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October 18, 2013

Also in the news this week – 18 October 2013

An hour a day wasted looking for "lost" documents

A survey of over 1,000 office workers in the UK has found that over two thirds of desk-based employees spend up to an hour a day looking for "lost" documents. This wasted time could be costing British businesses up to £15 billion every year, according to the research from Infomentum carried out by Censuswide. The survey found that nearly 20% of respondents had to waste additional time recreating documents from scratch.
Slow and awkward IT systems and out of date hardware and software were cited as the primary problem. Over 20% of those interviewed described their organisation's IT systems and processes as archaic, unreliable, slow and awkward.

New round of Regional Growth Fund opens

A new round of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has opened today as the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg called on businesses across the country to bid for a share of the £300 million cash pot. So far, £2.6 billion from the first four rounds of the Regional Growth Fund has supported over 400 projects, stimulating £14.7 billion of private sector investment.
Round five will be open to private sector bidders seeking £1 million or more. The government is calling for companies planning high quality projects that will generate significant private sector investment and sustainable jobs. Businesses will be able to submit their bids until noon on 9th December.

Warning as professional firms face new virus threat

Stack Group is warning of a new type of computer virus which has begun attacking professional firms. Known as Ransomware, the virus arrives via email inbox as an attachment to a message or as a link in it, initially from a well-known bank, but later from any source. If the attachment is opened, there is no immediate indication that the virus has begun infecting the computer as it will behave normally. However, the virus will begin automatically encrypting your Microsoft Office files, demanding you text a premium rate mobile number to release them. The files will never be released, however, as criminals collect the cash from the texts and do not respond.

Tax gap closing says HMRC

The tax gap has fallen steadily over the last six years, according to new figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). It estimates that the tax gap for 2011-12 is 7% (£35 billion) of tax due, continuing a long-term downward trend – down from 8.3% of tax due in 2005-06. Exchequer secretary, David Gauke, said: "The vast majority of businesses and individuals pay the taxes they owe. But where they don't it is for HMRC to challenge non-compliance fiercely. Since 2010, the government has invested nearly £1 billion in additional compliance initiatives over the Spending Review period. HMRC is on track to secure a further £44 billion in tax revenues over the next two years."