Retail and eCommerce Accountants

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Welcome

As well as providing businesses across Liverpool, Manchester, the surrounding areas of Preston, Bury, The Wirral and the rest of the North West with high-class accounting, tax and advisory services, the chartered, certified accounts here at Williamson & Croft want to educate people on topics that relate to accounting, tax and VAT. So with that in mind, we’ve set up an FAQ page to help you find the answers to some commonly asked questions.

We hope you find what you're looking for on this page. However, if you don't find the answer to your question on this FAQ page or want more information about our accountingtax or advisory services and how our team can help you, then be sure to get in touch online or give us a call on 0161 3990121 today.

About Us

Since our inception, this local firm has been passionate about giving expert advice with the goal of becoming one of the best accountancy service providers in Manchester, Liverpool and the rest of England and Wales. The end goal? To become a local accountancy firm that helps business owners increase their average profit, beat their competitors, implement firm foundations and reward their dedicated, hard-working teams while building robust businesses with a great corporate culture that supports everyone.

Creating value for your business, so you can add value to your customers

We understand how volatile the retail sector is; with rapidly changing consumer trends and a shift in consumer spending habits, retail is one of the most competitive sectors out there. Ecommerce has opened up a world of opportunities but also a world of competition meaning participants need to be able to differentiate themselves and offer consumers a world class customer experience in order to drive success.

A key driver of success in retail and eCommerce is the ability to leverage technology to provide accurate and real time reporting on the key areas of the business including stock management, profitability and margins, conversion rates, average order sizes, repeat purchase rates and sales/shoppers to staff ratio.

In addition to building a versatile technological environment you also need to understand the complexities of importing and exporting, dealing with overseas manufacturers and HR compliance.

To ensure you stay ahead of the game, you need the support of a trusted, dependable and reputable accountancy firm that knows the retail and eCommerce sector like the back of their hands, and will always offer a helping hand whenever you need them the most.

Williamson & Croft can offer you a team of experienced accountants whose dedication to client service is second-to-none. Delving into your demographic and market, we’ll bring new ideas to the table, and ensure your business is always in financial shape.

Contact us today by calling us on 0161 399 0121 or emailing us at info@williamsoncroft.co.uk to learn all about our services, and just what we can do for you.

“Always have our best interest in mind, providing sound advice to help us grow the business.”

– Scott Sashua,The Couture Club
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Has VAT Changed Post-Brexit?

Brexit has been on the cards for some time now and we all knew changes were coming – but what exactly is about to change, or has changed already? Well, VAT rules have now changed to fall in line with the UK no longer being part of the EU, which will affect trade between countries and supply chains between businesses. Previously, VAT rules were enforced through the European Economic Community, however, the UK will now be solely responsible for implementing its own VAT regulations. It’s important to know what these rules are so that businesses can comply and avoid any VAT issues as a result of the changes. Not only will the UK be responsible for these VAT rules, but they also have total control over VAT rates and won’t have to adhere to EU VAT Directive rules, meaning VAT costs will change depending on the country of import. This could change, however, as the EU has since agreed that they will be responsible for setting the VAT rates.

The old EU VAT regulations were in effect up until 31st December 2020, but from the 1st of January 2021, the rules have changed for businesses. Predominantly, the new rules reflect trading with EU countries, as you would expect, such as businesses importing goods from EU countries who will now follow the same rules that were previously just in place for non-EU countries. Another result of the changes was the government introducing ‘postponed accounting’ for import VAT on goods brought into the UK, this also came into effect in January. This allows UK VAT registered businesses that are importing goods to the UK to factor in import VAT as part of their VAT return, instead of paying import VAT when the goods reach the UK border. Customs payments and important declarations can be delayed for up to six months, however, there are exceptions on products such as alcohol, tobacco and hydrocarbon products such as gas and fuel.

The same rules which apply to the importing of goods now apply to exporting too, with rules which previously only applied to non-EU countries now including EU countries thanks to Brexit. The relevance of this is that VAT and customs duties will now be required to be paid when goods arrive in these EU countries. The new rules require businesses that wish to import and export goods to EU countries to follow a new step by step process. Included in these various steps is the need to acquire an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number, which must be stated on all customs declarations. This number is essential to being able to recover VAT from HMRC. Once this has been acquired and goods have been transported into the UK, there will be separate steps that must be taken to initially pay UK import VAT and customs payments to prevent losing it as an unrecoverable cost or worse, your goods may be blocked.

For businesses involved in fashion and eCommerce, the changes have been less than ideal, leading to a pile of post-Brexit paperwork and additional costs. Smaller businesses will find the changes a little more difficult to adjust to, with VAT now being taken at the point of delivery rather than the point of sale, on orders costing more than £135. The prospect of delayed shipments, and an increase in courier costs, has caused some fashion brands to press pause on sales in Europe. 

