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  • Exploring Complex Business’ Tax Processes And Readiness For Making Tax Digital

    Exploring Complex Business' Tax Processes And Readiness For Making Tax Digital The UK government first had the vision of making the HMRC one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations globally in 2015. A major part of this plan was the Making Tax Digital (MTD) system. This new system required all businesses to sign up for a digital tax account to submit their tax information to HMRC every quarter. And once they had signed up, they would have to use MTD-compatible software. In 2017, HMRC conducted research in a bid to assess the readiness of businesses for the shift to Making Tax Digital. In this article, we delve into the findings of this research. What Is Making Tax Digital For VAT? Making Tax Digital (MTD) is an initiative of the UK government to streamline the tax process. It requires switching to a digital record-keeping and reporting system. The primary aim of MTD is to reduce reporting errors and make tax returns simpler and more efficient. This would be achieved by reporting taxes and financial information in real-time. Research Into Complex Business’ Readiness For MTD HMRC aimed to explore complex businesses' awareness of MTD, and how their current tax practices affected their readiness to sign up. Participants were identified as “complex businesses” if they were considered to be companies and/or partnerships that may have complex tax affairs and multiple transactions with HMRC. Fieldwork for this in-depth research study was conducted from the 10th of March to the 13th of April 2017, two years ahead of the rollout of MTD. The Research Structure & Sample Research for this HMRC study entailed 42 face-to-face interviews with business representatives. The sample included mid-size and large businesses. The turnover for the mid-size businesses' did not exceed £50-100m, and they employed no more than 250-500 employees. Large businesses had turnover starting from the region of £50-100m to £500m+. They could have fewer than 500 staff but many had upwards of 500 employees. Key Findings Of This Research Study The company representatives noted that they were satisfied with their relationship with HMRC and had mostly positive feedback about the shift to MTD. However, they did acknowledge that some of their current business approaches to completing their tax may be insufficient. In line with this thinking, certain issues were identified during this research study that could affect their readiness for the change. Let’s take a look at the main findings. 1. Inconsistent Levels Of Awareness Of The MTD Rollout At the time of this research study, there was a clear discrepancy in levels of awareness of the MTD rollout amongst most businesses. All indicated a need for more information about MTD, as they were unclear about the details of shifting to MTD and could not give a comprehensive answer to the question of their readiness for it. They were mostly optimistic about the change but lacked clarity on the details. 2. Views Of Complex Businesses The HMRC identified the companies in the study as complex due to predetermined criteria. Complex businesses were seen as: Companies with complicated partnerships and/or ownerships Businesses that operated in the UK as well as abroad Companies that followed a number of different financial record-keeping processes, as opposed to straightforward bookkeeping 3. VAT Difficulties Faced By Larger Complex Businesses Larger, complex businesses reported that they faced more issues surrounding VAT. They gave the following reasons why: Managing VAT for multiple companies within a group meant different return deadlines A complicated ownership structure required additional reporting and checking Higher volumes of transactions had to be manually entered and checked. This was cited as the biggest challenge to managing VAT processes. 4. Multiple Approaches To Tax Submissions Participants reported using a number of different systems and types of software to manage their taxes. A few of the businesses had evolved to an entirely digital approach, although they employed various degrees of automation. Both customised and off-the-shelf software were commonly used, as well as spreadsheets. Some of the companies reported that they were using manual processes for a fair amount of their financial and tax affairs. The reason for the widely varied systems and software packages was that they used what worked for their particular business. Certain types of software, for example, suited specific functions better than others. 5. The Use Of External Agents Depending on the size of the company interviewed, there were vast differences in the number of staff handling tax management and processing. External agents were used by mid-size businesses more often than large ones. These tax agents assisted them primarily with their corporation tax and income tax self-assessments. The majority of large businesses did not need to use external agents as they had staff in place who handled their tax affairs. 