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We are officially in the era of digital transformation where technology has greatly impacted audit processes. This has ushered changes that were hard to imagine as possible about a decade back. While the accounting profession has by and large embraced technology in various processes, it was restricted to the documentation, calculation, stor age and retrieval process. However, this is all set to change as cutting-edge technology dons a greater role in auditing. The clamour for different reporting and financial statements has been growing, and technology has all the right answersv. Taking a leaf out of fintech companies for development of intelligent software Bookkeeping outsourcing company in uk. Processes that will be touched by technology will include those areas where it may be necessary for a machine to understand and use that knowledge to identify complex information. Fintech companies have been able to deploy automated solutions by leveraging the power of AI and machine learning. Auditing will similarly find a greater role for technology, beyond the present functions. For instance, technology has developed to a level where it is possible for AI powered systems to look at all the data of a company that is being audited and identify anything that is amiss. This will help auditors to turn their focus to flagged areas that need more of their attention. Evolving reporting requirements Bookkeeping outsourcing company Present audit reporting helps investors and shareholders understand the financial health of businesses. However, in the context of a data driven world with more and more information available, there is an increasing chorus for auditors to share additional information. Stakeholders are of the opinion that auditors possess more information, than what is actually reflected in the reports. And the demand is for more contextual information from auditors about how a specific conclusion was made or arrive at. Readers want to know how the auditors arrived at a conclusion. This open the floodgates of confusion. Auditors crunch numbers and make conclusions, expecting a reader to do the same is an invitation to chaos. However, technology has the ability to present relevant information in the right form for dissemination, that is in alignment with the overall findings/conclusion. Impact of revisions and penalties corporate secretarial services in ukThe Financial Reporting Council released revisions to International Standards on Auditing (UK)[1], which had more to do with the Code of Ethics. This has great significance for auditors and by extension the companies that are being audited. The changed standards, despite being limited in scope can have implications for stakeholders. This needs to be read in the context of the fines levied by the FRC, on some of the top global auditing firms for misconduct. Even as the dust began to settle over the fines and the circumstances surrounding it, most of the iconic and respected auditing firms commenced an overhaul of their systems and processes, bringing in more technology driven processes to strengthen existing processes. This will be the order of the future, as auditors look towards technology for greater compliance. Moving from sample testing to testing of all transactions In the future, auditors will harness technology to carry out checks of all transactions, and not just rely on a sampling or random check of transactions. While the certainly humungous volumes of transactions may have come in the way of checking out all the transactions in the past or the present, this is all set to change. With the use of the right technology, not only will all transactions be checked, they will be completed at high speed, which means that the process of checking will not add to the time element. And this aspect of checking all the transactions will help auditors to gain more insights about the financial health and other inputs about the organization and the domain it operates. This will be invaluable to investors and shareholders who will now be able to understand reports on the basis of checking all transactions and not just a sample. Sampling has a probability of error, which will be corrected in the future. The need for speed The new techno-social order has turned time on its head. Processes that once took a specific period of time has now been shortened drastically. As a consequence, all other allied processes and procedures are also expected to commence/conclude at proportionate speed. Effectively, this has led to a cascading effect. Audit, resultantly, requires to be concluded faster than ever before. Manual processes do not stand a chance of delivering results at speed or with the accuracy and precision required. While it is impossible for technology, as it stands now, to replace the power of human intuition in tasks as complicated as auditing, many of the tasks that are repetitive or rote in nature need to be entrusted to technology and automated processes to be able to meet the deadlines. Leveraging the power of blockchain for cost effective audit processes Blockchain is the buzzword that will continue to hold sway over businesses well into the near future. And by virtue of being a distributed ledger, blockchain is the natural bedfellow for auditing processes. Auditors need not seek information or wait for clients or third parties to furnish statements, or any documents for verification and cross-verification. Auditors can simply carry out the verifications from blockchain ledgers. With the power of offering verifiable and immutable transactional information, these ledgers will save a lot of time and money, in addition to the assurance of offering information that is accurate and free from errors. This is basically, because the transactions themselves would have been carried out only after fulfilling the criteria or conditions of all –parties involved in the transaction. Analytics only as good as the data that is fed Analytics can be only as good as the data that is fed, which means that standards also need to improve so as to offer data that is of the right standard. While systems will be powered to detect anomalies over entire transaction history, the advantage of perception that is available to the human mind and the logic of perspective will be unavailable to technology driven systems. This will make it mandatory for records to conform to certain standards. The quality of the data and the processes or technology that is available to bring in the data from many sources needs to be advanced so as to prevent gaps in data capture and its use. The need for more regulations and standards Past processes had stakeholders trying to catch up with the regulations and standards. For instance, auditors and organisations had to fulfill or meet the standards and regulations as laid down and the need of the hour used to be a scramble to meet the standards. However, with changes in the way business is conducted, there are multiple issues which cannot be met or fulfilled by existing standards. This turns the whole equation of regulations and standards on its head. Regulations and standards are now expected to keep pace with the developments and evolving changes in the world of business. Till the regulations and changes are in place, auditors and businesses will have to work within the contours of existing regulations which may not be very easy considering the inherent differences among domains. Conclusion: Auditing is a proven facilitator for growth, in addition to meeting the requirements of accounting and financial reporting. While nations have their own set of policies about the size of businesses that need to be audited or not audited, it is a proven fact that auditing is one of the pillars of growth of a business. Technological innovations will assist the acumen of humans to bring about greater accuracy, improved reporting and faster conclusion. Auditing will not be limited to random checks but will encompass the whole history of transactions for specific periods. Contrary to popular belief, technology will not take the place of humans, but will help humans in their deliverables.

Accounting for small business owners: How to solve the most common accounting challenges

For small businesses the day-to-day processes are much easier to handle in comparison to limited companies and entrepreneurs generally have a strong hold on business affairs. But how many of them enjoy working with numbers? Many small businesses struggle when it comes to valuation and accounting procedures and this affects the smooth functioning of businesses. Accounting for small businesses isn’t actually a herculean task and can be easily managed by following the right steps. The accountants who take care of annual return outsourcing for business or provide outsourcing accounting for small business and outsource bookkeeping services, need to keep in mind few tips and methods.

Here are some difficulties that can be done away with while dealing with numbers for the business:

1. Staying organized

It can be cumbersome managing a small business. Clients have to be taken care of and employees have to be trained and remunerated. Between all these activities it is easy to muddle things up. It is very important to keep the business as organized and streamlined as possible. When loose practices are maintained for business accounting, it can lead to mistakes and the business could incur penalties because of this. The business can maintain separate folders and divisions for all its stakeholders and this makes tracking finances and invoices that much easier for the business. The business should have a fixed and core sense of direction. Without this, operations will get scattered and productivity levels will decline. Therefore, it is imperative that businesses stay organized and disciplined.

2. Managing payroll

If the business has employees who have to be remunerated and reimbursed, then it is important for the business to use sophisticated and efficient payroll software that suits their needs. It has to keep track of all the working hours of the employees and provide correct information to them. Failure to manage payroll effectively could lead to frustrated employees and gaps in accounting records.


3. Paying taxes

Accounting issues can arise if the business is not meticulous in handling crucial corporation tax return outsourcing details. Businesses have to file taxes every year to avoid penalties from the IRS. Consulting with a tax accountant is a smart way to go about things as small business taxes vary from state to state. The business also has to adhere to certain formalities based on how much revenue it has generated and its overall structure. Businesses that are unsure on how to handle taxes can hire external specialists to fulfil their work for them. Businesses should close their books on a regular basis to ascertain the actual funds they have which could impact the amount of tax they have to pay.

4. Tracking expenses

It is important for businesses to monitor how much money they are spending. Those businesses that spend more money than they earn might find themselves in tough financial situations due to the backlog of money. This may result in cutting down on expenses wherever possible which includes lesser wages for employees.

These simple yet effective tips help in solving the most common accounting challenges that small businesses face. The accountants or accounting firms should follow these tips to ensure a smooth annual return outsourcing services, outsourcing accounting for small business, and outsource bookkeeping services to make the financial year smoother and accurate for the small business.

Where Financial reporting still falls short 

 

Overview 

Modern methods of doing business are complicated. In the corporate world, the investors, executives, as well as board members, rely on numbers to make estimates of the timing, magnitude, and uncertainty related to cash flows. Such estimates help them to make wise decisions pertaining to investments in a company, acquiring a company or business. Such estimates also help in promoting appropriate capital allocation. 

 

However, in the real world, the picture is totally different. The first corporate financial statements, payroll service  providers in uk depend on proper estimates and they depend on honest judgment calls. The Second-standard financial-metrics help to do comparisons between companies, but they may not be accurate in judging the value of a particular company. There may be instances when executives and managers deliberately inject errors into different financial statements. 

