We are re-launching our business rates service (delivered in partnership between Pixel Financial Management and Link Group) to focus on helping local authorities understand the trends that are driving their business rates income.
There is no denying that business rates is complicated: volatile valuations driven by appeals, and changes in use, combined with various and overlapping reliefs and discounts.
But the business ratebase is connected to each council’s local economy and reflects the economic health – and changes – that are taking place there. Understanding these changes is essential for both projecting short- and medium-term developments in income, as well as developments in the local economy.
Finance directors as well as elected members will be interested in understanding what is happening “under the bonnet” of business rates.
Powerful data analysis
Our new service uses PowerBI (part of the Microsoft Office suite) to generate powerful analysis of your full ratebase stretching back over time (depending on the data that you have available). PowerBI enables rapid and intuitive analysis of your business rates data, and can present it in eye-catching charts and maps. The geographical angle is hugely important, and will help to engage the interest of non-finance people.
From a finance perspective, this data can be used to inform your business rates forecasts and to understand why your business rates income is changing in-year. PowerBI allows us to show you the trends at both the macro and micro level, and to “slice and dice” the data in whichever way is most useful.
Producing the analysis you need
We can tailor the PowerBI analysis to answer the questions that you want answered – and use the data to drill-down into the detail. Here are some starting points:
- What types of business are driving growth in business rates? What types of business are most vulnerable to the effects of COVID and the recession?
- Is there any evidence that the number of empty properties is growing? And does the data indicate the types of business or locations (e.g. town centres) that are most vulnerable?
- Which types of business are actually paying business rates (i.e. not receiving reliefs or discounts)? Which reliefs are eroding business rates income most significantly, and are there any trends based on business types or location?
- Are there any trends in appeals, either in terms of business types (e.g. supermarkets or small shops) or location (e.g. around a particular development)? This will be particularly important in the coming months as new appeals emerge as a result of the COVID outbreak (appeals under Material Changes in Circumstances).
Our analysis also shows headline measures (e.g. gross rates, empty property relief) over time using publicly-available data from NNDR1 and NNDR3 returns.
We have developed benchmarks and intelligence from our work with other authorities to allow us to compare your ratebase with others.
For now, our service is based on business rates but we will be extending the service to cover council taxbase.
Features of the service:
- PowerBI analysis tool using your detailed hereditament-level data, and set up to show the views that we have agreed with you (these can be updated at any time so that you see the most useful analysis possible)
- Regular updates to the database (typically every quarter, but potentially every quarter if conditions are developing quickly and you want to understand developments in real time)
- Zoom webinar for individual authorities, and regular webinars for all subscribers to the service. Regular (quarterly) report on the trends that are emerging across the authorities that we are working with.
Please contact either Adrian Jenkins or Mitesh Patel for further information.
Adrian Jenkins email@example.com 0796 998 0016
Mitesh Patel firstname.lastname@example.org 0775 321 7155