With not long to go until the tax year ends on 5 April 2016, businesses up and down the country are gearing up to retrieve documents, crunch numbers and file or destroy old records.

Although businesses can choose any day of the year as their accounting year end, many choose 31 March or 5 April, often because this coincides with the tax year and gives them longer to pay their tax bills. 6 April has been the start date for the new tax year since 1800 when the treasury moved it back a day to allow for that particular year not being a leap one.

For business product resellers looking to help customers to successfully comply with legal requirements and submit their statutory annual accounts to Companies House and tax returns to HMRC as easily as possible, it’s worth thinking beyond the calculator and storage box, however essential both of these are.

These are the products every business needs to make their tax and accounting year end relatively pain-free:

Filing cabinets

Lockable filing cabinets and fireproof safes continue to be vital for the safe storage of confidential paperwork. Often most useful for records that need to be accessed relatively frequently, filing cabinets can be used to keep more recent documents within reasonable reach and secure at the same time.

Storage boxes

Bankers’ boxes and stacking storage boxes can be particularly useful where businesses need to keep records, but don’t need frequent access. Many older financial and tax documents, which are often called ‘semi-active’, could fall into this category. This means they need to be kept for statutory reasons, usually for six full years after the tax year in which they applied, but are not generally accessed.

Technology

Data storage is now seen as an acceptable alternative to hard copy storage, provided all the relevant information is kept, both sides of any papers are captured and all data is easily accessible and readable, should it need to be viewed. Integral SSD drives and other encrypted data storage devices are useful here.

For communications between finance teams across a business and external accountants, consider the benefits of conference phones.

Calculators

Are business calculators up to the job? If many hands are trying to make light work of reams of paperwork then make sure finance teams have enough 12 digit calculators at their disposal.

Cross cut shredders

With old yet confidential data able to be destroyed around this time of year, doing this safely and legally is key. Businesses should always check with their compliance or legal team on what specific documents they are legally allowed to get rid of, but it is likely there will be some financial documents dating back more than six years that can be disposed of, which will free up much needed new storage.

Cross cut shredders are vital here. To avoid data theft or identity fraud, the police and home office both recommend cross cut shredders capable of cutting A4 sheets into as many as 410 pieces.

Catering

Because it’s a busy and often stressful time of year for finance teams, don’t forget the morale boosting benefits of stocking up on premium coffees, teas and biscuits for everyone with their heads down working hard in the coming weeks.

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