Technical and Insight
CJRS – what about the Christmas holiday?

Claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are currently open for pay periods in December 2020 and there are hard stops for these claims.


Claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are currently open for pay periods in December 2020 and there are hard stops for these claims. 

 

Do remember that for November claims, if a claim is wrong the deadline to amend claims for employees furloughed in November is Tuesday‌‌ ‌29‌‌ ‌December.

 

Due dates are outlined here

 

The following summary from HMRC can be shared with clients:

  • the UK government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The terms of the scheme will be reviewed in January.
  • there are now monthly deadlines for claims. Claims must be submitted within 14 calendar days after the month they relate to, unless this falls on a weekend in which case the deadline is the next weekday. We'll continue to send you reminder emails before the deadline each month.

What you or your clients need to do now

  1. 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 GOV‌‌‌‌.UK.
  2. Keep any records that support the amount of CJRS grant you claim, in case HMRC needs to check them.

 

Can I use CJRS to pay for holiday leave?

  • Employees can only be placed on furlough if an employer cannot maintain their workforce because their business has been affected by coronavirus, and not just because they are on paid leave. This also applies during any peak holiday periods in late December and early January. If an employee is flexibly furloughed, any time taken as holiday should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.
  • If a furloughed employee takes holiday, their employer should pay them their normal rate of pay in line with the Working Time Regulations. For more information search 'Check if you can claim for your employees' wages' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

 

What about notice periods?

  • For claim periods from 1‌‌‌ ‌December, employers cannot claim CJRS grants for any days that their employee is serving a contractual or statutory notice period, including notice of retirement or resignation.

 

Can employers re-employ someone and furlough them?

  • If employees were on an employers’ payroll on 23 September 2020 (ie notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 23 September) and were made redundant or stopped working for them afterwards, they can qualify for the scheme if they re-employ them and then place them on furlough.

 

What if I’ve claimed too much in error?

  • If you or your client has claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, you must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:
  • 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
  • 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.
  • If you or your client do not do this, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest search 'Interest rates for late and early payments' on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.‌‌‌UK.
  • You or your client can let us know as part of your next online claim without needing to call us. If you claimed too much but do not plan to submit further claims, you can let us know and make a repayment online through our card payment service or by bank transfer – search 'Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back' on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌.‌‌‌‌‌‌UK.

 

What if I haven’t claimed enough?

  • If you or your client has made a mistake in a claim that means you received too little money, you’ll need to amend it within 28 calendar days after the month the claim relates to – unless this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, in which case the deadline is the next weekday. The deadline to amend claims for employees furloughed in November is Tuesday‌‌ ‌29‌‌ ‌December.
  • To find out how to amend a claim, search 'Get help with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

 

What information on claims will be published?

From Febr‌‌‌uary, we will publish the names, an indication of the value of claims and Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) of employers who make CJRS claims for periods from December onwards. The published value of a claim will be shown within a banded range – to find a list of these, search 'Check if you can claim for your employees' wages' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

 

Details of CJRS claims will then be published monthly as part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims.

 

Employees will also be able to check if their employer has made a CJRS claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account from February. To set up a Personal Tax Account go to GOV‌‌‌‌.UK and search 'Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up'.

 

View more information

 

Audit implications post-transition Brexit

What the UK framework for audit and reporting will look like at the end of the transition period.


What the UK framework for audit and reporting will look like at the end of the transition period.

 

The government and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have published letters to the accounting and audit sectors setting out the UK framework for audit and reporting at the end of the transition period.

 

These letters provide enhanced guidance to UK incorporated companies, multinational groups with a UK and EEA presence and UK and EEA companies with cross-border listings. It contains links to various resources ie webinars, legislation references where practitioners can find useful information to help their clients.

 

The UK’s legal framework for accounting and corporate reporting will be effective from 11pm on 31 December 2020.

 

What has changed?

It is important to note that for most companies the UK’s accounting and corporate reporting regime will remain largely unchanged. However, some of the most obvious changes that practitioners should be aware of are:

 

  1. All UK incorporated companies that are currently required to use EU-adopted IFRS will need to use UK-adopted international accounting standards for financial years that begin on or after 1 January 2021. On 1 January 2021, UK-adopted international accounting standards and EU-adopted IFRS will be identical.
  2. Companies with financial years ending on 31 December 2020 can continue to use EU-adopted IFRS as it stands at the end of the transition period for the 2020 financial year, and UK-adopted international accounting standards for the next financial year.
  3. Early adoption of UK-adopted international accounting standards is allowed. Where new or amended IFRS are adopted by the UK after the transition period, but before those companies file their accounts for the financial years that straddle the end of the transition period, they can choose to apply any new IFRS adopted by the UK in addition to EU-adopted IFRS as they exist at the end of the transition period. This also applies to companies with financial years ending before the end of the transition period, but who do not file until after the end of the transition period. Where companies choose to make use of this option, they will need to disclose what standards they have used as part of the notes to their financial statements.

 

Some of the specific changes to the relevant section in Companies Act 2006 for UK companies for financial years that begin on or after 1 January 2021:

  1. S401 – No consolidation is required for intermediate UK parent companies that have an EEA parent using EU-adopted IFRS to produce group accounts.
  2. S394A – The preparation and filing exemptions will no longer be available for dormant subsidiaries of EEA parents. This means that dormant UK registered subsidiaries with an immediate EEA parent will need to prepare and file individual annual accounts with Companies House.
  3. S392 (3) – UK subsidiaries will no longer be permitted routinely to extend the period to align their accounting reference date with their EEA parent.           
  4. S479A and S479B – Audit exemption will not be available to UK subsidiaries of EEA parent undertakings after exit day. The subsidiaries audit exemption will continue to be available for those companies and LLPs that are subsidiaries of UK parent undertakings.

 

What will be the impact on Irish incorporated companies – are they able to use UK GAAP including for listing purposes?

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is the accounting standard setter for both Ireland and the UK. As a result, UK GAAP and Irish GAAP are for material purposes the same. This will continue to be the case after 31 December 2020.

 

Company Law in Ireland requires that companies incorporated in Ireland prepare financial statements for the company either according to ‘Irish GAAP’ or according to EU-adopted IFRS.

 

For UK incorporated companies or groups with securities admitted to trading on the Irish Stock Exchange or UK incorporated groups that issue debt from a subsidiary incorporated in Ireland the same advice applies as set out above. That is, such companies will need to comply with local regulatory provisions from 1 January 2021 - in this case Irish regulatory provisions. Any companies affected may contact the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority and check what requirements will apply.

 

Useful resources

The Statutory Auditors, Third Country Auditors and International Accounting Standards (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

 

FRC – Business readiness webinar

 

ACCA Brexit hub

 

The benefits of offering capital advisory services

Graeme Tennick explains why he uses Capitalise to help his clients raise finance, using case studies to illustrate the benefits to his practice and his clients.


Build strength and resilience in your clients' business by assisting them to raise, recover and protect their capital - all through one platform. 

 

Capital advisory is about going beyond the numbers and helping your clients get their balance sheet match fit. Strengthening your firm's services with capital advisory readies your firm to advise upon the whole business lifecycle. 

 

In a recent podcast with Graeme Tennick of Graeme Tennick & Co, he tells us why he uses Capitalise to help his clients raise finance, and takes us through some case studies to illustrate the benefits to his practice and his clients.

 

Last month, Advalorem's Nigel Adams explained how his practice benefits from supporting it's clients in this way too. Catch-up now

 

Capitalise.com has created a capital advisory guide, offering up the shortcuts to getting set up and the opportunities available for your firm. 

 

Download this free guide now

 

As an ACCA member, you also have access to Capitalise's CPD certified Learn courses. They will help deepen your knowledge and confidence around funding whilst giving you important insight into how lenders and banks work, putting you in the best position to support clients around their broader needs. 

 
You can access them directly here.

 

Postponed VAT accounting

When you can account for import VAT on your VAT return.


You can account for import VAT on your VAT return if:

 

  • the goods you import are for use in your business
  • you include your VAT registration number on your customs declaration.

 

When you must account for import VAT on your VAT return

If you import goods that are not controlled into Great Britain from the EU between 1 January and 30 June 2021, you must account for import VAT on your VAT return if you either:

 

  • delay your customs declaration
  • use a simplified customs declaration to make a declaration in your own records.

 

Sage UK has published useful guidance highlighting the mechanics of postponed VAT accounting.

 

How does postponed VAT accounting work?

The import VAT is accounted for on your VAT Return in three of the ‘9 boxes’ that you need to fill in.

 

Note that the fast-changing world of Brexit means that some advice you might see about which boxes to complete could be out of date.

 

The following has been recently confirmed by HMRC:

  • Box 1 – VAT due on sales and other outputs: Include the VAT due in this period on imports accounted for through postponed VAT accounting.
  • Box 4 – VAT reclaimed on purchases and other inputs: Include the VAT reclaimed in this period on imports accounted for through postponed VAT accounting.
  • Box 7 – Total value of purchases and all other inputs excluding any VAT: Include the total value of all imports of goods included on your online monthly statement, excluding any VAT.

 

If you don’t use postponed VAT accounting, and instead pay the VAT immediately when the imported goods enter free circulation, you will need to complete boxes 4 and 7 only.

 

Note that these values can’t be manually adjusted in the VAT return boxes under Making Tax Digital (MTD) and must be recorded in the main record-keeping software.

 

Key to managing postponed VAT accounting are the online monthly statements. This new report will show simply the import VAT that has been postponed during the previous month.

 

The C79 report should continue to be used for VAT you’ve paid at customs (that is, that’s not been postponed).

