It’s been a great month for members’ meetings. With the support of Bim and the team at Vodat, we ran an informative evening meeting on keeping guest data secure, including a timely reminder that GDPR isn’t something that’s ever ‘finished’ but needs constant attention - perhaps even more so in hospitality thanks to employee fluidity. Then we gained an insight into keeping your data and network secure from many different types of attack. Scary stuff, but worth investing time and money to minimise your risk.
We also ran our annual Finance update with BDO. This is always a brilliant update for anyone involved in finance, and also for those who just want to make sure their general finance knowledge is current and relevant. It’s impressive how the BDO team manage to cover so much in a lot of depth, yet deliver the content quickly without losing the human element.
We covered Financial Reporting, the National Minimum Wage, Capital Allowances, VAT and Brexit. If any hospitality finance people weren’t able to attend, but would like a copy of the presentation then please let me know. I can’t go into the detail on all the IFRS and FRS updates - but they are all there on the slides.
The BDO team went over the common mistakes employers make when paying the National Minimum Wage, which, if you are not aware of, are well worth looking at. The tax presentation once again focussed on the key hospitality VAT issue, which is, of course, non-refundable deposits. If this has passed you by, then you should be aware that VAT is now due on all non-refundable deposits and cancellation fees, regardless if the guest uses the goods and services, or not. The new policy is viewed as controversial given the previous approach, however that doesn’t mean you can ignore it and you should ensure your VAT reporting follows the new advice. It may be worth asking HMRC for a special ruling - and if you do, please do keep us up to date with any responses. We also covered Making Tax Digital with some top tips on making sure you’re on top of all the requirements.
Currently, I’m en route to Minneapolis for HITEC - the world’s largest hospitality technology show. Unusually I am flying via Reykjavik with Icelandair - so it’s a roundabout trip, but one that provides ample opportunity to write my Overview column! HITEC is useful for keeping up to date with global hospitality technology fads and trends as well as offering a great opportunity for networking. Following HITEC a few years ago we held a HOSPA members meeting in London afterwards with an update of what’s new and exciting in hospitality technology. Having had numerous requests from HOSPA members in subsequent years, we are running an update meeting on September 12th in conjunction with KeyStep. I am looking forward to finding out what great developments and innovations we can share with you.