The countdown is on until the first phase of HMRCs ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD) comes into effect, meaning your preparations as an accounting or bookkeeping firm should be underway. From April 1st 2019 organisations with a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 will need to keep digital records for VAT purposes. Whilst a wider roll out for all taxpayers has been delayed due to pressures stemming from Brexit, plans are almost certainly expected to recommence at a later date. So if you’re currently putting together an MTD strategy, what are some of the key points to consider?
Review your client database
With two thirds of all small businesses are not using any kind of accounting software, firms should firstly run an audit to identify which clients fall into this bracket. Once they have that visibility, they will know the volume of work that lies ahead. This means there won’t be any last minute surprises and they can tailor their outreach to clients, offering the right level of support depending on need.
Stand out with your service offering
With ever more market entrants, online or on the high street, standing out in a crowded industry is an ongoing challenge. According to research from QuickBooks, almost half of UK small business owners still haven’t heard of MTD, which means there is a golden opportunity for accountants and bookkeepers to develop engaging advisory programmes for both existing clients and new prospects. This may help to secure custom from these businesses now and into the future.
Be realistic regarding time and costs
Whilst next April may seem like a long way off, the months will fly by and practitioners should expect that some businesses will take longer to transition to working digitally than others. Accountants should plan for added demands on their time too, as clients will increasingly lean on them for advice in the run up to the deadlines. With that in mind, firms should consider in advance what fees they may choose to apply for any additional consultancy.
Choose the right software
Businesses should seek out easy-to-use record keeping solutions and automated data entry software to help make the transition to digital working as streamlined as possible. Many businesses are now choosing AutoEntry to help them in this process.
AutoEntry works by capturing and analysing scanned and photographed bank and card statements, bills, invoices, receipts and more, securely automating data entry into accounting software including Sage, Xero and QuickBooks. Operating through a secure platform, and with its intelligent suite of features, AutoEntry is one of the most cost effective solution providers in the market.
Keep up to date with news from HMRC
MTD will require a huge amount of testing, due diligence and third party IT support to be successful. With so many moving parts, firms should keep a close eye on news and developments from HMRC and parliament in order to keep clients up to date. The HMRC blog is updated regularly with helpful content and advice on the topic.
Join the AutoEntry Partner Program
We recently launched our partner program, which is now available to all accounting and bookkeeping firms. Alongside our partners, we’re helping more businesses prepare for MTD, by getting firms up to speed on the benefits of digital working, whilst providing the software to make compliance easy.
The program offers generous incentives, based on the number of clients a partner signs up to AutoEntry. Partners can offer clients substantial discounts when using AutoEntry, as well as earning cashback based on how much these referrals leverage our software.
For all other information, visit www.autoentry.com/partner-program