Although the launch of ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD) has been delayed and may seem like a long way off, it actually isn’t. And considering the enormity of the change for both your practice and clients, your preparations as an accounting or bookkeeping firm should be underway. So if you’re currently putting together an MTD strategy, what are some of the key points to consider?
Know your dates
The timeline for MTD has been pushed back, due to many fearing the changes would come too fast for too many, with the smallest businesses struggling to adjust. Therefore, according to the latest from the Treasury Committee, from 2019 organisations with a turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 will need to keep digital records, but only for VAT purposes. Smaller businesses below the VAT threshold will not need to keep quarterly, digital records until 2020. With that in mind, it will be important to communicate these deadlines to clients and complete internal preparations as needed well in advance.
Run an audit of your clients
Considering two thirds of all small businesses are not using any kind of accounting software, run an audit to identify which clients fall into this bracket. Once you have that visibility, you’ll know the volume of work that lies ahead. This means there won’t be any last minute surprises and you can tailor your 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, 9 in 10 industry professionals consider standing out in a crowded industry as an ongoing challenge. MTD therefore represents an opportunity to carve your niche and develop creative and engaging training and advisory programmes to existing clients and new prospects. This will help to secure custom from these businesses over this time frame and in the long term.
Choose the right software
As well as its ability to integrate with HMRC’s reporting software, businesses should also seek out a data entry solution which can enable them to work smarter and achieve more. Many of businesses are now choosing AutoEntry to help them achieve exactly that.
AutoEntry works by capturing and analysing scanned and photographed purchase and sales invoices, receipts, bank and card statements, securely automating data entry into accounting solutions including Xero, QuickBooks and Sage. And its intelligent suite of features makes AutoEntry extra special. For instance, AutoEntry captures full line items, including the description, unit price and quantity for each line, with accuracy verification built in, AutoEntry also syncs captured invoices to matching open purchase orders. Operating through a secure platform, AutoEntry is also the most cost effective solution provider 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, further delays are possible, so keep a close eye on news and developments from HMRC and parliament on the topic so you can keep your clients up to date.