business Organisations Call for a Soft Brexit

With Brexit negotiations are underway this week, business leaders are watching from the side lines with interest to see how their business will be affected by the type of deal agreed to. An open letter from some of the leading business organisations has called for the government to pursue a soft Brexit and maintain access to the Single Market. The letter was penned by the heads of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and manufacturing trade group, the EEF. While they all accept the result of the referendum, they are urging caution. They’re concerned about the “no deal is better than a bad deal” stance that the government is taking. This could lead to UK businesses having no clear trading rules or regulations when wanting to trade with the EU.   An ideal scenario It seems that everyone wants something different from the Brexit negotiations. However, the business group leaders represent the interests of thousands of British businesses. The business group leaders have called for the final Brexit deal to have a tariff-free goods trade system, minimal customs formalities and a flexible system for the movement of workers. The letter also highlights the need for an “open and frictionless border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Beside business group leaders, the letter has also been signed by Keir Starmer, Labour MP. Starmer suggested that David Davis should take a new approach to Brexit negotiations, one that doesn’t go down the “no deal is better” route. He said: “The belligerent and reckless approach adopted by the Prime Minister to date has needlessly wrecked relations with the EU. A much more constructive and responsible tone is needed. No deal has never been a viable option.” Theresa May...

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Treasury Calls Out HMRC on Cost of Making Tax Digital for SMEs

  Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Committee, has questioned the true cost to small businesses of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) plan, after estimates from the Treasury and FSB were found to vary widely. Estimates “Cannot Both be Right” Andrew Tyrie raised concerns after learning that the Treasury has estimated the transitional cost to small businesses will be £280 per business over the period 2017-18 to 2020-21 – while calculations by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has put the cost at a much higher £2,770 per year per business. Mt Tyrie wrote to Jane Ellison, the financial secretary to the Treasury, and Mike Cherry, chairman of the FSB, voicing his concern over the discrepancies and enquiring about the methodology used to produce both figures, stating that they “cannot both be right.” “The compliance cost estimates are so far apart that at least one of them must be wrong. I have written to both the Treasury and the FSB to ask for detailed supporting methodology for their estimates,” explained Mr Tyrie. “If the FSB are right, the effects of Making Tax Digital would be crippling for many small businesses. If the government are right, businesses have something to gain in the longer term and one would expect them to be queuing up to join the pilot.” Last week, HMRC said that, according to its forecasts, the one-off transitional costs will be £100m for UK businesses in 2017/2018, rising to £500m in 2018/19 and falling the following year to £350m, with total transitional costs between 2017 and 2021 estimated at £980m. But the FSB previously claimed that, as it stood, the estimated average cost of implementing the mandatory aspects of MTD would be £2,770 per business. “Harming Entrepreneurship” The Treasury Committee has already made its worries over the Making...

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Eight Great Benefits of Cloud Bookkeeping

If you’re still keeping accounts using software on your computer – or, shock horror, in an accounts book – it’s time you made the move to a simpler, more secure way of keeping financial records. And that simpler, more secure way is cloud bookkeeping. Here are our eight reasons why cloud bookkeeping is ideal for you, whether you’re a freelancer or small business owner: You Can Forget About Back-Ups Your data is stored in the Cloud, meaning it’s not held on just one server but many; if your Cloud provider is worth their salt, those servers will be in a variety of places, keeping your data secure if there is damage to servers at a certain location. You Can Forget About Updating Your Accounting Software Updates will be performed on the cloud software automatically, saving you time, money, hassle and the risk of downtime and lost data when updates fail to install correctly or software expires. You Have Anytime, Anywhere Access Your data can be accessed at any time and any place you wish, providing you’ve got an internet connection, making it easier to record expenses and payments on the go. You Can Share the Load Improved access means that keeping the books in order no longer needs to be the responsibility of one individual. You, your accountant and any employee or business partner you grant permission to can all access your accounts and financial information instantly, making collaboration, decision-making and working out of the office a doddle. Your Data Is Bang Up To Date Because your data is held on the cloud, whenever and wherever you access it, it will always be bang up to date. No waiting for people to download data from memory sticks or update the accounts in the afternoon – or at the end...

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