Member Article

Accountancy firm counts on IT investment for success

Move comes as firm marks 21 years in business

New investment is set to help a North East accountancy firm gear up for major changes to the UK’s PAYE system.

Cramlington accountancy firm AWS Accountancy Ltd, which provides payroll among other services for clients across North East England, has made a major investment in new systems ahead of next year’s changes to the way the Government will collect tax from private and public sector organisations.

These will see a requirement to provide payroll information electronically to the HMRC each time an employee is paid rather than once a year, which is the current situation.

Real Time Information (RTI) is being introduced from April 2013 and by October 2013 it will be mandatory for all employers to process PAYE, NIC and student loan data using the new system.

Although this will see the abolition of the end-of-year employer P35 annual return forms, it’s expected to place a huge administrative burden on the region’s businesses, including sole traders.

Many may find themselves struggling to meet compliance deadlines and will need expert help to return the required information to HMRC on time to avoid penalties.

AWS, which is celebrating 21 years in business this month, has made the investment to ensure it’s well placed to help clients when the changes - the biggest payroll transition since PAYE was introduced in 1944 - come into force.

New high speed data cabling and upgraded PCs have been installed at the firm’s Cramlington office to ensure its dedicated payroll bureau is ready with fast data processing capabilities to cope with the change and to continue to provide clients with efficient, streamlined and value for money services.

The move comes at a time when an increasing number of businesses are turning to AWS to produce accounts information faster and more often to help meet their business needs.

These include rapidly expanding Blyth-based Omega Plastics – it relies on AWS to produce monthly management accounts as well as handling payroll and compliancy matters, ensuring it has timely and accurate management information to help it manage its business.

Ian Cooney, AWS Tax Partner, said: “This will be one of the biggest shake-ups to the tax system in decades and will affect everyone, from larger companies to sole traders.

“Employers now need to ensure the information they hold on employees is correct and work towards the introduction of RTI with expert and proactive accountancy services in place to ensure they’re not caught out.

“We have made this strategic investment now to make sure we’re well placed in advance of the changes coming into force to ensure clients continue to enjoy the highest levels of service.”

Installation of the new IT infrastructure was completed at its offices in Northumberland Business Park, Cramlington by Rush Electrical Power and Data Ltd, one of AWS’s first clients when it started in 1991.

Owner Dave Rushworth said: “I’m personally delighted to have completed the installation work for AWS; they’ve provided accountancy support to my business for many years.

“We all need to process more information faster. These new tax changes could have a big impact on businesses and with AWS able to handle everything for us, I know we’re in safe hands.

“The upgraded systems will be quicker; and means that AWS will be able to continue to meet those all important deadlines, for more clients like us.”

Peter Wylie, co-founder and Accounts Partner of AWS puts the firm’s success over the years down its ability to keep pace with technological change as well as its personal and friendly approach to working with clients.

“With all clients submissions made electronically, it is imperative we have the systems in place to enable our staff to expedite information accurately, securely and efficiently.

“Whilst technology is important, so is our open-door approach. We’re never too busy to talk and meet with our clients and this personal approach has been a constant factor throughout our 21 years in practice.”

AWS provides tax and accountancy services to SMEs throughout North East England. It also offers a number of specialist services including Corporate Finance, VAT, Book-keeping, and start-up business advice.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Andy Bruce .

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