The chart (Figure 8) is an extract from the CIMA report on Improving Decision Making in Organisations, it demonstrates the huge potential to reduce costs by implementing systems and shows how the role of FD’s is changing to become business partners participating in decision making.
So how does ERP reduce cost and improve profitability
Top Tips for your ERP Implementation:
Start by drawing up a specification of your requirements – what do you want to achieve with the new system, what is the scope of the system, where will cost savings be made, how could more information lead to better decision making?
Get Buy In – its really important that the ERP system gets the support of the Senior Management Team and that key staff are given the chance to put forward their ideas and are involved in the project. People are often resistant to change and getting them involved early will breakdown barriers to change.
Rationalise – changing systems is an ideal chance to look at how can you do things differently and stop doing things that don’t add value, this will also reduce potential customisation requirements
Allocate time to the project – If you don’t allocate time to the implementation project you will regret it later but that doesn’t mean you need to do everything yourself, budget to bring in temps and consultants to help
Measure the savings and benefits – make sure you achieve your goals
Below are details of the Dynamics NAV system I implemented in 2007
Until the Summer Budget 2015 when you purchased a business (not its shares) into a limited company from an unrelated party you could write off the goodwill (Intangibles) against your corporation tax but that has now changed and you can’t, another tax relief bites the dust!
In accounting terms, purchased goodwill is the balancing figure between the purchase price of a business and the net value of the assets acquired. Goodwill can therefore be thought of as representing the value of a business’s reputation and customer relationships.
This measure removes the tax relief that is available when structuring a business acquisition as a business and asset purchase so that goodwill can be recognised. This advantage is not generally available to companies who purchase the shares of the target company. The current rules allow corporation tax profits to be reduced following a merger or acquisition of business assets and can distort commercial practices and lead to manipulation and avoidance. Removing the relief brings the UK regime in line with other major economies,reduces distortion and levels the playing field for merger and acquisition transactions.
Intangibles acquired before 8 July 2015 will continue to be treated under the old rules, so a corporation tax deduction will continue to be available for amortisation, and any loss on disposal will be treated as part of the company’s trading profit or loss for the year of disposal.
Most larger businesses, especially if they are audited probably already accrue for Holiday Pay but not every business has been accruing the cost. FRS102 Section 28.1 will require that holiday pay is accrued. Here is an example from the FRC.
Holiday pay isn’t always easy to calculate for example if you have part time employees or casual workers, Gov.uk have a calculator to help work out the entitlement – GOV.UK Holiday Calculator
The next issue is the rate of pay, for some employees with regular hours its easy but for those with fluctuating rates, bonuses etc a 12 week average is used as explained by ACAS
On 4 November, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that holiday pay should reflect non-guaranteed overtime. Non-guaranteed overtime is where there is no obligation by the employer to offer overtime but if they do then the worker is obliged by their contract to work that overtime.
The Government set up a taskforce to consider the possible impact of the EAT’s ruling on holiday pay. Regulations were laid out on 18th December 2014 to limit claims for unlawful deductions from wages to two years. The rules apply to Employment Tribunal claims made on or after 1 July 2015.
It is not necessary to claim the maximum capital allowances available or even claim them at all, crazy as it might sound there are situations when not claiming capital allowances can reduce your tax bill!
Sole Trader Example
The personal tax allowance is currently £10,600 (2015/16)
Lets assume profits are £15,000 and Capital Allowances available are £5,000, so that would reduce taxable profits to £10,000 which would waste £600 of the personal tax allowance.
It would therefore be better to only claim £4,400 in capital allowances and claim the remaining £600 in the following year.
Companies within a Group can only offset losses in corresponding tax periods, so if the the capital allowances increase the loss in one part of the group beyond the profits of the rest of the group then there would be no benefit to claiming them in that period.
Companies can claim capital allowances in any of the following 3 tax years.
reimburse employees for business travel in their company cars
require employees to repay the cost of fuel used for private travel
If you pay a rate per mile for business travel no higher than the AFR, for the particular engine size and fuel type, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will accept there is no taxable profit and no Class 1A National Insurance to pay.
You can use your own rates which better reflect your circumstances if, for example, your cars are more fuel efficient, or if the cost of business travel is higher than the guideline rates.