 

Over a period of time there occurred many reforms in corporate accounting, however, it is still murky. In recent times a number of online platforms have emerged, and they have dramatically changed the business competitive environment. In recent years, financial reporting is mostly guided by new rules governing revenue recognition, continuous expansion of unofficial performance measures. 

 

Financial reporting in companies is often not accurate. There exist practices of manipulating the operating decisions that create financial reporting. In the accounting profession, finding ways and means to reduce such behavior is a challenge, outsource bookkeeping 

 

Problems in Financial Accounting 

Following discusses in detail the various problems in financial accounting: -  

 

Adoption of Universal Standards 

Accounting outsourcing, a single set of international accounting standards was created many years ago with the objective of uniting the U.S Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP and the International Financial Reporting Standards or IFRS practiced by European nations. However, the adoption of universal standards has some challenges and they include comprehending the actual value of a firm, comparing various company accounts across countries. 

 

However, in this context, it is important to say that the implementation of IFRS regulations varies from one country to another. Observations reveal that each country has its own set of IFRS regulations. In many countries the compliance, as well as enforcement, is weak. The independence and quality of the accounting profession are often not up to the mark.  

 

Revenue Recognition 

Revenue recognition is important and tricky in the corporate world. When certain products are sold in the market then it may be difficult to determine the profits that are generated from the product sale. 

 

Under the new GAAP rules, if there exists no objective way to calculate product costs in advance, a business is not permitted to do recording revenue from sales until the different upgrade requirements are delivered and the cost of the upgrades are known. Observation reveals that determining the costs of the upgrades can take a few years. Many are of the opinion that such type of a system can results in accounting rules influencing the way business is done. However, there are several shortcomings of the revenue-recognition system and the shortcomings obliged companies to use unofficial practices to report financial performance. Businesses and companies are trying to incorporate new and effective revenue recognition standards under the GAAP and IFRS.  

 

Unofficial Earnings Measures 

All types of businesses are using non-GAAP and non-IFRS measures of earnings for a long period of time. One of the popular ways is the EBITDA which is a favorite among the private investors as it is known to be quite useful in the corporate world. 

However, in this regard, it is to acknowledge that the alternative measures are usually idiosyncratic. Investors, accountants in U.K and analysts require exercising caution in interpreting unofficial earnings measures and they should look closely at different corporate explanations that may depend on managerial judgments.  

 

Fair Value Accounting 

Investors, accountants in U.K and executives rely on two measures to determine a firm’s asset values. First one is the original price that is paid and that can be the acquisition cost. Secondly, a fair value which is the amount the assets bring if they are sold today. During the financial crisis that occurred a few years back, the objective was to guide the auditors on the methods of determining the fair value. However, in those days, the result was quite confusing. The measurement process was quite controversial and was difficult.  

 

Over-provisioning and Under-provisioning 

Analysts, accountants in U.K, investors often focus on the manner in which the costs are accrued in a company’s reports. The managers often overstate expenses deliberately and that they do to fulfill certain objectives. They often choose to under-provision of an expense or a loss. Recent alterations with GAAP and IFRS rules have made overprovisioning and under-provisioning activities less egregious. Many believe that recent changes in regulations have weakened companies’ ability to manipulate various financial reports. Nowadays, managers try to alter numbers by manipulating the operations instead of the reports.  

 

New Analytical Tools Helps 

Nowadays, investors, accountants in U.K and company board members are more responsible as they comprehend well that manipulating operating decisions to report higher earnings in the short-term can compromise the company’s long-term competitiveness. With the changes in accounting regulations, accounting fraud is a story of the past. Nowadays, since fudging in accounting reports is very rare, the focus is on to ensure that the investors, directors are more transparent on the various operating decisions that can adversely affect accounting reports.  The various new techniques are being used by the investors and the analysts.  

 

Verbal Cues 

Yet another tool for detecting unscrupulous accounting practices is the verbal cues. There are many words as well as practices that are used to detect unscrupulous practices. 

 

Observations reveal that the financial result manipulation is prevalent in the early part of a CEO’s tenure in the office and it diminishes with time. Early years of a CEO’s tenure are periods of great uncertainty about the ability of the CEO. Sometimes, if the CEO’s engage in corrupt practices then they may distort earnings with the objective to keep their jobs. In any business, the board members, as well as the investors, require to be extremely vigilant regarding a company’s accounting practices whenever a new CEO assumes office. 

In recent times, observations suggest that more and more auditing firms across the world are failing to execute their duties. Firms like Carillion and House of Fraser are not up to the mark as far as financial reporting is concerned. They often fall short of the standard quality and because of which they are quite ill famous and unpopular. Online contents on these two firms speak volumes of their inefficiency and shortfalls. Many raise doubts on the smooth functioning of the firms because every now and then these firms give a picture that they are shutting down. For additional detail regarding financial reporting and why it falls short often, visit relevant resources available online. 

 

  BY: AMIT AGARWAL 

 

 

Website: outbooks.co.uk 

 

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Have you decided to outsource your accounting work yet? 

Is your self-assessment tax due soon, or are you facing difficulties with your annual return? These uphills are a few of the most common challenges faced by companies in the UK. Self-assessment tax and annual return are the top challenges, and many companies in the UK, small and large, start worrying about these once the tax season comes around the corner. Some companies, especially SMEs, do not have a budget set aside for hiring Accountant outsourcing with the required skills, and the inadequate resource pool doesn’t help any further. If you are one of these companies, have you considered outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping function to stay clear of these complications? Self-assessment tax and annual return outsourcing, tax returns outsourcing is not a new concept in the UK market. It helps businesses focus more on their core processes, staying away from tedious manual tasks. 

 

 

Why outsource? 

Outsourcing is on a rise in the UK accounting space, with the primary driving reason being cost savings. Not all companies can afford to have a dedicated team for managing internal finances and accounts. Moreover, nothing is better than having a team of experts at your disposal to handle the tax function, resulting in continuous growth for your business. Therefore, outsourcing a long-term business investment. The reasons to outsource accounting and bookkeeping can be many; we have compiled some of the top ones in the below list. 

 

  1. You can focus more on your core competencies 

When you run a business, you need to take care of several processes; accounting is only one of the main aspects. However, if you are an IT guy, you will take time or even face difficulties with self-assessment tax and annual tax returns. This will also be time consuming. So, it’s better to outsource bookkeeping to a specialist provider who can do the taxes on your behalf. Self-assessment tax and annual return outsourcing will free up more time for you to focus on your core competencies and the other core processes of your business apart from outsourcing. 

 

  1. You can reduce employee costs 

With outsourcing, you can completely eliminate employee costs, including money spent on training, wages and benefits. When you decide to outsource accounting and bookkeeping, you save 30-40% of the costs spent on hiring new employees. With reduced employee costs, you will have more capital on hand to fulfil other business requirements. 

 

  1. You will face fewer frauds and risks 

Employees are your assets, but they could also be your biggest liabilities. Many companies across the UK have reportedly faced employee frauds. According to Action Fraud, UK businesses faced employee frauds amounting to £88 million in losses in 2017-18. Therefore, it is a smart move to outsource accounting and bookkeeping to a specialist provider so avoid losses due to frauds.    

   

  1. You will shoulder less tax burden 

If you don’t know when or how to file your self assessment tax or prepare your annual return, your business can face severe risks. There are tight deadlines to follow and several other timely formalities to fulfil. All of this can be really time consuming as well as confusing. Therefore, it is a safer bet to resort to self-assessment tax and annual return outsourcing rather than struggling to make things right. Using the services of an expert will also help you easily get over tax hiccups (avoid penalties) and even deal with the constant changes made to state and national tax laws. 

   

  1. You will have access to the latest software and technologies 

The business landscape is continuously changing, with new technologies and software tools being introduced every day, but these come at a cost that is not always possible for every company to manage on its own. When you outsource accounting and bookkeeping to a specialist provider, you get seamless access to these technologies and financial tools, on a usage basis, without having to invest in installation and maintenance. All you pay is a subscription fee to the service provider.  

 

Conclusion 

The idea of outsourcing the accounting function is often associated and marred by several negative connotations, but the benefits of outsourcing far outnumber the grey undertones. Therefore, the decision to outsource your accounting work will not only help grow your business but also result to more profits.   

