Can Business Analysts also be good Management Consultants?


The topic in question these days may be considered as a controversial one, that is, whether or not business analysts turn out to be good management consultants also. The main reasoning behind the controversy has something to do with the fact that there is no definitive answer to the question. But let’s shed some light and try to get to the bottom of this conundrum.

How do business analysts and management consultants differ?

Although there isn’t a perfect definition per se that can distinguish them as clear as night and day, first we must understand that in the practical world, jobs aren’t fundamentally supposed to abide by said definitions. An oversimplification perhaps but people in both roles are hired to solve a business problem with the pre-set aim of achieving something for the client.

Some people may not think that there is a clear distinction between the two roles. As consultants may also be made to do requirement planning, gathering and documentation. Which are the core functions associated with a business analyst.

Do business analysts make good management consultants?

If one were to describe the role of a business analyst according to a definition, then simply put, a business analyst is associated with IT in more than one way. In contrast, consultants, can potentially also work or perform their job in a non-IT related field of consultation as well. Though the lines which separate these roles are paper-thin, they are differences, nonetheless.

Again, before we rush and jump to any conclusions, it must be noted that this is entirely situational and not always the case. According to the CBAP handbook, consulting experience revolving around IT and tech does not fall under the umbrella of the CBAP experience criteria.

The book outlines what someone in this role is supposed to do.

– “Creating Project Plans and Identifying project risks, Weekly project status reporting, leading design workshops, creating project charter or system architecture, testing execution” etc.

In a way, the handbook forces you to be one-dimensional which isn’t always helpful. One should always try to learn more beyond the role, which can lend a massive hand in shaping a successful career. But CBAP excludes such work experience for good reason though. A major reason could be to differentiate between the PMP and CBAP certifications or any other certification related to the business field.

Fortunately, industry and firms are constantly in search of people with a broad skill set that extends further beyond their role. It is common knowledge that the roles of business analysts and consultants are never one dimensional. A firm would rarely decline a business analyst’s offer, or his wish to take more management responsibility upon their shoulders.

So do business analysts make good management consultants then?

As evident through the job market, business analysts can turn out to be exceptional consultants. Although in certain aspects analysts might have to overstretch to cover the fields of business processes or project management or even change management. If you are seeking to be an exceptional consultant, starting your journey through the business analyst route might be the best option and secret to success.

From a purely contextual point of view, business analysts may differ but in reality, they are sharing responsibilities, in a multitude of ways and different areas as well. Management consultancy can range from the process, strategy, operations, business analysts may fall victim to tunnel vision and limit themselves by only following the guidelines of the handbook.

Conclusively, let us not forget, certifications like CBAP or CMC are credentials that enable you to get a job. The practical experience gained in the field might differ a lot and keeping an open mind towards your opportunities might just do you some good as well.

If you’re a client looking for an accounting firm in Dubai for your consultancy needs and were confused between whether to hire a business analyst or a management consultant. We hope that Profits Plus has helped make your choice much easier, and if you’re still not sure, get in touch with our team. We are proud to provide the best management consultancy services by chartered accountants!

The Safeguard from Fraud, Embezzlement and Corruption

internal audit

Nobody likes or wants to be deceived, especially by those they place their trust in or have expectations from them to do the right thing. Fraud and corruption can be a massive PR blow for most corporations and enterprises. It can also prove to be detrimental to the self-image of the internal hierarchy and a lapse in confidence in being able to counteract against a fraudulent scheme. The PR blow may lead to a tarnished public image, job destination, organisational morale stooping and losses as well.

But what can businesses, corporations do to deter such schemes? The answer is simple, internal auditing! In recent times, internal audit has increasingly gained ground and companies find it very valuable in its capabilities. In-house internal audit departments or internal audit outsourcing can be used to ensure a check and balance of systems and procedures, risk management, while also providing recommendations to overcome weak areas

The nature of work entails having internal auditing, as well as the sensitive information required, most companies prefer an in-house team that deals with the audit process, rather than outsourcing.

Developing an audit and assurance department is an exercise that should be thoroughly carried out to guarantee the efficiency and acceptability of the department by other stakeholders involved with the company. Often, managers and sometimes the entire workforce of an enterprise may harbour hard feelings for the audit team and under such circumstances, an in-house team might not be best suited.

