As if these were not testing enough times for small businesses, there is yet another challenge that they have to get to grips with from this April.

Because in just over three weeks’ time, all businesses above the VAT threshold of £85,000 annual turnover will be required to keep digital records of all their transactions.

Plus, they will have to submit VAT returns using commercial accounting software. It will mean change for the many small businesses, who have previously relied upon paper-based accountancy and the system of submitting VAT return figures manually into the government's Gateway website.

This is because of the introduction of the Government’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ initiative. The enforcement of Making Tax Digital comes at a difficult time for small businesses.

At the beginning of April, there will be Brexit, upward pressure on wages, rising auto-enrolment contributions and further business rates hikes to worry about.

Small businesses, big hearts

However there is a potential upside. Because done right, the short-term ‘pain’ of the roll-out of MTD could lead to a more efficient compliance journey for small firms. One that saves them time and money in the longer term.

What’s more, developments such as Open Banking, which provides a secure way of sharing financial information, are potentially leading to an environment where banking, accounting and invoice software can seamlessly interact with one another.

Being able to see the big picture in this way should make it easier to tackle late payment, forecast tax liability and apply for external finance.

Hopefully this will prove to be a good opportunity for small business owners to review the way they manage their finances and internal practices. To break bad habits and perhaps "finally make changes they have been putting off".

After all, real-time information will provide them with a better handle on how their business is performing now and how to plan for a better future.