 

Website: outbooks.co.uk 

How to train your outsourcing staff for this tax season 

 

In the tax season, many reputed accounting and bookkeeping companies are adopting to tax returns outsourcing. These companies are otherwise kept occupied because of the immense pressure on them to deliver outstanding accounting and bookkeeping services. At the same time, it is of critical importance that they maintain sufficient control over their tax processes. Because of this, they have no other choice but to hire trained individuals to complete this complex task for them. By doing so, it saves them a lot of time and money, as they can focus more on their core responsibilities. The companies won’t be training their in-house staff but will have another complex job at hand i.e. to train external workers. They have to train them in the rules and procedures by which the company operates. 

 

There are several things a company should incorporate into training to ensure the outsourced staff are well-prepared for the tax season. Sometimes there will be a delay at the start of the tax season. This extra time should be utilized to make sure the staff know what they are doing. Just like any other field, changes also occur in the tax industry. Companies should keep up with those changes and ensure the staff are informed as well. They should hold sessions with the tax preparers before the start of the season on tax laws that have been changed and deductions that have ended to provide accurate results to the authorities. If the company has made any software updates, workers have to be briefed on them and trained in their usage to ensure efficiency. 

 

Companies have to go over any new policies or policies the office might have developed. It is always beneficial for companies to reflect on their shortcomings or opportunities to work on for the current season. Staff should be asked to go over customer surveys and review them to understand the mission and goals of the company. This way they can become more attuned with the work they are doing for the company and develop a sense of belongingness. If any new staff come in, time has to be taken to explain to them and train them in the office procedures, IRS Due Diligence and customer service based on the tax office operations manual. Companies which don’t have operations manuals can purchase prescribed standard manuals and modify them to meet the business needs. 

 

To be effective, the systems and processes of the company have to be complete and accessible. Workers should be given employee manuals which elaborate on the the rules and operations of the company. Instead of a written manual, it is more recommended to supplement a combination of written, audio and video procedures to capture the entire essence of the company’s modus operandi. A systematic approach to making the workers aware of the systems and processes will ensure that each task is completed conforming to the same standard, regardless of whoever performs the task. 

 

However qualified the staff may be, the office should have a designated person they can go to for help. The person should be a veteran with years of experience to give the staff members a helping hand and advice when they need it. Sometimes it is daunting for new staff members to quickly assimilate to the new work environment and know who to ask for help. It will make things easier for them if they have someone to show them the ropes and answer all their doubts and queries. 

 

To sum up, before the tax season ends, it is imperative the workers are trained in the following areas: 

  1.  
  2. Learning to prepare federal and local income taxes properly and efficiently. 
  3. Pre-work training in the firm’s policies, procedures and customer service. 
  4. Computer tax software training. 
  5. On the job training under the supervision of a veteran expert 
  6. Training in new tax laws. 

If the company is cognizant of all these steps, they will face no problems in training the outsourced staff. They will get through the tax season without any difficulty and paying taxes will not seem like such a herculean task anymore. 

 

Website: outbooks.co.uk 

 

 

5 Facts about bookkeeping outsourcing services that were never true 

accounting and bookkeeping services are offered by firms specializing in the same to companies which require their unique repertoire. Companies have deadlines to meet such as filing their tax returns. Because of this, many companies are opting for tax returns outsourcing. All such services come under accounting outsourcing. Outsourcing of bookkeeping and other expert services is gaining a foothold among business owners because of the efficient expert services and reduction of costs. Some business owners might be hesitant to take the leap because of the related myths surrounding bookkeeping services. The concept has been frequently regarded with confusion, indifference and even outright fear by numerous entrepreneurs because of the misconceptions and myths regarding outsourced services.  

 

Bookkeeping is an essential and integral, yet time-consuming part of a business and outsourcing the service offers a great range of benefits. However, various myths and untrue facts pose a barrier that could prevent the successful bookkeeping of a company. Fortunately, there is enough evidence to show that these myths can be debunked. 

Here are five facts about bookkeeping accounting services that are not based on fact, but purely myths: 

 

  1. Loss of control: 

 Losing control of the business is one fear which every entrepreneur has. However, it must be understood that outsourcing requires a tighter rein on the business. Once the bookkeeping task has been completed, business owners will have more time to focus on other aspects of the business and take control. They will be in a better position to take informed decisions. Many entrepreneurs think that outsourcing their bookkeeping requirements will ultimately lead them to relinquish their hold over the business. On the contrary, availing bookkeeping services will help them gain control of the business as they will have an enhanced understanding of the financial position of the business. 

 

  1. Security concerns:  

As business accounts are highly confidential, it is only natural for the entrepreneur to worry about the security of the critical financial information, especially when the books are shared with an external accounting company. Here, it is important to note that no data is 100% safe regardless of whether it is offline or online. The security measures implemented by the services are based on the existing technology. Due to this, it is very likely that security breaches can happen when business is conducted anywhere, whether it is the office or home environment. 

 

  1. Bookkeeping and Accounting Software are adequate:  

Technological progress has changed the face of accounting culture. Different software has specially been created for accounting and bookkeeping purposes which has made work easier. However, the software may be insufficient because of the lack of expertise required to capitalize on the equipment. Also, finances will need more work and attention as the business grows. Therefore, it will be more economical for the business to invest in outsourced services. It is important for proprietors to capitalize on the full potential of their software as they can avoid spending more time on bookkeeping. 

 

  1. Trust concerns 

Many entrepreneurs think that nobody cares about the company more than them. They fail to realise that the workers employed also have an obligation to do right by the company. Some of the experts are business proprietors themselves and are equally concerned with maintaining the highest degree of customer service. The expert contractors are also better equipped to propose more efficient ways of managing the financial affairs of the company. 

 

  1. Outsourcing is only for huge companies 

This fact is untrue as the concept of outsourcing was initialized to help small companies as they couldn’t deal with all the work by themselves. Recently, it has become a profitable alternative for big companies which want to lower their costs. 

Bookkeeping is a vital part of running any business. The task can get stressful and time-consuming, at times. Businesses which don’t prefer outsourcing can try out the venture to see if it fits their needs. Outsourcing is worth the money in majority of the cases and businesses don’t have to hesitate to go for this option. 

 

Website: outbooks.co.uk 

 

How much does it cost to outsource accounting UK payroll? 

 

This is a common question running through the minds of most of the accountants in the UK. It mainly depends on the kind of client payroll which is being outsourced. The prices for accounting payroll differ according to the kind of client payroll outsourced. There are two pricing models which are applicable in this aspect. The first one is the same salary model which is useful for the simple payroll scheme which uses the same salary details and amount every month. The second one is the Variable salary model which is tailor-made for more complex payroll requirements such as when the client has different types of employees(for example part-time or full-time)  or pay frequency or variable pay amounts. 

 

But what are the costs which accountants have to incur?  The most important one is the Set-up cost which is the fee to initially make arrangements to avail the payroll with a supplier. This payroll will vary according to the size of the accounting firm and the accountant’s requirements. For a new company the set-up charges will be 10 pounds per company as a one-off cost. The second cost to be incurred is the Running payroll cost which varies based on how many pay-slips are processed by the accounting firm. A firm can be expected to pay between 2 to 3 pounds per pay-slip. Many  accountancy outsourcing services companies give a discount when there are more pay-slips to process each month. 

 

  The third cost is the Auto-Enrolment cost. Accountants usually offer Auto-Enrolment services which are made up of three components which are the Initial review stage, the Registration stage and Compliance respectively. The initial review stage incurs costs of 15 to 25 pounds per client. The registration stage incurs costs of 25 to 35 pounds per client. Up to a maximum of 10 employees. In the compliance stage the firm could pay 0.75 pounds per pay-run to the employee. HMRC has made year-end filings very simple for each time the payroll is processed. However the final FPS or EPS has to be submitted before the 19th of April each year.  The firm might be expected to pay 20 pounds per EYU for client set-up and processing. 

 

How can a firm determine if? payroll service providers in uk is suitable for their accounting practice?  In order to work out whether it is cost effective one has to ask this question. The main reasons to choose this are: 

  1. Saves time:  It will be beneficial to small companies where the owner of the business will deal with the administration of the business as well. The time element will be very minimal in such cases as there might too many things to handle at once. For employers with more staff, it makes sense to have a designated accountant who will deal with payroll. 
  1. Proper expertise: Payroll is ever-changing and continues to change as more regulations are added. It is a very expansive exercise and involves a lot of time and cost. It will make the job easier for a firm if they delegate this responsibility to professionals who are well-equipped with the skills to perform this task. 

To make the maximum profits, accounting firms should move to a model that addresses their accountancy and bookkeeping requirements and an accountancy outsourcing services and outsource accounting and bookkeeping service provider helps here. Such organizations can also take care of personal tax returns outsourcing as well.  It is a straight-forward and level-headed way to turn a low-margin service into something very lucrative, while remaining cost-efficient in terms of hiring experts and saving time. 