Although that might only be the case when the auditing team can’t keep its findings or workings under wraps, if the critical information is kept under lock and key while fully implementing recommendations, internal audit can be the tool a company needs to bring in change.

Steps to be taken

How the department is set up and the process in which the team carries its tasks is most important. The following are key steps that can be taken to ensure a successful set up of an internal audit department:

1. Obtain and discuss expectations from the department with senior-level management including the board and audit committee, involving required listing standards for listed companies. Non-listed corporations should consider voluntary compliance.

2. Get the audit committee to develop and approve a charter.

3. Formulate a proper budget and staffing model on how you want to hire. Also, do review what your competitors in the industry are doing while keeping in mind your own company’s policies.

4. Also generate reporting lines and regulations, while also establishing responsibilities of the internal audit department.

5. Find areas in your company that require auditing

6. Make sure to carry out the initial risk assessment with the management and audit committee.

7. Consider the need to comply with various statutory requirements within your environment for instance compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Act for companies in the USA.

8. Make an internal audit plan which is suited to the risk assessment

9. Outline whether staff for the department will be hired internally, or outsourced

10. Plan and implement audit work required for the audit plan, including a system to examine and follow up on audit recommendations.

11. Keep on updating the risk assessment for varying conditions during the year

12. Always improve and modify the internal audit work-frame to meet changing needs of the company and management alike.

Once the department has been set up, the head of the department should ensure that the objectives of the department are reviewed and evaluated from time to time. Often, the department will be driven by the risk assessment results to develop certain intervention policies on its own. The head of the department can use a risk assessment questionnaire which is distributed to all heads of auditable departments to evaluate their risk exposures in a given time frame.

If you’re a newly established enterprise lacking an internal audit department and are actively searching for internal audit services in Dubai, check our service of Internal Audit.

Social Networking For Introverts

Social Networking For Introverts

Does the notion of networking at local business gatherings make you anxious, gets your heart racing and overwhelm you with a nauseous feeling? Well, I guess we’ve figured out you’re not an extrovert. So, promoting your business in front of an audience is not your thing. But guess what? That’s okay! You don’t have to be a social animal to build a successful business referral network. Here are some tips that can help you adapt business networking to your less “in the spotlight” personality.

Don’t worry about large social business settings. You can build an excellent business network by quietly helping to solve problems and as a result, make lasting business contacts. Here are three great ways to get you on the road to building an excellent referral network that can help grow your business:

Expanding your Business

1. As you come across prospects for a business with whom you would like to network, make the referral and send that business (owner or salesperson) and email or note letting them know you gave them a referral and who you referred.

2. You probably cringe at the idea of business networking groups and their breakfast meetings, but do you take part in any social activities? You can still network in social situations and use those activities to build your business referral network! Maybe you’re in a local recreational activity (poker game with friends; quilting), local organization or cause, hobby (fishing; boating), or sport (tennis; cycling).

3. These are all opportunities to develop friendships with people who have a common passion or interest like yours, help each other on a social level and eventually develop some networking opportunities. It is positive to note that at least some of these people you meet will own a business or be in sales and could use referrals. This is an example of “doing what you love” and using that passion to build valuable networking relationships.

4. Some connections can eventually help you get more referrals and grow your business. An important thing to remember in these situations is to have fun first, make friends, and enjoy social activities. Use natural opportunities to seek referrals (both giving and getting). And don’t force any situation. Building your business this way is often slow but can also yield very good results over time.

5. Consider an online business referral network that allows you to connect with local business people whom you can meet and create referral relationships. These online networks don’t make you go to meetings or do presentations like the local groups that gather weekly. If you join an online site, most of your interactions will be through their website. However, we recommend that you periodically talk to each business member in the network you create on at least a quarterly basis, if for no other reason than just to say “hi” and see how their business is going.

6. It’s a great opportunity to ask them if you can help them with anything in particular, and also update them on your business. It’s important to realize that the internet doesn’t necessarily replace the phone and/or in-person interactions that you may need to make long-term business networking a real success. The internet simply enhances your ability to network and automates some of the tasks.

