Technology

SMEs can now obtain finance directly through their accountancy software, as a new partnership with KashFlow and leading peer-to-peer lending platform MarketInvoice comes into force. The deal, which gives small and medium sized enterprises access to investors direct from their accountancy software, is the latest move to signify the importance of the accountancy world in the rapid rise of alternative finance.

The partnership aims to help SMEs access finance more quickly and more easily than ever before. More than half (52 per cent) of small businesses are reported to find the availability of credit to be “poor” or “very poor”

John Coldicutt, CMO of KashFlow said:

KashFlow Global AccountantSMEs are being squeezed for credit options as their pool of traditional lenders is shrinking and becoming more reluctant to provide loans

In the meantime, the UK’s alternative finance market has grown 140 per cent this year already. Unpaid invoices are the bane of many smaller businesses and can even dictate whether a company can continue. The combination of KashFlow and MarketInvoice now not only identifies where businesses are owed money but allows them to recoup finances on the same day

Anil Stocker, Co-founder and CEO of MarketInvoice, said:

Market Invoice Global AccountantAlternative finance is all about making life easier for business owners. With this partnership we can offer Kashflow users access to finance with just three-clicks of a mouse. With this kind of fast, flexible invoice finance, businesses have a genuine alternative to an overdraft facility, which banks have been scaling back in recent years

KashFlow’s online accounting software has long made bookkeeping and accounts easier for business owners and managers. The new partnership with MarketInvoice will provide a further boost to cash-flow, as by using MarketInvoice, businesses can upload and sell invoices on the peer-to-peer platform, giving same day access to funds otherwise tied up in unpaid invoices. Since launch in 2011, nearly £300m of invoices have been traded through MarketInvoice.

KashFlow users connect their accounts with the MarketInvoice application form in just three clicks. With all relevant data in one place, the application process is vastly improved and MarketInvoice can reach a lending decision in only 20 minutes. In addition, once businesses are approved to use MarketInvoice, they can continue to sell invoices online to their pool of investors through KashFlow.

UK companies admit they are considering turning to ex-hackers in a bid to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals, according to the latest research from KPMG.

ICAEW IT Computers Global AccountantKPMG surveyed 300 senior IT and HR professionals in organisations employing 500-plus staff to assess how the corporate world is ‘skilling-up’ to protect itself against cyber security breaches.  The survey revealed that many companies are becoming increasingly desperate as they struggle to get the right people on board.

Nearly three quarters (74 percent) say they are facing new cyber security challenges which demand new cyber skills.  For example, 70 percent admit their organisation ‘lacks data protection and privacy expertise’.  The same proportions are also wary about their organisation’s ability to assess incoming threats.

The majority are candid enough to admit that the shortfall exists because the skills needed to combat the cyber threat are different to those required for conventional IT security.  In particular 60 percent are worried about finding cyber experts who can effectively communicate with the business – vital to ensuring that cyber threat is well understood by corporate leaders outside the IT department.

While 60 percent claim to have a strategy to deal with any skills gaps, it is clear that there is a short supply of people with all the relevant skills. 57 percent agree it has become more difficult to retain staff in specialised cyber skills in the past two years.  The same number say the churn rate is higher in cyber than for IT skills and 52 percent agree there is aggressive headhunting in this field.

According to KPMG’s research, the skills gap is forcing many companies to consider turning to ‘poachers turned game-keepers’ to keep up to speed.  53 percent of respondents say they would consider using a hacker to bring inside information to their security teams.  Just over half ( 52 percent) would also consider recruiting an expert even if they had a previous criminal record.