 

The postponed accounting report will only show imports for which there have been customs declarations and therefore won’t show imports that have been deferred.

 

If declarations have been deferred, you’ll need to estimate import VAT and then correct it in your next VAT Return once the declaration has been prepared and the calculated import VAT appears on a subsequent report.

 

Remember that import VAT should be calculated after duty and other costs. Because of this, it’s unlikely to be acceptable to estimate import VAT based on the supplier invoice alone.

 

The postponed accounting report will form a vital part of your VAT accounting records. Therefore, you’ll need to download and retain copies for your records in case the information is no longer available online.

 

 

Cross-border VAT in 2020 and beyond

Brexit will result in changes to the VAT treatment of international goods and services.


Brexit will result in changes to the VAT treatment of international goods and services.

 

With the end of the transition period to Brexit ending on 31 December 2020, there will be changes to the VAT treatment of international goods and services. The process for any cross-border VAT refunds will also become manual and cumbersome as applications for refunds will be paper-based and sent to the individual member state that the VAT relates to.

 

In conjunction with Dean Wootten FCA CTA, we bring you a technical factsheet on cross-border VAT issues that will provide guidance on these issues and the changes to be aware of.

 

The factsheet and other resources relating to Brexit are available at our Brexit Hub

 

Practitioners can also access the on-demand webinar as part of our Saturday CPD Conference Three.

 

Be your own boss!

Carl Reader shares invaluable words of wisdom for those considering taking the lead.


Carl Reader shares invaluable words of wisdom for those considering taking the lead.

 

Of course, everyone is not their own boss. Everyone can’t be … but anyone can be.

 

The popular stereotype is that every entrepreneur is a young, dynamic individual who wouldn’t look out of place on The Apprentice. The reality is that business owners come in all shapes and sizes, and simply cannot be classified by sex, age, race or upbringing. While you might see stories in the newspapers about teen whizz-kids who build multi-million-pound apps, what you don’t hear about is the legions of older workers who start their own business just a few years away from the state retirement age.

 

You might hear about entrepreneurs being kick-started by family money, but you don’t hear about all the entrepreneurs across the world who start after bankruptcy, with no money whatsoever. The point is this: there are no limitations when it comes to who can start a business. In fact, you could be living next door to an entrepreneur and not even realise.

 

Regardless of your own personality type and intentions, there are some very real differences between employment and being your own boss which you need to be aware of. 

 

Room to fail

One of the two leading factors stopping people from starting their own business, based on my survey, is confidence. Many simply don’t have the confidence that their business will be a success; that they will attract enough customers to pay the bills; and most importantly for some, they don’t have the confidence that they won’t fail.

 

This opens up the crux of the difference between employment and self-employment. In employment, it’s rare that you are allowed to fail. Here in the UK, employment rights stop companies firing staff at will, and as such there is a comfort blanket for each of us. If we don’t quite perform, we can be put on ‘performance management’ and coached to help improve our performance.  And if that doesn’t work out, there’s always a sideways step into another role, or the opportunity to jump before you are pushed. 

 

In business the market is a crueller judge. The market decides whether you are performing or not, and if you aren’t performing, your customers will vote with their feet.  The market decides whether you are worthy of bank funding, and whether you are a good employer or not, and you’ll find it extremely difficult to recruit the best talent if this goes against you.

 

Finances

By being your own boss, you’ll need to manage your financial situation, as there is no guaranteed pay cheque at the end of the month. Instead, you will need to cater for seasonal fluctuations in your business, and the risk that you may lose some major customers overnight. You’ll also need to cover your tax liabilities, as these won’t be deducted from your pay cheque.

 

Customers

Next up, you will need to be responsible for finding and keeping customers. In an employed role, you will have support in this. Even if you are at the sharp edge of a sales team, you will still have a marketing team providing supporting material, and the business owner providing a vision and a strategy. In your own business, that’s all down to you. As is keeping the admin side of things in order. And keeping the customers happy.

 

Competition
You will also be more exposed to competition. In an employed role, you might find that you have competition for promotion with some of your colleagues. Depending on the type of business, you might find that this introduces office politics, or other detrimental behaviours. In business, the floor opens. Anyone providing the same service or product as you could theoretically be your competition. You will have people trying to be better than you, quicker than you and cheaper than you. And if they succeed, you feel it in your pocket straight away. 

 

So, there’s the downsides! There are some benefits as well.

 

Management

I’m sure some of you have worked for that type of manager. You know the one that I mean. The jobsworth who obsesses over details for the sake of it. The micro-manager who might as well do the job themselves because they know best.

 

Or even worse, the other type of manager. The one who goes against the rule book, just to help themselves. Rather than praise in public and criticise in private, they tread on whoever they need to, just to get their next promotion. Every good idea is their idea, and every problem is someone else’s fault. Ownership of a task is a rarity; in fact, delegation – or abdication – is key to their success. 

 

By being your own boss, you can choose which of these you want to be.  Or, of course, you can choose to do it properly.

 

Strategy, control and choice

You’ll also be able to control your own destiny. You will be in control of what you earn, the hours that you work, the type of work that you do, the type of business that you work in, the type of customer that you work for, and the way that you do what you do. You will be in control of your working environment, your schedule, and can even choose your preferred brand of coffee.

 

Taking these choices to another level, you will be in control of your company culture, your systems and processes, your management structure, the growth methodology, the number of employees you have, the equity funding that your corporation can raise, and your net worth at retirement.

 

Business ownership actually opens up a world of control, which can be quite daunting for those who are used to being managed and employed. With that comes a lot of responsibility, and the need for resilience and strength.

 

Carl Reader  www.carlreader.com

 

This extract from Boss It by Carl Reader © 2020 is reproduced with permission from Kogan Page Ltd.

 

Buy Boss It now on Amazon at http://carl.to/book or in WH Smiths, Waterstones, Blackwells and some independents and consider how you can share or use it with your own clients.

Stocktakes during Covid restrictions

Actions auditors can take to support December year-end stocktakes


Actions auditors can take to support December year-end stocktakes.

 

With tougher restrictions under the tier systems in place for most of the country, practitioners and their clients may struggle to arrange physical stocktakes. This problem will be felt acutely for companies with December year-ends, which is one of the more common financial year-ends, other than March.

 

At the heart of the matter is the requirement for auditors to obtain sufficient, appropriate audit evidence in order to be able to give an audit opinion that is not subject to a disclaimer or qualification due to a limitation in scope.

 

Some actions that the auditor can take to assist with this are:

  • Ensuring clients have good contiguous records of the stocks during the relevant period and at the year-end date, together with movements post year-end. The auditor will need to obtain and retain adequate evidence under the usual audit processes so that reliance can be placed on that process and evidence, taking into account any cumulative knowledge of the client’s systems.
  • Arrange a virtual stocktake via video conference using either business Skype or WhatsApp video chat – the auditor will need to ensure they have the full stock records sent by the clients with them during the virtual stocktake and then instruct the client’s own staff to evidence the physical counts via video evidence. This can be live or recorded, although with a pre-recorded video, auditors should ensure that there is a date/time stamp evidence of when this was recorded. They must ensure that adequate digital evidence is gathered and retained as you would under normal situations.
  • Consider extending the financial year-end of the company by changing the accounting reference date so that a physical stocktake may be able to be arranged in a few months’ time when the situation has potentially improved and staff and/or travel restrictions have eased.

 

If the above suggestions are not viable or possible for any reason, then the only option may be to qualify the audit report in respect of the stock valuation. The reasons for qualification should include the impact of Covid-19.

 

The Financial Reporting Council has updated its resources for companies and auditors and practitioners 

 

 

 

 

Three things stopping you moving forward

Most accountants want their practice to be more successful, productive, profitable and efficient.


Most accountants want their practice to be more successful, productive, profitable and efficient.

 

Last month, I asked ‘Do your clients see you as ‘just’ an accountant?’ 

 

And there are thousands of tools, software programs, consultants and training sessions available to help you (and I should know – I’ve created loads of them myself for AVN members).

 

So why aren’t all the accountancy practices in the UK incredibly successful, productive, profitable etc etc etc? After all, much of the information is accessible for free and other resources come at a low cost. Testimonials about their efficacy are two a penny so it’s pretty clear that they work.

 

And yet, when I speak to accountants I hear the same story over and over again – my clients won’t pay a higher fee; my clients won’t pay for advisory services; I have to check all the work my team does; there isn’t any alternative.

 

Despite the wealth of resources they could tap into to make really positive change, they’re doing exactly what they’ve always done. And feeling frustrated and overworked as a result.

 

Even firms that have made the decision to join AVN and pay the monthly subscription for our services sometimes behave in the same way.

 

At AVN, we provide training on leadership, team building, marketing, value pricing, customer service, systemising, opportunity spotting, delivering added-value services and business consultancy. Our ever-evolving software tools help shortcut the implementation of many of these areas and we also provide access to intellectual property that includes a full suite of ready-to-tweak practice systems and growth strategies. In addition, we provide coaches to challenge, advise and provide accountability. Yet some of our members who have access to all of these resources just keep on doing the same old thing.

 

Why is that?

 

In 2015 I decided to find out. I travelled the length and breadth of the UK, visiting as many AVN members and former members as I could. I tried to understand their circumstances when they first joined us, the approach they’d taken so far, the results they’d had, and the challenges they’d faced.

 

I found out that were three main causes of inaction and I believe these apply to all accountancy practices, not just AVN members.

 

Too much choice

‘Where do I start?’ When you’re faced with a huge range of choices, it’s overwhelming. Making a decision becomes really difficult and often it’s easier to make no decision at all.

