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text 2017-06-21 22:29
Why Do I Need The Assistance Of An Accountant For Tax Return?



The tax return document is a requirement that has to be fulfilled by entrepreneurs and employed individuals. They must fill in their capital gains and earnings yearly and submit it to the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The HMRC will calculate a person's tax liability according to the information provided in the report. Some people fill out this document on their own, while there are those who seek the services of a reliable tax return specialists. There are lots of companies on the Internet that employ such professionals and assist people fill out their tax returns.

Perhaps you're unsure about getting the help of a specialist. In this case, here are some of the rewards you could get if you avail of the services of an accountant tax return.

1. They can identify if you need to file a tax return

There are specific standards as to who are required to submit a tax return report. For example, if you're a worker who meets an established yearly income, then you are expected to hand in the file. If you neglect to do so, then you can be charged with a hefty fine. Normally, you can make an inquiry to the HMRC to find out if you are required to submit a file for the year. But, if you are too pre-occupied to check with the HMRC, then an accountant tax return help can do it for you.

2. They could ensure that your details are accurate

One of the major prerequisites in filling out the tax return document is to always provide accurate data. Taxpayers who give inaccurate information, whether by choice or not, would be given serious penalties. A reputable tax return accountant can make certain that the data in your file is precise and consistent with your own records. This is helpful as you might miss a couple of crucial details if you choose to complete the document on your own.

3. They could send it on time

It's necessary that the tax return file is handed on or before the deadline given by the HMRC. People who forget to do so are imposed with strict penalties. An accountant tax return knows how to fill out such file correctly so you could be confident that it will be filed on schedule. With their aid, you can focus on other crucial things without worrying about the tax return due dates.

4. They can lessen your tax responsibilities

A reputable accountant for tax return is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to every detail of taxation in the UK. They could alert you regarding legal reductions that you may be qualified for like tax breaks and deductible company expenditures. Through their help, you could save money as you could avoid paying more than what you are actually required.

These are a few of the benefits that you could get when you hire a tax return accountant. To ensure that you would obtain exceptional services, you should only work with certified accountants who are equipped with an extensive knowledge regarding tax matters. Through their assistance, you can be sure that your tax obligations will be completed quickly and without any mistakes or issues.

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text 2017-05-29 02:04
The SouthBourne Tax Group: Ways to Identify Accounts Payable Fraud

 

When Sarbanes-Oxley was passed in 2002, many companies were forced to take an in-depth look at internal Accounts Payable controls. Implementing internal controls takes time, but may prove to be a very cost-effective measure if any fraud or leakages are found. Here are a few approaches you can try to tighten up your A/P audit. They require some degree of data mining and programming capability but are fairly straightforward to implement.

 

1) Duplicate Payments

 

Duplicate payments in most cases may not be fraud-related, but continue to be a significant A/P leakage that is both preventable and recoverable. Mark Van Holsbeck, Director of Enterprise Network Security for Avery-Dennison, estimates that corporations make duplicate payments at the rate of 2%. Two percent may not sound like much, but if your company’s A/P invoices total $75 million, duplicate payments may account for $1.5 million. Take a look at the statistics:

 

  • Medicare - The Dept. of Health & Human Services’ Inspector General estimated that Medicare made $89 million of duplicate payments in 1998.
  • Cingular - We have once again discovered that payments made online as an Electronic funds payment for TDMA accounts, have been deducted twice from the customer's checking account.
  • Medicaid - We identified at least $9.7 million in such duplicate payments during our two-year audit period, and estimated that as much as $31.1 million in additional duplicate payments may have been made.”

 

In a rush to find the overpayments, many companies have emerged: A/P Recap, Automated Auditors, AP Recovery, ACL, CostRecoverySolutions, and more. That these companies are thriving is a testament to the fact that duplicate payments still occur at an alarming rate.

 

Many software packages have some controls over duplicate invoices but it usually takes some in-depth querying to find them all. For example, many accounting packages do a duplicate invoice check and prevent you from keying in a duplicate invoice number for the same vendor. But just add an “A” to the invoice number or change a penny and you are on your way to a duplicate payment. Another common mistake is found in vendor files; duplicate vendor numbers for the same vendor is the number one cause of duplicate payments.

 

2) Implement some fuzzy-matching

 

Implementing “similar” fuzzy-matching instead of exact matching is what makes this approach more accurate and powerful than many.  We define “similar” to mean the following:

 

Invoice numbers are considered similar if they are exact after stripping out any

 

Zeros and any alphabetic characters as well as punctuation characters.

 

Invoice dates are considered similar if the difference between the dates is less than a designated amount such as 7 days.  For example, if you entered "7" days for the date tolerance, then all invoices with a date different of 7 or less would be considered similar.  We generally set the date tolerance to 21 days to catch duplicate payments made 3 weeks apart; this often eliminates catching legitimate rent payments.

 

3) Rounded-Amount Invoices

 

People who commit fraud often create invoices with rounded amounts, which are invoices without pennies.  Yes, you would think the fraudster would have “cents” enough to do otherwise.  An easy way to identify rounded-amount invoices is to use the MOD function in Excel.  Suppose your invoice amount is $150.17; then MOD (150.17,1) gives you the remainder of dividing 150.17 by 1, which is .17.  So, using the MOD function with a divisor of 1 on a no-pennies amount would leave us a remainder of 0.  Additionally, try to rank your vendors by those with a high percentage of rounded-amount invoices.  To do this, just calculate each vendor’s number of rounded-amount invoices and divide it by the total number of invoices for that vendor, obtaining the percentage.  Then rank by descending percentage to review the most suspicious vendors first.   

 

4) Invoices Just Below Approval Amounts

 

People who commit fraud are not always the “sharpest knife in the drawer.”  Suppose an A/P clerk knows the different dollar thresholds for management approval.  For example, a supervisor may only be allowed to approve invoices of $3,000 or less, while a manager may be allowed to approve invoices of $10,000 or less, and so on.  Suppose this A/P clerk and a manager decides to skim off some extra dollars together.  What is the easiest way to get the most money?  Create an invoice just below the approval level of that manager:  $9,998 when the approval level is $10,000; or $2,978 when the approval level is $3,000.

 

To identify these potentially fraudulent invoices, try this:  identify invoices that are 3% (or less) LESS THAN the approval amount.  For example, if your approval amount is $3,000, then any invoice that is between $2,910 and $2,999 would be flagged as suspicious. 

 

5) Check Theft Search

 

Most Accounts Payable departments conduct a reconciliation of Accounts Payable with the monthly Bank Statement to identify any discrepancies between the two.  This process can also be instrumental in identifying check fraud.  One simple way to spot potential check fraud is to identify missing check numbers or gaps in reconciled checks numbers.  This is usually indicated on the bank statement with a ‘*” or ‘#’ to indicate the check number is not sequential.

 

Another more advanced way is to conduct a reverse Positive Pay electronically.  By merging your check register, A/P file, and bank statements together, you have the power to identify stolen checks.  Better yet, if your bank has OCR (Optical Character Recognition) abilities, then you can identify the actual payee on the check.

 

Speaking in technological terms, you have 3 different data bases describing 1 activity.  Use the 3 data sources to find any discrepancies in the 1 payment.  If your check numbers are unique, try merging all 3 data sources by the check number and compare each of the following fields:

 

-payee

-check amount

-check date

 

Using SQL code or another programming language, identify all of the checks that are in one data base and not the other.  In addition, identify all of the checks that are in all 3 data sources but have different payee names or different amounts and dates.  

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