6. Corporation Tax (CT) Difficulties The difficulty of predicting and reporting on CT was of particular concern. This was because corporation tax was considered to be a complex tax type to calculate, especially for companies that had many allowances and reliefs. Taxable profits for corporation tax (CT) include trading profits, investments as well as the sale of assets. UK-based companies pay corporation tax on all profits, locally and abroad. However, foreign companies with a UK division pay CT only on profits from UK-based activities. As complex businesses have a duty to report to all shareholders, it can become quite complicated. This was the primary reason given by mid-size companies for their outsourcing of CT to external tax specialists. Although time-consuming, they were not too perturbed by having to provide information to these tax agents. Larger companies, however, tended to CT in-house but named two complex problems regarding corporation tax. These were related to iXBRL tagging and manual checking of data. iXBRL Tagging iXBRL is the standard for tagging business data for computers to process (it is used worldwide). iXBRL tagging was, however, viewed as a burdensome aspect of the CT process. In-house iXBRL tagging sometimes incurred errors, leading to the HMRC rejecting those CT files. Manual Checking Of Data Businesses that were part of a larger group of companies collated and analysed data from those individual companies. Some participants did not have software for this and relied on physically tracking the hard records. They assumed that even under MTD, they would still have to do this, as not all companies in the group would be subject to MTD and would continue to use their own systems. 7. Partnerships And ITSA Difficulties The complex companies in the study that were part of business partnerships were required to complete Partnership Returns and Income Tax Self-Assessments (ITSA). Most of them handled this internally and were uncertain of how this would be affected by MTD. Limited Liability partnerships indicated that their ITSA’s were very complicated due to the sheer number of their partners and their differing circumstances. Large business partnerships often had to develop their own bespoke software for IT, as there was a lack of partnership-oriented software available. 8. Communication Issues With HMRC Both the large and mid-size business representatives suggested that the HMRC Government Gateway could be more interactive. Mid-size businesses, in particular, complained of having had negative experiences with the HMRC helplines. The main concerns raised were that it took too long to get through to a call centre adviser and that the advisers lacked the technical know-how to answer questions surrounding CT issues. They also emphasised a need to share screens with HMRC call centre advisers so that any issues could easily be addressed. 9. Software Expectations The business representatives reported that they expected one fully integrated system displaying all their tax information, with a user-friendly interface. And they suggested that it should mirror the real-time information for PAYE. One of the main stumbling blocks to switching to MTD was the incompatibility of these businesses’ existing software with MTD. While bridging software was available, most businesses were uncertain about what they were. Therefore, they suggested that HMRC should collaborate with software providers to ensure compatibility. 10. Practical Concerns Around MTD Some of the representatives interviewed believed that MTD would reduce their paperwork, and make managing their taxes faster and simpler. Despite this, several concerns about MTD came to the fore. These concerns revolved mostly around the need for quarterly reporting and the meaning of “real-time”. More specifically, they were unclear about what exactly had to be submitted every quarter. The increased costs when changing to MTD, and the incompatibility of their existing software were other top concerns raised. The main fear was that these drawbacks of MTD would impact their ability to continue with their normal business processes. Take-Away Thoughts From The Research Findings Regardless of the size of the business, a variety of approaches to financial and tax processes were identified. Both manual and digital processing were used, sometimes in combination. This entailed data being transferred between systems with multiple checks necessary before submission to HMRC. While most complex businesses were managing their taxes adequately, they did see room for improvement and were mostly positive about the MTD concept. Although many companies displayed digital confidence and fluency for MTD, they did not always see a benefit to the change. Complex businesses such as foreign-owned companies, partnerships etc have far more complicated financial and tax obligations than other companies. This affected their willingness to switch to the MTD system. A greater understanding of MTD was needed before companies could decide how ready they were to make the change to full MTD compliance. This was not so much a case of not realising the benefits of MTD. Most of them saw the potential that MTD offered. It was more a result of confusion about its implementation. Conclusion Although this research was conducted in 2017, it has valuable lessons for us today. It is clear that for HMRC to achieve their goal of a digitally progressive tax administration, the needs of complex businesses must be addressed. The key to a cohesive digital tax system is clarity, guidance and support. And the more complex the businesses’ processes are, the more confusion can be created by a dramatic change. From the findings of this study, it is clear that much of this confusion could’ve been avoided with clearer communication from the HMRC.