 

On average, the big UK supermarkets now stock a whopping 40,000 products – we can buy pretty much anything we want from there. I just checked the Tesco website and they sell 212 different shampoos; 111 types of milk; even 37 varieties of toilet paper. So what do we do when we’re faced with an aisle full of choices? We certainly don’t review them all, balance them against each other and make an informed, rational decision. How long would the weekly shop take if we did that every time! No, we reach for the familiar. It may not be the best option for us, but we know the results we’re going to get and we don’t have to think about it.

 

Fear of rocking the boat

It’s not just that the choice is overwhelming, there’s also the risk of getting it wrong. You’ve probably spent years building your accountancy practice and it’s certainly demanded a lot of your time and energy. Even if it’s not running exactly how you want it to, it’s putting food on your table and that of your team. What if the new way of doing things doesn’t work? What if it makes things worse instead of better? It’s safer to stick with the status quo.

 

No clear path

It’s not just taking the first step that’s so difficult, it’s what comes after too.

 

I found that many of the firms I spoke to had actually taken some action to make changes. They decided to do one thing – perhaps to put a new pricing strategy in place - and when it was done they moved on to the next. Often, they did have some success and things improved in that area, but they didn’t have a clear path that connected all their actions. The piecemeal approach didn’t have real momentum behind it and in some cases, everything just fizzled out.

 

Does any of this resonate with you? Does it help you to recognise what’s stopping you from taking action to improve your own practice? Once you identify what that is, it’s much easier to start making change happen.

 

What I discovered from my journey was that there was a clear pattern to the approach of the most successful firms in implementing the AVN concepts. It wasn’t purely about taking action, it was about taking action in the most appropriate order.

 

I developed a new approach to the way AVN helped accountants. This new approach fell into two stages:

 

First, I identified seven key principles that would lead to a far more profitable, enjoyable, scalable and purposeful practice. These, and the methodology around them, form a structured process that I call the AVN roadmap since, effectively, it’s a journey.

 

Next, I identified a better way of helping the accountants we work with to take action to implement the necessary changes more effectively.

 

These two approaches are the basis of my book, Putting Excellence Into Practice – and of course, the basis for these articles too. I’ll be looking in more detail at what’s stopping you taking action in my next article, but if you want to find out more right away, you can download the book here and read Chapter 5.

 

Shane Lukas – Director, AVN

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing your – digital – firm

Your marketing will not work until you have a clearly articulated vision of who you are. So, do you?


Your marketing will not work until you have a clearly articulated vision of who you are. So, do you?

 

Most accountants are keen to grow their firms. Understandable really. It is certainly one of the drivers for the firms I work with in my mentoring group and, particularly so, the firm owners I work with one to one. I often say to firms it is very easy to grow an accounting firm but it is much harder to scale one!

 

In this penultimate article in the digital firm series, I will set out the differences between growth and scale (for clarity) and discuss some of the steps I took in my own firm and the challenges I see with firms I work with and how we tackle these to better position them to utilise marketing effectively.

 

The previous six articles have all been about setting the foundations for your digital firm. Developing your strategy, getting pricing right, building the right technology stack, setting up effective and efficient process and looking at advisory and the services you can offer. Once this is all done we should have created capacity and capability to scale our firm effectively and therefore we need to look at marketing to generate leads and desire from clients that want to engage with us.

 

Let me first point out I am not a marketing expert! There are plenty of those servicing the accountancy sector. This latest article, as with the previous six, are focused around my own learning whilst growing my own firm at 30% plus year on year together with the work I do with other firms in helping them grow profitable practices.

 

Growth vs scale

I stated in the introduction it is easy to grow a firm but much harder to scale. So, what’s the difference? Growth from a revenue perspective is easy. Take on more clients than you lose, and you grow. From a marketing perspective if you have a good message and communicate it effectively growth is easy. This of course relies on you keeping the clients you have, and this is exactly where the scale challenges kick in.

 

I proudly wear my heart on my sleeve and much of what I talk about, and write about, comes from real first-hand experiences. This is no different. 2015/16 was a tough couple of years in my own firm. We had been growing at 40-60% revenue growth and profitability was suffering as was client experience. We were growing but we were scaling very badly. We were hamsters on a wheel running really fast to try and keep the growing client base happy. We were growing well because we had a clear message and proposition, and we did a good job communicating it.

 

To scale we have to make the same investments into our team, our processes, our system and our culture. Without the internal effort you simply cannot scale, and you start to see the clients leaving through the back door as the new ones come in the front door. This article isn’t about that of course and we have covered some of this in the earlier articles. The key, however, is making sure you don’t undo all the great work you do in marketing.

 

Step one to effective marketing

This one, for me, is easy. If I look at why we grew the way we did as a firm it was down to a clear and unique proposition. We had a clear vision that we communicated well and a set of values that underpinned our proposition.

 

In today’s competitive marketplace this is even more important today than it was for me back in 2007. Back then we were doing business in a way other accountants simply were not so it was made easier. That said, even today we all have something that makes us unique and the challenge is understanding what that is and communicating it well.

 

Of course, this is not something that comes naturally to many accountants. In almost every case with the firms I work with, whilst the thing they want to talk about is process and technology, we always end up building out a vision and a set of values before we even start on tech and process.

 

This start point of a clear vision is critical in attracting not only clients but also team members. If you as the business owner do not know why you get out of bed in the morning, your team certainly won’t. If your team don’t your clients have no hope. So many buying decisions today, particularly amongst millennial and Gen Z business owners, are made based on the values of the organisation they buy from. If you accept this to be true then if you are not communicating them, you won’t attract these clients to your firm.

 

Step one is simply know why you do what you do. So many firms throw money at marketing before they know the answer to this question. The message is then lost in translation and the marketing spend return is low, or no, ROI.

 

Spend time thinking about what it is you do, why did you set up a firm, what did you want to change, who do you want to help and how do you want to help them. Your own unique vision lies in the answer to these questions.

 

Step 2 to effective marketing

Guess what, this one is easy too! Take the answer to step one, what is the vision? Shout this from the rooftops! You have to begin to use this vision to provide consistent and deliberate messaging around your vision. Work with your team to build a set of values to drive your vision. Again, communicate your values. Make sure your team know them and live them. These values should define your brand.

 

A brand, just in case you didn’t know, is more than just a logo and some colours. It is intended to define who you are and what your clients can expect from your business, your brand values. Personally, I believe we have to go beyond a brand which can be somewhat static. We need to develop a firm personality. A personality that can be shared can adapt and truly reflect who you are and who you want to be. It may be you work in a multi-partner firm which I often describe as schizophrenic firms as they have multiple personalities creating a hugely confusing experience for clients. It is for this reason we have to build a single firm personality so our clients know clearly who and what they are buying and what they can expect.

 

 

Step 3 to effective marketing

I am not going to go into the specifics of where and how to build a pipeline of prospects or the ways you can go and find new clients. Step 3 is really about putting your newly defined and clarified messaging to work. So many firms I talk to have things that make them unique but they don’t talk about them. Once you know your why, your vision, take a look at your website. Does the website communicate it well?

 

Revisit your networking 60 second pitch, does that communicate who you are and who you want to be? Do the local village newsletter adverts portray the right message? How about your direct emails, your social media messaging, your brochures, the tone of voice you use in your firm’s communication? Do these communicate your vision and purpose effectively?

 

I am prepared to hazard a guess to the answer to these questions and the answer is no. If you have not taken that step back and really thought about who you are and who are the ideal clients for you there will be confusion in your messaging and any return on marketing investment will be lower than you would like and can expect.

 

Next steps

I set out at the beginning that I am an accountant and not a marketeer. I enjoy marketing and therefore follow the subject closely and look at what accounting firms and other industries are doing to make marketing work. I also have the benefit of talking to lots of accounting firms and seeing where things are not working, my own experience included. The whole purpose of this article was to clarify one key point:

 

Your marketing will not work until you have a clearly articulated vision of who you are.

 

If you take one thing away from this article it is that point above. If you only take one action then define your vision.

 

If you are happy to take more actions then I will revisit the steps:

  1. Define your vision
  2. Build a set of values with your team that underpin your vision
  3. Live and breathe your firm brand (personality)
  4. Ensure everything you do is consistent to your vision in all your messaging
  5. Take a look at everything you do currently under the banner of marketing and ensure you update the messaging.

 

Next month’s final article

We will conclude this series of articles in January with the final step of the digital firm wheel by looking at the importance and the role of culture in your firm. Culture is critical as part of your marketing message but also building a cohesive team to drive forward your firm.

 

To attract and retain the very best talent we have to rethink internally what we offer and the way we engage with our current and future workforce. Like millennial clients, the millennial workforce wants something different and if we want to attract the right talent we need to know what they want and how we can adapt to deliver it. Join me next month for this fascinating new challenge for firm owners.

 

Will Farnell – Founder and Director, Farnell Clarke

Factsheet: accounting for coronavirus

Revised technical factsheet addresses the accounting aspects of some of the grants and reliefs made available by the government due to Covid-19.


Revised technical factsheet addresses the accounting aspects of some of the grants and reliefs made available by the government due to Covid-19.

 

The impact of Covid-19 (coronavirus) has had a significantly detrimental effect on businesses across the UK.

 

This technical factsheet aims to address the accounting aspects of some of the grants and reliefs made available by the government due to Covid-19, including:

 

  • the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • business rates relief
  • Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
  • rent holidays
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

 

This factsheet was updated in October 2020 and replaces the version issued in June 2020.

 

Covid and redundancies – accounting under FRS 102 and corporation tax treatment

The accounting and tax treatment of Covid-related redundancy payments for companies.