Commenting on the findings Serena Gonsalves-Fersch, head of KPMG’s Cyber Security Academy, says:

KPMGThe increasing awareness of the cyber threat means the majority of UK companies are clear on their strategy for dealing with any skills gaps. However, they wouldn’t hire pickpockets to be security guards, so the fact that companies are considering former hackers as recruits clearly shows how desperate they are to stay ahead of the game.  With such an unwise choice on the menu, it’s encouraging to see other options on the table

Rather than relying on hackers to share their secrets, or throwing money at off the shelf programmes that quickly become out of date, UK companies need to take stock of their cyber defence capabilities and act on the gaps that are specific to their own security needs.  It is important to have the technical expertise, but it is just as important to translate that into the business environment in a language the senior management can understand and respond

The research comes as KPMG launches a new cyber awareness programme, offering cyber Learning content across the organisation, from C-suites to graduates.  It also includes a ‘bridging course’ designed to help IT and business departments understand the language and risks presented by cyber threats.

 

ns-logoNetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N), the provider of cloud-based financials / ERP and omnichannel commerce software suites, has announced SuiteConnect 2014 at its largest user-oriented event to date in the UK.

The day-long event included an exhibition, keynote presentations, demonstrations and break-out sessions and is a testament to NetSuite’s existing strong customer and partner base in the region, coupled with interest in the NetSuite cloud from NetSuite’s current customers and businesses that are frustrated with their current on-premise software and want to grow and expand their businesses by moving their mission critical business processes to the cloud.

NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson kicked-off SuiteConnect 2014 in London with his keynote entitled “The Next Disruption: Collision of Products and Services Business”:

Europe, and the UK specifically, has been a strong area of growth for NetSuite in recent years as more and more businesses move from antiquated on-premise software to the cloud

Now, as businesses are coming to realise they need to provide both services and products to their customers, we’re excited to bring our message of agility, scalability and business transformation to our customer and partner community in the region

As the adoption of cloud technology accelerates in the region, NetSuite has established a very strong footprint in the UK and the rest of EMEA. The SuiteConnect 2014 event brought together NetSuite customers, sales prospects, partners, and developers as well as industry thought leaders to network face to face and share cloud insights and best practices.

SuiteConnect 2014 also provides companies looking to replace their on-premise software with a cloud business management solution like NetSuite with opportunities to learn from their peers and experts about how today’s businesses are transforming their global operations in a fraction of the time with NetSuite.

In the UK, Trunki, Orlebar Brown, and PAG Leisurewear are among the more than 20,000 next-generation organisations and subsidiaries worldwide that are now reaping the benefits of the NetSuite cloud.

To meet the growing demand for NetSuite’s cloud business management suite in the region, NetSuite has expanded on previous events in the UK to offer a full-day conference encompassing key partners and application providers exhibiting at the SuiteConnect Expo providing insightful presentations, product demonstrations, and an array of interactive and educational breakout sessions.

On the day, SuiteConnect 2014 offered attendees the opportunity to:

  • Hear real-world, UK-based NetSuite customer stories describing how local companies are using the cloud to innovate and transform their operations at warp speed.
  • Learn from industry analyst firm Frost & Sullivan’s latest research on what is driving market disruption across industries in the United Kingdom and how modern businesses are responding.
  • See NetSuite product demonstrations.
  • Participate in interactive and informative breakout sessions to learn how to take their businesses to the next level with the NetSuite cloud.
  • Connect with key NetSuite partners including implementation and application experts at the SuiteConnect Expo.
  • Network with peers and engage with NetSuite experts and top industry analysts.

NetSuite London Global Accountant uk

Today, more than 20,000 companies and subsidiaries depend on NetSuite to run complex, mission-critical business processes globally in the cloud. Since its inception in 1998, NetSuite has established itself as the leading provider of enterprise-class cloud financials/ERP suites for divisions of large enterprises and midsized organisations seeking to upgrade their current client/server ERP systems. NetSuite excels at streamlining business operations as demonstrated in a recent Gartner study naming NetSuite as the fastest growing top 10 financial management systems vendor in the world.

NetSuite continues its success in delivering cloud ERP/financials suites to businesses around the world, enabling them to lower IT costs significantly while increasing productivity, as the global adoption of the cloud is accelerating.

Follow NetSuite’s Cloud blog, NetSuite’s Facebook page and @NetSuiteEMEA Twitter handle for real-time updates.