8. Business networking doesn’t have to be about weekly group business meetings, presentations or putting yourself in very uncomfortable public situations. Great business networking is simply about helping people solve problems. By referring someone to a good business you are helping them solve an issue. By providing a referral to a good business that you know, you are helping them solve the problem of getting new customers.

9. When you solve problems, people remember you and often try to help you in return. Business networking, especially when it involves the passing of a referral, is about trust. Trust is built over time. So, don’t worry about getting thrown into a random group of people at a local networking group.

10. Seek out specific businesses that you trust and network within social activities that you enjoy. Online business referral networks that are made up of local members are also a non-aggressive, “soft” way to find businesspeople who might like to be part of your referral network.

Using any of these methods can help you on the path to building solid relationships that can help grow your business by getting more referrals. And if you’re still having trouble with your business expansion, then get a quote from business setup consultants in Dubai asap!

Standard Operating Procedures – A Key to High Efficiency

In a business set up Standard Operating Procedures commonly referred as SOP’s are instruction manuals that can help lead your setup into an efficient working system that can strive forward.

4 Quick Tips on how to create an SOP

Standard operating procedures refer to the step by step instruction manual that helps your business organisation run its operations efficiently. The step by step instructions are designed differently and separately for every task that has to perform in a company. All SOPs must be clear, concise, and easily understandable so that the tasks can be performed in an efficient manner without time being wasted in confusion upon technical terms or unclear descriptions.

Now let’s talk about the tips.

  • Good and effective communication with department heads

Different tasks have different merits and different requirements. There is no one shoe fits all while working in an organization. Talking to the department heads gives you insight on all the activities and special events that are going around in the company. Every department head is well acknowledged with the nature of those working under them. Consulting them can give you the best ideas on how to construct the SOPs with the best practices and methods that can help handle challenges and situations. It’s a good practice to take disagreements as positive outcomes of meetings as they jus help u gain more knowledge on how to go about to avoid further problems.from the communication with the heads you can outline the most essential policies that will allow you to smoothly run your business and achieve the desired level of profits.

  • Organizing the outline you’ve made

Organizing the outline in a logical manner is very important. The most effective way in many cases is to number them out. This is of major help as it instantly references major and specific policies from different sections in the document. Having clear numbering with subsections is a great way to collect everything in one place in an organized manner. Having a glossary is useful so that all terms are understandable to all. Having an index can also help to look for specific sections in the document.

  • Assess the clarity of your SOP document.

Before making a final document and circulating it within the organization it is important that you make sure that all policies and instructions are clear and easily understandable to all. An easy way to make this assessment is to check whether a newly hired employee can understand the instructions that are quoted on the document. If new employees have problems deciphering it and continuously make errors you may need to revise your document so that it is less confusing and more effective.

  • Consult with your counseling firm.

Having a counseling service review your document can help a lot as they have experts that can review your document and guide you on what you need to do. They can more easily identify where you are making errors and can help guide you with how to create processes and procedures that are designed as manuals for payroll, HR sales, purchases, etc. They also provide guidance for initiating internal laws for staff training.


Accounting Software – Process your data faster now

Accounting Software

With advancing times we have newer problems to deal with. An accounting software might just be the answer to it.

The solution to your accounting problems

Having accounting software can help solve many of your problems. The traditional role of an accountant is now changing. While previously an accountant handled all operations in the accounting department now with advancements majorly they have to overlook the results of accounting software and make sure that all values add up and are in a continuous flow with everything.

You don’t just have to keep your books in good shape but it’s also important to make sure they are in the correct shape. Having software can help lower down the burden of smaller tasks and can instead help to focus on more core functions.

3 reasons why you need accounting softwares.

  • Protects the security of your information:

Accounting softwares help keep your private information secure. It protects your data from becoming public domain and helps keep all your information confidential and within the business organization.

  • Ease of use and improved business performance.

These softwares are user friendly and like many other technology software’s that are being developed they do not require the user to have extensive skill in computers to use it. It makes it easier for accountants to process and overview of the results produced by these softwares.

With these softwares also comes greater accountability to deliver.

  •    Business schedules and cost-effectiveness

The cost structures of accountants vary differently and differ from hour to hour on various firms. Having an accounting software helps you continue with your accounting procedures and you can enlist the help of accounting firms to hire accountants to overview the results of the software.

While human beings have a limit to which they can work, accounting softwares can run 24/7. There’s simply no limit to it. So if you have a pending deadline that requires your accounting results to be available then an accounting software is your way to go

VAT and all you need to know about it.

UAE has always been considered as a hub for investment opportunities. Investors from around the world are attracted to the many new chances of investment which continue to emerge from this place. In 2018 the UAE government imposed VAT ( Value Added Tax) which was the implementation of 5% tax on goods and services. Cost of living in the UAE, at this point, saw a slight rise.



In order to be eligible to pay VAT there is a certain threshold that needs to be met with. While registering for the VAT with the federal tax authorities in dubai it is the individual owner that registers for it with their Emirates ID so accountability falls completely on the individual and not the business entity that he or she owns.

The eligibility to register for vat depends on the company’s turnover. If the turnover of the year is greater than 375000 AED the company has the option to voluntarily register for VAT.

After registration with the FAT of UAE you will need the help of experts to help keep track of your accounting books and that is where the Expert accounting services come in hand. The accountants are generally experienced in 20 years or more of britsh VAT system which is almost similar to the UAE vat system. Vat records are generally required to be kept fo some years yto avoid penalties



Consultants are important when it comes to handling VAT. They help avoid penalties and overlook the documents and figures that are submissited to the FAT. they are well informed about the procedures and requirements of the entire process.


The need for an accounting software

VAT compliant accounting softwares are generally used to help manage invoices, generate bills,and manage all the tax rates and reports.

They make it easier to track your deadlines and have a team of expert accountants that overlook the entire information reports generated.


So unless you have an alternates that exempts you from the VAT having an accounting software and expert accountants helps cater to the financial needs of the company. It helps avoid penalties that are taken as a serious offence by the FTA of UAE.


Reasons why a CFO is exactly what your company needs.

Cost efficiency:

There are many accounting firms in dubai that offer CFO services full time, however hiring a full time CFO is something that doesn’t really fall under the budget of a newly set up business, however that doesn’t mean that it is not of importance. Having someone that can overlook the accounting books and finances is highly important especially when it is linked to SMEs in a place like dubai where making the margins meet the right way is important to keep your business on track.

Payments are done on an hourly basis hence every time your business needs advisory or consultancy on financial matter profit plus accountants are available to provide these services.

Hiring part time CFO helps save a lot of cost. In months where their services are not needed you don’t need to pay them a fixed salary. Adding to that other expenses such as employee incentives and bonuses are also saved up.


Budgeting- an important aspect:

When setting up a business every owner/ entrepreneur is diligent and well informed regarding the markets and their product. This however does not mean that when it comes to accounts they won’t need any help. Inorder to make a business grow it is necessary that proper budgeting is done. Having a service support where you regularly receive balance sheets and profit and loss accounts helps keep you updated and provide you with enough time to focus on your business. The CFOs hired from Profit Plus Accountants provide you with such management services that can help foster development.


Keeping your business in a system- Internal Auditing

To make your business consistent and grow further internal audit reports are a necessary part of the equation. Auditing is the inspections of all accounting books and physical inventory that makes sure all transactions done are recorded in the right manner.

SMEs generally have limited funds so keeping them under the right process is the key towards making it a success. Leaked sales is a major concern for many businesses. Hiring a CFO solves this problem as they review all accounting processes, check audit controls and also audit the sales and marketing of your businesses. The added bonus that businesses have by hiring part time CFOS is that they get these services whenever they feel like they need a review of their books.


Experts in vat:

Unless you have an alternate license in Dubai, such as freelance or LLC or you are acquiring profits from outside of UAE, you are eligible for VAT payments.

Many people do not know that the UAE VAT system is similar to the UK and EU VAT system apart from a few minor adjustments.

In the scenario that your turnover is AED 375000 or above you must register for VAT payments. Once this is done the expertise of CFO comes in handy as they help explain and derive strategies to keep the business on the good side of customs and HR revenues. To avoid penalties there must be a proper consistent record of all VAT paid or received when they invoice customers or are invoiced by suppliers.

