Our Blogs

News from industry, GSA or the team...

21. 11. 2016

What is self bill invoicing?

What is self bill invoicing? With many supply chains being driven by some very slick IT systems, there can still often be delays in payments (a rather key part of any business relationship) due to errors with invoicing. One of the simplest ways to avoid this issue is through self-billing. Simply put, self-billing allows the service/product recipient to raise the invoice on behalf of the provider, rather than the other way round. It is unlikely in this situation, therefore, that the party due to pay the invoice can moan about it being incorrect, as they will be the party who raised it! An example of where self-billing works perfectly is in the recruitment market, specifically, contract recruitment. If an online timesheet system is fully integrated with invoicing, and invoices are generated based on approved timesheets and pay rates contained within that system, then perfectly correct and timely invoices can be raised at the click of a button. There is nothing worse for a contractor than to find there is a delay in payment to them because their invoice does not tally with the timesheets that have been approved. Can one company raise invoices on behalf of another? Yes, as long as a self-billing agreement has been signed. This is a requirement of HMRC and is a very simple and straight forward document. GSA have self-bill agreements in place for over 99% of our contractors ensuring payroll is both accurate and prompt. For more information on self-billing, please visit the HMRC guide here, or GSA’s guide here
21. 11. 2016

Why is ICD important? (and, for non clinical coders, what's ICD?!)

Why is ICD so important? The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently shared a video explaining why ICD is so important. Interested? View their YouTube video here For all the non Clinical Coders out there – ICD stands for The International Classification of Diseases and is the international 'standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes'. ICD is made up of thousands of codes that are used around the world to classify diseases and conditions. This information can be used to generate statistics (for example, morbidity and mortality stats) and it can be used to monitor health and treatment trends across the globe. These codes are what our clinical coders use to classify what the problem is when you take a trip to the hospital. For a discussion on our latest clinical coding requirements, or the availability of clinical coders, please contact Tom Blakey Credit: World Health Organization http://www.who.int/en/
07. 11. 2016

The All Important Interview.

The all important interview How many hours did you spend researching the last car or holiday you bought? How many hours did you spend preparing for your job interview? We all know that many jobs and perhaps careers are won or lost during the interview process. You have a great CV, the relevant experience and qualifications, and look the part so that's all great, however, if you do not prepare properly for the interview this will put you at a competitive disadvantage. So why not prepare? To secure the job you want, invest time to learn successful job interviewing techniques and significantly increase your odds of getting that job, spend time with your recruitment consultant understanding the culture of the business, make a list of the interview questions you expect and those that you fear and practice how you will answer them. Talk these through with your recruitment consultant, they are there to help. The job interview is the most important moment in your job search and in your career, so be prepared. It is your job interview skills that will secure the job offer. Preparation will make all the difference in your performance because the most qualified person is not always the person that actually gets the job. It's the person who interviews the best and is the best prepared that gets that job offer.
04. 11. 2016

How to write a great CV

Your CV is an extremely important document. It is your first opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself to a prospective employer – it needs to be accurate, clear, concise and professional. If a CV has a poor layout, is full grammatical errors and riddled with spelling mistakes, it can be enough to turn a reader off, no matter how good your skills are. Keep colours to a minimum (ideally don't use colour), and keep your fonts consistent. It’s always a good idea to use mainstream fonts to ensure the reader sees the CV as it was intended to look. Let’s start with the basic structure. The length of a CV is always a contentious point and 2 pages is often stated as the ideal. However, job mobility over recent years means CVs often contain details of several roles and even if only briefly described, 2 pages are soon filled. It is perhaps sensible to aim for 3-4 pages max - much more than this and the reader is very unlikely to read the document in its entirety. There is no right or wrong layout, but the following is a good place to start: In the CV heading you can write your general information: Name Surname Local address E-mail address Phone number(s) CV Skills Summary (not summery!) This is the place to catch the readers' attention with your primary skills – you don’t need to go into great length about each. The skill summary is also often referred to as a personal (not personnel!) profile. CV Objective If you have a specific aim in your job move, it is worth adding this under your objectives ie "What is the next step in my career?" This should be a short, concise statement that informs the employer what kind of position you are looking for. The type of position, the role (managerial, supervisor, contractor) should be included as well. Professional or Work Experience description on your CV This section includes any work experience that you have in the field you are applying for. Even if the post was unpaid, voluntary, summer job, internship, co-op experience or extracurricular activity it is worth including - always try to explain any gaps in your CV and state whether your roles were permanent, contract, part time etc Each job detail should include this basic information: Name of organization. Title of position Length you held the post (dates) Responsibilities Also include languages (spoken/written/understood). Education on your CV List all of your qualifications in this section. Include certifications from non-academic institutions, especially those that are related to the job vacancy. The Activities and Interests Section in your CV Views differ regarding the inclusion of hobbies and interests as it is possible to both interest and alienate a reader. Any activities that you do in your free time, can be related to your job or give the reader a feeling of team work or motivation. Participating in student activities, professional associations or enthusiast clubs shows leadership qualities. Leave out any activities related to politics, religion or controversial topics as these can easily alienate the reader. CV References If you have references that you are willing to provide you can either include them in the end of the CV or state ‘References Available Upon Request’ Finally, check, check and check again. Don't just rely on spell checker - for example, a homonym won't always be picked up as it maybe spelled correctly but is the wrong word being used, as in the example above - summery vs summary!
26. 10. 2016

Clinical Coding explained for non clinical coders!