 

Website: outbooks.co.uk 

When is the Self-Assessment tax deadline for 2018?

The deadline for filing the online Self- Assessment tax return for the tax year ending 5 April 2018 is midnight on 31st January 2019. There are other deadlines as well which tax-payers have to keep in mind so that unnecessary penalties won’t be incurred. A self-employed person or a person earning income from personal property will have to file their online tax return by 31st January of every year. Those who miss these deadlines will have to deal with fines and the worst part is, they keep piling up with delay.People have to be vigilant of this fact and pay off their taxes well before the deadline. Or they can take help of an accountancy outsourcing services provider to outsourced bookkeeping services and to take care of tax returns outsourcing.

 

 

The previous tax year ended on 5 April 2018. For any untaxed income earned during the 2017-18 accounting year, the deadline for filing Self-Assessment tax return is midnight of 31 January 2019. The next online deadline will creep around before anyone realizes, so it is important to be prepared with the dates.  Here are some of the important dates: 

  1. 31st July 2018: This is the deadline for payers to make the second ‘payment on account’ installment to HMRC. This will only be applicable if a person is self-employed during the 2016-17 tax year and a tax amount of over 1000 pounds is owed when the tax return was submitted.  
  1. 5 October 2018: This is the deadline for self-employed persons to inform HMRC that they are self-employed, so they are aware of when they have to file the tax return the following year. The process does not have to be repeated if one is already registered as self-employed. 
  1. 31 October 2018: This is the Self-Assessment deadline for the tax year 2017-18 if one wants to file a paper return rather than filing it online. However, most businesses find it easier to file their returns online. Under the government’s new Making Tax Digital plans, filing paper returns may not be an option anymore. 
  1. 30th December: It is the deadline for filing the tax return when one wants the tax owed to be collected through PAYE via the tax code. This is only an option is one has already has income that has already been taxed through PAYE. It is applicable if one is employed or self-employed and if the Self-Assessment tax bill for 2017-18 is 3000 pounds and the bill has not been settled yet. 

If one continues earning untaxed income from 6th April 2018, it will fall into the category of the tax year 2018-19 which ends on 5th April 2018-19. The deadline for filing the 2018-19 Self-Assessment tax return will be midnight on 21 January 2020. Taxpayers should keep an eye on Making Tax Digital announcements in the case there are any developments. 

 

Taxpayers should start thinking about their tax return as soon as they start earning money. It is a good idea to open a business bank account to keep personal and business accounts separate and to maintain receipts for all deductible expenses. Nowadays it has become much easier to use an app or an online spreadsheet to keep track of income earned. This will help with organization and make everything more streamlined when the time comes to file the tax return. 

 

Website: outbooks.co.uk

How accountants and accountancy firms can make their Tax season more profitable and productive? 

Any firm, no matter how big or small it is, is always competitively determined by its efficiency, its ability to differentiate between competitors and the capacity to recruit and retain suitable personnel. With new technology and technological developments being churned out every day, even small to mid-size firms can increase productivity without losing money. Accountant outsourcing is another way to derive productivity.

 

Accountants in a small to mid-size firm can make their way up the compensation scale without making any changes to the size of the firm. Accounting firms can leverage technology to their advantage, increasing productivity and profits in the process. 

 

Tax returns are very exhaustive and ensuring an error free self-assessments tax return outsourcing is compiled can be a daunting task. With firms cutting down on manpower with automation and multi-tasking, handling this herculean task becomes further difficult. Accountants are under immense pressure due to high client expectations and managing this monotonous, yet critical task is difficult. Efficiency is what is at stake here, as a result of which accountants have to deliver results.  

 

How Technology has helped accountants become more productive 

Technology has helped smoothen operations and made work easier for accountants. A lot of firms are moving towards the digital space and utilizing digital workflows, bookkeeping company in uk. Cloud particularly has been useful in the areas of tax preparation, compliance and workflow processes as multiple members can access the work from anywhere or work on it at the same time. 

 

Using cloud, firms can reduce their initial costs as opposed to the high costs incurred using traditional software. Accountants have open access to a client’s data at all times. This makes it easier for them to work, without any interruptions and backlogs. A noteworthy feature of this technology is that it is maintained by the host vendor with a disaster recovery system built-in, so that it gives more incentive to accountants to focus on their expertise. Data entry and information are brought together in one place. This provides for easier access. A special portal allows clients and accountants to upload files and communicate with each other. This reliability and productivity in turn, ensures added value for the client. 

 

The role of digitalization  

Firms can stand apart from the rest by using social media effectively. The main ingredient in the formula to reap more profits is differentiation using social media and immersive online content. Firms can be successful if they have a strong online presence. This can be achieved by creating and maintaining attractive websites and social media pages. It is a requisite for firms to have an interface to update relevant information and actively connect with clients. It becomes easier for firms to establish themselves this way. If a firm does not have a social media presence, then the client might have to research about it multiple times before settling for its services. This has in many instances, lowered the reputation of firms. It is not necessary that only large firms enjoy social media exposure. Even small and mid-range firms can distinguish themselves by frequently posting on social media. It all boils down to how each firm is able to build an authentic relationship with their clients. 

The most important rule firms have to follow is to earn the trust of their clients. It is not enough that they have colorful websites and snazzy social media posts. Clients need to be satisfied with the services rendered to them. The biggest mistake firms can commit is losing the faith clients have in them. This will be detrimental to their long-term success. Firms have to be dynamic in order to taste success and that comes with careful planning and resourcefulness.  

 

Website: outbooks.co.uk 

 

Why are Accountants in demand in 2018? 

 

There is a huge surge of jobs for accountants across the UK and many firms are resorting to accounts outsourcing and external contractors to meet their various needs.  Accountancy has entered a new dimension in the first-quarter of 2018 with a lot of firms searching to include audit, advisory and tax, and self-assessment tax return to their services. This has created a lot of job vacancies in the sector all over the country and has equally provided opportunities for tax outsourcing services.  Newly qualified candidates have a variety of appealing positions to choose from and the job market is opening its doors wide open for them. There are many choices ranging from commercial sector services to financial services. The increase in advisory and project services has created opportunities for employees to hone and advance their skills. 

 

Audit partners and HR directors who need qualified personnel for the upcoming accounting season have to expect a challenging recruitment process ahead of them. Competition remains as cut-throat as ever and firms cannot afford to be under-staffed. Recruiters have to be mindful of this fact and carefully select from among the available candidates, those who have the specific skills and expertise required to perform the jobs. Most of the time, conditional offers are issued after the candidate clears the interview and this is based on the successful completion of the written exam. 

 

Outsourcing continues to be on the rise, with a significant increase in the number of jobs registered during the first quarter. Earlier, these positions were occupied at the home front, but nowadays specialization and diversification have come into play. Firms and companies are choosing to perform work only in their core competency areas and majority of the other work is being outsourced to firms specializing in them bookkeeping company in uk. Accountancy work in companies is completed externally by accounting firms who need competent professionals to meet all the demands. 

 

The software arena has experienced game-changing innovation with the introduction of cloud computing tools. The use of these tools has become highly popular. Those who are skilled in the use of these tools and the areas of the software will be in huge demand. Good and sound knowledge of Xero, QuickBooks and Sage Business Cloud will put candidates at an advantage. 

 

A major problem the industry is facing this year is the restrictions placed on the non-EU workers securing roles which are under sponsorship in UK firms. In the past years, many areas struggled with the dearth of staff and these gaps were filled by non-EU workers. The reason for this is that, under the current system, there is an annual cap of 20,700 restricted sponsorship certificates available to sponsor non-EU workers. This cap has been divided unequally among the workers and there aren’t enough roles for everyone, hence the restrictions have been imposed. 

 

The Big Four firms are expected to increase their recruitment for the next quarter and managers will finalise their staffing members for 2018 and 2019. A significant challenge for the group of clients could be the on-boarding of candidates requiring the sponsorships. With respect to other markets which need candidates, the industry will continue availing the services of professional contractors until recruitment is completed. The need for accounting and outsourcing professionals will continue to rise throughout 2018. Job seekers must keep in mind two things: work culture and job benefits.

 

 

Job benefits are comforts designed for more efficient performance such as flexible work timings and the option to work from home. It is important for employers to offer and provide both. 

 

Website: outbooks.co.uk 

 

 

Why accounting firms need an outsourcing partner during tax season?   