Profit plus accountants provide you with experts who have nearly 20 years of experience in dealing with the British VAT.


Having a CFO helps deal with various strategic planning of schemes related to VAT, auditing services and management reports. To help a business grow these are essentials. Hiring a part time CFO helps businesses acquire expertise when they need them at their own convenience and Profit plus has been providing experts to 4 leading accounting firms. They promise reliable and responsible experts which can help tackle complex situations and cater to companies financial needs.




Part-Time Accounting Services: A Wonderful Alternative for Start-Ups in Dubai


In the last few decades, UAE has seen a remarkable investment boom. As a result, demand for accounting and bookkeeping services has skyrocketed in Dubai

That is unsurprising considering how the UAE government has been consistently following a policy of trade liberalization to draw in investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners to Dubai.

Aspiring business owners took to all the possibilities the ‘City of Gold’ had to offer and began the painstaking process of converting their blueprints into actual businesses

And thanks to the world-class accounting companies in Dubai, their books were the last thing they had to worry about.  This success story highlights the indispensable role accounting functions play in company formation and business setup.

Part-Time Accounting Services for Startups

Clearly, accounting and bookkeeping services are essential. It would be impossible to establish a business – much less run one – if you do not have updated financial records

At the same time, most start-up founders already have too much on their plates – and acquainting themselves with complicated accounting rules and conventions from scratch may not be the best use of their time.

Most business owners rely on in-house accounting departments or hire outsourcing companies to offer financial insights and keep their books in order.

While both these options work wonders for established businesses, full-time accounting is a ridiculously expensive option for start-ups and newly hatched SMEs with limited budgets.

Part-time accounting is the perfect solution for new businesses because it allows them to harness the benefits of accounting flexibly and economically.

Here are core reasons why you should consider availing part-time accounting services for your start-up (if you aren’t already!):

  • Save Money

Part-time accounting services have gained popularity in Dubai because they are more cost-effective compared to full-time services. Affordability is a major metric for startups that are just testing the waters or still in the incorporation phase.

If you establish an in-house accounts office, you will have to pay for the overheads, wages, and supplies. Similarly, an accounting outsourcing company may charge a fortune for handling your accounting tasks.

Part-time accounting is an ideal solution for such situations. Not only would a professional accountant be there to comb through your financial records, update your statements and ensure that you comply with financial regulations, but they would do it at a lower rate, allowing you to save money and invest it elsewhere.

  • Save Time

Part-time accountants have fixed work schedules. They will spend a specific number of hours working on your book.

Since part-time accountants have to do all that’s necessary to update your financial records within this window of time, they are great at meeting deadlines. Therefore, hiring the services of a part-time accountant is the best way to save time and get work done efficiently,

Also, if you have a professional accountant to handle your transactions and audit your records, you save time that you would have otherwise spent pouring over your financial statements.

  • Employee Training

Hiring a part-time accountant will help create a healthy organisational culture centered around knowledge sharing, allowing you to optimally utilize onsite human resources.

A part-time accountant will only work for limited hours, but they can provide training to your employees and help them develop an in-depth understanding of the core accounting functions your organization makes use of.

At Profits Plus Accountants, our expert accountants accomplish this by using Xero, a leading accounting software in Dubai that enables businesses to go paper-free and bring down their accounting costs.

Our accounting specialists teach your staff to use Xero to handle relevant tasks and generate financial reports, so the work does not get disrupted in the absence of an accountant.

  • Immeasurable Flexibility

Flexibility is one of the biggest plus points of hiring a part-time accounting expert. That’s because accounting tasks and requirements vary, depending on several factors including the size and nature of business.

Flexibility is especially important for new businesses that have yet to gather financial data, analyze their performance, and create internal protocols.

To hire a full-time accountant in Dubai, you will have to pay them fixed wages and enter into a year-long contract with them.

Part-time accounting is more flexible in comparison. The contracts are more short-term, and you can easily request relevant changes in your plan.


Profits Plus: Part Time Accounting Services in Dubai

Profits Plus Accountants is one of the leading accounting companies in Dubai. All our accountants are ACCA-qualified professionals with decades’ worth of experience. Get in touch if you want to know more about our part-time accounting services.

