VT and iXBRL where accounts are substantially edited | AccountingWEB

VT and iXBRL where accounts are substantially edited

 I prepare all my statutory accounts using VT.  I've successfully submitted fairly routine CT returns using VT.

However, I also prepare accounts for a few companies who are audited by "big 4" firms, who invariably demand very substantial editing of the VT accounts to match their house style.  I've been asked by one of these companies, which has been emailed by the big 4 firm in a slightly alarmist tone about iXBRL, to confirm that my software will cope with the new regulations.

From what I read on VTs site, I don't think there should be any problems with this, but I'd welcome reassurance from anyone who's tagged accounts where the basic VT template has been substantially edited.  I know from experience that the firm concerned can be "nit picking", often insisting on minor presentational changes that make absolutely no difference to the substance or validity of the accounts but make them conform better to their house style.  They are obviously seeing the introduction of iXBRL as an opportunity to suggest to audit clients that small practitioners no longer have the resources to prepare accounts properly. I don't want to leave any hostages to fortune.




Presentational changes to VT accounts

mac.scruttonbland | | Permalink

Surely, if you are preparing the accounts and they are UK GAAP and Companies Act compliant Etc you can utilise VT to prepare the iXBRL file and submit that with your CT600.

The fact that there are some "presentational" differences between the final accounts and the iXBRL set should not make any difference. Have you lodged Abbreviated accounts on line with Companies House? their template is very prescriptive and does not look like the Final Accounts signed by most clients, but this does not invalidate the information filed on line at Companies House.

In any event tagging in VT is relatively simple, and some of your forced "presentational " changes may not need tagging in any event


WaldoLydecker | | Permalink

That's an interesting point, although since the Big 4 firm concerned also review and approve the return they may (reasonably or not) object to the accounts filed being different to the accounts they signed off on.  (The return involves some fairly specialised industry specific technical issues, hence the review).   The company is a UK sub of an international company and doesn't qualify to file abbreviated accounts; I don't know whether that impacts the principle.

However the main issue is whether it's easy to tag the edited accounts.  If it is then the problem goes away.


Tagging VT accounts

mac.scruttonbland | | Permalink

Tagging with VT is really quite easy. It took me in total a couple of hours from start to finish (ie having them accepted by HMRC) for my first set of non standard format accounts. Future sets should be much quicker now the learning curve is out of the way.

My only reservation is if your clients file in IFRS, then you will have a lot of work to do, if in UK GAAP it should be reasonably quick.

My point ref filing with Companies House was that as long as the accounts comply, then they will be accepted. So as long as the figures filed agree with the signed accounts, a few presentational changes wont make any difference to HMRC.

No doubt the big 4 firm want to prepare the iXBRL file and charge your clients accordingly (we've heard of quotes of £1,000+ from the larger firms).

One tag per cell

vtsoftware | | Permalink

In VT you cannot tag different parts of a paragraph that is in a single cell in Excel. There is a strict one tag per cell rule. In the VT templates we had to break down notes such as related parties to accomodate this. The presentation may not suit a pedantic big 4 firm.

It is a moot point whether you currently have to tag customisations to accounts productin packages. See http://www.vtsoftware.co.uk/ixbrl/tagging.htm

I am curious as to whether many firms would check the tagging in a 3rd party iXBRL file. They would need some expertise and something like a copy of CoreFiling's Magnify program (or VT's free VT Fact Viewer). There is no requirement to do so in order to express an audit opinion.

Philip Hodgson
VT Software

KH's picture

Is it only presentation that needs altering?

KH | | Permalink

If so, then it should be a very simple copy and paste from VT to Word, or similar, and adopt the style and presentation to fit your needs.

I don't use VT, but have done my first online CT600 etc using HMRC's software. Apart from what I think is a stupid glitch —tick the button to say you wish send info to both HMRC and Companies House, and then you find that the tax assessment box gets pre-filled with CT at 28%, with no way that I could find to alter this to just 21% for small companies rate (even though you have ticked the box to say small company exemptions apply!) ... only workaround was to start again from scratch!— I found that the resultant accounts format supplied for download looked horrendous, so I duly downloaded it, and then copy and pasted into Pages (one of the Mac word processing programmes) and spent an enjoyable half hour altering the format to resemble the stuff I normally send out to clients

Even easier would be to copy this year's figures into last year's accounts template ... No?.

-- KH

GaryMc's picture

How did you tag your edited document?

GaryMc | | Permalink

Not wanting to hijack the thread but how did you then go about tagging the document KH?

The accounts that you file need to be in iXBRL format so did you only amend the format for sending to the client?

KH's picture

Misunderstood your post

KH | | Permalink

Hi ... I obviously misunderstood your post, hence my original top line about whether it was only presentation that needed changing. You see, my approach was simple ... the figures you need to submit to HMRC will presumably be identical, regardless of layout or formatting etc —viz your comment "minor presentational changes that make absolutely no difference to the substance or validity of the accounts" so my drift was to file "normal iXBRL accounts" but hand the client accounts with the kind of presentation required by you ... after all, clients don't sign off the presentation, they sign off the figures, and these will presumably be the same regardless of your layout. CT payable of £500k is always going to be £500k, regardless of how the formatting shows it ... No?

OK, so I've missed something massive ... in which case, I'll duck down under the parapet again.-- KH

Thanks to all

WaldoLydecker | | Permalink

 Sorry, I've probably been a little misleading here.

While many of the changes are minor and presentational, some are not.  For example there are industry specific SORPs that need to be complied with.  But a large percentage of the editing work is making the accounts compliant with the big firm house style rather than making them comply to statutory requirements.

The method I've used in the past is to create an initial set of VT accounts, edit those manually to fit, and then use the previous year's accounts as the starting point for subsequent years.  This means I can't incorporate VT updates, but the accounts are so substantially edited that it's less work to make update amendments manually than to start of with a new set of accounts from scratch.

This year I will have to start from scratch again for these companies so that I can use an iXBRL enabled version of VT. 

I've done next to no work with the VT iXBRL function so far - I've only dealt with stock small company accounts where VT does all the work for me.  So at present I have very little concept of what's involved - I'm just looking for reassurance that by promising that I can prepare iXBRL accounts I'm not going to have egg on my face in a few months time.



miketombs's picture


miketombs | | Permalink

There is no option of providing HMRC with a different set of accounts to that signed off by the client, regardless of whether the values are the same. The point made about the format of abbreviated accounts filed online at Companies House being different from the 'presentation' version misses out the fact that as part of the online process a set of abbreviated accounts IN THE COMPANIES HOUSE FORMAT have to be printed and given to the client for signature.

Filing accounts in a different format to those signed by the cli

chatman | | Permalink

What is the risk you run if you file a set of accounts in a different format to those signed by the client? 

But presumably........

WaldoLydecker | | Permalink

 ........if your client signed off on the same numbers in a somewhat different form as part of the tax return (rather than the "official accounts") that would have the same effect?  Or am I wrong?

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