Officials have stressed the importance of the new paperwork as the border is extremely strict on the new rules and regulations. Essentially, this is what is driving costs up as incorrect paperwork leads to goods being held at the border and a resulting domino effect occurs with costs involved at every stage. An open letter has been penned to change the new rules, as free movements for goods were promised, but whether further changes will be made remains to be seen.

Get In Touch To See How We Can Help

At Williamson & Croft, we provide high-class accounting, tax and advisory services, which makes us the ideal accountancy firm to help you with VAT compliance amidst the flurry of changes that have been caused due to Brexit. It can be extremely difficult to navigate the new rules and processes, but it’s very important that you do so, otherwise, there can be serious implications. Fortunately, we know our stuff and are on hand to help your business avoid the pitfalls of rule changes. Feel free to get in touch to enlist our help, simply call us on 0161 399 0121 or email us at info@williamsoncroft.co.uk with your enquiry.

Our Services

We can offer strategic advice on everything from stock management, key performance indicators, importing/exporting and growth strategies through to funding requirements, whilst ensuring you are compliant with regulations and legislation.

Accountancy

In addition to our standard accountancy and tax services covering your year-end accounts and tax returns, we can assist in developing a robust internal environment that drives real time reporting for your key performance indicators.

We know that accurate and up-to-date financials are key in this rapidly moving sector and we can help you develop suitable management reporting covering budgets, projections, cash flows and business specific KPI dashboards, providing the information you need to make informed decisions.

eCommerce & Technology

With new payment gateways, back end platforms and technologies that incorporate shopping functionality emerging all of the time, our team of industry experts can advise you on what’s available and what will work for your business.

We work with a vast array of accounting-based and other software so we can help you pick the right solutions for your business.

VAT

VAT legislation is complex enough never mind when you need to consider Distance Selling Rules, Import VAT & Duty, EC Sales Lists (ESL) and Intrastat Returns.

Our team of industry experts are well placed to ensure you are compliant with the complex legislation and to assist you in developing the necessary reporting functions.

Payroll

Payroll is probably the most important internal function to your employees so ensuring that it runs accurately, efficiently and compliantly is key to staff motivation.

Our payroll department can ensure you are compliant with the legislation and increase your efficiency by taking on the burdensome process of running the payroll and dealing with any queries that arise.

Financial Audits For Retail & eCommerce Businesses

As we’ve touched on, the retail and eCommerce sector is fast-paced, volatile with extremely slim margins. These industry traits make the need for a comprehensive audit process essential to business success. If you can give assurances by way of a report to potential investors, buyers or stakeholders that your financial statements have been reviewed by an audit practice that has experience in this industry and they do indeed show the accounts, growth and revenue levels that have been claimed, then you’re one step closer to sustained success and compliance.

Thankfully, our team at Williamson & Croft can give those relevant stakeholders assurances, and more, with our eCommerce and retail audit process. We have years of experience helping businesses with this procedure. Once the process has been complete and our audit partners have finished reviewing your business activities, financial statements and accounts, you’ll have a report that delivers on the relevant audit, tax, commercial, funding and strategic considerations that drive your business.

Our audit service doesn’t end there either, as well as creating your final report, we’ll also offer up advice about how to tweak and streamline your system processes. Most people think audits are all about financial statements and figures but it’s also about looking within departments and wider business activity to determine what internal processes could be improved to further aid growth. We’ll offer tried and tested solutions to common, inefficient business activities which should help increase assurances beyond just figures.

From the moment we begin working with your eCommerce or retail business you’ll quickly realise you’ve made the right decision, whether it’s our 15 years of combined experience in auditing and generating accounting, or our ability to add value to a necessary process, we can help you complete a successful audit. We know the importance of creating a personal connection during the audit process and will take time to understand your business and its practices to ensure you get the most out of the process.

To enquire about our audit service please get in touch with our team at Williamson & Croft by phone on 0161 399 0121 (Manchester), 0151 303 3112 (Liverpool) or reach out to our audit partner at tor.stringfellow@williamsoncroft.co.uk.

Why Choose Williamson & Croft

  • Whether you’re an independent retailer, speciality store, part of a chain or operate online, we can provide you with a range of accountancy, advisory and tax-based services that can ensure a better financial future for your business.
  • We can provide you with new ideas that can drive real business growth and take you down avenues you might never have thought of.
  • We know that though the eCommerce and Retail industry is broad, so are the industries that operate within it. Whether you’re a fashion powerhouse or an independent garden centre, we’ll guide you through the challenges and make the opportunities more fruitful.
  • We are easily found in Manchester and Liverpool and it would be great to arrange a meeting to discuss your business and for you to meet the team who will be assisting you.

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Looking for a first-class accountancy service?

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Williamson & Croft is a market leading accountancy, advisory and tax firm with particular specialisms in property, construction, retail, digital and creative, technology and professional services.

News

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Contact

0161 399 0121

81 King Street, Manchester M2 4AH

0151 303 3112

Avenue HQ Liverpool, 17 Mann Island, Liverpool L3 1BP

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