Friday Roundup Podcast 29th January 2021

International Association of Bookkeepers - Bookkeeping Qualifications, Bookkeeping Study and exams

The news from the week ending 29th January 2021

Simon Jordan – Marketing

Below are the notes from the podcast

Simon

  • In this week’s Friday Roundup, we’re talking about the latest coffee morning with our guest speakers Patrick Williams from Armalytix demonstrating his software which allows you to look at a client’s bank statements online and Julien Tavener from Alternative Business Funding who is one of the IAB partners and you can see their info and find out more about them from the membership section on the website.We’re also talking about the new Ambassador initiative which is going really well with more members signing up and we now have 5 Ambassadors so we’d love to see you get involved.

    Coffee morning recordings can be found here

Friday Roundup Podcast 15th January 2021

International Association of Bookkeepers - Bookkeeping Qualifications, Bookkeeping Study and exams

Please note this podcast was recorded on 14th January

The news from the week ending 15th January 2021

Janet Jack – CEO
Sarah Palmer
 – COO
Simon Jordan – Marketing

Below are the notes from the podcast

On this week’s Friday Roundup we have…

Simon

 

Janet

  • Welcomes members to the New Year
  • Continuing roll out of the National Ambassador Program
  • We are expecting the outcome of the first test case between the FCA and the insurance companies regarding non-payment of business interruption claims due to Covid

Sarah

  • The IAB is planning on the assumption we will be in lockdown until Easter at the earliest
  • Financial Support Available
    • New Top Grants
    • Discretionary Local Council Support Grant
    • CJRS
    • CBILLS and BBL have been extended until 31st March
  • March Budget – No further financial support is expected until the budget

 

Simon

  • Further details about how to become an IAB Ambassador
  • Wishing everyone a safe lockdown

Simplifying your bookkeeping business – The Pixie Interview

International Association of Bookkeepers - Bookkeeping Qualifications, Bookkeeping Study and exams

Episode 18 of the IAB Podcast

In this episode of the IAB podcast, I’m interviewing the co-founders of Pixie.

Jordan is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Pixie. He’s previously worked and consulted with a number of leading names in the accounting profession including Practice Ignition, Accountex, Digital Accountancy Show and more. He’s also the host of ‘How to? with Pixie’ a video podcast sharing actionable strategies and insights for accountants & bookkeepers.

Pixie is a simple practice management app for small firms with big ambitions, helping you to manage your tasks, clients and deadlines in one place. In just a few clicks, Pixie prioritises your to-do list, sends automatic reminders to clients, and helps you to systemise your workflows, saving you time and helping you to deliver a more proactive service to clients.

In the podcast I ask the 2 co-founders

  • What is Pixie?
  • Why was Pixie created?
  • What problems does Pixie solve for bookkeepers?
  • Why would firms use something like Pixie over e.g. excel spreadsheet?
  • Why is Pixie different to other solutions?
  • Tips for implementing practice management/workflow solutions?

To visit the website click here

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn

Listen in to the podcast here.

EY launches free Brexit App

EY has launched a free Brexit App, designed to help businesses access government notices, regulatory updates and guidance, as well as providing updates with key developments.

Designed to help businesses prepare for the end of the transition period and beyond, the app provides access to:

  • The latest UK Government and EU guidance.
  • Direct links to the Brexit webpages of key UK trade bodies (British Chamber of Commerce, Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors, TechUK).
  • News updates from EY on significant Brexit developments.
  • The latest thinking from EY’s Brexit teams on actions for business.

Catriona Campbell, EY Client Technology and Innovation Officer, said: “There is simply no way that businesses can be fully prepared for what’s coming as they don’t know what they are preparing for. Therefore, they need to take all steps possible to game the odds in their favour, and one crucial step in doing this is having access to the right information sources that are going to help navigate some of the complexities that Brexit will bring. The app contains all the key information sources in one user friendly, easy to navigate place.”

The free app can be downloaded from Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS.

