The Forum of Private Business recently published an article warning small businesses to take care and ensure proper records of financial transactions. As previously noted by us account filing will be online (mandatorily) from April 2011 and with the new VAT changes and the Government cost cutting measures, HMRC will be keen to tackle the problem of late filing or businesses that have ‘significant record keeping failures’.
It is essential that businesses keep detailed accounts and financial records. Limited companies especially have stringent accountancy obligations and several important accountancy dates throughout the year.
Here at TheCompanyWarehouse.co.uk, we’re determined to help make your life that little bit easier. To help you manage your bookkeeping simply and cheaply we offer FREE bookkeeping software available for download when you sign up for FREE access to My Company Warehouse.
There’s no need to spend £££s on unnecessary accountancy bills. Through our partners Pinnacle Accountancy you can take advantage of start-up accountancy and fixed-fee accountancy packages that won’t hurt your wallet but will ensure you’re up-to-date with your obligations with HMRC and avoid those nasty and unnecessary fines.
It’s a common tale, which can be traced back through the years. People need the support of others and more often than not they turn to their loved ones, friends and family for advice and guidance. This is even the case where those people might not know anything about the chosen subject and may well give biased advice, but people often seek the support of their nearest and dearest over professionals and experts. This is as true in business as it is in any other field.
Research carried out by T-Mobile has found that a large percentage of business owners (over 51%) would rather turn to their spouse for advice on business matters than professional accountants or other business experts. Business bank managers were the least likely candidates to be turned to for advice.
Seeking support from others can be extremely useful in acquire new ideas or a fresh perspective on things, but it can be a risky business. People that know you might not give the honest truth for fear of hurting your feelings. Their opinion may also not be that of the majority. You cannot pin the hopes of your business success on the fact that your spouse or friends think it’s a “good idea” or a “sure fire thing”. Market research is an essential part of any business plan. You need to get to know your market and what they want.
Of course that is just one element. As the old saying goes, a little knowledge can be dangerous. People often have “friends” who can help them out with the various elements of their business. Perhaps a friend might offer to build your website or a law student might want to help by writing your director service contract but trusting friends and family to get things right can lead to sticky business situations. You’re better off leaving the key elements of your business to the professionals. Professional support can make all the difference, taking the weight and pressure off your shoulders and letting you get on with the important parts of your business which you do know about. This is why people turn to accountants to help manage their books, company formation agents to help start their business and designers to build their website. You’ll get better results from professionals.
The Wife Knows Best
As a perfect example, a copywriting agency was asked to re-write the copy they had written for a client based on amends made by the client’s wife. Despite 32 years of experience writing professional content for a range of businesses, the copywriter had to bow to the will of the client – probably to their detriment. Some things are best left to the professionals!
As a business owner you probably have experiences of “the customer is always right” situations. You’ll know this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the customer is wrong and so is their spouse!
Credit cards and doumentary evidence seized by HMRC
In recent news, HMRC has demonstrated its tough stance when it comes to tax fraud. A London accountant, a 21 strong criminal gang and 11 members of a Ukrainian gang have all been subject to legal action, facing jail time and repayment orders.
With the strict rules around company accounts and VAT returns and the current deficit of the economy it is not surprise that the HMRC are keen to pursue these cases to the full extent of the law.
Richard Meadows, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:
“We are determined to bring to justice the criminals behind this type of fraud and take away the proceeds of their crime.”
It is not just those who intentionally defraud HMRC that are likely to be subject to action and fines. Those companies incorrectly submitting accounts or missing filing dates are also often subject to financial penalties. It is important to keep on top of your accounts and submit the right information at the right time. Using a good quality accountancy service ensures that the business is in line with the law. A good quality bookkeeping software will help you keep on top of your accounts.
In further moves to take everything online and streamline their services, HMRC will be requiring corporation tax returns and accounts to be filed via the web from April 2011. More specifically, these accounts will need to be produced in an iXBRL format.
iXBRL (inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is a language similar to the HTML code used to build websites. This code allows data to be easily linked to other relevant information. Making use of one particular language mandatory ensures that HMRC is not swamped with accounts and returns in a variety of different file formats that it cannot process or deal with.
HMRC defines iXBRL as:
Inline XBRL (iXBRL): a way of embedding and displaying accounting/financial information in an HTML document, the universal language for web browsers. It allows data to be presented in a readable form, either on screen or in printed output
HMRC supplies a list of relevant software suppliers who produce software that can format the data in the correct language. Otherwise you are encouraged to contact your accountant to ensure that they have the means to correctly submit your accounts in the correct format.
Remember that with The Company Warehouse, whether you’ve carried out a company formation with us or not, we can supply you with a low cost accountancy service to meet your company needs. Contact us today for free guidance and a service you can trust.