Accountants have not been able to avoid the big, political issues facing business this autumn. John Stokdyk offers some advice on keeping focused during a period of unprecedented turmoil.
After a quiet couple of months, Brexit is back on the agenda, racking up more than 20,000 hits in October. The Budget that never was and stories on VAT and Spanish property tax changes forced accountants to accept that Brexit was going to have a big impact on their businesses and clients.
Interest in our political coverage shot up at the end of October and will continue to dominate the stage in November. But behind the swirl of political headines we spotted a steady rise in self assessment traffic during October, pointing to the onset of tax season once the 6 December election is out of the way.
Tax season preparations
Any supplier involved in the practice sector knows tax season isn’t a good time to bother accountants. But it’s a great time to offer practical suggestions and support when they need it most.
AccountingWEB’s editorial team is gearing up with technical advice, planning tips and stress-busting reads to help practitioners tackle their annual workload peak. Is this approach part of your content plan too?
Property issues tend to bubble beneath the surface of our hot topic charts, but they are steady performers. As tax adviser Jerome Lane pointed out last month, Time is running out for landlords on claims for mortgage interest relief. In previous years specialists in this field have done well with downloadable guides on property tax subjects and Lane’s analysis suggests that this would be a good time to return to that well.
Off-payroll IR35 rules
Looking just a little further ahead, controversy continues to build around the private sector off-payroll rules due to come into effect in April. IR35 has ebbed and flowed on our trend radar over the summer, but three Insight Exchange clients have been well rewarded for responding to the community’s concerns on this issue.
Tax Insider’s IR35 tax tips for contractors guide was the most downloaded resource on AccountingWEB last month, but Capium’s Prepare your clients for the new off-payroll rules and FreeAgent’s Five tricky compliance conversations to have with your clients also did well.
There is always room for more technical guidance on AccountingWEB, but these successes demonstrate the importance of timing the material to appear when your target readers are interested. To help you anticipate those needs, we’ll continue to alert you here and in our monthly iX webinars about the trends we’re seeing within the AccountingWEB community.
Top stories for October 2019
IR35, Brexit and the tax implications of mortgage interest relief topped the list of the most read tax articles on AccountingWEB in October.
On the practice side, the most read stories concerned the accountant reprimanded by ICAEW after emailing his former firm’s clients about the “negligence” in the preparation of their VAT returns, and KPMG taking back mobile phones from junior and back-office staff.
In the world of tech, Liam Bastick’s analysis of what Dynamic Arrays mean for data tables and PivotTables was the most popular item, followed by the latest news from QuickBooks, Sage and TaxCalc. Xero readers, as meanwhile, dropped by to find out what’s coming at Xerocon London on 13-14 November.
Business accountants were drawn to our stories about the struggles at Pizza Express, Goals Soccer Centre and Thomas Cook.
Here’s a rundown of the other top posts on AccountingWEB last month:
- FTT: HMRC issued massive tax bill to ‘frighten taxpayer into responding’
- IR35: Banks move to clamp down on contractors
- Time is running out for landlords
- Brexit brings back 1980s postponed accounting VAT rule
- Uber on collision course with HMRC over £1bn VAT dispute
- Disciplinary: Sacked accountant warned clients of firm ‘screwing up’ accounts
- Cost-saving KPMG hangs up on staff mobiles
- HMRC slaps AML non-compliant firm with fine
- AWOL accountant abandons client with late SA fine
- Practice Talk: Dan Heelan from Heelan Associates
- Pizza Express calls in advisers as debt mismanagement criticisms mount
- MPs: Wretched state of audit sector evident in Thomas Cook collapse
- Goals Soccer Centre admits accounting blunder ‘materially higher’ than £12m
- FRS 102: Investment property
- Norwich City: The Canaries in football’s financial coal mine
- Death of data tables and PivotTables?
- QuickBooks to axe desktop payroll solution
- Sage acquires AutoEntry
- Xerocon 2019 preview: Apps on parade
- TaxCalc boosts practice management product with triple release
- Cirrostratus: HMRC confirm VAT changes for No Deal Brexit
- Tax Insider: Company car tax changes: 2019/20 and beyond
- BrightPay: The IR35 clampdowns keep on coming - Three BBC presenters are made pay back a total of £92,000
- ProForecast: Top 5 reasons why using Excel for your Forecast just isn’t Reliable, Efficient or Secure
- Taxfiler: When Should I Be Using FRS 105 or FRS 102 1A?
Advertisers subscribing to our Insight Exchange service are invited to a webinar on 11 November, where our content team will explore the underlying traffic trends and pass on practical advice on how to get the most out of your interactions with the AccountingWEB community.