For more information about NetSuite: www.netsuite.com.

grant Thornton Global AccountantIn what is believed to be one of the first of its kind, thousands of Grant Thornton people from member firms in 127 countries gathered online earlier this month to take part in contributing ideas to the next corporate strategy for the fastest growing global accounting organisation.

Held over three days in September using IBM’s InnovationJam technology and generating more than 13,000 comments, findings are now being reviewed and will be presented at the Grant Thornton Annual Conference in Montreal in October, with live streaming to member firms around the world.

Ed Nusbaum, CEO of Grant Thronton said:

In 2009, the Grant Thornton global leadership team developed a go forward strategy that we called Ambition 2015, setting reach goals in growth, people development and thought leadership.

Five years later, Ambition 2015 has been a success and now Grant Thornton is looking beyond 2015, and we wanted to tap directly into the wisdom of the crowd for driving our future growth strategy.

Discussion forums were led by Nusbaum, his leadership team and CEOs of Grant Thornton member firms from the UK, US, China, Canada, Sweden and France.

The participation level by Grant Thornton people nearly doubled the average for previous online crowd-sourcing events at major global corporates (37%). More than 24,000 visits and over 13,000 comments were posted in what is believed to be one of the largest online collaborative events held by a global accounting and advisory services organisation.

This highly collaborative social networking exercise, open to everyone from Grant Thornton member firms around the world, was designed to encourage the exchange of ideas between senior management and staff across the organisation.

Ed Nusbaum added:

We wanted to give everyone in the organisation a voice and tap into the wisdom of the Grant Thornton crowd, and the Global JAM was the perfect way to do it.  Topics ranged from how to unlock potential for growth, delivering greater distinctive client service and disruptive technologies.

Participants spanned every age group from 18 to over 60, including all job levels from intern to CEO. Everyone in the Grant Thornton organisation will be able to watch the live stream of the Montreal presentation, followed by a real time questions and comments session.

Joel Waterfield, business consulting director in Grant Thornton’s US member firm, said:

Great experience! Never felt more a part of our global organisation.

Network_Global_Accountant

Unreliable and costly communication networks that limit flexible working are one of the biggest frustrations amongst accountancy businesses, new research has revealed.

A study by network support company Lifeline IT has revealed that despite IT being vital to 70% of businesses and nearly half regularly working remotely whilst ‘on the road’, 80% say access to reliable and fast public Wi-Fi is their biggest concern.

A further 57% cited poor mobile reception and ‘dropping calls’ as another problem, with 49% of those questioned being frustrated at having to pay for sub-standard Wi-Fi.

And with a third of finance businesses admitting they have been targeted by cyber criminals, the safety of remote working is also a key issue, with 78% concerned about the security of open networks used by themselves and their employees.

Commenting on the study, Daniel Mitchell of Lifeline IT said:

LifeLineITSadly, we weren’t at all surprised by these findings. We know from working with our own clients that businesses are becoming increasingly frustrated by poor network connections that are way below standard.

Although there have been huge developments in the range of devices now available so employees don’t have to be desk-bound, the infrastructure needed to service these state-of the-art smartphones and tablets does not always match-up.

It’s particularly frustrating for businesses when they see such vast improvements in other parts of Europe, where efficient, free public Wi-Fi is commonplace.

Now in its fourth year, Lifeline IT’s annual technology trends research polled businesses across finance and accountancy, in order to gain an understanding of the key IT issues they face.

Three-quarters called for improved, safer and free Wi-Fi to be widely available in the UK, and 44% want to see an increase in 4g coverage (fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology).

Last year’s study unearthed some worrying lapses in on-line security, with one in five businesses admitting they used ‘password’ as their password and 30% saying they had even left their password on a post-it note by their desk! However, this year companies are taking the issue of on-line safety more seriously.

Nearly two-thirds admit they are now more security conscious, partly due to the growth in on-line accounting and banking, with well over half (57%) saying they have an IT recovery plan in case they are hacked.