The accounting and tax treatment of Covid-related redundancy payments for companies.

 

The impact of Covid-19 on sustained trading and the changing announcements in relation to the furlough scheme have forced many businesses to make some of their staff redundant. This article considers the accounting and tax treatment of redundancy payments for companies.

 

Accounting under FRS 102

Redundancy payments fall under the definition of termination benefits and are accounted for in accordance with section 28 (paragraphs 28.31 to 28.37 and 28.43 to 28.44) Termination Benefits.

 

Termination benefits are employee benefits provided in exchange for the termination of an employee’s employment as a result of either:

  1. an entity’s decision to terminate an employee’s employment before the normal retirement date; or
  2. an employee’s decision to accept voluntary redundancy in exchange for those benefits.

 

Recognition

An entity draws no economic benefits from the termination payments. As a result, paragraph 28.32 requires that redundancy costs are recognised in profit or loss immediately once the entity is demonstrably committed to terminate employment or make payment due to an offer made to encourage redundancy (para 28.34).

 

Where an entity is making redundancy plans close to its balance sheet date, the position at the balance sheet date must be carefully assessed to determine whether the conditions are met at that time.

 

If the recognition criteria have been met at the balance sheet date, the expense and a corresponding provision should be recognised in the accounts. If an entity is not demonstrably committed to a termination, it must not recognise the expense.

 

If the recognition criteria have been met after the balance sheet date but before the accounts are approved, a non-adjusting post balance sheet event should be disclosed.

 

If the recognition criteria have not been met or there is uncertainty about the number of employees who will accept an offer of termination benefits at the balance sheet date or before the accounts are approved, relevant entries and disclosures will not affect the accounts of the relevant year and instead may be reflected in future periods, although some disclosures may be required (see below).

 

‘Demonstrably committed’

An entity is only demonstrably committed by accepting a legal or constructive obligation to make redundancy payments. An entity will demonstrate commitment if it has:

 

  • prepared and approved a detailed formal plan to terminate employment where there is no realistic possibility of withdrawal from the plan (para 28.35).
  • raised a valid expectation in those affected by redundancies that it will carry out the restructuring by starting to implement that plan or announcing its main features to those affected by it (21.11C).

 

Detailed plan

It is not necessary for the plan to specify which individual employees will be made redundant, but it should refer specific employee group affected and discuss impacts.

 

A detailed formal plan must therefore identify at least:

  • the business or part of a business concerned
  • the principal locations affected
  • the location, function, and approximate number of employees who will be compensated for terminating their services
  • the expenditures that will be undertaken
  • when the plan will be implemented.

 

Discussions about likely redundancies in the context of future plans for the business do not constitute a detailed plan.

 

No realistic possibility of withdrawal

FRS 102 does not define what 'no realistic possibility of withdrawal' means, therefore management should consider whether likelihood to withdraw plans exists taking into account the commercial and financial position of the business and whether formal announcements have been made informing those likely to be affected at or before the balance sheet date.

 

The following circumstances describe some examples when the condition of ‘no realistic withdrawal’ is not met.

  • management have only had internal discussions and decisions made have not been announced formally
  • decisions made are not backed by a sufficiently detailed plan
  • decision to make redundancies has been announced formally but management still need to conduct further analysis before deciding which group of employees will be made redundant. As a result the plan cannot be considered sufficiently detailed so as to raise a valid expectation in those employees that will be affected.

 

Measurement

Termination benefits should be measured at the best estimate at the reporting date of the expenditure that would be required to settle the obligation (para 28.36).

 

Where an offer to encourage voluntary redundancy is made, the measurement of termination benefits should be based on the number of employees expected to accept the offer.

 

Where payment is expected to be made more than 12 months after the end of the reporting period and the time value of money is material, redundancy costs should be discounted to present value, using high quality corporate bonds as a discount rate (28.17).

 

Disclosures

For each category of termination benefits that an entity provides to its employees the entity should disclose (para 28.43 to 28.44):

  • the nature of the benefit
  • its accounting policy
  • the amount of its obligation and the extent of funding at the reporting date.

 

Where there is uncertainty about the number of employees who will accept an offer of termination benefits, disclosure should be made of the contingent liability in accordance with section 21 of FRS 102, unless the possibility of outflow is remote.

 

Corporation tax

For redundancies paid in the course of an ongoing business, tax deductibility of redundancy payments broadly follows general rules:

  • payments are incurred wholly and exclusively for business purposes, and are not of capital nature
  • to obtain relief in the relevant period of account, the payment must be made within nine months of the end of that period.

 

In addition, redundancy payments are also deductible if they are made on the cessation of trade, if the payment is made:

  • to an employee taken on for the purposes of the trade; and
  • under a pre-existing contractual or statutory obligation which was a consequence of the person being employed for the purposes of the trade.

 

Tax relief is available for redundancy payments up to four times the statutory redundancy payment, calculated separately for each employee.

 

Where the payments are made after the cessation of trade, the relief is given on the last day of trading.

Trust and integrity within the accounting sector

Trust. It’s a little word with big implications.


Trust. It’s a little word with big implications. For professional service organisations, trust is the backbone of any decent business model.

 

Within the accounting sector, the appropriate management of highly sensitive personal and corporate information, typically of a financial or strategic nature, is critical. The industry has responded well to this responsibility. Much has been written recently about the obligations that professional services firms have to data privacy, and quite rightly; the issue remains a hot topic. That said, there are other standards of equal importance, which, if compromised, can cause considerable fall-out: financial, reputational or both.

 

Ethical standards

The maintenance of professional ethical standards is paramount to trust; obviously it is imperative that the practitioner has the requisite skills and experience to complete the accounting services appropriately.

 

ACCA has published its own ethical guidelines under The ACCA Code of Ethics and Conduct which is binding on all its members and students as well as on every partner and director in an ACCA practice. Based on the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants Code, these principles revolve around professional ethics, namely:

  • professional competence and care
  • confidentiality and
  • professional behaviour.

 

Sitting alongside these professional ethics are personal ethics - a moral code backed by:

  • integrity and
  • objectivity.

 

It is these five tenets which form the fundamental principles within the ACCA Code of Ethics and Conduct.

 

But do ethics go further than these five principles? By definition they must do. They are not rules but principles, and therefore in order to navigate them, it is necessary to apply one’s own ethical interpretation. This involves an assessment of what is required to adhere to these principles and 'do the right thing' – easier said than done bearing in mind that we all think differently based upon our diverse backgrounds, cultures and values.

 

Using a field of study known as ‘normative ethics’, the quest amongst professional regulatory bodies has been to provide a framework to guide us as we negotiate ethical dilemmas to ensure compliance with the five principles.

 

This ‘conceptual framework’ as it applies to accountants is set out in the ACCA Rulebook.

 

It comprises an analysis of the following:

  • what are the relevant facts?
  • what are the ethical issues involved?
  • which fundamental principles are threatened?
  • do internal procedures exist that mitigate the threats?
  • what are the alternative courses of action?

 

By referring back to these questions, practitioners will maximise adherence to the principles. Adopting this approach is vital to maintaining public confidence.

 

Corporate governance standards

As well as ethical standards, corporate governance is a critical factor within the accounting sector and a factor which has a huge bearing on a business’s trust and integrity. Best described as organisational effectiveness for the satisfaction of stakeholders, corporate governance is a framework that steers a business towards its vision.

 

Within the accountancy sector, stakeholders will be wide and varied, including partners and shareholders, clients, investors, financiers, suppliers, and the government.

 

These stakeholders have varying interests but will all have similar goals: good corporate performance, improved business functions and competitiveness. Part of that involves the adherence to standards and regulations which, for the accounting profession, are considerable.

 

The Financial Reporting Council in the UK sets the corporate governance, stewardship codes and UK standards for accounting and actuarial work. The code has developed extensively since the first UK Corporate Governance Code was published in 1992. It now extends to the following aspects of leadership, in part necessitated by the financial crises and high-profile mismanagement /misconduct examples:

  • board leadership and company purpose
  • division of responsibilities
  • composition, succession and evaluation
  • audit, risk and internal control, and
  • remuneration.

 

Not only do accountants have a role to play within the operation and stewardship of their own practices, but they are at the forefront of helping others meet their own corporate governance standards. Accurate accounting is a crucial cornerstone in helping all businesses meet strict corporate standards, codes of conduct and regulations.

 

Why is this important?

The idea that trust is important is hardly ground-breaking. However, in this digital world where much of our life is spent online, negotiating fake news, false information, cyber threats, self-aggrandising Facebook feeds, and Instagram filters, there is a increasing tide towards truth, integrity and transparency. Concepts such as social responsibility, fair and responsible behaviour, and loyalty are having a resurgence as we look to hold onto that which is decent.

 

The importance of trust and integrity within the business world should not be underestimated.

 

Failure to operate any business with the appropriate level of integrity has repercussions, of course. The implications are considerably greater when the failures go to the very heart of a business’s values and the economic consequences of breached trust and integrity are miscalculated at a professional service firm’s peril. Time, money and resources squandered on the defence of legal claims by disgruntled third parties is best avoided. Whilst insurance might go some way towards redressing financial losses, the long-term reputational scars may not be remedied so easily.  

 

Vanessa Cathie – Vice President, Global Cyber & Technology, Lockton Companies

 

Corporate interest restriction – late filing penalties

More about HMRC’s approach to reasonable excuse for the late filing of IRRs.


More about HMRC’s approach to reasonable excuse for the late filing of IRRs.

 

The usual filing deadline for an Interest Restriction Return (IRR) is 12 months from the end of the period of account.  HMRC does not have discretion to provide any extension to the statutory filing deadline. However, no late filing penalty will be chargeable where the reporting company has a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline, and the IRR is filed within a reasonable time after the reasonable excuse ends.