 

Outsourcing services during tax season help firms of all sizes.  Firms can cut costs up to 60 percent by substituting in-house workers with professionals who are trained for the job. Firms are constantly challenged with balancing the completion of conflicting tasks like bookkeeping and accounting. Due to this they need all the help they can get when the tax season arrives. The more tactical, administrative functions are time-consuming and complicated. This is why firms find it necessary to hire specialists to handle one of their yearly obligations: that is the filing of tax returns. Firms do not have the manpower or time to go over their books and calculate this amount which is why they don’t mind spending a little extra to fulfill this task. Partnering with a reputed accounting and bookkeeping outsourcing company is all the better as firms can be assured of quality service. 

 

There are many plus points to outsourcing this task. They are: 

 

Firms can increase their morale and productivity by reducing long working hours and weekend staffing requirements. 

 

It helps reduce peak season overtime costs. 

 

Firms can shift their focus to their core competency areas and leave the other work to trained professionals. 

 

The professionals will convert the variable cost of tax preparation to a fixed cost. 

 

It will lead to improvement in document management processes. 

 

Partnering with a provider of bookkeeping and accounting services will help them manage the heavy workload of tax season as they will utilize the expertise of specialists engaged for the purpose. 

 

There will not be any requirement for heavy investment in permanent staffing as the specialists are hired on a temporary basis just to complete the task. 

 

They will deliver unique and customized services based on the firm’s tax requirements. 

 

The experts save the clients from tax filing penalties by giving them an accurate result of the existing cash flow, self-assesment  returns outsourcing. 

 

When considering outsourcing partners, firms have to make sure the data of their clients is in safe hands. Before availing any outsourcing service, firms have to ensure that the outsourcing firm maintains a comprehensive non-disclosure agreement. The outsourcing partner has to come equipped with a fully trained staff, possessing extensive knowledge and essential training on all federal and state tax laws. A high-level final review process also has to be submitted by them. 

 

The technology used by the outsourcing firm makes all the difference.  A benefit of outsourcing is the ability to leverage the technology investment of the outsourcing provider. Most of the outsourcing providers have migrated to a cloud-based platform which facilitates the provider to share their technology investment with the clients. A good provider will use the latest and most effective technology and manage upgrades when needed. Outbooks is the best accounting and bookkeeping company in the UK. The data security measures set up by the provider have to be comprehensive and powerful as the operational infrastructure relies heavily on the technology infrastructure. 

 

Outsourcing providers are the best examples for model business practices and process optimization. Efficiency is directly proportional to profitability and leveraging skilled professionals to manage and execute tasks will lead to increased productivity and profitability. It is also highly cost-effective in the long-run when considering the bigger picture. If the outsourcing provider can provide a service more cost-effectively than the in-house staff it will allow the firm to focus on its more important, income-generating activities. 

 

Website: outbooks.co.uk

 

 

GDPR and accounts outsourcing: consequences of working with a non-compliant partner   

 

 

Within hours of GDPR taking effect, Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were facing the prospect of being fined to the tune of $ 9.3 billion. It is hard to imagine that the tech giants had fallen foul of the data protection regime. This brings the spotlight on organizations that deal with data of EU entities. Regardless of the location of companies, the privacy law can impose penalties in either of the two tiers.  Before we take a look at the implications of working with a non-compliant partner for outsourced bookkeeping services, let’s first look at the relevant provisions and definitions of the GDPR regime. 

 

Data controllers – any business or organization that holds EU data, becomes a data controller. This effectively means that an organization that outsources any task to a third party, will be deemed to be a data controller if the task comprised EU data in any form. It is important to note that this will apply to any company regardless of its location. 

 

Data processors – any business or organization that processes EU data will be deemed to be a data processor, regardless of location. An interpretation of this definition means that all third parties that function as outsourced bookkeeping services, and handling the data of EU entities, will fall into the category of data processors. 

  

Responsibility of data controllers 

The regime clearly specifies the data controllers need to rely on the services of only those outsourced accounting companies (read data processors) that are fully compliant with the various provisions of the GDPR act. In other words, the onus of responsibility of ensuring compliance of the outsourced accounting companies (data processor) lies with the data controller. This effectively means that non-compliance by the data processor will also have implications on the data controller and the liability will rest on the data controller also, tax returns outsourcing. 

 

Extent of penalties 

The two levels of fines that can be imposed on entities – both data controllers and data processors are – 2% or €10 million/4% or 20 millions of total worldwide revenue of previous financial year, whichever is higher. The levels of fines are determined by the nature of violation of the GDPR act. Negligence is on the lower end of the threshold for fines while willful intentions are on the higher end of the threshold. 

  

  

Direct implications of dealing with a non-compliant outsourcing partner 

  

Penalties 

The most direct implication of dealing with a non-compliant partner is the penalties that may be payable in the event of a violation by the data processor (in this case the outsourcing partner). As mentioned earlier, the data controller (organization outsourcing the task), will also be held liable for the actions of the outsourcing partner. Irrespective of the level of fines, it is important to note that a 2% or 4% penalty on the worldwide turnover can be debilitating. 

 

Client confidence 

The imposition of a penalty under the GDPR act will shake the confidence of clients.  In an era of heightened competition, it is hard to imagine a company covering lost ground after having lost its reputation. Clients will certainly not look forward to the prospect of dealing with a company that is compromised on data security, either directly or indirectly. Additionally, clients would certainly not want to find themselves or their operations embroiled in the various processes that may arise as a result of the penalties. 

 

Impact on routine processes 

The impact of routine processes will be the indirect implications of non compliance with the GDPR act. For instance, a company that has been deemed to be in violation of the GDPR act will have to temporary suspend operations till the processes are set right. This disruption in operations will not only affect the company but will have an impact on the clients.  And clients will never be comfortable with the idea of having to sit out the suspension of operations till processes are set right. 

 

Will location of data processors make a difference? 

Contrary to perceptions that the location of financial accounting outsourcing services will have a bearing on the compliance, it is a fact that the processes will be the only governing factor.  For instance, a company may outsource to an outsourcing partner in the EU and still be fined, if the partner is not compliant with the regulations. A partner working out of a non-EU nation may be fully complaint and consequently may not attract any penalties. It is therefore the processes that matter and not the location of the financial accountancy outsourcing services. 

 

Potential intangible effects of penalties 

An organization that has been levied a fine due to the non-complaints of outsourcing partner, will find itself looking up at a steep increase in insurance premiums. Combined with the effect of disruptions in operations, and possible attrition rate of clients, this could deal a debilitating blow to operations. Companies need to therefore carefully consider the capabilities and compliance aspect of outsourcing partners. 

 

Compliance audit of partners to prove mitigating circumstances 

Organizations and companies that outsource tasks need to carry out a comprehensive compliance audit of partners. This will ensure that the Damocles sword of fines will not hang over the data processor or data controller. By insisting on compliance audit, organizations can preempt it disaster in addition to proving mitigating circumstances. Mitigating circumstances have an impact on the levy of penalties. The 2% and 4% calculations are the upper threshold of the fine. By proving intent to stay compliant organizations can ensure that they are not fined heavily. 

  

Organizations and companies need to have a robust system in place that will report an incident immediately to the relevant authority. These aspects need to be fully understood and followed to prevent adverse impact on operations. The primary responsibility of an organization that relies on an offshore entity is to ensure that the entity is compliant. In addition to this, it is necessary that resources are tasked with dual responsibilities – discharging the role of a data protection officer. 

BY: AMIT AGARWAL 

 

London   

Suite 7, First Floor, Amba House,   
15 College Road, Harrow   
Middlesex - HA1 1BA   
Registration No: 10746177   

  

India   

Gurugram   
Unit No.110-111, Spaze IT Park,    

Tower b4, Sohna Road   

Gurugram, Haryana - 122001   

   

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Outbooks-Brexit poised for a positive impact on the accountancy profession   

 

When the formal announcement came that the United Kingdom had voted its departure from the European Union (EU), there have been several components of the UK business scope that were shocked, and not the least of them was the accountancy firms. The Brexit decision carries a straightforward link to the accounting industry and the various dimensions in which UK accounting businesses can function in the long run. This is not really a case where we can say that everything about it is unacceptable. 

  

One particular aspect that will manifest itself as the companies formally disjoint from the EU is that businesses will start reviewing their choices to decide on the suppliers and could even move forward in forging better deals than what they had in place before. Moreover, they may push towards expanding their own lines to fulfill the prospects of the new demand for goods and products made in UK. 

 

According to a study commissioned by the AAT and ACCA, almost as half of the MPs voiced their affirmation on the imminent positive impact of Brexit on accounting firms. 47% of the MPs asserted that Brexit would be favourable and gain an approving headway as accountants would be in a position to advise their clients on the ramifications involved in getting out of the EU. Only 23% were of the opinion that Brexit does not really put forward an encouraging opportunity for accountancy while the rest 25% remained inconclusive. 

