“How much is too much”?

It seems that our government officials are currently in “top gear” making changes across the board to legislation and mandatory requirements for businesses. Like all other small businesses, we’re currently grappling with changes to “super” and “payroll”, but now have a new set of legal requirements from the office of Fair Trading to contend with. I could also mention our friends from the Statistics dept with their mandatory reporting. But probably best not to say too much there.

This article isn’t about the “muppets” hidden away in an office cubicle somewhere, trying to justify their existence. It’s about the technical difficulties in implementing changes without considering the practical application. For full details, please refer to the Office of Fair Trading website.

Yesterday (June 9th, 2019). Specific wording became mandatory on all documents which could be used in evidence to support a warranty claim. These documents might include labels, packaging, statements on contracts, receipts or even separate documents inside a product’s packaging. This mandatory text is in addition to “required” information like your name, business address, telephone number, email address, what the customer must do, what you will do, warranty term etc…

Now here’s the problem. Actually it’s more than one problem. First a business owner has to get their head around what they’re actually being asked to do. For many the time spent is also an issue. Business managers actually work, they’re not pen pushers. The second issue is the business owner has to understand how to add this information to their software, which isn’t always straight forward. Third, in our company’s case, this text came to 339 words. Our software can only handle 43.

We’ve managed to solve the above problems by making the text 8pt (it used to be 11) and purchasing software to manipulate the invoice/receipt templates. So far, I’ve spent a full day on this and still not finished. But not everyone has the resources to do this. If you’re also getting frustrated with trying to implement the avalanche of “red tape” we’re all getting buried in. I’m quite happy to talk with you to try and find a cost-effective solution that will satisfy the bureaucrats.