 

HMRC has been asked how it will interpret reasonable excuse where the filing deadline for an IRR is the same as those for company tax returns, and companies within the CIR group have requested deferrals to CT late filing penalties. 

 

An IRR may be filed using estimated figures, so reporting companies should continue to file the IRR on time where possible.  In order to reduce the administrative burden on groups, HMRC will accept that where the majority of companies within a CIR group have obtained a deferral to late filing penalties for their company tax returns, if the IRR is filed by the same agreed date, there is a reasonable excuse for the late filing.

 

If a reporting company is unable to file the IRR by the deadline, they should contact their Customer Compliance Manager (CCM) if they have one.  If the group does not have a CCM, and they consider that they have a reasonable excuse for filing the IRR late, they should include this information when they file the IRR.  HMRC can then take account of this before any late filing penalty is issued, reducing the administrative burden for both parties.  HMRC will have regard to all relevant facts and circumstances when considering if there is a reasonable excuse for late filing of the IRR.

 

 

Starting your own practice – software selection

What’s going in your tech stack at the start?


What’s going in your tech stack at the start?

 

In the last article, I looked at the internal software used in an accounting practice. The next consideration is to look at the core accounting software and apps we use with our clients - the so-called ‘tech stack’!

 

The basics

Although I love technology and ‘playing’ with all the apps, to create my tech stack I had to focus on the tools that are key for me in my business. These are the tools that I will use with my clients and are the ‘core’ software I will use.

 

I do not want a huge tech stack because:

  • updating - usually, the software is regularly updated with new features so the more products I use, the more features that I need to keep up to date with and test out
  • time - it takes time to pick your tools, set them up and get to grips with them and so keeping to the core ones, at least initially, really helps
  • cost - the more tools you use, the higher the costs will be. As a new practice, it is critical for me not to have a huge tech stack and to watch the costs.

 

By having a core stack, you also keep all clients following the same process. It may be that not all clients need/want all the tools, but you can bundle your core tech into your proposal to them and ensure they all use the same software, and all follow the same processes. This leads to efficiencies internally and also good client service as it is a ‘well-oiled wheel’!

 

Accounting software

The first consideration was to select the core accounting software. In my case, I only wanted one. This was what I used when I initially tried cloud accounting software and I am sure this plays a part when you decide on the one you like the most.

 

I chose a company that I have known for many years, I know it well and I like the company. Also, and importantly for me, there are a vast and growing number of apps that integrate with the software and so allow for the development of more advanced cloud solutions for clients.

 

I have also worked in firms where a range of accounting software was used. They had a large number of clients and so wanted to offer a wider range of options. This is another option.

 

The apps

App ecosystems are huge and growing all the time! In addition, not all the apps that integrate with core software are even on the eco system so there is a vast choice and it can be tricky just to pick your core ones.

 

For my core apps, I looked at the data going into software and the data coming out the other end. I wanted to have something in place to help reduce the time and processing needed to get the information into software and something to let me produce great analysis and reporting on the data coming out. Hence my core stack had to be made up of an invoice processing app, a cashflow app and a reporting app.

 

Invoice processing app

A core app in the tech stack has to be one to eliminate the need for manual invoice processing and that gives the user the option to photograph, scan or email in invoices and receipts for processing.

 

This saves so much time and also improves the chances of receipts not being lost before the expense is reclaimed! Many of these apps have other useful features such as fetching invoices directly from suppliers, bank statement extraction and supplier rules for speedier processing which can be useful.

 

For me cost, functionality and reliability are big considerations. Cost is not usually a key driver, but I have found in the past that the costs can ramp up depending on the package chosen or how the app is priced. For example, some apps offer packages where you pay a fixed amount per firm regardless of the number of clients or number of items being processed; others volume price and you get a certain number of documents per month.

 

I have used many different apps in this area, and all have pros and cons. I do like the fact that you have the ability to manage and record staff expenses as part of the app and this is not an additional cost. I also like the option of bank statement extraction although I have found the need for this has fallen over recent months as more clients opt for bank feeds.

 

I have chosen certain apps in my firm, with the following all being considerations:

  • it will not disappear or be bought by another party
  • it works well and does everything I need it to do - it does not have the inbuilt expenses management but there are other options available
  • it is free - whilst this is not the reason for choosing it, it is an important consideration.
  • it is a good introduction to apps for clients. Some clients are resistant to apps and they see them as an additional cost which is not totally necessary. I choose an app that they are more inclined to use, free can often work and then, when they see the benefits they get as a result, they are more inclined to use other apps later in time.

 

Cashflow

Businesses need to monitor and control their cash flow regardless of their size and their sector. Knowing their day-to-day cash flow needs and early identification of potential issues is so much easier with an integrated cashflow app.

 

I see this as a key part of my tech stack as I have seen first-hand how beneficial these apps are for the business owner. A cashflow app that syncs with software means that all the data flows into the app and allows different scenarios to be assessed and actions agreed. Yes, you could do this in Excel but the likelihood of doing this regularly is much less likely under this scenario.

 

For me, I was looking for something easy to use, has all the key functionality I need and that is simple to understand. In addition, the training and support was also a factor as well as their plans for the future. The cost did play a part, but it was not a key driver.

 

There are quite a few apps in this sector and there is no right or wrong choice. I opted for Float as it ticked all the boxes and I have known them for years. I find it easy to use and clients understand it and quickly see the benefits of using it.

 

Reporting

Reporting the data out of software is something I do for all my clients and therefore an app that produces high quality, detailed and accurate management reports is something that I need in my app stack.

 

As with cash flow, there is a lot of choice and the key considerations for me were:

  • integration with software
  • cloud based product
  • easy to use
  • key features such as consolidations, KPI reporting, forecasting and benchmarking
  • reports available, interpretation and how they can be delivered to clients
  • support and training.

 

Although not one of the main considerations, the cost is a key driver too. Many apps are charged on a per licence basis so costs can ramp up - even though you usually do get reduced costs per licence as the volume goes up. However, where you have a flat fee per month regardless of how many licences you use, this is an attractive option - especially for a new firm.

 

I am still weighing up the reporting options at the moment. There has been a lot of activity in this area recently and a lot of new features released by these apps over the last few months. There are some really great products to choose from!

 

Top tips

There are a lot of apps out there but I want to keep my tech stack lean and relevant for all my clients. This combined with the software used for the day-to-day running of the practice (which I covered in the last article) means that I have everything in place that I need.

 

My top tips when starting out and selecting your core app stack are:

  • keep it lean to start with and ensure you cover your key needs for you and your clients
  • know the apps you choose inside and out. Do the training, know the features and use everyone that you can to maximise their benefits
  • stick with them and do not jump from one app to another. Pick your core stack and then stick with it unless there are issues which mean you have to look again 
  • watch bundles! It can be tempting to buy bundles of licences at a discount but there is a risk that you end up paying for unused licences for several months. In the early stages, make sure you use the apps for a while before you opt for bundles to make sure you are happy with them and your clients like them too.

 

ACCA has further resources for those planning to start a practice on our website.

 

Caroline Harridence, Counting Clouds Cambridgeshire

Companies House: ‘don’t leave it until the last minute’

Company directors and accountants urged to file earlier than usual and online.


Company directors and accountants urged to file earlier than usual and online.

 

Companies across the UK are being urged not to leave filing their annual accounts until the last minute and consider going paperless, as the disruption caused by coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to affect people’s lives, businesses and the economy.

 

Companies House’s online filing service – which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – can take as little as 15 minutes and has inbuilt checks to help directors avoid mistakes. Accounts filed on paper are six times more likely to be rejected than accounts submitted electronically (7.5% compared to just 1.2% respectively). 

 

Paper accounts submitted too close to the 31 December 2020 deadline, which are then rejected, risk not having enough time to be corrected, re-submitted and manually checked. This type of late accounts will incur an automatic late filing penalty; however, if the late delivery of accounts was directly caused by the coronavirus outbreak, we will treat penalty appeals sympathetically.

 

In line with government guidance and restrictions surrounding coronavirus, there is currently a reduced number of staff working at Companies House offices. The processing of accounts filed on paper for the 2019/20 financial year is, as a result, expected to take significantly longer this year.

 

Companies House Chief Executive Louise Smyth says: ‘By asking companies to submit their accounts early and preferably online, we are trying to ensure that they experience peace of mind during the busy end of year filing period.

 

‘In common with so many organisations in these unprecedented times, we currently have a reduced number of people in our offices due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the government guidance and restrictions surrounding the pandemic.

 

‘As a consequence of that, it’s going to take longer than it normally would to process accounts that are filed on paper, which need to be manually checked.

 

‘We want to do all we can to help companies during the pandemic, as well as ensuring the safety and wellbeing of everyone who works for Companies House. It’s a delicate balance, but one we are determined to get right.’

 

Companies can also use third party software to file their accounts electronically.

 

 

Keeping scope creep under control

Scope creep isn’t going away. So how to manage it effectively?


Scope creep isn’t going away. So how to manage it effectively?

 

‘Scope creep’ – two words we all dread! It happens when the requirements of a piece of work increase or the number of deliverables creep up over what was originally agreed, and the work runs over budget.

 

Scope creep is nothing new and it is something that most accountants will have experienced, but many have found they have encountered it more over recent months than previously. This may be that clients are more cost-conscious as a result of the pandemic and want to ‘get more for their money’, that the work has been badly scoped in the first place or the budget set was unrealistic.

