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Business

Employers to Pay for PAYE reform

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Mike Fleming

By Mike Fleming, CTA.TEP. Partner at Straughans Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisers

HMRC’s introduction of Real Time Information (RTI) into the PAYE system looks set to have a negative impact on businesses across the UK, with SMEs particularly badly hit. While it has been presented by HMRC as a simplification of the PAYE system, RTI will in fact generate a significant administrative burden for employers. Mike Fleming

The overhaul will require employers to submit employee information on a ‘real time’ basis – each time an individual is paid – as opposed to at the end of the financial year. So an employer could find themselves having to file up to 52 separate reports, if an employee was paid weekly. HMRC claim that RTI reporting will be synchronised as closely as possible with the operation of payroll. However, a recent HMRC consultation document contains repeated references to the need to make allowances for a ‘learning curve’ for employers – evidence, if evidence were needed, that the implementation of RTI is expected to be a headache.

The frequency with which employers must file the information could prove hugely time-consuming and disruptive to business. RTI may help to streamline HMRC’s systems, but is likely wreak havoc for businesses across the UK, especially SMEs.

A pilot scheme is underway to trial RTI. With 310 employers now involved, HMRC report they are ‘on track’ to roll out the system across the UK by April 2013. This is despite the resignation of two key players in the delivery of the RTI system. The resignation of Steve Lamey, Director General Benefits and Credits  – responsible for masterminding the project – and IT Solutions Director Vince Groome  – responsible for making it work in terms of IT –  leaves the project arguably rudderless. What is less clear is whether due consideration has been given to the upheaval the shift to RTI will cause smaller businesses.

I spoke to Enrico Liverani at DCS Payroll, one of the first employers to become involved in the pilot. I was interested to discover his opinion of the RTI system after three months of the trial. He explained that the pressures of filing RTI to HMRC would be compounded for the 65% of businesses who do not use the BACS system.  An employer who paid their staff in cash or used an online banking system could be forced away from such free options to a cost-based solution such as BACS because of HMRC’s requirement to see verification of payments made to each employee. Whether this is a strategy to force businesses into using the BACS system remains to be seen. We have all had experience of what HMRC think of cash transactions! This impression has only been strengthened by David Gauke’s recent comments on the morality or otherwise of cash payments.

Employers should also be aware that the new system is being driven by an agenda imposed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). HMRC itself admits in its Annual Report for 2011 that : ‘the timetable for full implementation is challenging and driven by the Department for Work and Pensions’ timetable for rolling out Universal Credit from October 2013’.

The DWP will use the information harvested through RTI to introduce a Universal Credit System to replace the current benefits structure. The pilot has already channelled 100,000 employee records straight to the DWP to accommodate an unrealistically tight timescale.

I cannot be alone in finding it unfair that employers should be made to work harder to provide information which is essentially making the work of the DWP easier. If information is required for a new initiative, the onus should be on the government and not the employer to do the groundwork.

In a statement tantamount to admitting to reservations about the implementation of RTI, HMRC comments in its Annual Report for 2011: ‘The department has yet to decide how far it will use RTI to improve the PAYE service and will use the pilot to inform its work.’ HMRC has admitted to issues with data quality which it claims is ‘vital to the successful operation of RTI’ and is looking into ways to improve this. It’s therefore unfortunate that Vince Groome – who headed up IT Solutions when the software was developed –  will not be present to oversee any enquiry into its functionality.

Despite a clear consensus from the All-Party Parliamentary Taxation Group in their document ‘PAYE at the Crossroads’ that the government should hold off the introduction of RTI until at least 2015, David Gauke is keen to steamroller the process through nonetheless. Holding firmly to the original plan of a full introduction of RTI by October 2013, with the majority of employers using the system as soon as April 2013, HMRC has set itself up for a fall. The All-Party Group’s concerns lie in two key areas: firstly that the implementation timetable is undeliverable, and secondly that HMRC’s business case is not sound, with the costs of rolling out RTI underestimated while the benefits are overestimated.

I have further concerns about the future uses the data gathered through RTI will be put to. It’s no secret that, as part of the drive to ‘simplify’ the tax system, the introduction of a Self-Assessment system along the lines of the Danish model has been mooted.

As in Denmark, HMRC propose the introduction of a system which will allow every taxpayer online access to their own records.  This would involve releasing tax returns online which have been pre-populated with data. To do this the Revenue will need to approach banks, estate agents, employers, academic institutions, to name a few, to source information on each individual’s income and assets. The onus is then on the individual to make any amendments and additions to their pre-completed form before submitting to HMRC.

