Political Uncertainty Holding Back Small Business Growth

Survey evidence shows that small firms are struggling to expand, hire and raise productivity as political uncertainty takes its toll on the economy.
Published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Small Business Index (SBI) tracks the confidence of and outlook for small businesses in the UK.

Big Firms Could Be Charged in Latest Late Payment Crackdown

Proposals released by Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst will make the boards of big companies more accountable for late payments to small businesses.

And, for the first time, large firms could be fined if they don’t pay smaller suppliers on time.

The amount owed in late payments has halved over the last five years, but the government wants to go further to support the nation’s smallest businesses.

What Government Support is Available for Small Businesses?

The Government offers a range of loans, services and tools to help small businesses grow and improve productivity.

If you have just set up a new business, or are looking at ways to expand, then Government support is often the best (and cheapest) way to realise your goals.

In this blog post, we look at some of the schemes that can help small businesses achieve specific targets.

Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increases The national living wage and the minimum wage will rise from April 2019. Over two million workers will see their pay increase next April, as the National Living Wage increases to £8.21 an hour. This is the hourly rate for those aged 25 or over and working in Britain The minimum wage for those aged 16-24 also will also increase, whilst the pay for apprentices will increase by 20p an hour.v

Delivered by Chancellor Philip Hammond on Monday, the 2018 Budget had some important announcements for small businesses, contractors and freelancers.

The statement was welcomed by some business figureheads, but criticised by others. In this blog post, we unpack some of the key announcements and explain how they may affect your business finances.

Small business tax probes too intensive

The taxman has come under fire after it was revealed that more than half of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) think that HMRC’s tax investigations are too intensive.

Commissioned by the exchequer, the research showed that 52% of small businesses find HMRC tax investigations too intensive and 56% said they don’t think HMRC tries to minimise disruptions caused by the cost, time and effort of inquiries.

Open Banking Offers Big Business Opportunities to Small Firms

Open Banking is set to revolutionise bookkeeping, offering to small businesses some opportunities that previously have only been available to bring firms.

Cloud accounting software platform Xero is on the forefront of the changes, promising small firms that they will be able to grow and run their businesses more effectively.

Open Banking is set to be introduced for all Xero customers from September 2019, so we thought that we would take an in-depth look at the changes and how they can benefit small and medium sized businesses.

Think Tank Calls for Single Consolidated Tax on SMEs

The Centre for Policy Studies has proposed a new simple consolidated tax (SCT) to replace the four main taxes currently paid by small and medium sized firms.

The radical proposal would see corporation tax, employer’s national insurance, VAT and business rates consolidated into one tax paid by firms turning over less than £1 million.

Small businesses are the heartbeat of Britain’s economy. Some 5.6 million small firms employ around 13 million people and generate three-quarters of all new jobs.

FreeAgent is First UK Accounting Software to offer Direct Bank Feeds

FreeAgent is the first UK accounting software provider to offer direct bank feeds via the Open Banking platform.

The announcement means that freelancers and small businesses will soon get secure access to their bank account information in FreeAgent.

They will be able to access up to six years of transaction data and eventually, will be able to create an initiate payments from within the software.

Should I use FRS 105 for my small business?
Editor | 18 September 2018
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Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) 105 is a format that micro-entities can use to set out their financial statements.

It was introduced as an optional alternative for some of the smallest businesses that have no reason to use special accounting practices. But the simplified standards may not be suitable for all businesses.

Calls to tackle late payments after Carillion crisis

The collapse of the UK’s second largest construction company has, once again, brought late payments to the top of the national news schedule.

In the wake of Carillion’s liquidation, many small firms have been left in an uncertain position – unsure if they will be paid what they are owed.

For some firms, the problem has been compounded by the Carillion group’s punishing 120-day maximum payment terms.

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