LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Entrepreneurs can improve their business by studying competition

December 30 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Entrepreneurs should study their competition in order to learn about productivity and change their business for the better, according to entrepreneur John Rampton.

Rampton provided a number of tips in an article for online magazine, Entrepreneur, stating that he sees his own competition as “a bar set for me to jump over.”

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Calls for “new entrepreneurial mindset” in Scotland

December 29 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, has called for Scotland to be made the most entrepreneurial society in the world. Kennedy expressed his wishes for a “new entrepreneurial mindset” in a contribution to an upcoming publication from Reform Scotland.

Kennedy said that “some of the UK’s best entrepreneurial leaders are operating successful multi-national businesses in and from Scotland.”

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SME bosses expecting a rise in interest rates

December 29 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Britain’s SMEs are expecting a rise in interest rates in the first half of next year, according to a survey conducted by accountancy firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson. The US Federal Reserve recently made the decision to increase bank base rates, whilst interest rates in the UK have remained at 0.5 per cent since 2009.

MHA MacIntyre Hudson’s poll found that over a quarter of Britain’s SMEs expect rates to rise in April next year, whilst 6 per cent expect a rise in January and 7 per cent from February. Around three quarters are expecting an initial rise within the first six months of 2016.

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HMRC boosting online protection for tax returns

December 29 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is planning to improve online security before the 31st of January 2016 deadline for self-assessment tax returns. It advised its customers to “remain vigilant” when filing their returns online.

HMRC will be sending out up to one million emails within the next six weeks, reminding individuals that they will need to file their online self-assessment tax returns by the 31st January. The tax authority also announced its aims to protect its customers from tax scams, which are common around this time of year.

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UK to become world’s 4th largest economy, survey reveals

December 28 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

The UK is to become the fourth largest economy in the world, jumping ahead of Germany and Japan over the next twenty years, according to a report by the Centre for Economics Business and Research.

The report revealed the UK will become the “best performing economy” over the next 15 years, and is currently the world’s fifth largest economy as a result of its total Gross Domestic Product, overtaking France in 2014.

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Business editor Sion Barry offers tips for budding entrepreneurs in 2016

December 28 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Sion Barry has provided several tips for those planning to take the “entrepreneurial plunge” in 2016. Funding, investors and a good business plan were just a few of things that he highlighted in an article for Wales Online.

Barry, a business editor for Media Wales and presenter of the Business Show on Wales Online, advised entrepreneurs on how to set up their own business “in style” in 2016.

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2016 will bring challenges for small businesses, says FSB

December 28 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The New Year will bring “new challenges and opportunities” for small businesses, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, revealed his expectations for small businesses in 2016 in a statement.

Allan said that 2016 will be a “year of decisions, debate and change” and stated that small business owners are “flexible and ready to adapt.”

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Apprenticeship levy could be costly, reveals survey

December 24 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Concerns have been raised over the new apprenticeship levy, with some businesses stating that it could be costly.

The latest CBI/Accenture Employment Trends Survey showed that job creation is on the up, but businesses are concerned about rising labour costs.

The survey, which was carried out between August and October 2015, showed that the number of jobs has continued to grow across the UK. 

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Small businesses expecting growth in 2016

December 24 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Small businesses are expecting an increase in growth in 2016, according to a report conducted by Yelp. The Small Business Pulse Survey showed that small companies are predicting a 26% increase in growth next year.

Young businesses are the most optimistic about their growth, with nearly 50% expecting to expand in the next year. 

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Stirling voted best city in Scotland for starting up a business

December 24 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Stirling is the best place in Scotland for starting a new business, according to a recent study. Start-up specialist Quality Formations carried out the survey, studying 69 cities in the UK. Stirling came eighth, with Manchester, London and Birmingham not far behind.

For the research, the survey looked at eight criteria, including broadband service and quality of life. Derby also scored high on the survey, followed by Belfast and Stoke. 

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Business leaders need to be mindful to be effective, says ACCA report

December 23 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Business leaders need to have “mindfulness” over mathematics skills in order to be effective and avoid scandals, according to a report conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

The report, titled “CFOs and the c-suite - leadership fit for the 21st century”, stated that traditional leadership training is “out of touch” with the senior business executives of today and that leaders need to be mindful in order to make decisions in “turbulent circumstances”, support self-regulation and avoid toxic stress.  

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Confidence in UK economy grows following low unemployment

December 23 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The UK economy is improving following lower unemployment numbers and improved wage growth. According to the Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report, “perception of employment situation and own job security” increased in November, corresponding with a seven year low in the unemployment rate.

The report also showed lower figures for spending growth, with spending in November being 1.6% lower than it was at the same time in 2014. Recently, concerns have been voiced over Britain’s high streets as sales hit a low. However, recent figures did show that retail sales growth exceeded expectations in November. 