5 Ways Outsourced Accounting Can Benefit Your Dubai Business

Accounting is a time-consuming task that requires prior practice, knowledge of accounting conventions, and, most of all, patience and consistency. For the layman, accounting may be tedious and even boring but for the business owner, it is nothing short of a necessity.

Accounting is crucial for anyone running a business. It allows business owners to track their revenue and expenses, ensure compliance, and obtain valuable financial information that can be used to make core business decisions.

But while accounting is invaluable because it allows you to track your expenses, chart your revenues and set a direction for your company, it is like a whole new language that most business owners do not have the energy or time to learn.

That’s why they rely on professional accountants to navigate complicated accounting rules, carry out painstaking computations and help with financial goal setting. One way to do that is establish an in-house accounting department to handle your books. This can only be done if your company is financially secure and you can afford hiring an internal accounting team.

Setting up an internal department to handle accounts is not such a great option for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups because of many reasons, budget constraints being one of them.  In recent years, many accounting outsourcing companies have sprung up in Dubai to assist such businesses with day-to-day bookkeeping, managerial accounting, auditing and more.

What is Outsourced Accounting?

Outsourced accounting is just like in-house accounting – except you’re outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping tasks to a third party like an accounting firm in Dubai.

Your accounting company will then handle all your finances and bookkeeping tasks, much in the same way an internal department would have done.

Outsourcing your accounting is a great option if you own a SME or a new business. It allows you to benefit from expert input as well as all the features of internal accounting, but at a lower cost.

5 Amazing Benefits of Outsourced Accounting

Here are five reasons you should consider hiring outsourced accounting services  in Dubai:

  • Accounting Advice from Experienced Professionals

If you want advice from the most experienced professionals in the accounting sector, you should seek help from accounting outsourcing companies in Dubai.

The best accounting firms only recruit experienced accountants and financial experts with authentic field experience and diverse portfolios. Most accounting specialists working for accounting outsourcing companies are competent professionals who have worked with businesses from many sectors.

Compared to in-house accounting specialists who will only be able to resolve select problems associated with their field of expertise, professionals who work for outsourcing companies will be able to creatively engage with and solve a greater range of accounting problems.

  • The ‘Price’ Factor

One of the major advantages outsourced accounting has over conventional in-house accounting is lower cost. To set up an in-house department, you would need space and funding for recruitment as well as training. You may also require additional resources like accounting software and office supplies.

Once you have an in-house department that is functional, you need to pay a fixed sum to sustain it. This money would be spent on wages, supplies, and maintenance. In comparison, if you have outsourced your accounting function, you won’t need to worry about any of these expenses.

You can also save money by opting strictly for services that your business requires. Most accounting outsourcing companies allow business owners to pick and choose services they require and create flexible and bespoke accounting plans that cater to their specific requirements.

  • Ensuring Compliance

Accountants who work for outsourcing companies are never out of practice. They are well-versed in accounting rules and it is a part of their job requirement to remain updated with the latest accounting rules and conventions.

One of the key jobs of your accounting experts is to ensure that your business is complying with all the accounting requirements and regulations. In Dubai’s dynamic environment, staying abreast of such developments is vital, especially since not complying with rules can result in fines, penalties, and even huge financial setbacks.

Hiring an accounting outsourcing company can help you navigate the financial landscape in Dubai with relative ease and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

  • Boosting Productivity

Hiring the services of an outsourced accountant can lead to a boost in productivity. That’s because you have a panel of seasoned financial experts pouring over your statements and offering valuable insights about where to put in resources and where to cut costs.

Accountants do not only perform audits and offer advice, they also help organizations set realistic, concrete and data-driven goals. They will also help you budget effectively.

  • Effective Time Division

Bookkeeping is a complicated task that requires expert attention. If your employees are currently handling your financial records, outsourcing your accounting to professionals can help you save a lot of time.

Once you outsource your accounting function, you can redirect the attention of your employees to different essential functions and move towards effective time division.


Looking for Accounting Outsourcing Companies in Dubai?

