If you're looking to do business in the UK, make sure you pick the right partners. It's essential to find a trusted partner for business, financial and tax advice
Opening an office or business in a new region is a major investment and can carry a lot of risk. Mike Sables at Tenon Group?s Windsor office, has helped hundreds of overseas businesses make a successful move into the UK.
?Once you?ve made the decision to expand into a new market, it?s essential to start building your business as quickly as possible,? says Mike.
?And to do that, you need your senior people focused on core business. We can enable you to do just that by taking care of essentials such as legal and trading structures, taxation, human resources and financial management.? The Tenon Group is one of the UK?s largest firms of business advisers and accountants. The Windsor office ? just 10 miles from Heathrow airport ? specialises in business services, tax planning, VAT, employee benefits and HR. Many of these services can be completely outsourced as a cost-effective way of launching a business in the UK.
CHOSING THE RIGHT ACCOUNTS PACKAGE
Keeping start-up costs under control is essential. However, these days, it is practically impossible to build and run an international business without high-level Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Purchasing an accounting package such as Microsoft Dynamics GP up-front would require a major capital outlay, for example. But can you afford to do business without it? ?Tenon clients get immediate access to hosted Microsoft Dynamics GP on a Software as a Service basis (SaaS). This saves them having to pay significant sums of cash up-front in licences and staff training,? says Mike.
WORLD-CLASS HOSTED SOFTWARE
For international companies coming into the UK, there are a number of choices of accounting software. Mike explains the reasons why Tenon has developed a close relationship with Microsoft to give Tenon clients affordable, scalable access to the Dynamics GP package. ?In our opinion, Microsoft Dynamics GP is the ideal accounts package for international companies coming into the UK. Even if your UK operation is small initially, you will still benefit from using a package which can deal with complex business and accounting structures. Dynamics GP can deal with complex chart of accounts and multiple currencies, for example. ?It is multi-seat ? so that many people can use the software and access the database simultaneously, without any loss of performance.
?Dynamics GP also produces highly sophisticated accounting reports,? says Mike, ?and these can be tailored to provide companies with exactly the information they need. ?International companies can securely view their data from anywhere in the world ? giving Chief Finance Officers the opportunity to keep track of subsidiary offices from their own desktop, wherever that might be.?
Tenon provides hosted access to Microsoft Dynamics GP, and this gives clients total peace of mind, because their accounts information is fully protected and backed up in a professionally managed third party data-centre. ?Tenon has an exclusive relationship with Microsoft,? says Mike Sables. ?And because of the size and number of clients who outsource finance services through us, we can provide Dynamics GP software as a service, and pass on massive economy-of-scale savings.
?Our clients get high-level support. And, of course, whenever there is a software upgrade, we automatically apply it. Whereas it can be prohibitively expensive for many companies to keep enterprise software up to date, we can absorb this cost and share it across our hundreds of clients because of our special relationship with Microsoft.?
GETTING THE STRUCTURE RIGHT
Tenon Outsourcing has identified three key areas which support your core business when setting up in the UK. Think these through from the beginning and you?ll reap the benefits: 1. Tax matters and legal trading structures; 2. Financial management and reporting; 3. Recruiting and managing your human resources.
TAX MATTERS AND LEGAL AND TRADING STRUCTURES
Deciding the right legal structure for your UK business is an important decision. You?ll have to decide whether to trade as a branch of your non- UK company, or as a stand-alone operation. If you will be carrying out a variety of commercial activities in the UK, there may be benefits in operating each one in a different way. Value Added Tax (VAT) and Customs Duty are complex subjects in their own right. You will need to establish whether you are obliged to register for VAT (and there may be advantages in registering for VAT even if you are not obliged to) and whether your products are liable to UK import duty.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND REPORTING
With good financial information you are better placed to take the right strategic and commercial decisions. You are also more likely to get the support of your head office if you are able to provide an accurate, real-time picture of the UK office?s trading and financial position. Most businesses opening a UK office will benefit from support and local, expert advice on sales invoicing, credit control, tax/VAT returns, purchase ledger management, payments to suppliers, expense claims ? and above all, preparing regular management accounts and reports.
RECRUITING AND MANAGING YOUR HUMAN RESOURCES
You will need to recruit good people locally and reward them appropriately, and also look after any of your people who you relocate to the UK. Tenon advises on and administers employee benefit packages. This starts with sharing knowledge of what other similar companies are offering, and means that your employees have just one point of contact for managing all of their benefits.
HIT YOUR BUSINESS TARGETS FAST
?Usually, we can demonstrate that Tenon will actually save you money on delivering services such as payroll, financial management, employee benefits and accounting software ? particularly given the excellent relationship we enjoy with Microsoft and our ability to offer hosted access to their enterprise finance software.
?All of this enables our clients to concentrate on getting to the market faster ? developing their own client relationships and sales income ? while we take care of the generic, back-office functions, using our economies of scale to give them systems that would otherwise be a huge drain on start-up capital.? As the owner of one client company said: ?Not only has the professionalism of our accounting transformed but it?s enabled me to drive value in our business which is what my role should be.?
107-111 Peascod Street
WINDSOR, Berkshire SL4 1TE, UK
Tel: +44 (1753) 754574
Added the 17 September 2008 in category Innovation UK Vol4-1