By Barry Manning, Head of Corporate Cash Management Sales at Danske Bank
There are clear benefits of SEPA for businesses. With the introduction of SEPA, specifically for the 17 Euro currency States, the existing domestic clearing will cease to exist and will migrate to this new pan-European system on 1st February, 2013. The standardization of Euro payments through the use of a single automated channel will advantage both Debtors and Creditors alike. Payment file formats will be standardised, pricing will be more transparent and aligned to domestic payments, and the reconciliation process will be simplified – something we at Danske Bank have already seen.
SEPA will create a harmonised payments system for sending standard Euro payments across 32 countries.
Ultimately there will be no difference in paying staff and suppliers in any of the 32 SEPA countries in terms of settlement time, account data required and remittance information. The introduction of the SEPA Direct Debit scheme in particular, heralds a new dawn in the processing of collections and represents a significant opportunity for Businesses and Corporates. They now have the potential to collect funds directly from debtors, in the 32 SEPA countries.
Ultimately SEPA will break down borders when making payments in Europe. However the February 2014 deadline is looming large. Migration needs to start now. Irish businesses of all sizes need a strong financial partner with not only the necessary systems to handle large scale SEPA transaction processing but also the skills and expertise to guide them through the process.
What businesses need to do to prepare for SEPA?
Small and medium sized businesses should be guided through the changes by their banks and software partners and it is important that they engage with them early to ensure they are compliant by the 1st February 2014 deadline. Large corporates and multi-nationals will have a bigger challenge. If you think back to the initial euro changeover or even the Y2K programme, this will give you an idea of the size and scale of the project for implementing SEPA across Europe.
The priority for any business that is a Direct Debit originator will be the migration from the existing Domestic scheme to the new SEPA Direct Debit scheme. It’s important to know the key features which will impact on a business’s existing processes and procedures.
Firstly, it is important to note that there are in fact two schemes – SEPA Core and SEPA Business to Business. Under the SEPA Direct Debit Core Scheme, which facilitates collections from both personal and business debtors and allows for the continued collection of Direct Debits through SEPA under existing domestic scheme mandates, there is a 13-month refund period for unauthorised collections and an eight-week refund period for authorised collections. Banks will be obligated to automatically honour refunds within the eight-week period after the due date of a disputed collection.
By Sean O’Reilly, Manager, DBASS Chartered Accountants
Employers and payroll administrators should note that with effect from 1 July 2013 Maternity Benefit, Adoptive Benefit and Health & Safety Benefit, payable by the Department of Social Protection (DSP), will be taxed in full. USC and PRSI will not apply to these benefits.
For the beneficiaries of these benefits, this will mean less net income and for employers and payroll clerks, more administration and compliance checks.
Increasingly we are seeing Revenue putting the onus on employers to collect these increases in taxes from PAYE workers.
In terms of the taxation of Maternity Benefit, Adoptive Benefit and Health & Safety Benefit, this will be done by reducing the annual tax credits and cut-off points for employees in receipt of these benefits. It is therefore important that all payroll clerks review the employer tax credit certificates (P2C) files, available through the ROS system, before running any payroll computations for the period 1 July 2013 onwards. This is also around the time that we expect the Revenue to make any changes to the P2C files relating to the deductions at source for the Local Property Tax (LPT), so is essential to review your P2C files on a weekly basis going forward from 1 July 2013 as part of your overall payroll routine.
By Tracey Glacken, Glacken Accountants
Business owners usually have lots of questions to pose to their accountant when deciding whether to purchase from within Ireland or abroad. This article sets out what to do if you buying from abroad.
EU Intra Community Acquisitions
If you are VAT registered in Ireland you can buy goods VAT free from another business in the EU once these goods are for the purpose of your business. This is known as an EU intra community acquisition. The steps to be taken are as follows:
By Tanya Pun, Product Manager at Sage
SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) is a European payments initiative to create one single integrated standardised payments market across 32 countries.
We’ve recently released Micropay and Micropay Professional v14.3 that prepares your payroll data for the SEPA switch over.
In v14.3, we have added in two new fields for BIC and IBAN to Company Details:
By Robert McNamara, Manager Accountants Division at Sage
On 1 October 2013, online filing in iXBRL format will become compulsory for Corporation Tax Payers of the Large Cases Division.
The timing for mandatory iXBRL filing for all other Corporation Tax payers will be determined during 2013.
- November 23rd 2012 Voluntary for all Corporation Tax payers
- January 1st 2013 Voluntary for all Income Tax payers
- Oct 1st 2013 Mandatory for all Corporation Tax Payers who are customers of Revenue’s Large Cases Division
Put simply, XBRL is akin to bar coding for financial statements, enabling every piece of data to be coded (tagged) with an identity.
Computers can then read an XBRL report and select specific data, collate it, analyse it and exchange it with other computers. It is a universal language that can be adapted to any nation’s accounting standards.
iXBRL is the inclusion of all untagged items, plus all the formatting instructions, together with tagged items. This is provided in a human readable manner, laid out in the style of a printed document.
We are pleased to announce the latest version of Sage Accounts Production (v9), containing the new Sage Assisted Tagging solution is now available for download.
Recognised by HMRC, Sage Accounts Production (v9) delivers iXBRL compliance for Limited Companies through an assisted tagging solution which has been incorporated into the software.
The Sage Assisted Tagging solution produces iXBRL accounts simply and easily by guiding the user though the process using a high level of automation and step-by-step assistance where necessary. You can download the latest version of Sage Accounts Production (v9) by logging into MySage.
