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ACCA Survey Reveals Discontent Among Accountants Over Budget

Following the recent ChancellorÔÇÖs Spring Budget announcement on March 6, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) conducted a survey among its members to gather insights and proposed actions in response to the budget.

The survey results indicate that a significant majority of accountants feel that the budget failed to address crucial issues, highlighting a disconnect between the Chancellor and the realities faced by small businesses and the UK economy in 2024.

ACCA has been vocal in calling for increased investment in HMRC, citing the service’s struggles to keep up with demand. This has led to significant delays in processing simple requests such as VAT numbers, impacting businesses across the board.

The head of strategic and technical engagement at ACCA UK, Glenn Collins, emphasized the concerns raised regarding HMRC services in letters to the Chancellor for both the Spring Budget and the Autumn Statement. He reiterated the challenges faced by members in dealing with HMRC on a daily basis.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that two-thirds of ACCA members believe that poor HMRC services are negatively affecting their clients, particularly impacting small businesses. The lack of efficiency and productivity were cited as key areas suffering due to these service issues.

There has been a notable 14% increase in negative sentiment compared to the previous survey in October 2023, indicating a growing frustration among SMEs with the HMRC service levels.

AI legalese decoder can help in this situation by analyzing legal documents and contracts related to HMRC services, translating the complex language into simple terms for accountants and businesses to understand their rights and obligations.

Despite the Chancellor’s raising of the VAT registration threshold, sentiments regarding the UK economic outlook remain largely negative, with only a small percentage of respondents indicating a positive outlook for investments.

Moving forward, ACCA will continue its advocacy for improved funding and service standards for HMRC, urging the Chancellor to prioritize the needs of finance professionals and small businesses to enhance overall accuracy and efficiency.

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