Phill Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of IRIS Software Group, said: “I am thrilled to announce that the KashFlow team will become part of the wider IRIS Software Group, since there is so much we can achieve together for the millions of SMEs who wrestle every day with their payroll, bookkeeping and accountancy needs. KashFlow’s superb cloud services are the perfect fit with our existing suite of products and I am confident that this will enable IRIS to strengthen its leading position in cloud software for UK SMEs and accountancy firms.” Duane Jackson, Founder and CEO of KashFlow added: “IRIS clearly understand the importance of the cloud and the benefits it can bring to small business owners. Being part of the wider IRIS Software Group not only gives us direct access to a significant section of the UK accountancy and SME sector but it also makes us part of a wider suite of cloud offerings. This will help us deliver on our vision of further automating and simplifying the process of running a small business, enabling entrepreneurs to cut through the red tape and get on with doing what they do best: winning clients and growing their businesses. Around half of all UK accountancy firms already use IRIS to run their business, now they will be able to collaborate with their clients through tight integration with the KashFlow cloud bookkeeping system.” Lord Young of Graffham, KashFlow’s Chairman and a founder investor in the business, added: “I am really pleased for Duane and his team. When I backed the business seven years ago I could see they were offering something truly revolutionary to small businesses. By combining with IRIS they can now take their products to the wider world, with all the marketing and technical support the larger business can bring.” IRIS will continue to provide its current IRIS OpenBooks product, which is supplied through a partnership with FreeAgent, to its existing customers but expects to provide even deeper levels of functionality for accountants and SMEs in the future through the close tie-in between the IRIS Accountancy Suite and KashFlow bookkeeping in the cloud. For more details visit http://www.iris.co.uk/kashflow Notes to Editors: About IRIS Software Group With 30 years’ experience, the IRIS Software Group provides business critical software and services to the UK accountancy and SME sectors. More than 15,000 UK accountants and 30,000 small and medium sized companies rely on IRIS every day to run their business. IRIS offers customers the greatest choice of specialist accountancy software and services managed under three leading brands – IRIS, PTP and Drummohr. With over 98% customer retention for its core products, 2.8 million tax returns successfully filed with HMRC and 60% of the top 50 practices as customers, IRIS is the most trusted accountancy software provider in the UK today. Follow us on Twitter @irisaccountants Through its SME division, IRIS also provides payroll technology to over 30,000 SMEs and payroll bureaus. As a leading provider of payroll software, IRIS serves a number of sectors, including 50% of UK GP practices and a growing number of UK retailers. More than 10% of UK businesses pay their employees via IRIS payroll solutions.
UK Government Announces Changes to Bribery Regime
Ireland, which had already cut air tax to just 3 per passenger per flight, said earlier this week that it will scrap the tax on flights completely from April 2014. Commenting that Britain has the highest rate of air tax in the world, Steve Hoy, chief commercial officer at Bmi regional, urged the UK government to adopt a similar policy. This recent tax break highlights that the Irish constituency has recognised the negative impact that the duty has on core industry, tourism and airlines, Hoy said, adding: Were disappointed that UK air travel continues to be subjected to such a considerable levy and urge the UK government to follow suit. Following the latest rise in Air Passenger Duty (APD) in April 2013, the standard rate (for non-economy class) of APD for Band A (for destinations less than 2,000 miles from London) is 26. The rate for Band D (more than 6,000 miles) is 188, rising to 194 from April 1 2014. The APD has been cited as the reason for pricing ordinary families out of overseas holidays , discouraging airlines from opening new routes and forcing many to be withdrawn, and causing inbound tourists, who pay the tax on their flight home, to go elsewhere. A report by C & IT Magazine said that nearly 250 UK business leaders have also signed a petition telling the Chancellor of the Exchequer that Air Passenger Duty (APD) was a significant additional burden for businesses. The petition, organised by the campaign A Fair Tax on Flying, said that supporters were calling on the Government to undertake urgent action to reduce the worlds highest air passenger tax. Air travel is vital to the success of our business because it helps us to connect to new markets and reach new customers, it said. Commenting on the situation, an HM Treasury spokesperson said: The Government has frozen APD in real terms since 2010, and in the last year, APD has not changed at all for the majority of flights. Passenger numbers are going up, and airlines do not have to pass on the cost of APD to passengers. However it is important that the aviation sector plays a part in helping to bring down the deficit. International aviation is generally not subject to tax on fuel, and in contrast to many other countries, there is no VAT charged on flights in the UK. Meanwhile, announcing the decision to abolish the tax, Irish finance minister Michael Noonan reportedly said that he expected airlines to respond by launching new routes and increasing the frequency of other services.
UK government asked to abolish air tax
To fulfil this function, it will have its own investigators, including individuals in the Economic Crime Command. However, the NCA will also work together with other enforcement agencies, such as the SFO. The SFO will retain its role as the lead agency for investigating large and complex cases of corporate bribery and enforcing the Act with respect to corruption overseas. The UK government has also put forward proposals for a new bribery reporting mechanism. This may involve rewarding whistleblowers, including the provision of financial incentives in addition to offering immunity from prosecution. The government is reviewing the mechanism in place in the United States, where qui tam provisions in the False Claims Act allow whistleblowers to receive a portion of the financial penalties levied on companies, but it remains to be seen whether a similar regime will be implemented in the United Kingdom. Implications Overall, the changes to the enforcement regime seem to point to an increased appetite for antibribery enforcement by the UK authorities. These changes are perhaps not surprising given that there have been three successful prosecutions by the Crown Prosecution Service under the Act in the more than two years since its introduction and that the SFO launched its first prosecution in August 2013. This case is scheduled to go to trial in 2014. A move towards cooperation between multiple agencies, each with its own pool of resources, may therefore lead to an increased number of bribery investigations. On the other hand, these changes carry the risk of parallel inquiries and disagreements between agencies, which may, in turn, delay and obstruct the anticorruption effort. The new reporting mechanism, if introduced, is likely to encourage bribery enforcement.