To help you get up to speed and discover how easy it is to produce full iXBRL compliant accounts using the latest version of Sage Accounts Production, including Sage Assisted Tagging solution, we are providing free training webinars. Book your free training webinar here.
We have also produced a PDF guide on iXBRL which is available for download here.
We’re exhibiting at the XBRL Conference from 16-18 April so if you have any questions drop over to our stand.
By Laura Birchall, Business Advice Consultant at Sage
Recent legislation from the EU, the late payments directive obliges public authorities to pay for goods and services within 30 calendar days or (in very exceptional circumstances, within 60 days) and businesses to pay their invoices within 60 calendar days, unless they expressly agree otherwise and if it is not grossly unfair to the creditor.
With this new directive in place, businesses are entitled to claim interest for late payments and can also automatically obtain a minimum fixed amount of €40 as a compensation for payment recovery costs. They can also claim compensation for all remaining reasonable recovery costs. The statutory interest rate for late payment is increased to at least eight percentage points above the European Central Bank’s reference rate. Public authorities are not allowed to fix an interest rate for late payment below this threshold.
What this means for your business in theory is that it should help encourage more prompt payments. It will be especially helpful if you often find yourself in the situation of not getting paid on time.
There is a late payment option within Sage 50 Accounts and Sage Instant Accounts which allows you to charge late payers interest on any overdue amount once a certain period of time has passed. Sage has a “credit charge” wizard that allows you to apply interest to overdue sales invoices. This can be set up on individual customer accounts providing they have accepted credit terms. The wizard option takes you step by step through applying interest to each customer or on specific transactions.
Sage launches property tax guide for employers
17th March, 2013: 31% of Irish employers are unaware of their legal obligation to collect Local Property Tax (LPT) from employees who elect to deduct this at source from their salary, according to research announced today by the market leader in accounts and payroll software, Sage Ireland.
Sage conducted a survey of over 1,100 employers and payroll administrators in Ireland. 59% of participants said they would like to know more about their LPT obligations, indicating a lack of awareness among employers.
According to the Revenue Commissioners, residential property owners can opt to pay their LPT for 2013 in one single payment or to phase their payments over the period July to December 2013. Where this payment option is chosen by a property owner, Revenue will notify the employer to deduct property tax from the owner’s net salary and employers will be required to make this facility available to their employees/pensioners from July 2013 onwards.
By Mark Lee, Chairman of Tax Advice Network, Author, Blogger
There is an old adage that ‘People buy from people whom they know, like and trust’. Translated into the world of accountants, this means that it’s easier to win new clients and new fees only after people have got to know you, to like what they know about you and to trust you.
During my talk at the Sage ‘Future of Accounting’ Roadshow in Cork I stressed some related points.
It is clear to me that, so far as accountants are concerned Online Networking is often best regarded simply as a precursor to Offline (or face to face) networking. You can save a great deal of time by engaging online before you arrange to meet anyone – be they prospective new clients, influencers, referrers or recruits.
After all, face to face networking generally involves meeting strangers. The outcome will always be more profitable if you have engaged online beforehand. This enables you to generate some initial understanding and common ground before you meet up. So it should also mean you can avoid spending time travelling to meetings with time-wasters.
How else can accountants combine online and offline networking? Here are seven practical ways you can do this:
1. Reinforcing an interest or focus in a specific niche area
Online you will want to focus on your expertise in a specific area or sector. Face to face you can show you really know what you’re talking about. Your passion, experience and focus will always be more apparent ‘live’ than is possible to convey online.
2. Evidencing expertise and skills
There is a limit as to how compelling will be your profiles and online conversations. It is much easier to evidence genuine, relevant and commercial expertise face to face.
3. Finding like-minded people
Linkedin provides a fabulous opportunity to find prospective clients, influencers and referrers in local groups. Even if you engage with them online, they will only really get to know you (and vice versa) if you then follow up and meet offline.
Sage are currently in discussions with Irish Revenue about how Property Tax will be deducted from employee’s payroll. From July 2013, anyone that is liable to pay the property tax but has not started doing so will have the option of having it deducted from their payroll. All Sage Payroll packages including Sage Micropay, Sage Quickpay and Sage One Payroll will be updated to enable payroll administrators to automatically deduct the necessary payment.
When this update is available, you will be able to update your Sage Micropay and Quickpay through your payroll software’s Auto Update feature, or on www.mysage.ie. The update will automatically be made to Sage One Payroll so all you have to do is login as normal and Sage One Payroll will be up to date with the latest legislative requirements.
More information will be made available in the coming weeks and months. For now you can rest assured that all Sage payroll software will be updated to ensure you are legislatively compliant. In the meantime you could talk to your employees and find out which employees will opt to have the payment deducted from their payroll.
Interested in seeing how Sage Micropay makes it quick and easy for you to calculate deductions from your employee’s payroll, try it now for free.
Robert McNamara, Accountants Division Team Manager, Sage Ireland
The Sage Accountants Roadshows will be taking place in Dublin, Cork and Galway during the first week in February.
With some exciting speakers on board it’s bound to be a fantastic and informative event. Remember, the event qualifies for CPD Hours so with limited spaces available be sure to register today.
Topics Covered In The Roadshows Include;
- Harnessing the Power of Online
- Debt Collection for Accountants and their Clients
- Manage Your Cash Flow with Sage
- Sage Accountants Club
- Ask the questions you’ve always wanted answered by an Economist
For those that can’t attend keep an eye on the Twitter hashtag #futureofaccounting to follow the conversation online.
About the Speakers