Four out of ten also want to see greater online and mobile security, with widespread use of biometric passwords, such as finger prints, palm prints and voice recognition.

Added Daniel, a founder and director of Lifeline IT:

It is re-assuring to see companies taking the threat of cyber-crime seriously and putting measures in place to safeguard themselves and their customers.

Overall, businesses are now placing more emphasis and importance on IT than they were two or three years ago, which is a positive step forward. Companies are realising that sound investment in the right systems and technology doesn’t have to cost the earth but the benefits can be invaluable.

Lifeline IT is a network support company which manages, sets up and develops IT systems for businesses across a variety of different sectors, including accountancy and finance.

Samsung BusinessNew research from Samsung UK released today suggests British businesses are not taking mobile security as seriously as they should. Trends from the study show that businesses are striving to encourage employees to work from the office or remotely with 75% confirming that mobile devices are connected to their corporate network. Yet with the rise of mobile and flexible working, security breaches are increasingly commonplace, and businesses are opening themselves up to unnecessary risk – over 10% (11%) of businesses have incurred costs of more than £25,000 due to security incidents in the last year.

The study on business mobile security from Samsung UK involved IT decision makers from across a range of UK businesses with key findings including:

  • Security breaches are increasingly common place – roughly one in two companies (47%) have had a company handset lost or stolen over the last 12 months; almost 10% (7%) have had over 200 handsets lost or stolen
  • These breaches are having a real impact – a quarter of businesses (25%) have incurred costs of more than £15,000 over the last year following mobile security incidents; over 10% (11%) have incurred costs of more than £25,000
  • Mobile security is not taken seriously –  Almost a third (30%) of CTOs do not know how many mobile handsets were lost or stolen last year; over a third (34%) do not know how many mobile security incidents in general their business suffered last year
  • Mobile is a growing trend for enterprise as they strive to encourage employees to work effectively and efficiently  – almost 20% (18%) of businesses report that up to five times as many devices connect to their corporate network compared with two years ago
  • Supporting flexible working is priority over mobile security – Less than 10% (9%) of chief technology officers believe improving mobile security is more important than facilitating flexible working and improving software

Graham Long, Vice President Enterprise Business Team, Samsung UK & Ireland, said:

Businesses need to make sure their security keeps up with the increasing use of mobile devices. With more and more employees using their own personal smartphones and tablets for work, neglecting security can be a very expensive mistake to make.

Samsung’s mobile security platform, KNOX is deployed across many businesses in the UK and Samsung recently announced that KNOX has been cleared for use by the UK Government. This approval means that UK public sector workers will be able to enjoy the enhanced performance and rich functionality of the latest Samsung KNOX enable smartphones and devices for the very first time too. This includes a KNOX container solution that separates business and personal use of a mobile device, biometric software and industry-leading mobile device management solutions.

Graham continued:

With flexible working on the rise and an increasing demand from people to be able to do more on one device – whether that’s to work remotely or spend time online shopping during their commute, there is a clear challenge for businesses to keep pace with evolving technology. The challenge for businesses and IT decision makers is to embrace new ways of working but ensure all devices are highly secure and efficient.

Thomson Reuters Global AccountantThomson Reuters, the world’s leading supplier of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced that the ONESOURCE Indirect Tax Research team is in the running to win one of the most coveted awards in tax. The team has been shortlisted for the VAT Team of the Year in the Taxation Awards 2014. These awards are highly thought of and considered the pinnacle of success for teams and individuals in all areas of tax.

The Thomson Reuters Indirect Tax Research team comprises worldwide tax experts whose responsibility it is to maintain the broadest coverage of tax content in over 14,500 taxing jurisdictions in 175 countries worldwide. With more than 350 tax rate updates in just one year alone for VAT, the work of the team is invaluable in saving companies that use the global ONESOURCE Indirect Tax solution significant time, money and critical resources, ensuring they comply with the law and calculate the correct amount of tax. The Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters is committed to provide global tax solutions that help small to medium-sized businesses, multinational corporations and tax practices to manage their compliance processes. It is hoped that shortlisted ONESOURCE customers, British Sky Broadcasting Group and Unilever will also be successful on the day along with shortlisted professional firms that use Digita tax solutions, including Francis Clark, Berg Kaprow Lewis, Watson Buckle, Princecroft Willis and Rickard Keen.

