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Agent Services Account - users?

ASA - does everyone have to have their own log in?

Morning All, my company has around 14 staff who get involved with online  filing (be it tax returns, accounts or VAT). Previously, we've had one log in for all of this. We've now set up our new Agent Services Account and linked it to the current log in, as per HMRC instructions. However, it's now giving me the option of managing users and seems to be requiring me to set each member of staff up as a user which would then mean they all get their own log in, i.e. their own user id and password. Does this sound right? I'm a bit worried about this as it relies upon individuals, including junior staff, to make sure they dont lose the details, to regularly change password, etc. I just dont see why doing it the old why can't continue. I've asked online helpdesk if it's even necessary, they (of course) didn't know! So I've been awaiting a call back from someone further up the chain but, surprise, surprise, no response yet! Anyone else done this yet and what are your thoughts?

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15th Mar 2019 11:30

As far as I know it's not necessary (and depending on your software for filing may not even be possible) to have your staff use multiple individual logins.

Just give them all the same ASA details for MTD returns and have at it, our details are entered once into the system on setup and then never entered again by anyone.

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to Duggimon
15th Mar 2019 13:16

That's what I'm hoping we can do - it's worked fine for us previously!

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15th Mar 2019 11:34

The number of problems and the feedback on AW of problems is getting me worried . Logins for each clients and each member of staff won’t be possible in my opinion .

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to GHarr497688
15th Mar 2019 11:43

Thankfully you don't need either logins for each client or logins for each member of staff so we have no need to consider how or why it might work.

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By johnt27
15th Mar 2019 12:22

If you only have 14 staff I'd suggest setting up separate logins isn't necessary. However, when you link a client's MTD software to your ASA you are now required to enable 2FA, which means you need a process for capturing the authentication codes required. These are only needed the first time you link a client and then will roll on a (I think) 12 monthly basis.

We are using individual logins for staff for the ASA only, but we have 3 offices and many staff - 2FA was the deciding factor.

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to johnt27
15th Mar 2019 13:17

We're spread over 2 offices but manage the 2FA with a generic office mobile phone which Admin manager holds and immediately emails all if a code comes in!

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to northernmonkey
15th Mar 2019 13:25

We've set it up to use a landline number.

It's obvious from the caller id that it's the HMRC (awful american accent) call so whoever requested it just answers the phone.

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to northernmonkey
18th Mar 2019 11:05

Northern Monkey

we do that too... neat solution

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18th Mar 2019 13:22

I too have seen the 'manager users' option - but how can you when the ASA doesn't list clients? How would you allocate a client to a member of staff if the ASA doesn't list clients?

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18th Mar 2019 13:35

I can understand what they are trying to do. They want to be able to track entries into the databases to people. That is not a surprising objective.

It is not well known, but HMRC are developing an API interface for the agent/client relationship (that is that agents and clients will be able to formally establish that relationship using APIs.

It is, then, possible for Agents to handle a lot of these things via agent specific software. That is also why they don't want to provide a clients list as they understand that agents at times will want to control which staff members have access to which accounts.

Many years ago (In the 1980s) I did solicitors accounting systems and some of the solicitors wanted to have accounting systems that had controls as to which members of staff could see which accounts.

One would presume that accountants would have systems which have the same approach and therefore that the API/UI interface with HMRC would co-operate with that approach. Which as far as I can see it does.

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to johnhemming
18th Mar 2019 14:48

Unfortunately this has resulted in high blood pressure for me . I think that what you are doing is fantastic and all new business should do MTD across the board . Others should go onto it on a voluntary basis until all these issues are resolved . That would be in the interests of everyone including the developers . If developers support Hmrc it will close in on them eventually as the system collapses .

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to GHarr497688
18th Mar 2019 14:50

If you would like me to try to reduce your blood pressure (without charging) by solving problems just ask. You have my email address.

I entirely accept that this is a stressful process for people. I have dealt with people who were quite stressed about it.

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