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SMEs vital for growth of UK economy, shows research

December 23 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

SMEs are vital for the growth of the UK economy, according to Alex Hazell of the SME-focused bank Aldermore. Hazell discussed the topic of SMEs seeking funding in a blog post, stating that they face a “plethora of challenges” when it comes to funding business growth.

Despite this, figures from the Federation of Small Businesses show that 99% of the estimated 5.4 businesses in the UK private sector are SMEs. 

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Petition launched to scrap digital tax plans

December 22 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

A petition has been launched to scrap plans to transform the tax system. The new system will see self-employed individuals and small businesses having to update their tax accounts digitally four times a year instead of filing just one return.

The changes were outlined by the HMRC and MP David Gauke last week in an online report, titled “Making Tax Digital”, and described an outline of how the “bold vision” of the transformation of the tax system will be achieved by 2020. 

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Business leader Sarah McVittie offers advice on entrepreneurship

December 22 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

Sarah McVittie has offered advice to budding entrepreneurs in her latest column for Elite Business magazine. The entrepreneur shared her experiences of running a start-up, stating that she learned what she should and shouldn’t do when running and growing a business at the same time.

McVittie runs Dressipi, a fashion tech start-up that is based in London, with co-founder Donna Kelly. She brings shareholding and sales experience to the business, while Kelly focuses on the products. 

 

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Number of small businesses accessing finance rises, shows report

December 22 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The number of small businesses obtaining finance for development has risen in the past year, according to figures from Albion Ventures’ third Albion Growth report. The report showed that 44% of small businesses were approved for development finance in 2015, compared to 27% in 2014.

Out of the 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses studied for the survey, research showed that 29% were seeking finance for new equipment, 24% for the development of new products and 17% for research and development. 

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Important bodies in the world of accountancy

December 21 ,2015 | by LSBF Blog Staff

As with any long-established and widely-respected field, there are many different official and semi-official bodies in the accountancy sector with large numbers of members that influence the industry. Here are the best known and most important of them.

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Free trade talks resume between EU and India

December 20 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

Discussions aimed at working out a bilateral free trade agreement between the EU and India will start up again in January, senior EU officials have announced.

The EU's new ambassador to India, Tomasz Kozlowski, told reporters that negotiations will take place next month, and a date is being arranged for the next India-EU summit, which will be held in the first half of the year.

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KPMG now ranks as the Big Four's smallest firm

December 19 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

A drop in profits has seen KPMG fall to fourth place in the 'Big 4' grouping of the accountancy sector's most famous firms.

Its UK profit falling 7% for its last financial year means that the company is now behind rivals EY when it comes to revenues, making KPMG the smallest operator out of its peer group.

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US Fed interest rate rise welcomed by international stock markets

December 18 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

In the wake of the US central bank increasing interest rates for the first time since 2006, stock markets around the world have rallied and welcomed the news.

The FTSE 100 index in the UK rose by 1.5%, and the main share indexes in Germany and France increased even more, with Frankfurt's Dax going up by more than 3%, while the Cac 40 in Paris saw a 2.4% boost.

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Bonus pot doubles for UK accountants

December 18 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Accountants in the UK are likely to share a bonus pot of up to £4 billion this year, according to research from recruiter Marks Sattin.

This would be double the figure that was paid out a year ago. In addition, 81% of the accountants who took part in the poll said they expected to get a bonus - an increase from 55% last year.

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HMRC gets £8.1m in UK corporation tax from Starbucks

December 18 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

The UK arm of multinational coffee chain Starbucks has handed over £8.1m in corporation tax to the Treasury in 2015 after changing the complex tax structures that had seen it pay a similar sum in total over its first 14 years of operations in the UK.

The company bowed to pressure and relocated its European HQ to the UK after research in 2012 had revealed that the multinational had only paid £8.6m in tax on £3bn in sales since 1998.

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ICAEW warns pensioners about risks of secondary annuity market

December 17 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has issued a warning to anyone thinking of selling their retirement income stream under the new changes to the laws governing the annuity market.

The government's newly-unveiled secondary annuity market might end up only being of benefit to a handful of people and could leave many more out of pocket, according to the accountants group.

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Businesses will pay out “more than £1bn” for National Living Wage

December 17 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

The introduction of the National Living Wage next year is likely to cost UK businesses more than £1bn, according to Government advisors.

The change to the minimum wage laws will mean that companies will have to pay out £804.4m in extra wages and staff costs if estimates by Government advisory body the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) are correct.

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10p introductory level for Scottish Rate of Income Tax

December 17 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

The new Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT), which marks a major overhaul of the UK tax system, won't actually affect those living in the country when it is introduced next year.

Scottish resident taxpayers will still be paying the same as their counterparts in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland after Scotland’s finance minister John Swinney set the rate at 10 per cent.

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