Investing in IT offers a big payback

IT - Information Technology - is an essential aid to the management and regulation of the waste and environmental sectors, in applications as diverse as emissions and water quality monitoring and checking refuse collection rounds and weighing loads for landfill sites. LAWE reports on the latest developments in technology and features applications that enhance efficiency in this fast-changing field of software, equipment and instrumentation and looks first at funding options for what can be a major investment

The vast array of IT systems, software and hardware on the market, which can conjure up massive savings in terms of productivity and time, like every other business or professional tool comes at a price. Options which can assist IT managers or users get the best value for their investment need to be assessed.

Prolease says that there is a range of finance schemes available to help investment in IT, "but getting the right finance for your company can be a tricky business. For example, have you considered leasing for both your computers and software? This affordable solution will not only keep your business at the cutting edge of technology - it could also help you benefit from better cashflow management, leave you free to use your capital elsewhere and give you the opportunity to gain significant tax advantages."

Prolease Director, Stuart Austin, offers advice for companies looking to fund their next IT purchase: "Firstly, it's important to identify the costs of ongoing support and maintenance, which, whenever possible, should be paid separately to the software and hardware content of the deal. The contract between the supplier and the customer needs to detail the precise nature of the support they are entitled to, as well as when it is available and at what cost. Agreeing all these points in advance will prevent any confusion in the future.

"Secondly, the capital sum can either be purchased, leased or financed by loan. Both the outright purchase and loan options give the customer the opportunity to claim 100% first year allowances for IT investment, providing they qualify as a 'Small to Medium-Sized Enterprise' (SME). The interest element of loan payments can also be offset against the taxable profits of the business."

Mr Austin added: "The opportunity to lease computer software is still relatively new and is not readily available from all the lending institutions. However, when it is offered the lease payments can be offset against tax- as for any other leased asset."



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