Written on 31/03/2023


The FCA is known for its love of surveys, and despite the regular Reg-data returns, licensed practices are still bombarded with more surveys that ask for the same information to be filed repeatedly.  The FCA as the bureaucrats' bomber command!  They'll be raising statues in the parks to the heroes soon!  Building a business in this climate is certainly frustrating, but while we cannot change what they chuck at us, there are ways to save time and money by automating the process.

In the modern retail financial services world, having an accounting system is essential. IFAC has found that more and more FCA responses are focused on accounts, and every firm must have an accounting system to record income, expenditure, assets, and liabilities. Relying on spreadsheets or passing inquiries to accountants or bookkeepers is no longer acceptable. There are many systems available, such as Xero, Sage, and Quickbooks, and banks have their own and hold links to most of these systems. Linking your bank account to an accounting system can semi-automate income reconciliation with bank statements, saving time and reducing errors.  Some IFAs code the income types into the accounts systems - ongoing trail has one code, upfront initial indemnity has another.

The real benefit of using an accounting system lies in the outputs.  Once it is in there, you have to trust the information.  You can slice and dice information in any way you want, and the system provides accurate and consistent answers. Nearly all plumbers, electricians, and skilled tradesmen use online accounting systems for invoicing and bank reconciliation. If manual tradesmen can do it, then so can retail financial services practices.

Instantly producing balance sheet information is critical in retail financial services. Not having an accounting system is simply unacceptable. If your practice doesn't have Xero, then it's time to get it. Use BAT to find out more, and you can get a 5% discount if you apply via BAT. if you apply via IFAC – see here

In summary, embracing accounting systems can help practices streamline their processes, save time and money, and focus on what really matters: building your business and helping  your customers. 

All news