Advisory Fuel Rates from 1 March 2015
These rates applied from 1 March 2015. You can use the previous rates for up to 1 month from the date the new rates apply.
Petrol – amount per mile
LPG – amount per mile
1400cc or less
1401cc to 2000cc
Diesel – amount per mile
1600cc or less
1601cc to 2000cc
COMPANY car mileage rates have been slashed by up to 18% as HMRC cut the tax allowance across all six of the petrol and diesel categories in response to continuing fuel price falls.
Hardest hit by the rates, known as advisory fuel rates (AFR), are drivers of company cars with petrol engines greater than 1,401cc which have suffered a 3p cut in rates applicable from 1 March.
Directors (participators in a closed company) often borrow money from their companies with the intention of paying a dividend to repay the loan.
If the loan is outstanding more than 9 months after the company year end, then an extra 25% corporation tax charge is due, this is the s455 tax which is refunded when the loan is repaid as explained in this blog
HMRC were concerned that some participators were avoiding this tax by raising funds short term to repay an outstanding loan. They would then draw a new loan very shortly afterwards – HMRC refer to this as “bed and breakfasting”. New anti-avoidance rules were therefore introduced in 2013.
These new rules incorporate two provisions – the “30-day rule” and the “intentions and arrangements” rule.
This applies where within a 30-day period:
a shareholder makes repayments of their s455 loan; and
in a subsequent accounting period, new loans or advances are made to the same shareholder or their associate.
So basically prevents the use of ‘Bed & Breakfasting’
‘intentions and arrangements’ Rule
Relief is denied regardless of the 30 day rule, if prior to repayment there is an outstanding amount of at least £15,000 and at the time the amount is repaid to the company, any person intended to redraw any of that amount or had made arrangements to make a new withdrawal; and a new withdrawal is made.
The relief denied is the lower of the amount repaid and the amount redrawn.
By the end of 2016, five million small businesses and the first 10 million individuals would use the new ‘digital tax account’.
‘Millions of individuals will have the information the Revenue needs automatically uploaded into new digital accounts,’ said Osborne. ‘Tax really doesn’t have to be taxing, and this spells the death of the annual tax return.’
Around 85% of those who complete self-assessment forms already do them online. But HMRC said the new accounts, unlike the current system, would be pre-populated with data HMRC already holds and that from third parties.
Those who pay tax using the pay-as-you-earn system will have their income tax, national insurance contributions and pension position already shown in their accounts, alongside any interest from banks and building societies.
HMRC said that small businesses using the system should also be able to use accounting software to feed data straight into their account.
In order for this to work, small businesses will need to keep their accounts up to date.
The top 5 common accounting problems accountants deal with are:
1. Not doing any accounts – the shoe box approach to business
This is the most common mistake, book keeping is best done as you go along, putting all the paperwork in a shoe box or carrier bag is a really bad idea as you have no idea how your business is performing.
2. Not keeping receipts. Often small business miss out on claiming all their expenses because they fail to keep receipts and lose track of their spending
3. Not reconciling. Reconciling your bank statements to your cash book is vital to make sure that all of your income and expenses have been recorded in your accounts.
4. Using the wrong accounting system. For some businesses a manual cash book and records are fine but for many accounting software such as Debitoor will be needed to keep track of debtors, creditors and VAT. Make sure you understand your accounting system and operate it correctly.
5. Mixing business and personal expenses. Some sole traders even mix up business and personal bank accounts and in extreme cases don’t even have a business bank account. This can cause errors and often means that a sole trader will either claim to many expenses or to few.
Will small businesses be able to overcome these problems or will they end up in a tax mess with Digital Tax Accounts?
The Office of Tax Simplification – Employment Status Report – March 2015 suggests we could see a new type of worker being created, part way between Employed and Self Employed. We could also see the term office holder removed from legislation.
Contractor Weekly reported – This involves the introduction of a new category of worker, a ‘third way’ between the employed and self-employed, acknowledging that some workers do not fit easily into either of the two traditional positions and that they should be subject to a modified set of tax rules. Freelancers might fall into this ‘third way’ and who might be seen as people who have chosen this route of working and want certainty over their status.