The rise and rise of the robots

Large swaths of businesses have used the Covid-19 pandemic to bring in the robots. New research from Deloitte on robotic and intelligent automation found two-thirds (68%) of business leaders worldwide used automation to respond to the impact of the pandemic.

The Big 4 firm’s survey of 441 executives from 29 countries shows how the lockdown has forced many organisations to rethink how work is done. Around three in four (73%) of organisations worldwide are now using automation technologies – such as robotics, machine learning and natural language processing – up from 58% in 2019.

Meanwhile, the number of organisations deploying automation ‘at scale’ has tripled in the space of two years. Some 13% of leaders say their organisation has implemented over 50 automations, up from 8% in 2019 and 4% in 2018.

Justin Watson, partner and leader of Deloitte’s robotic and cognitive automation practice, said: “Automation has been a lifeline for businesses during the pandemic – allowing for rapid increases in processing capacity, new processes to support the response, increasing productivity and accuracy, whilst also improving the experience of customers and employees.

“As organisations scrambled to support home working en masse and provide Covid-secure work sites, automation took the strain to ensure business continuity. For instance, by triaging requests to allow contact centre agents to manage the higher number of calls and emails, or accelerating the validation of loans from financial institutions. In the months ahead, investment in automation technologies will continue to flow with the direct aim of bolstering organisational resilience.”

Commercial tenant eviction ban extended to March

The UK’s ban on commercial property eviction has been extended to March 2021, the government has confirmed. It also said that this will be the final extension of the initiative, which was originally supposed to end in September.

A government statement said the move “will give landlords and tenants three months to come to an agreement on unpaid rent”.

Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Said: “This support is for the businesses struggling the most during the pandemic, such as those in hospitality – however, those that are able to pay their rent should do so.

“We are witnessing a profound adjustment in commercial property. It is critical that landlords and tenants across the country use the coming months to reach agreements on rent wherever possible and enable viable businesses to continue to operate.”

The eviction ban extension was welcomed by British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson, saying that it came “in the nick of time”.

She said: “This extension will give hard-pressed retailers breathing space to trade their way out of rent arrears that may have built up during lockdown.”

Deadline looming for CJRS claims

HMRC is writing to agents to remind them that Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) claims for December must be submitted no later than Thursday 14 January.

Claims can be made before, during or after you process your payroll, but HMRC is advising that “it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your employees worked so you don’t have to amend your claim at a later date”.

The Revenue said: “You can check if you’re eligible and work out how much you can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples, by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme’ on the gov.uk website.” It added: “Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them.”

Employers do not need to have benefited from the scheme before to make a claim. If you’re claiming for the first time, you’ll need:

  • a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password.
  • to be enrolled for PAYE online
  • the following information for each furloughed employee you’ll be claiming for:
    • name
    • National Insurance number
    • claim period and amount
    • PAYE/employee number.

There’s a list of monthly claims deadlines and a helpful step-by-step guide on the gov.uk website, summarising the latest information on CJRS and the steps you need to take to make a claim – you can find these by searching ‘Job Retention Scheme step by step guide’.

If you have furloughed employees because of the effect of coronavirus on your business, you can claim under the CJRS for periods of paid leave they take while on furlough, including for bank holidays such as Christmas Day or Boxing Day. You should not place employees on furlough just because they are going to be on leave.

For employees who are flexibly furloughed, you can count any time taken as holiday as furloughed hours rather than working hours. This means you can claim 80% of their usual wages for these hours.

If a furloughed employee takes holiday, you should top up their pay to their normal rate in line with the Working Time Regulations.

How To Limit Your Stress This Tax Return Deadline – Take control of your clients

Dreading January? As an accountant to self-employed sole traders, we’re going to guess that’s a yes – unless you’ve managed to file your clients Self-Assessment tax returns already… hats off to you if you have!

Getting this monumental task completed early is no mean feat. But it is possible to get through the tax season without experiencing a stressful sprint to 31st January.

Here, Mike Parkes from GoSimpleTax explains how.

