18 April 2017
For those who like to be super organised, now is the time to think about Making Tax Digital (MTD) and how exactly you will file not only quarterly accounts figures, but also those for your VAT Return. MTD should be fairly straight forward for those already using the cloud for their accounting records. The big software companies will need to have the necessary updates in place to make the filing possible, and presumably straight forward.
What should you do if you are not using the cloud at present? Will this not only be the end of the cashbook but also desktop accounting software? Software companies are encouraging everyone to use the cloud by making desktop software increasingly expensive and running ‘special offers’ for cloud versions.
Switching how you maintain your accounting records should be carefully considered. The best time will usually be to coincide with a year end, this will however necessitate planning prior to then. If switching from desktop to cloud then the process is relatively easy; either by using the reporting template issued by the software companies, or by using external software to do it for you.
For those who have steadfastly clung to their cashbooks and repelled all suggestions of computerising their records there will be the biggest shock. At present HMRC say that it will be possible to use Excel spreadsheets, this will involve some type of link with HMRC and therefore increase the scope for errors. There are basic entry level versions available from the main software suppliers and, as these will be set up for online filing, these will be a better option. These simple versions are designed to be no more complicated than a spreadsheet so should, with a little initial guidance, be suitable for those who have a modest number of transactions.
For those who decide to make the most of this situation and choose full accounting software there are many options available, each with their pros and cons. We are here to help you through this process, and talk through with you what you want from the software in addition to the necessary online filing.
It is never too early to start planning, especially if this will involve arranging training for either you or your staff.