Micro firms break free from bean-counting duties

Business minister Jo Swinson has said micro-businesses will be subject to a relaxed version of financial reporting standards

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 07 Oct 2013
The government has been promising to cut onerous red tape for small businesses since David Cameron’s moving vans rocked up in Downing Street, and yesterday micro businesses had their time in the anti-red tape spotlight.
 
Micro businesses, those with fewer than ten staff and annual turnovers of below £632,000, will now be able to file substantially fewer financial reports, according to the business department. From the end of this month, micro businesses will have the option of only producing an abridged balance sheet and profit and loss account.
 
That works out at roughly 1.56 million businesses who can spend more time creating more profits rather than writing about them in spreadsheets. Bottoms up.
 
Thriving micro-businesses are a vital ingredient for a stronger economy,’ said business minister Jo Swinson.

‘However, because of their size they don’t always have dedicated finance teams behind them. We therefore need to make sure that they can focus on growing their business - rather than completing unnecessarily detailed paperwork.’

‘The measures announced today are just one of the ways we’re cutting bureaucracy, letting micro-businesses get on with running their enterprises and creating jobs.’

In June, business minister Michael Fallon announced the freeze which exempts small companies from certain new regulations would increase from those with fewer than 10 employees to those with up to 50. It followed the one-in, two-out rule introduced in January, which means any additional regulation for business must be hand-in-hand with the eradication of two regulations.
 
Despite the anti-bureaucracy blustering coming from the business department, this is actually the government’s response to an EU directive, designed to unburden micro businesses. So any thank you letters should be addressed to Brussels.

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