What Can We Look Forward To in 2015?
It has taken me a few weeks to sit down and pen my thoughts for the 2015 changes as like many of you have voiced in recent days, I too started the New Year with that feeling of ‘here we go again’. For those in the accountancy trade, January is like a juggernaut that hits you at speed. No sooner has the Queen wished us well for the year ahead than our thoughts turn to self-assessment silly season – that period between Hogmanay and Valentines when I see very little of the great outdoors, my home page is the HMRC portal and my wife uses the word ‘hotel’ with alarming frequency.
But I know that the dark days of self-assessment will soon be behind us and we will have 11 months of diverse challenges and new opportunities to look forward to. So what do the 2015 changes look like?
For the last 12 months we have been telling you to keep your powder dry and not get too concerned about media hype surrounding auto enrolment. But in 2015 you will see a marked change in our position as staging dates loom and activity increases. We will be contacting you individually to outline our support services and help you through the process but if you want to get things moving sooner, please contact me.
In case you missed it, there is an election in May. As a media informed commentator on these subjects, it would appear we are in for a close run contest but the one consistent message is continued austerity and budget restraint; so regardless of who or what we end up with one would have to suggest that life on the other side is unlikely to herald massive tax breaks or giveaways, at least for the next 24-36 months.
Changes to the pension rules announced by George Osborne in 2014 will take effect this year and for those of you planning for retirement or looking at company schemes, understanding the changes and how they affect you will be important. We are looking at running some pension seminars either alongside Auto Enrolment or in smaller one off workshop sessions but if you have a specific query in the meantime, please let us know.
Going for Growth
2014 was the first year in the last half-a-dozen that I feel confident in saying business was on the increase for the majority of our clients. In particular the last six months of the year saw a number of our clients enjoy month on month increases in trade. I therefore have high hopes for 2015 and believe that we will see a year of continued growth. Making the most of any opportunities that come your way, planning resource and ensuring your finances are in good shape are key to maximising the potential of a growing market. We would be delighted to help you in this regard by sitting down, reviewing your current performance and considering where risks can be taken, where costs can be trimmed and how else you can ensure profitable growth. To book a one-to-one discussion or review of your management accounts and reporting, please contact me directly.
2014 was, for me at least, the year Cloud computing became the norm across most industries. The major IT players now only speak of Cloud technology and when speaking to prospective new clients most want to know which cloud accounting systems we use or can work with. Gone are the days of ‘Do you work with Sage?’ and we are now expected to know Kashflow, Quickbooks, Xero and myriad of other solutions. As you will know from previous client updates, we made Kashflow our preferred solution in 2014 and spent the last quarter of the year making sure the team are up to speed on its functions and features. So when I look at this year, I see a lot more activity on Kashflow and cloud systems and would recommend that you look into these too if you have not already. Again we will be running seminars on Cloud systems and Kashfow in particular later in the year but if you are thinking new year, new system, give me a call and we will get you up and running in just a few hours.
What’s going to be big in 2015?
If you are thinking of diversifying or branching out you may be asking yourself this very question – what is going to be the gold standard product this year? I often start the year by considering one product or service to see if I am right and so here is my prediction.
The ‘internet of things’ has been spoken about for several years now, the idea of self-stocking fridges, curtains controlled from your smart phone etc. but like many technologies there is often a bow wave of talk before we see a proliferation of affordable, usable product in our homes. I wonder if 2015 might be the year in which this technology arrives in the market for real. Who knows, your iPhone might be cooking your turkey next Christmas whilst you sit and watch ‘It’s a wonderful life’ on your ironing board…!
Whatever your plans or whatever happens in 2015, Evans Weir are here to help and I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the entire team to wish you a prosperous 2015 and we look forward to supporting you in your endeavours.
By the way – if my subtle reminder about self-assessment above passed you by please remember that 31st January is the deadline for all UK taxpayers, not just you, and a little time/notice would be greatly appreciated!