We’re just a few days now from the time when businesses across the UK draw to a close for a few weeks. Christmas will hopefully be a time to sit back and relax with your loved ones after a tumultuous year. This week will be the last blog from us at AIMS until 2021, so it’s time for us to do a little bit of a retrospective on 2020 in the SME and accounting worlds.
It’s been an interesting and incredibly difficult year for businesses across the UK. Uncertainty and nerves have been the theme of the day throughout, with everyone unsure what their business might look like from one month to the next or even if they will survive the various national and local lockdowns.
With closures and restrictions changing on an almost daily basis, and with updates to the various business support schemes, it has been almost impossible for businesses to properly plan their future.
In the SME world, despite all the doom and gloom, there has also been opportunity. In the last year, small businesses have been making huge leaps in diversifying their offerings, and many more than perhaps their owners would have thought possible at the start of 2020 have opened up an ‘online’ shop window, or digitised their payment systems.
Whilst some big businesses – especially in the retail and hospitality sectors – have found it impossible to remain open / survive at former levels, SMEs have taken advantage of their ability to be agile and adaptable and enable customers to feel safe and secure.
But what about AIMS and the accounting world?
How have we and our fellow accountants been managing this year? There’s no other way to say it – it’s been a real challenge.
Accountants have had the huge burden of learning a whole new lexicon and claim systems which were invented just for Covid-19 in order to keep our clients informed of the financial support schemes whilst they have been ordered to close. Many accountants have reported being stressed and overburdened with the extra work, but they’ve stood by their clients to ensure their survival through this toughest of years. We’d like to say these accountants are also ‘heroes’.
We have been proud of the way AIMS have supported our accountant network. Our support team have kept abreast of all the Government’s support regulations and ensured that all AIMS accountants receive timely updates.
As the UK moved into lockdown and individuals saw the benefits working from home, ditching the commute and spending more time with their family, opening an AIMS Office and giving all of this permanently, became attractive option for people, resulting in 28 new AIMS offices opening this year across the UK.
2021 will bring a lot of changes. With the end of the Brexit transition phase happening on 31 December, IR35 eventually coming into play this coming April (having been deferred from April 20 due to Covid-19) and no end to Covid-19 disruptions in sight, the year ahead is sure to be eventful.
But no matter what, you can be sure that AIMS will still be here, looking after our clients and making tax simple.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.