The third annual conference - bigger and better than ever
"Bookkeepers your time is now" was the message at the 2012 Bookkeepers Summit. With record ticket sales and a much-hyped line-up of speakers, it was always going to be a good year for the profession's annual conference. The Bookkeepers Summit saw over 350 leading bookkeepers and trainees meeting in London for an audience with the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, HM Treasury and HMRC.
"The success of our economy depends on the success of our small businesses, and they cannot succeed without good bookkeeping," ICB chief executive Garry Carter told the audience, citing HMRC research that almost half of the UK's small businesses don't save any money to pay their tax bill at the end of the year.
Ahead of her Global Entrepreneurship Week appearances, StartUp Britain founder, Emma Jones MBE, joined the rallying cry to delegates; praising bookkeepers and emphasizing the economic argument for supporting small and micro businesses.
"We have before us an opportunity of a lifetime to make a future for ourselves and for Britain," Emma Jones MBE, StartUp Britain.
The Bookkeepers Summit went on to hear about the future of HMRC's relationship with Tax Agents, and focused workshops dealt with future proofing accountancy service providers for the implementation of RTI and Auto Enrolled Workplace Pensions. Software giants Xero, Sage, Intuit and TaxCalc pitched their latest innovations, and tech-savvy delegates tried their hand at newer online packages from the likes of Ireland's Big Red Cloud.
An HMRC research report earlier this year showed that 49% of small businesses fear getting their tax returns wrong, with similar numbers unsure of what records to keep and wanting more control over their tax affairs. The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers supports proposals for simpler financial reporting for simpler small businesses, and calls for better record keeping to empower small businesses.
'The biggest reason people set up their businesses today, is to be independent and be in control.' continued ICB's Garry Carter. 'This country must insist that our new startups and young business people can understand their accounts, know if they're making a profit, can prepare for and pay their tax bill. It is vital that our businesses have the ear of plain-speaking, informed professional bookkeepers."
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