ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
'After the festive season money may be tight and people are no doubt going to be feeling the pinch even more. So understanding how your finances and taxes work, and understanding what is coming out of your hard earned cash is essential, particularly now.
—Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax

Personal finance top of the agenda for 2012

The global body for professional accountants, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), is suggesting simple ways to keep track of personal finances and taxes in the New Year.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA, said: “After the festive season money may be tight and people are no doubt going to be feeling the pinch even more. So understanding how your finances and taxes work, and understanding what is coming out of your hard earned cash is essential, particularly now.

'People should take a look at their incomes and outgoing expenditure and make a list of it. They should also take an interest in the amount of tax and other deductions from their wages, especially when there are changes to salaries or financial circumstances. Not knowing the ins and outs of your own cash flow can catch people out when they are expecting more money to be in their bank accounts than there actually will be and that leads to debts occurring.'

ACCA advises that people should:

  1. Ensure they are paying the right amount of tax
  2. Check their tax code and phone the taxman if they think it is wrong
  3. Shop around for better interest rates on savings
  4. Shop around for better rates with credit cards and loans
  5. Consolidate debts as much as possible
  6. Pay off debts as soon as possible
  7. Look for finance deals using websites such as www.moneysavingexpert.com 
  8. Always alert the bank if they think they are going overdrawn to avoid incurring extra charges
  9. Always seek independent advice  if finances are causing stress.

ACCA's New Year advice coincides with MoneySavingExpert.com’s Martin Lewis and his petition to Parliament to make teaching finances part of the National Curriculum.

The petition wants young people to be taught at school how best to look after their money and not fall into debt unnecessarily, to prepare them for adulthood.

Chas Roy Chowdhury adds: 'Debt is clearly an issue at the moment, and financial literacy is something that everyone can benefit from. The petition for financial education to start early is a great way to galvanise support – but financial education is not just for school – financial knowhow can grow in the home too.'

- Ends -

For further information:
Alana Sinnen, ACCA Newsroom
+44 (0)20 7059 5807
+44 (0)7715 812120
Alana.Sinnen@accaglobal.com

Notes to Editors

  1. ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 
  2. We support our 147,000 members and 424,000 students in 170 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of over 80 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. 
  3. Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. We believe that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. Our values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and we ensure that through our qualifications, we prepare accountants for business. We seek to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating our qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers.