Step #8: Your company will be operating in two currencies, so should your accounting package. Ideally, find an accounting package that automates currency rebalancing, which can save significant time at the end of the month. Packages that can import currency rates and pull together those numbers automatically can save several days’ work. There are a number of ways to handle currency fluctuations: for example, the original rate (at the start of the month), the rate at the time of the transaction or the rate at the time the transaction posted. Look for a solution that can handle inter-company transactions via whichever methodology you and your accountants decide, and do so automatically. You don’t want rate changes to impact the profitability of either the local or the international unit. That’s why you should also look for a solution that will let you to override the scheduled rates to enable you to keep things balanced.
Step #9: You’ll want to find an accounting solution that incorporates a U.K. localization package. Each country has certain regulations that are specific to its companies. This can include local statutory reports as well as support for local electronic payment processes. In the U.K., as of April 2011, the HMRC required all U.K. companies to switch from paper to file online Company Tax Returns and to pay their Corporation Tax electronically. Make sure the solution you pick can enable you to file electronically. (Coda Financials uses a stand-alone product from called File4 to file in iXBRL format. File4 is a unique, intelligent tagging iXBRL solution from UNIT4 which allows you to keep your existing internal processes for completing your accounts in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel and convert them into an iXBRL formatted version ready for submission to HMRC.)
Step #10: Find an accounting solution that has been tested and proven to work in the U.K., has strong local references and is easy to work with. Coda Financials originated in the U.K., and continues to be developed and tested there so it has a proven track record in the U.K. Another important criteria is ease of use. If you’ll be working with an additional system or using the system in two countries, you don’t want additional complications or a system that is so rigid it is difficult to work with or requires you to change the way your business operates. And, because your U.K. operations may use different software and hardware, it is important to find an accounting package that can be deployed across a broad range of hardware, operating system and database combinations.
That wraps up our overview of doing business in the U.K. As with the countries we’ve previously profiled, some of the tips can be applied to other countries where you’re considering expansion.
Watch for our next blog in our Going Global series, “Doing business in Germany.”
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