Clinical Coding For Non-Coders In recent weeks here at GSA we have had a number of new starters in our permanent IT sales team. As tradition states, on their first day our senior managers show them around our offices and introduce the existing teams to them. We are always asked to give a brief overview of what we do, and what markets we work in. Cue the blank faces when Tom and I explain that we specialise in placing Clinical Coders and Clinical Coding staff into NHS trusts across the UK. A feeling I am sure that Clinical Coders across the country are used to when they introduce themselves to someone new and the “so what do you do for a living” question comes up! This got me thinking. How do we explain what a Clinical Coder does to a Non-Coder? Clinical Coders are a bit like NHS detectives. Following your treatment (whether that be in an NHS Hospital, Walk In Centre or Mental Health Trust) your patient notes – the ones that the medical professionals have written all over - are sent to or collected by the Clinical Coding team. Here, the Clinical Coders look at the treatment you have received and why you have received it. They use their Clinical Coding bibles (OPCS & ICD 10) to convert your diagnosis and procedures into codes that are then entered onto a computer system. These codes equate to a financial figure, and the NHS trust uses this coded information to work out how much your treatment or consultation has cost. The fun thing to remember here is that, most of the time (but not always!) medical professional's handwriting can be described as a scribble. Clinical Coders have to understand the language that Doctors and Clinicians use, they have to understand the human body, the procedures and the treatments that patients receive. They have to liaise with senior doctors across the hospitals from Children's Wards to Trauma Wards, to Mental Health Units, to specialist Cancer Wards. They then have to ensure what they have coded is accurate and correct so that the hospital received the right amount of money for the treatment that has been given – not to mention working to extremely tight deadlines. Talk about stressful hey? Add into that the consent changes to procedures, the changes in patient lifestyle (how do you code a fall from a Hoverboard when they didn’t even exist last year? How do you code the misuse of Legal Highs that didn’t exist last month?) constant studying, workshops and refresher courses to keep up to date AND having to pass some REALLY hard exams to become officially certified! We can explain Clinical Coding in simple terms, but it really is far from simple – its significance and impact across the NHS is invaluable. #ClinicalCoding #ClinicalCoders #ACC #NCCQ #GSA #NHS #NationalHealthService To discuss clinical coding, as a client or contractor, please contact Tom Blakey
29. 01. 2016

Travel & Subsistence nonsense; discuss!

Come April this year, HMRC have decided, in their infinite wisdom, to remove Travel & Subsistence tax relief for workers providing their services through an intermediary where Supervision, Direction OR Control applies. Their belief is that agency workers only work at one location (like an employee) and therefore should not be able to have this tax relief. The fact that many workers have many roles throughout a year, validly argued to HMRC by many interested parties, seemed to fall on deaf ears, helping to reduce the flexibility of the UK work force; not what the country needs right now. There is some light at the end of the tunnel, but not a lot. If you work through a PSC (personal service company), the entitlement to claim this tax relief will be aligned with your IR35 status, so if your assignment is outside of IR35 you can claim it. If you work through an Umbrella company, as I mentioned, this all hinges around whether Supervision, Direction OR Control applies, and the very flawed test that HMRC will apply. Essentially, if you are subject to Supervision, Direction OR Control as to the manner in which you undertake your services, by ANYONE in the supply chain, you will be unable to claim the tax relief. There will be an assumption of SDC so umbrellas will automatically not claim the tax relief. However, if an end client confirms no SDC, the tax relief can apply. There is a very big HOWEVER though. Even if Supervision, Direction OR Control does not appear to apply, the fact that anyone in the supply chain COULD exercise Supervision, Direction OR Control, even if they don’t then it still applies. Many clients may not want to risk confirming there is no SDC when the test is not black and white. What will be the results of this? For PSCs, it will currently have very little affect (but wait until next year when the review of IR35 has finally finished its consultation!) For Umbrella workers, take home pay may be reduced – which could push up charge rates to clients across all sectors Many Umbrella workers may decide to work through their own PSC which is not always the right model for them. In theory, it will affect 40% of the market as 60% do not currently claim this tax relief anyway. In the light of the Google and Starbucks corporation tax debacles, this vastly sweeping attack on the flexible workforce market, across tens of thousands of workers, will raise about the same as Google have finally paid in tax. Worth the effort? I don’t think so – go focus on a few more multinationals and HMRC might see its revenue grow.