Mike Roberts, managing director, corporate market for the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters, said:

The global corporate tax landscape becomes more complex every day As a result, tax professionals are facing rapid change, increased scrutiny and enormous risk. It’s crucial for them to have technology they can rely on to ensure they are compliant everywhere they do business. It is a real honour for the Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE Indirect Tax team to receive recognition of their work in ensuring ONESOURCE Indirect Tax is a product that merits trust.

Intuit UK announces a major collaboration with PaySuite to provide the first free, fully integrated payroll solution to small businesses in the UK.

With over 500,000 new companies registered in the UK in 2013 alone today’s payroll integration announcement demonstrates Intuit’s commitment to provide 21st century solutions to Britain’s growing businesses.

Intuit Quickbooks Global Accountant

Intuit management said it is proud to be a part of building the UK success story with over 20 years in the marketplace, the recent re-launch of the core QuickBooks suite of products and its continued innovation, including the shift to anywhere, anytime, any device cloud management – enables the software to develop each day, with every small business.

This announcement with PaySuite underlines Intuit’s commitment to work with a number of key home-grown businesses to develop and deliver solutions, built from the ground up for the UK marketplace.

The fully integrated payroll solution, powered by PaySuite, offers QuickBooks Online small business customers a seamless experience when it comes to payday. This product innovation keeps small business operations compliant and accurate, as well as their accountant and employees happy.

In keeping with Intuit’s belief that all small businesses deserve support, the product will be free, to QuickBooks customers, with up to 5 employees, ensuring over 90% of all small businesses in the UK benefit.

Rich Preece, Managing Director, Intuit UK said:

We are committed to UK small businesses and what better way to demonstrate that than collaborating closely with one of the fastest growing payroll companies? With this collaboration we can offer the majority of small UK businesses owners free payroll for themselves and up to five employees; leaving them free to focus on what they love doing.

Stuart Hall, Managing Director, PaySuite added:

As a small business, growing rapidly we loved the opportunity to work with Intuit and integrate fully into their game-changing QuickBooks product. Their commitment to creating a wow customer experience, on both price and integration, shows they really understand their target audience and what small business needs to succeed in today’s world

Recent added product benefits

This latest development to QuickBooks Online will change how small businesses and their accountants manage and run payroll enabling them to:

  • Manage everything in one place – no need to leave QuickBooks Online or login to another system to run payroll
  • Stay compliant – Stay compliant with latest legislation. PaySuite is HMRC recognised and will complete Real Time (RTI) filing to HMRC
  • Easily run payroll  – Users only need to add hours worked by staff for PaySuite to instantly calculate PAYE and National Insurance contributions
  • Easily pay employees – Run payroll in just a few clicks, generate pay slips by email or simply print off
  • Improved Accuracy – Payroll data flows directly to the general ledger, eradicating the need for extra journal entries or double entry
  • Free Support – Same on-shore support received with QuickBooks Online subscriptions
  • Reduce administration – Spend less time recording data and more time on value add opportunities

World Cyber Global AccountantCompliance on the biggest change in reporting standards for a generation has started, and accountants are advised to start work on getting fully up to speed, says accounting software solution provider, Sage UK & Ireland.

With the accounting period start date less than one year away many practices have started to prepare for the transition. Accountants will need to start applying the new standards for client accounts starting on or after 1 January 2015.

One of the biggest changes will see the terminology that UK accountants have been familiar with for years change to match an international standard. Disclosure, measurement and recognition will be the key areas affected.

Sage UK & Ireland said the journey through compliance is complex, and accountants should start preparing for the changes as early as possible to minimise disruption to practices, and clients.

