Good morning and welcome to the 9am Lowdown which today features a Brexit update, Tesco, Xero and a new alliance between BDO and Microsoft.
Brexit timetable revealed
Theresa May has confirmed the UK will start the formal Brexit negotiation process by the end of March 2017.
The timing on triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty means the country looks set to leave the EU by summer 2019.
May told the Conservative Party conference the government would strike a deal with the EU as an independent, sovereign UK.
Voters had given their verdict "with emphatic clarity", she said, and ministers had to "get on with the job", according to a BBC report.
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Barclays teams up with Xero
Barclays has partnered with Xero to provide UK businesses with access to their transaction data through Xero’s direct feed functionality.
Barclays customers can now import bank statements automatically into Xero app and view alongside Xero’s accounting data.
The collaboration provides a secure and simple solution for joint customers, presenting their financial statements from their bank into their Xero app.
Barclays is the eighth bank to join Xero’s direct feeds technology.
Gary Turner, Xero’s UK co-founder and managing director, said: "Recent research found that businesses who actively manage their finances on a daily basis enjoy much greater prosperity and survivability.
“This new technical partnership between Xero and Barclays makes this a reality for many more businesses which is good news for them and for the vital contribution small businesses make to the economy as a whole,” he said.
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BDO signs alliance with Microsoft
The BDO international network has revealed a strategic alliance with Microsoft which will see them collaborating on technology and services.
Under the global agreement, BDO will use the Microsoft Azure environment to deliver an online collaboration space where clients can enhance their digital experience and service workflow.
The network will make use of Microsoft’s technology to add functionality to its bespoke Audit Process Tool (APT).
BDO will also add Microsoft offerings such as its Cortana Intelligence Suite to its data analytics tool to improve risk analysis.
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Tesco faces £150m lawsuit
Tesco is facing further legal action from investors who claim they suffered financially after a £326m black hole was revealed in the retailer’s accounts.
The £150m lawsuit, led by Stewarts Law, is the second one being considered by shareholders since charges were brought against three former Tesco executives for accounting fraud.
Back in 2014 the supermarket overstated profits and its share price plunged 10%.
The investors, a group of asset managers, hedge funds and pension funds, have said they will file it in the UK within the next four weeks, according to the Daily Mail.
About Robert Lovell
Business and finance journalist