 

In most cases, scope creep is not good news. The extra time spent is often not chargeable, being viewed as part of the original project and not an additional piece of billable work. Those few little items added start to add up and, before you know it, you have been doing a significant amount of work for free.

 

I have found scope creep to be more of an issue over the last six months than before. I have been working on a number of cloud accounting projects and in many cases that ‘end point’ took a lot longer to reach than originally planned.

 

I think part of the reason for this is accessibility. It is easier now to get hold of people as most of us are working from home and there is no need to jump in the car when we need a meeting. A quick email or text to ask for a Zoom meeting can lead to a pretty much immediate meeting via a video link. This is something that many of us would not have been doing 12 months ago and as a result we are more accessible, so it is easy to ask more questions and add some ‘little extras’ onto the piece of work.

 

I also think the type of work I have been doing is part of the reason I have encountered scope creep more. I have been doing a lot of work on cloud accounting projects and this can often grow beyond what was originally planned as new requirements pop up.

 

For example, when asked to recommend specific apps for certain tasks, the requirements can later increase beyond what was originally needed and so it is back to the drawing board - and that can be time-consuming!

 

Regardless of how scope creep has come about, if left to continue it can feel that the project is never-ending and the client views these ‘little extras’ as something you will usually do for no additional fee.

 

How to avoid scope creep

I have found scope creep really frustrating and it has led me to go right back to basics so that I can try to avoid it recurring as frequently in the future. As a result, I have made the following changes:

 

  • Scoping the work

I use proposal software to scope the work and I am now breaking the work down into much smaller segments so that it is easier to see what is included within that piece of work. In addition, rather than bundling tasks up under a single fee, I am instead listing each as a separate service with its own itemised fee.

 

  • Definitions

I have really tightened the definitions of what work is included in each step and been as precise as possible. I have also made these definitions more detailed so what is expected at the end of the project is much clearer and so more easy to identify when reached.

 

  • Milestones

Rather than undertake one big project with one fee at the end, through breaking the work down into smaller sections, it is much easier to identify key milestones over the project life. Attaching a fee against these milestones means that the payment is split over the life of the project and means you are not waiting until it is complete before issuing your bill.

 

This helps with your cash flow, but it is often something that the client prefers as it spreads the cost of the work out over a period of time rather than one hit at the end.

 

  • Payment profile

Asking for some initial payment upfront also helps when completing project work. It helps with your cash flow and also does mean that the client is committing to completing the project as they have invested in it at the start.

 

Upfront payments are new to many accountants and it can feel awkward when asking for payments to be structured in this way. But if we compare this to how many businesses structure their projects, an initial upfront payment is the norm and so many clients will be used to this form of payment profile.

 

  • Monitor progress

It is also essential to monitor the progress of the project very closely with reference back to the scope throughout. Be aware of when key milestones are approaching and communicate this to your client in advance so they know.

 

Look out for scope creep throughout and act on it immediately. You may agree to add something for free but watch as these freebies can quickly add up if not monitored and then they become expected by the client. Close monitoring of the project will prevent this from occurring.

 

  • Contingency

Lastly, build in some contingency into your work - that little bit of ‘wiggle room’. Yes, it is great to think your scope is spot-on but this really will depend a lot on the type of work you are doing. With cloud accounting projects, it is not uncommon for extra work to be needed at some point (eg the post conversion tidy up takes longer than planned). Therefore, building in a little slack will allow for some overrun in some areas.

 

If you find you were spot on and your scope was perfect, then you can always invoice the client less than your original quote!

 

Scope creep will not go away, and it will be something I know I will encounter in the future. However, I hope that now with these changes that it will be less extensive than before and more controlled in the future.

 

Caroline Harridence, Counting Clouds Cambridgeshire

 

Making content marketing work for your accountancy practice

Content is supposed to be king, isn’t it?


Content is supposed to be king, isn’t it?

 

So you gave it a go – blogging, LinkedIn, even YouTube videos. You kept it up for weeks, even though you’re busy, and… nothing.

 

No engagement, no traction, no leads.

 

Like shouting into the void.

 

I promise you, though, that if you go about it the right way, it does work. Here’s some advice that I hope might inspire you to give it another go, or to take a different tack if you’re still slogging away but thinking of giving up.

 

Post more often

Posting once or twice a year doesn’t really count as content marketing. It gives the impression your heart isn’t in it and means your content will almost always seem a bit dusty and out of date.

 

I would generally recommend, as an absolute bare minimum:

  • quarterly eBooks or white papers
  • monthly blog posts
  • daily social media updates.

 

But monthly eBooks, weekly blog posts and hourly social media updates would be even better, time and resource permitting.

 

Post frequently and you’ll not only get better at producing content quickly, but you’re almost certain to see improvements in your search engine rankings. Google prefers fresh content to stale – don’t we all?

 

Be more interesting

Think about the kind of content that grabs your attention and that you can’t help but stop to read or watch. I bet it’s colourful, energetic and opinionated, isn’t it?

 

You need to find the nerve to do the same.

 

I see an awful lot of dry content from accountancy firms, full of long, multi-clause sentences designed with technical accuracy in mind rather than getting clear meaning across. It lacks oomph and purpose.

 

It lacks personality – ‘By Admin’ isn’t an uncommon byline – and too often holds back from expressing any clear opinion.

 

Try writing with a particular client in mind – one you especially like. Focus on solving their problems. Stick up for them. Get a bit angry if you like. Tell them something they don’t know that will make their lives easier.

 

And when you edit what you’ve written (or filmed – the same principle applies) make the sentences shorter, remove unnecessary detail and don’t be afraid to let ‘in most cases’ replace a paragraph of footnotes and caveats.

 

Don't be shy about promoting your content

If you’ve gone to the trouble of writing blog posts, making videos or crafting perfect social media updates, share them everywhere, and often.

 

The hard truth is, people are unlikely to stumble upon your content, or to keep checking your blog every day hoping it’s been updated. You have to take control and boost its signal yourself.

 

I know that doesn’t come easy to British people – it’s ingrained in most of us not to like show-offs, as a rule.

 

I’ve also noticed that some people are shy about sharing because they can’t help but focus on how other accountants will react, or the risk of being publicly corrected or criticised.

 

You need to get over that instinct to be modest or shy. Big up your work and get across to people why they should be excited to read it.

 

Share blog posts on LinkedIn and Twitter. Embed videos in blog posts. Encourage people to connect on LinkedIn in your videos. And put links to everything you’ve produced in your monthly client newsletters.

 

On Twitter, share your blog post several times, at different times of day. Pull out a different quote or point each time – there’s usually enough fuel for five or six Tweets in the average 1,000-word article.

 

On LinkedIn, distil your blog post into 200 words and share it as a status update, then drop a link to the full post in the comments. Even better, record a video summarising the key points – two media for the price of one!

 

Stick at it

Unfortunately, content marketing, like SEO, requires patience and faith.

 

When I launched a blog in 2007, nobody read it for weeks, months, years… But I kept writing as if I had a huge audience of rapt admirers (another top tip) until, one day, I realised my little website was getting a thousand unique visitors a day.

 

The results were worth the work, and the wait.

 

For more information on content marketing for accountants download our guide.

 

Ray Newman – Head of Content and Insight, PracticeWeb

Self assessment – repair or capital?

A recap of what is allowable when it comes to repair or capital.


A recap of what is allowable when it comes to repair or capital.

 

The profits of a trade are calculated in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice, subject to any adjustment required or authorised by law.

 

The basic position is that:

  • the cost of repairing an asset is normally allowable revenue expenditure
  • the cost of replacing an asset is normally capital expenditure and not allowable as a deduction
  • the cost of altering an asset to do something else is normally capital expenditure and not allowable as a deduction
  • the cost of improving an asset is normally capital expenditure and not allowable as a deduction
  • the cost incurred on ‘integral features’ of a building or structure is deemed to be capital expenditure on which capital allowances may be claimed
  • costs incurred on or after 29 October 2018 that are incidental to the renovation or conversion of part of a building or structure are deemed to be part of the capital cost of that renovation or conversion.

 

What constitutes replacing the entirety of an asset is a question of fact which depends on each individual case. It should take into account the physical objects to which the test of repair has to be applied, as well as the work done.

 

A chimney that stood by itself, connected to the rest of the factory only by flues, was found to be a separate asset (Bullcroft Main Collieries Ltd v O’Grady). However, a chimney that stood within a factory and looked like a pillar in the factory building was simply a part of the factory (Samuel Jones & Co (Devonvale) Ltd v CIR).

 

In a recent case G Pratt & Sons v HMRC [2011], the First-tier Tribunal decided that a 239m long farm drive which had been re-surfaced and new kerbing added as necessary to bring the drive up to modern standards, was a repair to the existing road. The Tribunal found that this was not an improvement as it did not change the character of the road. The road could not be used by larger trucks as a result of the works.

 

Scale and importance of the work

In Phillips v Whieldon Sanitary Potteries Ltd [1952], the company’s factory was adjacent to a canal and had been protected by an embankment. The embankment suffered from subsidence and water seeped into the factory. As a result of colliery workings, the factory also suffered from subsidence. The old brick and earth embankment was removed and an iron and concrete barrier constructed. The work undertaken was considered of sufficient scale and importance to be capital.


Judge Donovan J concluded ‘I reach this conclusion taking into account the extent of the work, the permanent nature of the new barrier, the enduring advantage it confers upon preserving part of the fixed capital of the business, and the contention of the company that it was essential to enable the trade to be carried on. There can be cases where the work done may result in no improvement, but merely reinstatement, and yet be work involving capital expenditure on account of its size and importance.’

Where extensive work is carried out on an asset, it is possible that although parts of the original asset remain, the character of the asset has changed.