  

The survey also revealed that 55% of the MPs were convinced that the EU tax legislation needed to be reviewed right away, instead of waiting for Brexit to materialize. Only 18% of the MPs contradicted. 

  

The study reflected the confidence among the MPs about the possibilities of the accountants rising to the challenges brought forth to business by the unpredictability that ensued because of Brexit. But it is further vital to understand that politicians acknowledge the merits which the accountancy profession can bring about to the UK economy as it sets foot in one of its most significant periods of economic transformation. 

  

The impact of Brexit on accounting IFRS appears to be limited. This is a good point to know. Listed companies which are reporting under the IFRS standards must continue doing so by the EU regulation. But this is surmised to be included into UK law through the EU repeal bill. The requirements of EU for financial and non-financial reporting by different entities are present in the Accounting Directive and are covered already under the UK law. 

  

The study also looked into the matter of passport rights, which permits UK companies to render financial services within the scope of EEA. 40% of the MPs expressed their agreement over the necessity of securing auxiliary contracts for companies which are holding passport rights. 29% of the MPs were not convinced and 25% showed no inclination about this issue. 

  

The UK audit profession has undoubtedly benefitted from the use of globally acclaimed high-quality audit standards. It provides a good measure of international coordination across the audit business which is believed to be relevant to the market environment. The potential impact of Brexit on audit seems low, at least in the short-term. However, Brexit may grant an opportunity in revisiting a few of the amendments set forth by the EU audit reform. Although the probabilities for changes exist following Brexit, UK has been supportive in promoting recurrent retendering of audits of specifically listed systems. 

  

These changes have now been appended and agreed as part of a good practice. The likelihood and need for more changes, therefore, would appear to be narrow. However, it is conjectured that UK could reconsider the purview of typical facets of the EU audit legislation if these practices turn out to be unnecessarily burdensome. 

  

A good majority of the accounting laws that have so far been followed in the UK were primarily ordained by several directives that were also executed and administered by the EU. These ordinances comprised of the provisions defining the process of creation of accounting reports, the exact stage of their creation and various other features. The UK government will undeniably offer new directives which are akin to the ones held by the EU, but to what extent the similarities remain needs to be examined. 

It is familiar that opportunities go side-by-side with threats. For accountants, a dearth of relevant skills, post-recession in 2008 was already a big worry. With Brexit, the situation is probably going to be aggravated. Until now, British accountancy businesses employed accountants only from inside the EU without asking for an immigration authorization. But, in the wake of Brexit, employment assents may require an audit. 

 

Although such chances are bleak, a portion of EU accountants may at last need to surrender their jobs and return to their nation. A majority of accounting and bookkeeping services professionals voiced apprehension over jobs being shifted from the UK to EU. The principal concern seems to be over job stability, constricted opportunities, constraints associated with working abroad and a potential job loss as well when it comes to downsizing and cost-cutting. 

 

It may be a bit early to evaluate Brexit’s effect on accountancy employment. But it is being broadly revealed that in these questionable circumstances, businesses, more so the ones with solid balance sheets and accounting reports are implementing investment cost-cutting and recruitment freezes. This can kindle a more profound crisis in the UK productivity. 

 

Numerous reports have suggested outsourcing would be an excellent option and that Brexit would create a boom in the demand for bookkeeping outsourcing services as UK businesses progress forward to understand the situation. There would be a significant surge in workload connected with projections, revising forecasts, analysis of the impact on the markets, assessment of management figures, exchange rate disparities etc. There are many accountants who have already begun hiring surplus staff from outsourced accounting firms to deal with the liability of this extra paperwork. 

  

Accountancy outsourcing can be extremely advantageous to control the productivity amidst this period of uncertainty. It enables you to access qualified staff at lower fixed costs and flexibly move your practice ahead. This could imply proper sorting out of works related to compliance and self assessment tax  with the outsourced staff and focus on aiding and supporting businesses to tackle the challenges which Brexit has come forward with. Outsourced accounting firms can also assist you in quickly responding to the opportune chances without the restrictions of long-term employment contracts. 

 

The governance encompassing VAT application was previously decided by the EU since it was their proprietary concept. With Brexit, the VAT policies are most likely to be modified. Hence, this would have a direct influence on the companies’ accounting practices. It is expected that the government would design a system that is distinguishable from the VAT system because of the fact that VAT is a continuous source of extensive income generation for the country. 

  

Many of the consequences of Brexit remain obscure at this point, particularly around issues that focus on passport rights, tax and compliance. However, amongst all these apprehensions surrounding Brexit, one thing is very clear that in the coming times accountants have a crucial role to play with the sole objective in advising and assisting their clients on the financial and tax implications of the EU withdrawal. 

  

BY: AMIT AGARWAL 

 

London  

Suite 7, First Floor, Amba House,  
15 College Road, Harrow  
Middlesex - HA1 1BA  
Registration No: 10746177  

 

India  

Gurugram  
Unit No.110-111, Spaze IT Park,   

Tower b4, Sohna Road  

Gurugram, Haryana - 122001  

  

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A return to prudence: restoring faith in accounting 

The journey towards achieving fair value standards has resulted in the loss of prudence and judgment in accounting outsourcing companiesPoor audits and troubled auditors have seeped into the very heart of the corporate system and rendered it dysfunctional. Further investigation into this matter has proved that the problems in the audit market may be perhaps due to some loopholes in the accounting standards in place.  

 

Recent financial scandals such as the fraud at the Colonial Bank in the US to the disintegration of Carillion, the UK outsourced bookkeeping services group has significantly pointed out the inefficiencies and errors in the system. One of the main problems is the structural dependency on the Big Four firms. Another problem is that auditors have failed to prevent investors from being cheated and to report criminal practices. The rules have become defunct and unnecessary for the practice.  

 

Three decades ago, banks would manipulate their profits by valuing loans and keeping aside provisions for losses on loans without caring much about the existing economic situation. This incorrect higher scaling of profits was good news for many investors as they would get higher returns. However, these practices were detrimental to the economy leading to the savings and loans crisis of the 1980s and 90s. 

What went or is going wrong 

Managers who are spoilt by the equity incentives and fringe benefits are using the system for their own personal gains. The writing up of asset values in relation to market values, whether real or estimated, have enabled them to get profits, distribute dividends and increase share prices. The fair value system will only work if correct market valuations and proper estimates based on logic are prepared. The credibility of the company is what’s at stake and an auditor’s responsibility is to guard that. 

 

However, auditors, especially in the Big Four firms, have shed that responsibility, instead of using their lobbying power to make decisions devoid of any judgment. This is where one of the drawbacks of the fair value approach creeps in. Rationale and prudence can only be restored if time is taken to understand the different uses of the models, estimates, and projections. This will help work around the manipulative nature of the historical cost approach. 

 

There is always a place for new rules and approaches in the market. The problem of non-performing loans in Europe has been dealt with by creating a new rule, IFRS 9. The rule mandates that companies set aside bad debts provisions before incurring any losses, in order to be on the safe side. The rule is a healthy mix of fair value accounting and predecessor standards. 

 

Principles of modern accounting 

An important principle of modern accounting is fair value. The framers of accounting standards suggest the coordination of accounting rules globally and to do away with system loopholes. This method relates asset valuations with the prevailing market prices. The aim is to prepare accounts according to the current economic situation rather than the historical cost of the assets. It has since been accepted as a fundamental concept in modern accounting. The method has been adopted in the European accounting practices as well. The concept stems from the idea that accounts should be user-friendly. It has been used for volatile and fictitious valuations and extends to non-liquid assets with no certain market price. 

 

This rational approach should accrue to all areas and regulate cash flows. Also, auditors should keep an eye on decisions made by financial directors and consult with them on important matters. The underlying aim of the audit market is to assure investors and the public of the fairness of accounts and this sanctity should be maintained. Changing the accounting rules is only the beginning. 

  

What else can accountants do 

It is also important for the accounting firms to include their clients in the discussions and allow them space to share their thoughts too. This helps in building trust as shared below. 