Profits Plus Accountants is a leading accounting firm that offers a wide range of expert accounting services to businesses across the UAE. All our accountants are ACCA-qualified professionals with decades’ worth of experience. Get expert advice  now!

When to register your business for VAT; Voluntary or Involuntary

The world of tax as it applies to you and your small business is an incredibly important one, and yet often more than a little confusing; one of the areas that seem to confuse most is that of VAT (value added tax). Most business owners know that they must register their business for VAT but are a little unclear as to the exact rules. If and/or when one should register for VAT is a common question that many businesses would like a simple answer to. Most accounting firms in Dubai will offer you different types of registration, so be mindful of whom you pick.

There is in fact more than one type of registration, which is probably what confuses people; ‘compulsory registration’ is, as its name implies, the point at which the law says you have to register your business. Here in the UAE, this is when the value of your business’ taxable commodities and services reaches £70, 000 in a year. As well as the previous twelve months, the law also states that if you are aware that you will reach this figure in the next month you are also obliged to register.

You are obviously not obliged to register for VAT if your business does not reach this threshold, but many businesses do choose to do so; this is called ‘voluntary registration’ and it has both advantages and disadvantages.

One of the reasons that a business may choose to voluntarily register for VAT before they reach the UAE threshold is that when a business regularly invoices other VAT registered customers they are able to claim back some or all of the VAT charged on their purchases.

Voluntarily registering your business accounting for VAT can also improve your business profile by leading other businesses to infer that you have a much higher turnover than you actually do. This will open streams of business to you from those wishing to do business only with larger concerns as they include you in the mix.

However, once you have registered for VAT you will be required to submit a VAT return each year; adding to your business’ paperwork and form filling obligations will obviously add to your workload; something to be considered if you are a small business owner struggling with an already full-time table.

It is not recommended that you voluntarily register for VAT if your only customers are the general public, who cannot claim back the VAT that they pay, as you will have to add an extra 17.5% to your prices, which could make you uncompetitive, better then to wait until compulsory registration kicks in, at which point your larger turnover may allow you other ways to increase your commerciality.

Whatever size business you have, making a decision about when to register for VAT without first sitting down with your accountant and discussing all of the options open to you would be fool hardy to say the least; most accountancy professionals have a good working relationship with HMRC and an in-depth understanding of the benefits and disadvantages of each alternative, so use their knowledge to make the best decision for your firm.

In simple terms, you must register for VAT if your business is over the VAT threshold, but if it is under it you have a choice; choosing to register voluntarily is beneficial for some businesses and less so for others, but the ways in which this will affect your own business are probably best explored by someone with an understanding of its financial history and its future forecasts.

The main advantages of voluntary registration:
If you are charging business clients who are VAT registered themselves (not the general public), then if you choose to register for VAT this will represent “money in your pocket”, as you can claim the VAT back on some or all of your purchases. Your customers will not mind as they can recover all the VAT back you charge them on your invoices.

Being VAT registered is sometimes viewed in a more favourable manner by other businesses. They may assume that you are VAT registered because you have a higher turnover, even though that is not the case. In essence, being VAT registered could mean that other organisations view your business as more credible.

If you are a business where most of your supplies are zero rated for the purposes of VAT, then it may be worthwhile voluntarily registering, as you will be in a repayment situation each month and can claim the VAT back that has been charged to you.

The main disadvantages of voluntary registration:
If you register for VAT you will be required to submit VAT Returns, and also account for all the VAT on your taxable supplies and purchases, as part of your record keeping. This extra administration can cause a drain on your time and an additional stress if you are a small business.

If you register for VAT voluntarily but your customers are the general public, then you will need to add on 17.5% to your prices; they will not be able to claim this back and therefore this represents a real hike in the cost of your services to them. Therefore, from a commercial point of view, this may not be a good idea as you may price yourself out of your market.

Like all other decisions, as regards tax and accounts compliance, you should make sure that you fully consider all of the consequences before you make a final decision. It is crucial that you consult with your accountant, so that he can look at whether or not it would be beneficial for you to voluntarily register for VAT based on your own circumstances.

So, you’re looking for accounting companies in Dubai, or more specifically a VAT accountant, then check this out!