Debunking myths about age … plus more on MTD

Today’s theme is age. Young people make the ‘best’ entrepreneurs, right? Just look at the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. All of them were still in their 20s when the zillions started rolling in and they’d changed everyone’s lives beyond recognition.

But not so fast… the Harvard Business Review has published research that puts a slightly different complexion on the matter of entrepreneurs.

HBR looked into US census data on the ages of business founders and discovered that the average was in fact 42. And that was after they’d sifted the data to focus more on the typical high-tech start-up, as oppose, say, to a hand carwash (not that there’s anything wrong with that.

High tech founders

`”In general, these finer-grained analyses do not modify the main conclusion: The average age of high-tech founders falls in the early forties, ” says HBR.

“In software startups, the average age is 40, and younger founders aren’t uncommon. However, young people are less common in other industries such as oil and gas or biotechnology, where the average age is closer to 47.”

“Our evidence points to entrepreneurial performance rising sharply with age before cresting in the late fifties. If you were faced with two entrepreneurs and knew nothing about them besides their age, you would do better, on average, betting on the older one.

“Although there are many other factors that may explain the age advantage in entrepreneurship, we found that work experience plays a critical role. Relative to founders with no relevant experience, those with at least three years of prior work experience in the same narrow industry as their startup were 85 per cent more likely to launch a highly successful startup.”

So there you have it…

Next up… pensions and tax

Consumer magazine/website Which? has produced a good introduction to taxation, which again goes slightly counter  to sommon knowledge about pensioners and tax or more specifically how much they pay.

The report says: “Pensioners in Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster have annual tax bills exceeding £28,000, while those in Stoke-on-Trent pay just shy of £1,200.

Figures … show that 6.87 million pensioners (including around 400,000 women over state pension age but under the age of 65) forked out over £24bn in 2015-16, the most recent tax year the numbers are available for. That means state pensioners are paying an average of £3,522 a year to HMRC.”

Definitely worth checking out the report in full.

Digitalisation of tax

Also worth a look is Richard Sergeant’s latest report on the digitalisation of tax on AccountingWeb.

Richard looks at how technological changes in the accounting profession will affect the role of the tax adviser.

Here’s a flavour of Richard’s thinking and research on the topic:

Far-reaching implications

“Working in a digital tax environment, especially with clients working across borders, could have far reaching implications for the knowledge and technology required,” he writes.

“Tax departments across Europe and the rest of the world are having to contemplate owning native technologies to where their clients operate in order to file directly as government portals and paper filings are phased out; creating additional overheads and challenges when it comes to consolidation and efficient handling.

“The tax department, therefore, is being asked to embrace an understanding of the broader impacts, an appreciation and use of different technology, and a shift in the services clients are now requiring.”

Have a great weekend.







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About the Author

Ian Moss

Ian Moss is the Editor of Accounting Insight News. He's been a journalist since leaving university and has worked for the Daily Mirror and Financial Times, among other media groups. Likes running, guitar, golf, dog-walking.

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