 

  1. Be available proactively – Your clients may not be accounting experts and the words may be jargon to them. They may also be relying heavily on you for your opinion, suggestions, and recommendations.  It is important that you look for opportunities where you can add value to your client and ensure they don’t get stuck with any compliance issues or miss important deadlines. 
  1. Give them enough space to intervene – You are an expert, no doubt but your client may also have a fresh view. You can tell them what can be done or what is the right way or wrong anyway. It is important to allow your clients to intervene so that they get the feeling that they have the control of their accounting and this authoritative feel can make them more comfortable to help you in getting their trust built in you. 
  1. Breaking down the complexity for them – Explaining each process and accounting details of course is and should be one of your tasks. Accounting is a scary term for many and what an accountant may find a simple concept, could be a nightmare for others to understand. It is important that they know what you mean by the terms you use. Decide recurring meeting slots and discuss the financial data and performance with your client so that they know where you are heading and so that they don’t raise a concern out of the blue one day. We also provide payroll outsourcing services provider. 

A better transparency, ethical accounting, and communication with customers can help get the faith back in outsourcing. 

BY: AMIT AGARWAL 

London  

Suite 7, First Floor, Amba House,  
15 College Road, Harrow  
Middlesex - HA1 1BA  
Registration No: 10746177  

India  

Gurugram  
Unit No.110-111, Spaze IT Park,   

Tower b4, Sohna Road  

Gurugram, Haryana - 122001  

  

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How accountants need to plan their technology transformation 

September 26, 2018 

As a growing business, becoming digital should be one of your strategies. Technology has been and will keep evolving and will let businesses ride it to their way to success. The accounting industry has been changing for the last few decades and technology and accounting outsourcing companies have a key role to play here. The change has been positive and is helping the accountants grow. Anyone who doesn’t embrace technology will become extinct soon, as their clients, competition, partners, and industry will still become digital and won’t be in the same league as them. 

 

A research done by McKinsey mentions that 86% of all accounting tasks can be automated using the existing technology. To many, it may be a major threat. However, if these powerful tools of automation and innovation are used correctly, then the strategic value of accountants can be increased manifold. Technology can be used to change the role of the accountant, not replace it. Accountants must re-define their approach to digital accounting so that their skills are not wasted in mundane tasks. By doing so, they can work harmoniously use technology to get a better output. 

 

The planning that needs to be done to become digital is equally important and unless done right, it may not yield expected results. Either you plan it yourself or decide to do accounts outsourcing to make it digital, it is important to choose the right technology, train your people, to communicate to your client about the change, to plan the addition of new services that you can cater to and few other things that need focus as mentioned below. 

 

Define goals 

Hasty decisions attributed to confusion and over-complication lead to disastrous consequences. Well-defined goals have to be framed by accountants and be properly mapped out. Accountants should identify problem areas and potential areas for improvement. After identifying them, they have to set targets for their timely completion. This will give them a clear vision of their purpose. 

 

Strategies 

Accountants must focus on cohesive strategies after fixing the goals they want to achieve. The strategy must contain all action plans and layouts of all plans. It cannot be done in one day as the plan might keep evolving depending on the business environment. Accountants must view their practice objectively and make rational decisions. Hence it is important to decide on the right clients, the right team and the best working methods and processes to be successful during the long haul. 

 

Increase the service portfolio 

Digital accounting is a broad field which offers accountants a lot of scope to deliver profitable services and also gives them an opportunity to extend and upgrade their existing services. The addition of new services and in turn revenue streams have increased after the surge of digital accounting. Many firms have reported an increase in revenue growth due to this aspect. This will give accountants a significant advantage to use. 

 

Match your needs and the right technology 

Technology is the central base for digital accounting. Accountants should choose the right software to take care of their daily processes and which can be tweaked to make it in line with the company’s processes. It is important to choose the software based on factors such as the size of the firm, requirements of clients and the firm’s specific area of expertise. The benefits of the software and the changes it will bring about must be clearly explained to the firm’s employees. This can help prevent any employee resistance due to change in software or additional processes. The clients should also be briefed on the adopted technology. In this way the firm can gauge their expectations and work accordingly. 

 

Recruit to build the core team 

Having the right team on board is key to a successful digital transformation. Talented and hard-working people are required to pull off the job which is why proper recruitment is a must. Digital accounting requires tech-savvy accountants and business advisory professionals with experience in customer service. You may also look at accounting outsourcing companies and use their staff instead of getting into hiring and training. 

 

Train and get your team ready 

Once the right software and team are finalized, the selected team has to be briefed on the processes of the company and trained according to company requirements. Training is one of the most important elements as members of a team can be taught to tap into their full potential. This will boost productivity. Online educational resources and video lectures can also help team members understand various experiences and along with real-time simulations, get them out of their comfort zones. These efforts will make sure they don’t falter on the job and offer clients the best services. They should be given enough time to take in the learnings and their progress should be routinely monitored. Necessary feedback should be given at the end of every self-assessment tax return. 

 

Segmentation for better facilitation 

Firms cannot focus on their clients all at once. It is important for clients to be segmented to facilitate the rapid move to the digital space. The idea is to introduce the new software to the initial clients and familiarize them with its usage. Their online presence will attract more clients.  Starting with internal clients is a smart way to increase efficiency as clients won’t have to change their processes. This can be followed by clients who do their own accounting and bookkeeping services. These clients will be ready to avail of any software solution which can streamline their operations. Firms can then be prepared to supply the suitable data necessary for operations. The transition from desktop software to online accounting will be made easier and help clients understand the difference digital accounting makes. 

 

Educating clients about the change 

Digital accounting is susceptible to resistance as it entails moving accounts online and may question confidentiality. Clients should be assured of the transparency and efficiency of online accounting to make sure they become comfortable with the process. Any queries they have should be answered with and all doubts regarding functioning cleared. The right information can do away with all concerns. 

 

Going digital is not an easy task and requires careful planning.  This is to avoid any obstacles and bumps on the way. Once the initial struggle is over, it is well worth the wait and to start enjoying the benefits of digitalizing and automating the mundane tasks while giving importance and time to more critical areas. Or you need not get into the entire planning and look for an accounting outsourcing company to plan for your accounts outsourcing and digitization by an expert in the industry. 

BY: AMIT AGARWAL 

 

London 

Suite 7, First Floor, Amba House, 
15 College Road, Harrow 
Middlesex - HA1 1BA 
Registration No: 10746177 

India 

Gurugram 
Unit No.110-111, Spaze IT Park,  

Tower b4, Sohna Road 

Gurugram, Haryana - 122001 

 

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Own your time by automating and outsourcing your accounting processes 

Due to the rising market competition, growing regulations and compliances and increasing customer demands, companies are under immense pressure to enhance their efficiency while reducing their internal costs and overall expenses. For any company, managing the accounting process can be quite challenging, as accounting entails a range of mundane, repetitive tasks such as data entry. Moreover, some accounting functions, such as bookkeeping, payroll, and taxes, need dedicated resources who are specialists in their designated fields. Since transaction volumes are rising by the day, they are putting more pressure on the available resources in enterprises and taking up a lot a precious time that owners could have otherwise spent on their core business functions. Therefore, companies are seeking an effective business solution to tackle their accounting woes. With dedicated organizations taking care of these niche areas like accounts outsourcingbookkeeping outsourcing companypayroll outsourcing services provider companies, and even tax outsourcing services providers, companies can get a breather from managing these in-house. Other than outsourcing, companies also can automate their accounting processes.  

Both the concepts and the profits companies can reap from them have been discussed in this article. 

  

Accounting Automation 

  

Technology is changing the future of accounting, and with technology, automation has humbly paved its way into the accounting profession. Accounting automation helps do away with routine accounting tasks, such as bookkeeping, which can be easily automated to have less resources tied down. Accounting automation successfully brings the entire accounting, invoicing, finance, inventory, reporting and CRM functions to work in sync and harmony, leading to a less stressed and happier business. Automation can also work in tandem with companies’ banking partners and do all the hard work on their behalf, right from reviewing entries to tallying books—everything is taken care of. 

  

The benefits of automating the accounting process are diverse and listed below are the main reasons why it is a sensible decision for companies to implement accounting automation.  

  • Tax compliance: Accounting automation software and systems are designed and configured to automatically comply with the latest tax regulations and compliances. Therefore, with accounting automation, companies do not have to worry about skipping tax compliances and not adhering to accounting regulations. 

 

  • Time and money savings: This is the most important reason that drives millions of companies worldwide to opt for accounting automation. Once companies have entered and saved the information of vendors, customers, and employees, they don’t ever have to re-enter or refill the data again. Forms, invoices and even checklists will be pre-populated with the saved data, and users simply have to pick their choice, which helps save not just time but also money. 

  

  • Improved accuracy: Automation and accuracy walk hand-in-hand. Since accountants are not re-entering data into the system over and over again, the chances of errors reduce drastically. Moreover, the accounting software does all the calculations, including totals and subtotals for all types of transactions such as sales orders, profit loss statements, credit memos, cash disbursements, and purchase orders. The software also calculates the sales tax and payroll deductions, leaving no scope for human errors and increasing the overall efficiency. 