 

The view taken seems to be that if the asset has been changed to do something else, or has been changed to do more, then the character of the asset has changed, and it has not merely been restored to its previous efficiency. It the asset has become something else, then this is capital expenditure.

 

In the case of The Law Shipping Co Ltd v CIR [1923] 12TC621, the expenditure turned a ship that had been acquired in an unusable condition into a ship that could be used to generate income. The character of the asset had been changed by the expenditure from something that was little more than a hulk to a merchant ship capable of carrying cargo. As a result, the expense was deemed to be capital in nature.

 

Changing the character of the asset

In Auckland Gas Co Ltd v IR Commrs (New Zealand) [2000] BTC 249), upgrading a system of cast iron and steel gas pipes and returning it to a functional purpose by inserting new polyethylene piping was held to be capital. This was the case even though the insertion technique was less expensive than the traditional method of finding and fixing individual gas leaks. Following the upgrading programme, gas was distributed through the polyethylene pipes, thus substantially changing the character of the object in question, so that it constituted a replacement rather than repair.

 

The use of more modern materials or the use of new technology as part of a repair does not necessarily mean the repair becomes an improvement.

 

Care needs to be taken as the use of modern materials may give an apparent element of improvement because of the greater durability, superior qualities and so forth of the new materials. In such circumstances, the position is that:

  • the work is a repair and not an improvement if, after the work is carried out, the asset can just do the same job as before
  • the work is an improvement and therefore disallowable as capital expenditure if, as a result of the work, more can be done with the asset or the asset can be used to do something that it could not do before.

 

As technology changes over time, something that would be accepted as an improvement in year one may, by year five, be simply a repair. This is because that technology is no longer seen as an improvement and is simply what is used for the job - it has become the industry standard for that type of work.

 

Self assessment – inaccuracy penalties for incorrect tax returns

Who takes responsibility for inaccuracy penalties?


Who takes responsibility for inaccuracy penalties?

 

The case law involving ‘duty of care’ to clients is extensive and detailed. We contrast two tax cases involving errors on tax returns. In both of these cases it was accepted that the returns were incorrect but when a penalty was charged the first-tier tribunal made different decisions on whose fault it was.

 

In J R Hanson Revenue & Customs [2012] UKFTT 314 (TC), the basic details were that the accountants indicated to the appellant that a form of holdover relief would be available to mitigate the CGT charge on disposal of some assets.

 

The client instructed the accountants to undertake the task of completing the tax return. The accountant accepted in evidence that the appellant was relying on his firm to complete the return correctly. HMRC launched an enquiry into the return and found no relief was available and the taxpayer was liable for further capital gains tax. HMRC also charged a penalty for a careless inaccuracy in the tax return.

 

On appeal, the taxpayer won on the grounds that carelessness was on the part of the accountants. The entitlement to relief for CGT in the circumstances was an area that a reasonably competent accountant ought to have been able to advise upon and it was considered that by instructing and relying on the expertise of the accountant, the client took reasonable care to avoid the inaccuracy.

 

In contrast to this, the decision in another case: Blackman [2016] TC 05218 was that the client did not take reasonable care despite putting forward similar arguments of reliance on the accountant to complete the tax return.

 

This case involved a professional footballer who had been transferred several times during the relevant tax return period but one of the ‘employments’ had been missed off the return. The footballer argued that all of his financial information was given to his accountants therefore it was they who missed the income from his tax return. As he was not a tax professional, he should not be expected to understand a tax return and could therefore treat the accountants' work as accurate.

 

The footballer was found to have failed to take reasonable care to avoid the inaccuracy and was therefore careless as it was reasonable to expect an individual to know and understand their employment history in a given tax year. The footballer would have been expected to identify the error as it would have been obvious to anyone reading the tax return with sufficient care that income from an employment had been missed out. Accordingly, the appeal against the penalty for carelessness was dismissed.

 

The two similar cases had quite opposite outcomes and in fact for various legal reasons, the decision in the first case above was not deemed to be binding on the decision in the second case.

 

Clients should be made aware of HMRC’s guidance on the matter of penalties, which states that when an agent acts on behalf of a client, the client still retains responsibility for their returns, calculations and payments. The authorisation as an agent simply allows HMRC to deal with the agent on behalf of their client, but any liability for penalties for late returns, late payments or any errors on paperwork legally remains with the client.

 

It is important the firm’s quality control policy for approval of accounts and tax returns by the client is clear and documented. Practitioners completing tax returns for their clients in the coming months should ensure that a robust engagement letter is in place which clearly sets out the roles and responsibilities of both the firm and the client.

 

ACCA has recently updated its suite of engagement letters, which can be obtained from here:

 

Engagement letters for Tax Practitioners

 

Engagement letters for Accounts Production

 

 

 

 

Engagement letters and sub-contractors

Engagement letters supplemented for practitioners acting as a sub-contractor to a regulated firm engaged in public practice.


 

 

Our engagement letters have been supplemented by an example sub-contractor agreement that can be used by a practitioner acting as a sub-contractor to a regulated firm engaged in public practice.

 

Many practitioners at peak times or using specialist expertise reach out and use a sub-contractor. It is important that the engagement is clear between both parties which is why we have a free model agreement available to support our practitioners.

 

The agreement provided has been prepared on the basis that it will be used by a practitioner or highlighted by the firm to a practitioner acting as a sub-contractor. It is likely to be most suitable for a simple, short-term sub-contracting relationship or situations where the sub-contracting services are ancillary to the main business of the practitioner.

Tax implications on loans written off

What are the tax implications if the company decides to write-off a loan?


What are the tax implications if the company decides to write-off a loan?

 

Despite the various support measures such as Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme, many small companies have struggled to survive through the ongoing pandemic. As a result, some micro-company shareholders/directors may have overdrawn loan accounts with their personal companies which they might not be able to repay. What are the tax implications if the company decides to write-off the loan?

 

The personal tax position for the individual on the loan write-off will depend on them being a participator (shareholder) and/or officer/employee (director).

 

Where a loan has been made to a participator (who is not a director) and the close company has suffered the 32.5% corporation tax charge under s455 CTA 2010, there is an income tax charge on the participator if the loan is subsequently written off. The tax charge applies under ITTOIA 2005, s415. Note that this tax treatment only applies where the company has suffered a corporation tax charge. Tax is charged on the amount written off in the tax year (ie arising basis) and for income tax purposes, the balance of the loan written off is treated as a distribution (dividend income) in the hands of the participant. Where the loan was written off on or after 6 April 2016, the taxable amount is the same as the amount written off. 

 

The gross amount of the loan written off is reported in box 13 on page Ai1 of the additional information supplementary pages to the tax return. Practitioners may wish to consider a ‘white space’ disclosure note for additional information purposes.

 

Under this treatment, there is no national insurance charge as the loan waiver is not earnings.

 

However, when the individual is a participator and a director, there is potentially a double income tax charge where a loan is written off. The waiver has the potential to be taxed as a distribution to a participator (as above) and also as earnings to a director under ITEPA 2003, s188. Fortunately, to prevent the same income being taxed twice, there is a provision in the legislation (ITEPA 2003, s189) that gives priority to the distribution treatment as above.

 

There is no similar provision in the national insurance legislation, leading to a potential mismatch between the income tax treatment and the national insurance treatment. The absence of an exemption from a national insurance charge may mean that the income is taxable as a distribution (dividend income) but Class 1 national insurance (both employer’s and employee’s contributions) is collected via the payroll, in accordance with the section for ‘Type of payment: Loans written off’ in booklet CWG2. This is achieved by adding the amount to insurable pay, but not taxable pay, in the payroll.

 

There is a potential let-out for NIC purposes following the Stewart Fraser Ltd v HMRC (2011) UKFTT 46 (TC) case – it may be possible to avoid a Class 1 national insurance charge by arguing that the loan is made in the capacity of a participator rather than a director. For example, by ensuring that the waiver / write-off of loans is agreed at shareholders’ meetings and properly documented as such. It would also be helpful if the initial advance of the loan had been agreed and documented at an earlier shareholders’ meeting.

 

HMRC has challenged loan waivers on loans to directors in the past on the basis that the amount of the loan waived constituted earnings on basic principles under ITEPA 2003, s62 and this point was taken in the Stewart Fraser case mentioned above. In brief, the taxpayer contended that the write-off of a loan from the company in which he was a participator was made in his capacity as a shareholder rather than as a director. HMRC successfully argued that the write-off was in fact earnings. This was primarily on the basis that there was no evidence of discussion and approval for the loan waiver at a shareholders’ meeting, which they would have expected had the loan waiver been made in the taxpayer’s capacity as a shareholder. Therefore, it is advisable for loan waivers / write-offs to be discussed and approved by shareholders at a general meeting. The loan must also be waived formally and this should be documented by legal deed.

 

Repayment of the s455 corporation tax previously paid on the overdrawn loan can be reclaimed under s458 following the loan write-off. Provided online filing validations are not breached (eg repayment due is more than the CT charge for the year, thereby creating a negative tax charge) it should be possible to reclaim this via the CT600A in the year that the loan is written off. Alternatively , the form L2P can also be used to make the reclaim.

 

HMRC has updated its Director’s Loan Account Toolkit, which provides guidance for agents (including a checklist). Although it is not compulsory for ACCA members to follow this kit, it is very important that they are aware of its contents as it effectively gives HMRC’s ‘view’ on the risk areas and clearly shows the areas that HMRC is concerned about.

 

The roles and responsibilities of the ATOL reporting accountant

New factsheet is essential reading for accountants with ATOL-registered businesses.


New factsheet is essential reading for accountants with ATOL-registered businesses.