Am I the only one to see a theme developing? With RTI and a Danish-style Self Assessment system in place, HMRC could find themselves in possession of some very useful – and wide ranging – data. And all provided through the hard work of the nation’s employers, banks and other agencies! The question is whether they have any other plans for its use. HMRC’s transparency about the RTI scheme being driven by an agenda to supply data to the DWP means it’s within the realms of possibility that the data collected through RTI and Self-Assessment may be channelled to supply other government departments in future.

I would advise keeping a weather-eye out for storms on the horizon and to heed the All-Party Parliamentary Taxation Group’s warnings regarding RTI.  As for the government’s plans to ‘simplify’ the tax system; they should definitely be taken with a pinch of salt.

Mike Fleming is Tax Director at Straughans Chartered Accountants www.straughans.co.uk

 

 

 

Business

Staff training crucial for SME recovery post-COVID

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Staff training crucial for SME recovery post-COVID 1
  • 47% of UK’s top performing SMEs provide regular, formalised training for all staff
  • Despite this, 15% of small businesses report to never training staff
  • New findings come as part of an independent, holistic study into small business success, commissioned by Allica Bank to support British businesses

A new study, commissioned by business bank, Allica Bank, shows that the practice of regular training correlates strongly with high performance in SMEs and will be vital to businesses’ prospects of a swift recovery post-COVID. The study analysed data from over 1,000 companies and ranked their success on a scale that evaluated factors including productivity, growth, consistency and outlook.

Post-pandemic, many businesses will be focussing on day-to-day survival; it might be easy to forget long-term planning, of which staff training is a key component. Allica Bank’s findings indicate that small businesses should incorporate training programmes into their recovery strategy to ensure long-term viability. Training will improve morale, retention and boost the company’s credibility.

The study showed that routine staff training is a common characteristic among the most successful SMEs. 47% of the 100 highest scorers on the SME Performance Index provided training for employees at least on a quarterly basis. However, nearly half of all small businesses (46%) only provide training once a year or less, inadvertently hindering their growth and success prospects.

Frequency of training also differed across sectors. 34% of legal businesses provide training for staff once a month compared to just 6% in the hospitality and leisure sector. Whilst there will always be sector-specific disparities, firms in all industries can benefit from boosting and improving their training programmes.

Chris Weller, Chief Commercial Officer, Allica Bank, said:

With so many concerns and barriers for small businesses to navigate in the immediate term, it can be difficult for managers to focus on the training and development of their teams. However, if COVID has taught us anything, it is that adaptability and resilience are invaluable.

“The provision of regular training not only builds these characteristics into teams but serves to maintain a sense of value and togetherness that will boost morale, aide retention and improve performance – all of which contribute to the ongoing success of a business.”

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to training, but it’s vital for business longevity that staff are supported with a formalised programme of some description. Customers will respond well to a company whose employees demonstrate enthusiasm and competence. Employees also need to feel that their skills are constantly being improved and expanding. These skills will contribute to the success of a company and this will feed through to the bottom line.”

Allica Bank’s SME Guide to Success identified six ‘rules to success’ that were more likely to be displayed by top-performing SMEs compared to their counterparts. The full report contains a wealth of additional data and insight into each of these topics.

As part of its mission to empower small businesses, Allica Bank is making the findings freely available and running a series of free online workshops with relevant partner organisations for businesses to attend.

Aliya Vigor-Robertson, CEO, JourneyHR, the expert partner for Allica Bank’s training workshop, adds:

Staff need direction and the knowledge that they are advancing in their career to stay motivated and engaged at work. An unmotivated, disengaged team is no recipe for long-term success and will ultimately hamper a business. Team members that lack tangible support from above are less likely to identify with their role and its duties, which is a completely natural reaction.

“Regular staff training is a key component of tangible support and will make the team feel secure in their career development. A happy team with purpose and direction will contribute to a thriving business”

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Business

What Is Globalization

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What Is Globalization 2

What is globalization? Globalization, or inter-connectedness, is the ever-growing process of integration and interaction among countries, individuals, businesses, and even governments all over the world. Globalization has rapidly accelerated in recent years because of advances in communication and transportation technology. This allows us to be able to get from one country to another quickly and easily. This also allows us to communicate freely use the Internet to connect with our friends and families around the world.

So what is globalization and why is it important? Globalization will benefit many people around the world who are looking to travel more freely, save money on their monthly expenditure, be able to meet new friends and relatives from different parts of the world, learn more about a new culture, and take part in trade and commerce.

Globalization will benefit all of us because there will be more opportunities for everyone to participate in global markets. People in different countries have access to resources, information, and products they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford. There are also many opportunities for people to work at home.

Globalization is not just an economic boon, but it can also benefit all of us in other ways. As globalization continues, the boundaries between individuals, states, and countries will become less porous. There will be fewer political conflicts in the world, less violence, and a greater sense of cooperation, tolerance, and peace. These are all positive impacts of globalization.