Paul Tooth, Managing Director of Sage Accountants’ Division (UK & Ireland), said:

Sage Global AccountantForward thinking accountants have already begun the process, but the fact is the countdown to full FRS103 compliance should now be well and truly underway. January was the first financial period affected by retrospective application.

It represents the biggest change in financial reporting standards for a generation, vastly impacting on the day-to-day running of practices. If they haven’t done so already, now is the time to prepare the ground for this shift.

Legislation is constantly changing, but during recent changes from RTI and Automatic Enrolment, accountants have proved they are well able to navigate the challenges before them. Sage is also on hand to help, be that through the built-in compliance in our software or the 24-hour support from our customer service team to explain how to handle the impact of legislative change on the business.

Cloud Sage Global AccountantIntuit UK the owner of the accounting software QuickBooks has announced the results of ‘The Changing Role of Accountancy’ study which reveals that 88% of UK small businesses expect their accountants to embrace cloud-based solutions and more than half (58%) are willing to pay more for the privilege.

The research conducted by Coleman Parkes in September and October 2013 on behalf of Intuit UK, highlighted that 40% of SMB’s believe their accountants are far too traditional to move to the cloud and almost two thirds (72%) believe their accountants should update their software to the cloud. This includes being able to service their clients anytime, anywhere and on any device from laptop, tablet and smartphone.

“Intuit’s ‘Changing Role of Accountancy Study’ is a clear message to British accountants to embrace new technology and offer new services. Their clients expect this and many are increasingly looking for their accountants to drop the ‘number cruncher’ label and offer a more “Business Partnership” service by enabling the use of cloud tools.

Mike Williams, Head of Business, Intuit said:

62% of accountants don’t recognise the additional revenue opportunities associated with providing business-consulting advice, despite 95% of their customers willing to pay more

According to the survey nearly two thirds (65%) of small business owners expect their accountants to operate as strategic business advisors with 82% expecting their accountants to be more proactive in developing value added services.

The findings, announced at Intuit’s quarterly meeting of accountants, include:

The Technology Divide

88% of the two hundred small businesses interviewed believe that it is important for their accountants to embrace cloud-based technology or will soon expect them to. Unfortunately, only 61% of the one hundred accountants think their clients would like cloud-based accounting solutions, and an even smaller proportion (37 %) are offering these services already.

Adding Value

Small businesses questioned 82% expect their accountants to be more proactive in developing value added services. This includes increasing their skills base (80%), modernising their brand (72%) and updating their accountancy software (69%). This would help them to move to the position of consultant or advisorEncouragingly half of accountants agree that they need to strategically change their position in the market and 42% see the cloud enabling them to do this.

Revenue opportunities

The good news for accountancy firms is that nearly all small businesses surveyed are prepared to pay for the additional services they demand including business consulting advice (65%), project financing and reporting (72%). More than half (58%) of those surveyed would pay for cloud-based accounting solutions. An opportunity that accountants aren’t capitalising on as just over a third (37%) recognized how this would help them increase profits.

Charlie Carne, Charlie Carne & Co commented:

Using a cloud-based system has enabled us to increase the range of services that we offer. It also allows us to respond more effectively to our clients’ needs. Intuit’s report, ‘The Changing Role of Accountancy’, indicates that our experience is very much part of a growing trend today. Clients increasingly expect their accountants to offer cloud based services and they are looking for a better, richer offering that will help them to focus less time and energy on accounting and more on growing their business.

Stephen Saw, Project Manager at Coleman Parkes:

The findings from ‘The Changing Role of Accountancy’ study highlight todays trend in services. Technology is a key enabler and SMBs can see a move to online and cloud based solutions are the way forward. It’s vital that accounting firms modernise in line with their clients’ requirements to stay at the forefront of the game, those who don’t will inevitably get left behind

intuit quickbooks Global AccountantThe purpose of Intuit’s ‘Changing Role of Accountancy’ study was to establish a comprehensive set of insights to determine how the accountancy profession is changing against a backdrop of rapidly evolving technological advancements and heightened client expectations, specifically related to  cloud based offerings.