  • 4. Schedule Payroll Payments To Employees

    Manage your payroll at lightening speed: Upload your payroll in simple CSV format, choose how and when you want to pay, send for approval, done. Gone are the days where payroll errors are made. Your payroll payments can now be scheduled in advance and thanks to powerful approval flows, any inaccuracies are shrink-rayed into nonexistence. How To Pay Your Employees Jump to payroll payment type: Bulk Domestic Bulk International Single Domestic Single International Payroll Payments Bulk Domestic 1. From the top right hand side of the Sweep Pay dashboard, select make a payment: 2. Choose salaries: 3. Choose bulk payment: 4. Choose domestic: 5. Select which bank account you would like to make this payment from. If this is your first payment, choose link bank account and follow the steps accordingly: 6. Import payslips, or select the invoice you wish to pay: 7. Choose schedule payment to schedule the payment in advance, or confirm to pay now: 8. Review payment details, then choose pay, or send for review if you're using the payment approval flow: Bulk International 1. From the top right hand side of the Sweep Pay dashboard, select make a payment: 2. Choose salaries: 3. Choose bulk payment: 4. Choose international: 5. Select which bank account you would like to make this payment from. If this is your first payment, choose link bank account and follow the steps accordingly: 6. Import payslips, or select the invoice you wish to pay: 7. Choose schedule payment to schedule the payment in advance, or confirm to pay now: 8. Review payment details, then choose pay, or send for review if you're using the payment approval flow: Single Domestic 1. From the top right hand side of the Sweep Pay dashboard, select make a payment: 2. Choose salaries: 3. Choose single payment: 4. Choose domestic: 5. Select which bank account you would like to make this payment from. If this is your first payment, choose link bank account and follow the steps accordingly: 6. Import payslips, or select the invoice you wish to pay: 7. Choose schedule payment to schedule the payment in advance, or confirm to pay now: 8. Review payment details, then choose pay, or send for review if you're using the payment approval flow: Single International 1. From the top right hand side of the Sweep Pay dashboard, select make a payment: 2. Choose salaries: 3. Choose single payment: 4. Choose international: 5. Select which bank account you would like to make this payment from. If this is your first payment, choose link bank account and follow the steps accordingly: 6. Import payslips, or select the invoice you wish to pay: 7. Choose schedule payment to schedule the payment in advance, or confirm to pay now: 8. Review payment details, then choose pay, or send for review if you're using the payment approval flow: Can't find what you need? Get in touch and we'll find the answer, or contact us via the chat widget and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible. In the meantime, you might find your answer in our FAQs:

  • 3. Make Your First Payment Run

    Managing payroll and making timely invoice payments can be complex, time-consuming, and costly. Seeing these processes to completion requires an investment of time and effort, all of which must be co-ordinated, monitored and recorded. Sweep Pay reduces the complexity in making payments by automating manual processes and calculations, while also making it easier to view and share data between stakeholders. How To Make A Payment Jump to payment type: Supplier payments Single Domestic Single International Bulk Domestic Bulk International Payroll payments Single Domestic Single International Bulk Domestic Bulk International Supplier Payments Single Domestic 1. From the top right hand side of the Sweep Pay dashboard, select make a payment: 2. Choose bills: 3. Choose single payment: 4. Choose domestic: 5. Select which bank account you would like to make this payment from. If this is your first payment, choose link bank account and follow the steps accordingly: 6. Select the invoice you wish to pay: 7. Choose schedule payment to schedule the payment in advance, or confirm to pay now: 8. Review payment details, then choose pay, or send for review if you're using the payment approval flow: Single International 1. From the top right hand side of the Sweep Pay dashboard, select make a payment: 2. Choose bills: 3. Choose single payment: 4. Choose international: 5. Select which bank account you would like to make this payment from. If this is your first payment, choose link bank account and follow the steps accordingly: 6. Select the invoice you wish to pay: 7. Choose schedule payment to schedule the payment in advance, or confirm to pay now: 8. Review payment details, then choose pay, or send for review if you're using the payment approval flow: Bulk Domestic 1. From the top right hand side of the Sweep Pay dashboard, select make a payment: 2. Choose bills: 3. Choose bulk payment: 4. Choose domestic: 5. Select which bank account you would like to make this payment from. If this is your first payment, choose link bank account and follow the steps accordingly: 6. Select the invoices you wish to pay: 7. Choose schedule payment to schedule the payment in advance, or confirm to pay now: 8. Review payment details, then choose pay, or send for review if you're using the payment approval flow: Bulk International 1. From the top right hand side of the Sweep Pay dashboard, select make a payment: 2. Choose bills: 3. Choose bulk payment: 4. Choose international: 5. Select which bank account you would like to make this payment from. If this is your first payment, choose link bank account and follow the steps accordingly: 6. Select the invoice you wish to pay: 7. Choose schedule payment to schedule the payment in advance, or confirm to pay now: 8. Review payment details, then choose pay, or send for review if you're using the payment approval flow: Can't find what you need? Get in touch and we'll find the answer, or contact us via the chat widget and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible. In the meantime, you might find your answer in our FAQs:

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  • Sweep | Who We Are

    Who are Sweep? Imagine being able to spend more of your time helping your company grow, instead of knee deep in endless finance admin? That’s where Sweep comes in. By using smart technology to automate the most time-consuming finance processes, Sweep helps you free up valuable time so that you can focus on the meaty stuff! Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it? ​ Built for finance teams. Billel Ridelle Founder & CEO Santiago Montiu CTO Benjamin Elliott Marketing Executive César Vega Developer Ciaran Campbell Customer Success Executive Meet the Team Team Sweep spans across London, Paris and Madrid! Whilst we all work remotely, regular collaboration, agile working and hangouts drive strong communication everyday! We'd love to connect with you. Homepage

  • Sweep | Expense Management Built On Open Banking

    Peace of mind Security Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved. AISP: 846455 Fully PDS2-compliant Open Banking API. Integrations Integrates with all major accounting software. Links to all major UK banks. ​ Find out more about Sweep integrations ​ Expenses in real-time Expenses are categorised in real-time. No more missing receipts or payments Sweep Expenses Business expenses done in 2 minutes. The smart app that gives you your time back. Book a demo Pricing plans Mercury For the on-the-go self employed App only 1 user Unlimited expenses Links to 1 bank account or credit card In-app support Self onboarding Book a demo £3 per month + VAT Venus For small businesses who want to grow App only 10 users 25 expenses per month 4 reports per month Links to 1 bank account or credit card per user In-app support Self onboarding Book a demo £3.99 per user, per month + VAT Earth For growing businesses with teams App and desktop Unlimited users Full integration to major accounting systems Unlimited expenses and reports Unlimited submission and approval Self and Assisted Onboarding In-app support and dedicated contact Book a demo £6.99 per user, per month + VAT All plans include a 14 day free trial FAQ The Answers You Need Sweep Expenses allows you to configure numerous spending policies and tailored approval workflows. Managers have full control over employee spending, and permission holders can approve or deny their team members’ requests in the click of a button, streamlining your business's expense management process. How is employee spending controlled? The Open Banking API endpoints have been built by the banks themselves and have been put through extensive testing by both the banks and a number of authorised and regulated third-parties. So you can rest assured, your data will remain safe. Is Open Banking secure? Yes, Sweep Expenses can connect to all major accounting software. You can push your expense reports via the app, send them directly to your accountant via email, or download them from within the app and/or platform. Can Sweep Expenses integrate with my accounting software? View all FAQ's View all FAQ's Connect Your Bank Sweep connects securely to your team's bank accounts and effortlessly detects all transactions in real-time. Our Open Banking API is fully GDPR-compliant. Expenses As-You-Go Employees can submit expenses on the move from wherever they are. No more need to keep track of paper receipts or wait until they’re back at the office to submit a claim. Full Control Sweep notifies you when there are employee expenses ready for review. Approve & reimburse, or decline your team's expense claims at the click of a button. Book Your Demo How does it work? Homepage