However, globalization has also created some negative effects as well. It has caused people from one country to move to another to take advantage of globalization. This is also leading to some negative consequences such as a reduction of jobs in some countries. The effects of globalization also include increased competition and unemployment in many countries. Due to this decrease in jobs, wages are dropping.

The only way we can stop globalization is to make sure that we know what it is and what its benefits are. We must understand globalization and its impact on our lives and make sure we are ready to accept the changes that it may bring. if it is inevitable in the future.

The key is to be educated about globalization. There are plenty of books, websites, and television shows that explain how globalization is impacting us and the rest of the world. Globalization is not always bad, but we must be careful not to lose sight of its positives.

In the end, globalization is here to stay, so we must learn to live with it and embrace its benefits. We cannot fight it and try to fight it off, but we must learn to deal with it. And we can do that by educating ourselves. Globalization is here to stay for the long term but we must learn to adapt to it and learn how to live with it.

Globalization can be beneficial for all of us, but it has also caused many problems in the past. There were many cases of unfair trade practices and there was the rise of unfair labor practices. Some people argue that globalization has also reduced the pay of most Americans. So while globalization is definitely not all bad, we should understand that the benefits of globalization are not unlimited. and that we must be willing to give it some limitations and accept some sacrifices.

The biggest benefit of globalization is the ability for all of us to communicate with each other easily. The ability to connect with other people across borders makes it possible to share ideas, information, and knowledge. Since we can communicate with each other, the chances of getting a good price for our goods or services goes up dramatically. and it also allows us to save money by buying in bulk. This also translates to more savings on our end.

As mentioned earlier, globalization has brought about a change in the way people work and live because people are no longer tied down by jobs. They now have the freedom to travel and do what they enjoy.

As globalization continues, there will always be some people who are unhappy with globalization and are afraid to open their eyes to new opportunities that are available to them. But that is okay; this is part of the process of globalization.

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Business

What Is Microsoft Teams

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What Is Microsoft Teams 3

Microsoft Teams is an application and web-based collaboration tool that combines chat, videos, online collaboration, document storage, and collaboration with other applications. The service integrates well with the Microsoft Office 365 business solution and features numerous extensions that can integrate well with other non-Microsoft products, like SharePoint. There are many different versions of Microsoft Teams but here are some of the basic functions that all versions offer.

Teams also offers a variety of options for people to create and customize their own groups. This feature provides a way for people to organize their teams within Microsoft Teams. For example, there may be teams for business projects and then another group for personal tasks or social tasks. There are also different types of teams which include teams for social, personal and business.

Microsoft Teams allows users to make lists of files and documents and view them from different perspectives such as in the document viewer or from another Microsoft Teams project. This feature is called “project pane”, and it shows a summary of each of the files in the project. There are also sections for all files in the project that you can see in the “Files” pane.

Microsoft Teams gives users the ability to share information and collaborate on these shared items. A user can create a document that has other people add comments or attach files and then save the document to a list so that other people can view the document in a Microsoft Teams document viewer.

Another feature of Teams is the ability for you to invite other team members to work with you. A user can join a team and then invite other team members to collaborate with the team members who join the team. You can also invite team members to join a new team. When a team member joins a new team, they will be automatically added to your existing teams and the teams will merge together.

Microsoft Teams provides a number of different ways for you to collaborate with others and see the files and documents of others. These include groups and threads in the main document viewer. You can search your files using the search box in the document viewer and you can share your documents with others by email.

Microsoft Teams provides users with a variety of different tools to help you organize and manage your teams. You can assign members to specific teams, assign permissions to members, create custom groups, organize tasks and events, and organize files and documents into groups.

Microsoft Teams can help you build a team and create a collaboration culture that you want to create at your organization. You can use this tool to build effective teams and increase productivity and improve your relationships within the organization. Microsoft Teams offers a variety of options to help you get started and become more productive quickly and easily.

Teams are created easily. If you have several departments within your organization and need to create a team for each department you can do this easily. Teams are made easy and you can get your teams up and running quickly.

One of the best features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to invite people from around the world and let them work with the same documents and projects. You can have the documents and projects organized and shared in the same way throughout the entire organization, regardless of what country they were created in. You can create a similar project in the same language that they were created in and share it with other employees in the organization.

One of the most amazing features of Microsoft Teams is the ability to have multiple team members edit and view the documents and files in the same way. With Microsoft Teams you can have a document and have people edit the same document at the same time without any problems. The changes that you make can also be seen by other team members and can be modified by them without ever needing to send the document again.

Microsoft Teams is the perfect tool for building a powerful and effective collaboration culture. You can share documents and files in the same way that the rest of the organization can view the information.

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