 

  • Customizable reports: The accounting software greatly increases the reporting efficiency of companies. Without automation, it is a tiresome and error-prone task to generate customizable reports for cases such as defaulting customers, best-performing assets, worst performing employees, etc. However, with automation, this challenge can be easily addressed because the accounting software arrives pre-configured with multiple report templates that can be easily customized. 

  

  • Faster payments: To keep the business running, receivables matter and the accounting software makes it easier for companies to receive payments from their customers. The software has functionalities that allow companies to send invoices through emails and accept credit/debit cards for processing payments. 

  

Accounting Outsourcing 

 

Apart from using an automation software, the other solution companies can opt for is to completely outsource their accounting process. With automation, companies still have to monitor and review the information being fed into the systems and even employ appropriate measures to protect, upgrade and maintain the implemented systems. With outsourcing to an accounting outsourcing companies, all of these hassles take a step back, as a third-party provider will be completely responsible for carrying out all accounting tasks on behalf of the companies. Therefore, in the long run in terms of cost savings, outsourcing the accounting process is a more viable option for companies. Let’s glance through the major benefits companies can gain by outsourcing their accounting process. 

  

  • Automation: The accounts outsourcing process offers all the automation power provided by an accounting software. Moreover, with the rise of cloud computing, it is now possible to transfer data from one system to another with large-scale automation, which was previously not accessible. Due to the cost-efficiency of cloud services, companies, large and small, can choose the services of a cloud accounting provider to leverage the cloud flexibility and access resources without spending a lot of money. 

  

  • Round the clock financial advice: Outsourcing the accounting process to a specialized accounting outsourcing company provider allows companies to access the accounting expertise of the provider, which can prove to be extremely beneficial. These services are usually available 24/7 at the request of clients and are complementary with the service package. However, some accounting firms do offer expert financial guidance at an additional cost. This guidance can be for diverse topics, including tax planning, entity structure and growth strategies. 

  

  • Reduced tax preparation fees: Most public certified accounting firms charge clients by the hour for tax preparation. They cannot afford charging a fixed rate because most the data they receive from companies is either incomplete or inaccurate. Therefore, they have to put in a lot of hours for tax preparation and charging a fixed rate would be a lost bargain for them. However, if the books of a company have been maintained up-to-date by their outsourced accounting provider, it would take less time and thus less money for the company to have its tax prepared, as most of the records will be accurate and updated. 

  

  • More economical: In the long term, it is certainly more economical for a company to outsource its accounting process rather than managing it in-house. It is more expensive, time consuming and tiresome to spend countless hours doing invoices, recording transactions, filing taxes and reconciling transactions. Moreover, this may sometimes require the hiring of specialized resources, which would incur more expenses. Today, there are multiple specialized accounting service providers who offer all accounting services as a package, and these packages can also be easily customized to match specific business requirements. Cloud packages are more cost-efficient, thereby offering companies a more economical business solution. 

 

  • Peace of mind: Every business owner is entitled to peace of mind, and research says that business owners feel the most secure when their accounts are in the right hands. Outsourcing is the way to this much-needed peace of mind, leaving owners with ample time to focus on their core business. With outsourcing, owners do not have to worry about their books. Right from bookkeeping and payroll to financial reporting, the outsourced provider takes complete responsibility for the company’s accounting functions. 

  

What could be better than receiving a fully updated financial report at the end of every month but without having to go through the hassles and complexities associated with reporting? Having accounting specialists create and review these reports and even discuss how they apply to the business, brings a lot of satisfaction to clients. Thus, outsourcing the accounting process frees up a lot of time and reduces the unwanted and constant worry business owners usually have on their shoulders. 

  

To automate or to outsource? This is dependent purely on the business requirements and priorities of the company. However, both have their own pros. 

BY: AMIT AGARWAL 

 

London  

Suite 7, First Floor, Amba House,  
15 College Road, Harrow  
Middlesex - HA1 1BA  
Registration No: 10746177 

Ph: +44 (0) 330 057 8597  

Email: info@outbooks.co.uk  

 India   

Gurugram   

Unit No.110-111, Spaze IT Park, Tower b4, 

Sohna Road, Gurugram, 

Haryana - 122001  

 

Taking the Pain Out of Small Business Payroll

Small businesses will have a smaller team and hence lower bandwidth. Following the strategy of managing with required employees, having someone with a niche skill of payroll may not be possible and assigning it to someone who isn’t an expert can lead to major errors in pay management. Above this managing payroll in-house is even more complex because of tedious taxation processes and compliance management. Any mismatch leading to taxation errors or compliance will lead to sorting it with the Government, which any small business wouldn’t want to get into. And if there is an error in the pay, you will be upsetting an employee and losing trust.

 It is a good practice to have experts work on tasks that you are not too sure about. You can choose to outsource the work to a payroll outsourcing services provider or simply choose an accountant who can take care of this more effectively as compared to your training or hiring an employee internally for this task.

 Payroll outsourcing could be expensive but small business should look at the bigger picture. You don’t have to train or monitor someone in-house, you are letting experts manage compliance obligations and ensure tax adherence. They can help you in setting up best practices based on their experience with handling payroll for companies like you. So overall other than getting your payroll managed, you let go of related nuances and at the same time learn from experts. Real-time reports and anytime access to data comes as part of the package so unavailability of data or no control is out of the question.

 Having said the above, outsourcing may not be a fit for all organizations depending upon their style of business. It is still a good idea to evaluate it. Speak to a few payroll management service providers. Know about the benefits in black and white and re-evaluate.

 To be sure you get rid of the pain of managing payroll it is important you choose the right outsourcing partner. Here are a few checks and considerations when you plan to outsource.

First thing first, know your exact requirement

Defining the exact services you need is essential. You need more than just payroll management for sure. Importing pay figures, incorporating bonus amounts or requiring the pay data to be accessed by senior management at any time are important services that you need. Ask these specifically and look for a payroll service provider who can adhere to your requirements. Also based on your company size, industry or payroll schedule your needs will be unique so don’t go by a generalized service package. Know about all types of services the payroll outsourcing company provides and asks for customization if the standard doesn’t fit you.

 Which right is your right?

There are a plethora of payroll outsourcing and accounting outsourcing companies and each claiming to become your ‘right’ outsourcing service provider. It is your job to choose the best out of all. The only checklist you should have is ‘does it fit your requirement?’. It may have the best of clients but are you comfortable with their services, their policies, costing and do their experts give you the comfort that they will be able to handle your payroll. This is the time when you need to scan them from all angles as you are choosing to outsource a critical portion of your business.

 

Update your data

The payroll service provider will take care of everything related to payroll but check if they will help in creating a proper data repository with past data for you that can capture end-to-end employee record and pay and bonuses and more. It will be a good idea to clear off the past data as well. You should also ask your current payroll manager to collect and have the data ready of the past 1 year so that the same without any hiccups can be shared with the payroll service provider during the transition.

 Is the outsourcing company technology-oriented?

The need and demand of the services world is changing. Now you have a few offices, tomorrow you may have many in different countries with your staff working from multiple locations and even working on the go. How would you ensure that the data from all these different locations is collected, is on time, is precise and calculates payroll based on rules as per the specific location? Even if there are people working specifically on this it is daunting to have an error-free data in place. This is very technology comes in handy. Put this requirement in front of the payroll outsourcing partner you are evaluating. See how well they decide to use technology to cater to this scenario. If they don’t plan to do use technology to cover this scenario then they aren’t your right pick.

Data confidentiality

With technology, there comes many benefits as well as a few challenges. Data leak is easier now with data available on the internet. Also as you may be managing the payroll for multiple offices, confidentiality needs to be stronger. One of the main concerns a small business is sharing the data with a 3rd party with the concern that it may get shared by someone unwanted. When evaluating a payroll outsourcing provider it is important you thoroughly understand their processes and plans to manage your data. Look at their security certifications and regulations that they follow and then decide.

It is important for a small business to know the pros and cons when outsourcing payroll. The benefits are more undoubtedly if the checks are kept on. Communications, data access, compliance adherence, confidentiality, transparency and expertise play an important role. If these are taken care of well then the small businesses will have an easy way to get the pain of payroll management off their head and focus on core items.

BY:  Amit Agarwal

London 

Suite 7, First Floor, Amba House, 
15 College Road, Harrow 
Middlesex - HA1 1BA 
Registration No: 10746177 

 

India 

Gurugram 
Unit No.110-111, Spaze IT Park,  

Tower b4, Sohna Road 

Gurugram, Haryana - 122001 

 

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