Tax & admin · 2 November 2016

The new pound coin: Everything a small business owner needs to know

new pound coin
The new pound coin will be introduced in March 2017

After three decades in circulation, the round pound coin is on its way out – but what does this mean for you?

As of March 2017, a 12-sided new pound coin will be introduced, promising to be harder to counterfeit and offer greater security for the business community.

A “co-circulation” period will allow the old pound coin to be accepted until September 2017, when business owners have been advised to stop accepting the round coin. The old coin will still be accepted for deposits by most major banks, as well as the Post Office, after this date.

The official website for the new pound coin has advised business owners to conduct checks on their cash handling equipment and prepare for any updates, ensuring machines can accept both the old and new pound coin.

Company owners have also been advised to train employees on the features of the new pound coin and communicate the changes during the co-circulation period. Small businesses should use this time to agree with banks or cash in transit (CIT) providers on how to return the old pound, according to the Royal Mint.

Chief secretary to the treasury David Gauke commented on the increased security of the new pound coin, highlighting benefits to company owners and consumers alike.

“The new pound coin will be the most secure of its kind in the world and its cutting-edge features will present a significant barrier to counterfeiters, reducing the cost to businesses and the taxpayer,” he said in a statement.

However, the new pound coin is not without its critics.

Clive Lewis, head of enterprise at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), highlighted the plight of small business owners in having to adapt to a range of complex government proposals, following on from auto-enrolment and the Making Tax Digital initiative.

Commenting on the coin’s introduction, Lewis said: “The introduction of a new pound coin only adds to the burdens placed on small businesses’ shoulders.

“The financial hit SMEs will have to take in preparing for the new pound coin will divert attention away from running their businesses.”

The new five pound note introduced in September has grabbed the headlines primarily for the high value of certain serial numbers, however, the note’s reputation for being “indestructible” has led some shop owners to refuse damaged fivers.

London newsagent Amit Patel told The Mirror that some customers had seen the durability of the note as a challenge.

“‘I’ve already refused to accept one after a customer presented it with what appeared to be damage caused by someone chewing one of the corners. Another man told me he’d spent ten minutes dipping a note in red wine to see if it would stain,” she said.

Can the new five pound note protect your firm’s cash flow?

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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