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The results are out: Accountants Benchmarking Survey Report 2018

This is a guest post from Tom Herbert, Editor of AccountingWeb

At a time of great economic, legislative and technological change, more businesses than ever are looking to their accountants to provide help and advice. But how are the accountants coping?

The GoCardless survey provides us with some fascinating insights into the minds of accountants around the country, and the results offer a thought-provoking snapshot of the current state of the profession.

  • 84% have met their clients face to face
  • 53% of their clients use cloud accounting software
  • 43% of client fees are collected through customer bank transfers
  • 14% make it mandatory for their clients to use their preferred accounting software

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How does your firm measure up?
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in Business

Around the world in 90 debtor days

In the UK, spending time, money and resource chasing up late payments is common practice for many businesses.

But are we uniquely bad at paying on time in the UK? Or have these bad business practices spread to Europe? And how does Britain compare to the rest of the world?

Research by Dun & Bradstreet (CRIBIS D&B) compares payment practices in 36 countries. Take a look at the infographic below to see, in numbers, the state of late payments around the world.

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5 practical steps for fast payments
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in Business

GoCardless Partner Meetup: Working closely to improve customer experience


GoCardless partners with hundreds of software providers to allow businesses to take payment by Direct Debit, and manage other elements of their business through one integrated system.

These integrations span all manner of industries including: accounting, CRM, subscriptions, billing, and membership management. And thousands of merchants are already seeing the benefits that come from integrating Direct Debit through GoCardless with their existing software or integrating GoCardless when they start using a new platform.

A few weeks ago, we invited our partners to the GoCardless office for our first meetup. We shared our vision with talks from our CEO, Hiroki and Director of Product, Duncan; and listened as our partners shared their experience of working with GoCardless, and how they think the integrations can be developed to better serve our joint customers.

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Connect to GoCardless through a partner
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Growing our payments network: next stop, Denmark

Last month we announced our launch in Australia, this month we’ve turned our attention to Scandinavia and are excited to announce that we can now take payments via Danish Direct Debit.

It’s another step towards our mission of creating a global bank to bank payments network and takes the the number of Direct Debit schemes that we offer to 5 (covering 23 countries), with lots more in the pipeline.

The Denmark launch means our customers in Europe or Australia can now take Krone-denominated payments from Danish customers.

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GoCardless and Danish Direct Debit
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in Business

5 objections to paying by Direct Debit and how to respond

The average UK person has 6 Direct Debits in place at any one time. So, even if Direct Debit is new to your business, your customers probably already use it to pay their household bills, their gym memberships or into their savings for example.

Still, asking customers to change the way they pay you isn’t always easy, so, to help, we’ve created this complete guide to getting your customers to pay by Direct Debit.

In this blog, we outline some of the common objections that you might get - with some tips on how to respond to them.

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How to get customers to pay by Direct Debit
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in Business

Accountex 2018: The year digital accounting came of age


We’ve heard a lot about the future of accounting, and the need to make the switch to the cloud. But the overriding feeling from this year’s Accountex was that firms have successfully made the jump to cloud accounting and are busy embracing their chosen apps.

Here’s our lowdown on the key themes that came out of the two days.

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Guide to automated payments and cash collection
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in Business

Elevate your member experience to win in a fast-changing fitness industry

The UK’s largest health and fitness trade show, Elevate, returned to the Excel Arena last week and GoCardless was there to take part in the action.

We were joined by hundreds of fitness businesses, from gyms and equipment suppliers to software platforms, including our fantastic partners ClubRight, Glofox, Virtuagym, OpenPlay, Sport Solutions and more.

Business leaders took to the stage in Elevate’s first conference, to share their thoughts on emerging trends and the future of fitness. Throughout the two-day event, one thing became clear: the fitness sector is changing and those who focus on member experience will emerge as the winners.

In an industry that is shunning long-term contracts in favour of more flexible membership options, fitness business operators must provide a better member experience to attract members and keep them for longer.

That means top facilities and passionate employees committed to helping members see results. But increasingly, it also means keeping up with fitness trends, integrating technology into your offer and providing simple, hassle-free payments. We’re excited by this as we think our Direct Debit solution can help gyms of all sizes to do just this!

With this in mind, here are our 3 key takeaways from Elevate 2018.

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Get the most out of your Direct Debit provider
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Our role as a data controller and what it means for you

In February we wrote about our commitment to the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Under GDPR, businesses must operate as either a data processor or a data controller. In this blog, we explain GoCardless’ status as a data controller - and what that means for our customers.

As part of our preparation for GDPR, we have looked carefully at how we process data relating to customers who pay companies through GoCardless (‘end customers’).

From that analysis and taking into account UK and EU-wide regulator guidance, industry practice and legal advice, we've determined that we act as a data controller in respect of end customers (like many others in the payments space, including Square, PayPal and Visa members).

Ultimately, being a data controller means we have an even greater responsibility to protect your customers’ data - and we are directly liable to data protection authorities in relation to all obligations under the GDPR.

Data controller vs data processor

Under GDPR, businesses must comply as either data processor or data controller, in relation to specific data.

  • Data processors process personal data on behalf of the controller, but they don’t decide the purpose (the ‘why’) or the means (the ‘how’).

  • Data controllers determine the purpose of the processing and the means to achieve that purpose. Essentially they decide why and how the processing should take place.

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GoCardless and GDPR
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in Business

Goodbye, card surcharges. Hello, Direct Debit. Why the travel industry must offer alternatives to card payments

At the start of the year, millions of Britons escaped the grip of winter by flying to warmer climes. At the same time, a different kind of chill was descending on the holiday industry.

New pan-European legislation came into force at the start of the year banning surcharges on credit and debit cards, a move that hit many businesses’ profits hard. But holiday firms, with their big-ticket products and already slender margins, were affected more than most.

Plastic is still the most popular way to cover vacation costs for many people. Consumers spent £19.3 billion on credit cards with travel agents between January and October last year, according to the latest data from UK Finance.

It’s obvious why customers like cards – they’re accepted everywhere, easy to use and provide extra protection if things go wrong. The travel industry liked card payments until January, too – prior to the ban, travel firms typically charged customers who paid by credit card 2 per cent, roughly what they themselves were being charged by the banks to process those payments.

It may not sound like much, but cutting that 2 per cent surcharge equates to an equivalent loss of £385 million to the UK travel industry over that January to October period.

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Direct Debit - a beginner's a guide
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