  • Sweep | Accounts Payable Automation

    Yes. Sweep will automatically detect PO numbers on your invoices and pull forward the matching Purchase Order from your accounting system. Can Sweep compare invoices against their corresponding purchase orders? Yes. Sweep's artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are programmed to validate positions and totals, to correct errors and to report anomalies if things don’t match up. Can Sweep detect errors? None. Nada. Zilch. Everything is included in the monthly subscription, including set up and onboarding costs. No extra or hidden fees. Ever. Are there any hidden fees (onboarding, maintenance, technical support…) ? FAQs The Answers You Need View all FAQs View all FAQs Book a demo See how it works Accounts Payable Invoice processing at lightning speed. The end-to-end process of your accounts payables can now be done in 4 minutes… Or less. This is Sweep Accounts Payable: the quickest, and simplest, AP automation software that’s built for UK SMEs. The future is here. Starting at £15 per month Book a demo See how it works Book a demo See how it works No more manual data entry and inefficient processes: Sweep’s invoice recognition software uses a combination of artificial intelligence, OCR, and machine learning to read and digitise your supplier invoices; the more the system is used the more it gains in precision. No more manual routing of invoices for approvals: Powerful AP approval workflows allow you to assign approvers and design workflows that each invoice must go through to be processed and paid. Guarantee early invoice approval in time to capture supplier discounts, saving your business money. No more lost or missing invoices: Sweep digitises your payables invoices via scan, upload or email forward, and allows you to push them to your accounting system in one click. Everything stays at your fingertips. No more lack of visibility into outstanding liabilities: Gain full visibility on the management of your accounts payables, in the blink of an eye, and in a single centralised and secure place: the Cloud. Accessible 24/7, so you have the flexibility you need, wherever you are. No more high numbers of discrepancies and exceptions: No more risk of double payments: identify at a glance the status of your invoices, including those suspected of being duplicates. Paperless AP departments reduce, on average, 62% of labor time spent on receiving, organising and inputting data from paper invoices. ​ You can take it easy, Sweep has you covered. Book Your Demo Discover The Platform Discover On YouTube 10x Faster payables processing 1 day Saved per week 80% Reduction in cost 24/7 Cloud based access 0% Manual errors Our Pricing Accounts Payable that scales with your business. ​ All subscriptions are based on volume and not seats, giving you great flexibility and allowing you to grow at the pace of your business. Book a meeting Accountants Our partner programme can help you streamline your client’s processes and save you both time and money. Book a meeting with us to learn more! Pluto £15/month + 20p per invoice 0 - 30 Invoices per month Book a demo Mars £30/month + 20p per invoice 30 - 300 invoices per month Book a demo Neptune £75/month + 10p per invoice 300 - 1000 invoices per month Book a demo Jupiter £150/month + 10p per invoice 1000+ invoices per month Book a demo Understand our technology Accounting Integrations Getting the most out of your software is critical to your company’s bottom line. Sweep’s AP automation platform integrates with all major ERP and accounting systems, automating data retrieval, and is capable of pushing documents along your AP workflow in one simple click. Sweep currently integrates with: QuickBooks Online QuickBooks Desktop Xero Sage 50 (UK) Dynamics 365 Business Central Exact Online (UK) FreeAgent Sage Business Cloud Accounting Zoho Books Clearbooks Payment Integrations Say goodbye to hours spent paying suppliers manually, Sweep is able to initiate bank transfers on your behalf, all you have to do is approve payments in a few clicks, and with 98% bank coverage in the UK, we probably work with your bank. Homepage

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