Kent Regional Meeting
Chrissie from C&J Fieldwork reports back on the recent regional meeting in Kent.
The meeting went very well with guest speaker Rob Fenn, Chief Executive from the British Assessment Bureau (DD 01732-221 173 HO: 0800404-7007 re: GDPR and ISO27001). We will have some further information from the BAB shortly, but we found that if we go for the ISO27001 standard we would already be complying with GDPR. Rob explained what, and how, to start the audit – basically it is all about protection, encryption, security and what you do with the data on completion etc. He imparted lots of information on trying to get reduced costs for independents and also about what sole traders need to be looking at – Rob is happy to have further discussions at other regional meetings should this be requested.
Included in this discussion was the benefits of becoming an ICO member (which every company should be if they are handling / holding data) – it only costs £35 per year and you can of course put your number or a statement as an added item on your website or on your email etc.
we also discussed general working practices and it seems that many people do not have T&Cs as a legal and binding document within their working practices. We exchanged some T&C wordings (and there are also some examples available on the ICG website) and we then had a general chat about the industry and how we are finding it at the moment post Brexit.
Flat rate VAT versus ordinary VAT was also a topic of conversation – none of us could understand the problem people seem to envisage with HMRC. We were all fully VAT registered and were not sure how the flat rate system worked … but that is now immaterial I believe as everybody has to be fully registered. Most found it easy to do – in my case, it takes me precisely 2-3 hours each month to do a bank rec, then check my invoices log where I automatically separate the VAT from the cost. The two columns add up as we go, then when I go onto my online HMRC it takes approximately 3 to 4 minutes to complete. HMRC always send a reminder email to tell me it is due followed by an acknowledgement of my return once it is posted online. Oh, and we agreed that the best bit of all is claiming back VAT on all our purchases – we all do enjoy that bit … we all had a chuckle about that we felt like we were getting one back on HMRC.
We also discussed the Insight show and our disappointment of the show in general (not the ICG stand which of course was brilliant and the best stand even though I didn’t get a glass of wine!). In our view it is;
- Far too expensive to have a stand there, even a shared one
- No real space, very cramped
- More importantly it is not really for independent Market researchers anymore. Very little was there this year and even the agencies were very sparse- more about panel companies than anything else – althugh there were some interesting talks
- Food and drinks were also very expensive for what they were
- We felt that more people will be giving it a miss for a couple of years.
Also, discussed briefly on how we administer and handle international and local incentives and how we charge end clients for this service as one of the members wanted some advice.
The meeting closed after our wonderful lunch, the new date for our next meeting was set for 1st week in September and we are all having a think about what speaker to go for and topics to be discussed next time