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Tackling your tax returns with technology

Owning and running a business can be unrelenting, the Christmas rush and January sales are closely followed by Valentine’s Day and before too long tax returns and planning for the upcoming 2017/18 financial year.
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To start getting your books in order, we at can offer the anxious business owner some advice on how to save yourself drowning under piles of tax returns paperwork and get ahead on your business plans for the financial year ahead.

There is help at hand, you just need to know where to look for it.

Access to data prepares the business owner throughout year 

Always feeling guilty you’re not organised enough when it comes to your financial affairs and tax returns? Join the club. Do yourself a favour and save yourself the stress.

Don’t think of this as a yearly occurrence, instead utilise technology and get yourself into the habit of checking in on the business more frequently, monthly or even weekly, which can put your mind at ease and will make you feel far more comfortable throughout the year.

Access to your business data is fundamental to success in today’s marketplace and will not only enable you to balance your books but also to make more accurately informed business plans and decisions.

The more data you capture the more you can analyse it. You can learn what works, what doesn’t and tweak your business strategy accordingly.

For example, you can start to ascertain when to offer discounts and to whom, and be able to track inventory to make sure you always have the right stock available at the right price. And with the right technology and software employed this needn’t mean a heavy tax returns time investment.

No more sleepless nights compiling your tax returns

You should always ensure you have enough in the kitty to pay your tax bill and this will only be a real cause for concern for those business owners who have failed to plan effectively.

By letting technology help you run your business operations throughout the year, you’ll be able to more easily analyse your finances year on year and therefore estimate your tax returns (in good time) before the letter from HMRC lands on your doormat.

By adopting software that can be accessed via the cloud you can analyse your financial affairs from anywhere, meaning no more late nights in the shop or back and forth to the accountants.

Cloud-based software also supports access from any device, so you could conduct financial planning tasks on the commute via your smart phone or on the sofa in front of the telly on a tablet.

The right tech can help give you back your time

Squirrelling away paper receipts across the year, then arduously going through it all to do your tax returns is a really miserable and stressful experience. Not to mention increasing the chances of inaccuracies and human error – no one wants to pay more tax than they need to!

Implementing an EPOS system designed to tackle the challenges of operating in the modern marketplace could be the answer for you and your business. In addition to taking payments you can also integrate inventory, reporting and accounting all in one place saving you valuable time and administration.

By adopting an EPOS system that’s connected to the cloud not only means you can work remotely from your premises but it can also prove an extremely valuable test ground when adopting technology without disrupting the day-to-day running of a businesses.

For example, using apps in a cloud environment allows you to select the tools that are required to run the business today, with the option to add others as the business grows and requirements change.

In turn, open EPOS platforms are ideal, as they allow business owners to inject innovation into their customer service, and acquire “add-ons” quickly and easily, rather than committing to a whole new proprietary solution which can be expensive and hard to update.

Tax returns needn’t be a time of dread for small business owners. Let technology come to the rescue so you can look forward to the new financial year with positivity.

Having comprehensive data-led insight into how the business is performing, and when the peaks and troughs occur throughout the year, will better inform decisions, underpinning plans whilst satisfying the tax man – and all without the stress of rifling through a year’s worth of paperwork.

Raj Sond is general manager at First Data

Image: Shutterstock

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Real Business

As the champion of UK enterprise for 20 years, Real Business is the most-read SME website dedicated to high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs. Through daily news, unique insight and invaluable guides we are an essential resource for thriving businesses.

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