Gather all information soon
Don’t delay get the required data together off your clients now. Make a checklist such as the one below to ensure you have everything avoiding unnecessary delays. This aids you and your client if shared and updated between you.

Documents and Information Checklist. (suggested format)

Documents/Information Received Client to send
National Insurance Number
Unique Taxpayer Reference number or UTR
Business/partnership name, address and company number if relevant
P45
P60
P11D
The business’s annual income and expenditure
Income earned from other employment
Any rent they have received
Interest paid on loans, credit cards or other credit
Income from overseas
Income received from a partnership
Any dividends received
Benefits received either from the state or an employer
Capital gains received
Gift Aid received
Pension contributions
Tax payments they have already made this year (payments on account)

Be sure to have yourself registered with the 64-8 form for new clients, to be officially recognised as their agent by HMRC so you can act on their behalf.

Remind your clients of what is required

You have shared your checklist of standard data required, but you may require extra information.

Perhaps your client has a student loan. Maybe your client (or their partner) are claiming Child Benefit. If there’s the slightest possibility your clients circumstances will affect how much tax they need to pay, you should be aware.

Make clients aware of possible penalties

Submitting the Self-Assessment late comes with penalties, so make sure your clients are aware of these and know how you will need to provide all the necessary data to ensure they avoid them.

Minimise errors with tax software

The chances of any mistakes can be reduced through Self-Assessment tax return software. It will take all the administrative work off your hands, ensuring the numbers are correct. Your client can also see their tax liability in real time, which should be an incentive not to leave it to the last minute!

Think ahead for Making Tax Digital – HMRC will not continue to maintain their own software

With MTD over the horizon begin converting your clients to a software such as GoSimpleTax and utilise their income tax calculator and submission tool for your clients business. Giving them full visibility of your tax liability in real time whilst giving and reviewing your pension contributions and investment opportunities.

About GoSimpleTax

GoSimpleTax is a secure cloud-based solution and it is officially- recognised by HMRC.

It includes partnership, non-resident and previous year returns.  it has an easy to use interface and submits direct HMRC. GoSimpleTax are ready for MTD and the software shows the Tax liability in real time.  It has a simple dashboard allowing you to switch between clients easily.

IAB members now receive a 25% discount on GoSimpleTax to receive your discount code sign-up here (example 100 client submissions £187.50inc using discount)

New lockdown grants of £4.6 billion unveiled

Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure impacted by the new lockdown will be able to access additional grants of up to £9,000 per premises – with £4.6 billion being made available across the UK.

This support comes in addition to business rate relief and the furlough scheme, which has been extended until the end of April.

Local authorities have also been given another £594 million to help affected firms outside these sectors.

The cash will be provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “The new strain of the virus presents us all with a huge challenge – and whilst the vaccine is being rolled out, we have needed to tighten restrictions further.

“This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.”

Christmas Day is tax return day!

More than 2,700 customers filed their self-assessment tax return on Christmas Day, according to the latest stats from HMRC.

The peak time for completing tax returns was 2pm to 2.59pm, with more than 200 customers pressing ‘send’ on their online form.

The self-assessment deadline is 31 January 2021, and HMRC has not heeded the call for it to extend the deadline for tax returns by the accountancy bodies.

HMRC explained that once self-assessment customers have completed their 2019/20 tax return, and know how much tax is owed, they can set up their own payment plan to help spread the cost of their tax liabilities, up to the value of £30,000. They can use the self-serve Time to Pay facility to set up monthly direct debits online. Interest is applied to any outstanding balances from 1 February 2021.

In total, 31,400 customers completed their 2019/10 tax returns between 24 and 26 December, which is down on the 34,200 returns last year.

The Christmas 2020 figures:

  1. Christmas Eve: 20,200 tax returns were filed. The peak time was 11am to 11.59am, when 2,892 returns were received.
  2. Christmas Day: 2,700 tax returns were filed. The peak time was 2pm to 2.59pm, when 214 tax returns were received.
  3. Boxing Day: 8,500 tax returns were filed. The peak time for filing was 3pm to 3.59pm, when 858 returns were received.