 

The Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) grants licences for a period of no more than one year and ATOL licence-holders are required to periodically report certain information to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

 

How often an ATOL licence-holder is required to report to the CAA depends on their Public Revenue Licence Limit and the CAA’s risk assessment of the likelihood of failure. During 2020 many airlines, for example, have requested government funding to assist them during the global pandemic due to non-essential travel being banned. This is likely to mean that the CAA may increase their risk assessment of the likelihood of failure for many ATOL protected travel providers.

 

ATOL reporting accountants should have regard to the CAA’s Appendix A Requirements for ATOL Reporting Accountants in Official Record Series 3 (ORS 3) (formerly known as Guidance Note 10) which can be downloaded using this link. Appendix A applies to all ATOL reporting from February 2020.

 

ATOL-registered businesses are required to appoint an ‘ATOL Reporting Accountant’ who performs various procedures to ensure that information submitted to the CAA to support a licence application is accurate.

 

The roles and responsibilities of the ATOL Reporting Accountant are outlined in our new Technical Factsheet

 

 

 

NEWS
Sage commits £2.9m to new partnership with ACCA

New partnership with Sage to support members setting up new practices.


New partnership with Sage to support members setting up new practices.

 

ACCA and Sage have teamed up to launch a package of advice and technology to help more accountancy practices launch in the UK than ever before, with Sage pledging £2.9m to support this.

 

There has been a dramatic increase in those looking to set up in practice, and both ACCA and Sage recognise that every small business needs expert support and guidance, more than ever before, and accountants are key to providing this.

 

The package of free support aims to reduce those initial overheads that are faced by practices when starting up through free access to software for the first six months from launch. In addition to this, Sage will also provide access to world-class advice to help practices help their clients every step of the way - understand the latest legislation, remain compliant, stay informed, get paid fast while having full visibility of their cash flow. For more information click here.

 

Claire Bennison, Head of ACCA UK, says: 'This partnership will provide ACCA members setting up in practice access to software, advice and support at a time when they really need it. We want them to get off to the best possible start and be able to support small businesses who are a major contributor to the economy. ACCA is dedicated to supporting our entrepreneurs and their growth and providing the necessary advice and tools to ensure they stay efficient and relevant.'

 

Paul Struthers, Managing Director, Sage UK and Ireland, says: 'We know times are tough and we’re here with practices every step of the way. The fact that significantly more practices have launched this year than last, despite Covid-19, shows that the pandemic has not haltered the ambition of the accountancy sector, it’s our responsibility to support these new businesses as they take shape.'

 

Additional exclusive Sage benefits solely for ACCA practitioners include:

  • access to Sage University: Exclusive Sage University accreditation for the practice, through live and recorded training, all of which is accessed through the University membership
  • access to a dedicated Practice Success Manager to support you to set up your practice and guide you through your ongoing accreditation
  • additional support on managing a practice, provided by ACCA
  • access to a new practitioner community that will be developed over time with input from members.

 

The ACCA New Practice hub has also got a lot of articles and resources to support you from thinking about the name of your practice, the structure, how to attract and charge clients to recruitment of staff and practice regulation.

 

To obtain an ACCA practising certificate or a combined practising certificate and audit qualification for the first time, ACCA members must obtain a period of relevant experience and complete a PCEF - for more information visit here.

 

More awards success for ACCA members

Meet your ACCA winners at the Accounting Excellence Awards 2020!


In the August issue, we congratulated ACCA firms that had been short-listed across various categories (some in multiple categories) for the Accounting Excellence Awards 2020.

 

We were delighted to see so many of them win their categories when the virtual ceremony took place earlier this month:

  • flinder – Fast track firm of the year
  • Pell Artists – Specialist team of the year
  • Inspire – Medium firm of the year
  • Inca Caring Accounting – Investing in People
  • Kinder Pocock – Covid-19 Hero award: accounting firm of the year.

 

In the Practice Pioneer Award category, ACCA member Nathan Keeley was the winner.

 

PJCO Chartered Certified Accountants was also highly commended in the Client Service Award category.

 

Congratulations to all those above and also the ACCA members in other winning practices.

 

 

Considering putting yourself or your practice forward for an award? Check out our handy guidance to get you started!

Talking practice

Join our virtual chats for small and medium-sized practitioners.


ACCA UK has been running a series of virtual chats to offer members space to connect and talk with peers in specific industries.

 

Through these virtual chats, members are encouraged to share their journeys of success, discuss challenges their business is facing and discuss their outlook for the future - identifying support needed from others and ACCA.

 

These virtual conversations support members in different sectors and are based on interactive discussion and sharing of experiences.

 

The first chat for SMPs focused on sustainability and three more are planned for February 2021:

 

18 February 2021 10.30-11.30

Talking practice – diversity and inclusion

 

24 February 2021 10.30-11.30

Talking practice – starting your digital journey

 

26 February 2021 10.30-11.30

Talking practice – starting your digital journey

 

Spaces will be limited so book your place now

Webinars tackling the topics which matter

Our 2020 programme of free webinars for practitioners is now complete and available on demand.


Our 2020 series of free technical webinars for practitioners is now available on demand. The series feature these webinars:

 

 

The extension of IR35 to the private sector – is this the demise of the PSC?

Speaker: Louise Dunford, LD Consultancy Ltd

 

Reliefs and claims for personal taxation

Speaker: Paul Soper, tax lecturer and consultant

 

Getting the most out of Cloud Accounting & App Stacks for your firm and your clients

Speaker: Matt Flanagan, Co-Founder at Appacus

 

The first Budget of a new era

Speaker: Paul Soper, tax lecturer and consultant

 

Benefits in Kind update

Speaker: Dr Ros Martin, taxation consultant and lecturer

 

Inheritance tax planning

Speaker: Paul Soper, tax lecturer and consultant

Accompanying technical factsheet

 

Landlord reliefs and taxes

Speaker: Paul Soper, tax lecturer and consultant

Accompanying technical factsheet

 

Differences between realised and distributable profits and a recap of key areas

Speaker: Helen Kerrigan, Future Finance Training Ltd

Accompanying technical factsheet

 

Business recovery options

Speaker: David Fleming, Duff & Phelps

Accompanying technical factsheet

 

VAT issues with online trading

Speaker: Dean Wootten, Wootten Consultants Limited

Accompanying technical factsheet

 

 

Each webinar will count for one unit of verifiable CPD where it is relevant to the work that you do.

 

Support for digitalisation

ACCA UK has also developed a suite of resources for practitioners starting on their digital journey or who have only recently started. These include member experience podcasts on going digital, a video walk through of a practice’s TechStack, and webinars covering moving to the cloud, becoming an accountant of the future, the importance of quality data, and how you can focus your app research to find the right apps.

 

Live and on demand digital training courses

Complete your 2020 CPD with one of our high quality digital events.


PRACTICE SEMINARS:
Time: 09:30-12:30
Fee: £60 + VAT (£72.00) per webinar
CPD: 3 units per webinar

 

Auditing update - 15 December

 

Accounting and auditing refresher (Recorded webinar)
Anti-money laundering and fraud update (Recorded webinar)
Protecting your firm's and client’s reputation (Recorded webinar)
Inheritance tax planning (Recorded webinar)
Businesses in trouble – how to help your clients in times of crisis (Recorded webinar)

FRS 102 practical issues – learning from others (Recorded webinar)
IR35 - how to prepare for 2021 (Recorded webinar)
Wealth and asset protection (Recorded webinar)

 

 

GENERAL TAX UPDATE
This live webinar provides a current tax update for finance professionals working across all business sectors.


Fee: £115 + VAT (£138.00)
CPD: 6 units
Time: 09.30-16.00

 

Dates:
14 December

 


ACCOUNTING STANDARDS UPDATE (Recorded webinar)
This webinar has been designed to update finance professionals on the recent developments in accounting standards.
Fee: £115 + VAT (£138.00)
CPD: 6 units
Time: 09.30-16.00

 

COMMERCIAL, COMPANY AND EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE (Recorded webinar)
This webinar is aimed at accountants working both in private practice and in commercial settings generally. It is a general update of all legal areas relevant to such professionals.
Fee: £115 + VAT (£138.00)
Time: 09.30-16.00
CPD: 6 units

 


Saturday CPD conference three for practitioners (Recorded webinars) 
This conference consists of four sessions, which makes it a cost-effective way of staying informed about the latest technical issues.
Topics include:

  • Claiming allowances and reliefs for individuals and owner-managed businesses
  • Protecting your data and digital privacy
  • Autumn budget update
  • Cross-border VAT in 2020 and beyond

 

Fee: £115 + VAT (£138)
CPD: 8 units

 

 

Saturday CPD conference two for practitioners (Recorded webinars)
This conference consists of four sessions, which makes it a cost-effective way of staying informed about the latest technical issues.
Topics include:

  • Construction industry tax update
  • Employment law update
  • Knock your socks off service in these challenging times
  • Accounting standards update

 

Fee: £115 + VAT (£138)
CPD: 7.5 units

How are we lobbying to support members and the businesses they advise?

ACCA’s Policy Team is developing recommendations and lobbying on government policy issues to support members and the businesses they advise. Take a look at our latest activities.


ACCA’s Policy Team is developing recommendations and lobbying on government policy issues to support members and the businesses they advise. The team maintains close relationships with departments and  parliamentarians to ensure that members' interests are represented and ACCA is able to deliver guidance on government policy.


Members have been sharing a range of helpful insight which we are able to share across with government and use to shape our activity.

 

Take a look at our latest activities now

 

Views and insight from members are welcomed at UKPolicy@accaglobal.com