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Have you read the consultation document?

Have you read the consultation document?

Didn't find your answer?

For those that don't know me, my background/specialism is as an accountant working with micro clients. I even developed a software package to help accountants make more money from these types of clients.

Having read the consultation document on simpler tax for the simplest small businesses I wonder if accountants will have any sole-trader/small partnership clients in 5-10 years.

It seems there is intent to enable micro clients to trade without the cost of an accountant. If low salary/dividend profit extraction from Ltd Cos is closed (which I personally think will happen) then more businesses will fall into cash accounting.

My understanding is that there are circa 4.5 million businesses in the UK and 3.5 are individuals. According to the consultation document, 3 million turn over less that £77,000* (the limit for cash accounting).

*The limit is set to rise to £150,000.

It has been suggested that low cost accountancy firms are going to target this market but I think software companies will. If I am right and you removed sole-traders and micro Ltd Co (less than £150,000 turnover) from your portfolio how much revenue would you lose as a percentage of GRF?

Bob Harper

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By Bob Harper
27th Jun 2012 12:29

Open

@Shirley - your reading meaning into my comments. The written word can be misleading and anyway, I'm not a regular client/customer of anyone here.

I asked a question and didn't get any answers, just comments. I've just responded in kind.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

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By Bob Harper
27th Jun 2012 12:31

The past

@Colin - if the past equals the future you are right which is why I think you are wrong. The only question is how long will it take?

We are moving to a cashless society and when I watch TV on my iPad I am amazed.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

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By thisistibi
27th Jun 2012 12:32

Scaremongering sells

I think what Bob is trying to say is that the small accountancy world is about to end and we should all buy his services to avoid it.

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By Flash Gordon
27th Jun 2012 12:37

The end of the world is nigh?

Oh no, not again, I've not recovered fully from my near-death experience last time!

But as I've struggled to keep up with the tennis match effect of this thread I'll keep my post to suggesting to Bob that when he changes his picture he goes back to his old one (it was a dark jumper / fleece-type jacket) - you looked more cuddly and less corporate Bob!

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By Bob Harper
27th Jun 2012 13:40

What I recommend

@thisistibi - I actually think accountants who are likely to be impacted would be wise to consider a new business model/strategy. And, to help implement I would recommend collaborating with like minded people.

My take is everyone who posted here probably doesn't like me. And, the chances are they wouldn't like or suit what we do. The transition would be too much to ask.

@Flash - there will be a new picture but not the old one. I looked too cool.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

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Universe
By SteveOH
27th Jun 2012 13:44

Even a one question Tax Return would be too difficult

If my micro clients were faced with a Tax Return with one question "Enter any old figure in Box 1 and then pay it" they would still struggle.

I'm not really trying to be flippant but the type of sole traders that this proposed legislation is hoping to help don't really have a clue when it comes to figures. At least, that is my experience. They are great at fitting kitchens, landscape gardening, fixing cars etc but they just do not have the mindset to fill in any kind of Tax Return; no matter how simple.

I am sure that, if I said to them that there is a new simple type of cash accounting procedure that they can follow which will mean that they wouldn't need an accountant, they would say something like "Cash accounting? So if I pay all my money into the bank, I won't need to pay tax". And when I take the trouble to explain that it's not quite that simple and that there are further complications regarding how to claim certain expenses etc, they would just say "Well, that's what I pay you for".

I shall certainly adapt my practice procedures and policies if Bob is correct and that there is in fact a mass exodus of these micro clients away from accountants into the DIY field. In fact, I am continually changing and fine tuning my practice to accommodate all the new innovations that are thrust upon me.

I certainly won't be "crossing that bridge when I come to it". I'm already making plans should these, in my view, ridiculous proposals become law. And I have a sneaky feeling that most of the other small/medium practices are doing likewise.

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Replying to nogammonsinanundoubledgame:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
27th Jun 2012 14:25

picture this

I think Bob's old picture showed us a more enigmatic accountant, moody, possibly wistful .....

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By Bob Harper
27th Jun 2012 14:31

Old and new clients

@Steve - perhaps we need a new generation of clients to remove the old accountants but when change happens it goes very fast after the tipping point is reached and think we are approaching that point.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

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By Bob Harper
27th Jun 2012 14:41

Not so bad

@BigBadWolf - a history means you've actually done something, you have a story to tell.

Tax Bureau became Smart Accountancy Solutions which lead to MORE and from this came Crunchers...all one theme because about doing something other than being a traditional accountant or staying with PWC which didn't suit my personality. 

Portfolio allows me to do pure marketing for firms and now to work with non-accountants like our last Website which is a Hotel near Perpignan.

I have considered franchising Portfolio after we get 100 plus franchisees in Crunchers. Portfolio franchisees can help businesses implement the advice of Crunchers.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

 

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Replying to rolloburgess:
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By andy.partridge
27th Jun 2012 16:59

Deleted

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By paulwakefield1
27th Jun 2012 17:35

To answer

your two questions.

1. I have read the document.

2. 0%

 

 

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By Bob Harper
27th Jun 2012 17:49

Questions

@Paul - thanks.

I could ask lots of questions but I doubt you'd answer.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

 

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By paulwakefield1
28th Jun 2012 08:38

How very presumptuous!

But to save you the trouble, I am afraid I was being ever so slightly mischievous. I can guarantee that, if I "removed sole-traders and micro Ltd Co (less than £150,000 turnover) from my portfolio", I would not lose any revenue because I do not have any such clients. :-)

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By Bob Harper
28th Jun 2012 09:08

Going on past experience

@Paul - sorry, I was just going on past experience (including this thread). Plenty of people comment but few answer any questions.

For what it's worth my advice to firms is to be brave and attack themselves with a low cost brand (and attack every other firm at the same time) or get out of the market.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountant

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By ShirleyM
28th Jun 2012 09:22

Haha ...

For what it's worth my advice to firms is to be brave and attack themselves with a low cost brand (and attack every other firm at the same time) or get out of the market. 

... and that would leave the field wide open to ....???

Why cannot you accept that people do what is best for them and their practices and they risk their own money so they should decide for themselves? It seems to be working so far, and if they go bust, then it was their choice, nobody else's, and hopefully they will not drag anyone else down with them, and only they lose from their bad decision.

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By Bob Harper
28th Jun 2012 09:34

@Shirley - I believe this segment of the market is going to be attacked because the change of legislation is an opportunity. It could be that I do something but that is NOT what we are doing at the moment, I am just curious.

The responses (including/especially yours) leave me with the impression that accountants are going to ignore this development and rely on the tax system remaining complex.

I actually think that people do what they "perceive" is best for them. But, it does raise the questions a) what is "best"? and b) who is it best for?

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

 

 

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By ShirleyM
28th Jun 2012 09:43

I didn't say that!

Maybe you read more into my comments than what was actually written.

We have plans (I think I said that before, too) and these may change several times, until the legislation becomes a certainty. We adapt our practice constantly. I will not be panicking and using scare tactics to get my clients signed up to something they do not need.

That attitude is not revolutionary, it is just sound business sense.

 

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Man of Kent
By Kent accountant
28th Jun 2012 10:53

Struggling to understand

 

...the point of this discussion, other than to get people's backs up and receive more criticism.

@Bob I use to think that you got a bad press unfairly. Now I can see that you ask for it and seem to enjoy it.

“my style is to give back as much (or a bit more) than I get because I don't take <mod - profanity removed> from people.”

– is that your marketing strap line or the one for the alternative accountancy service?

In response to the questions:

1.       Yes

2.       Very little – most of my clients value the service they receive, those that quibble on price now won’t be clients very long anyway – I don’t compete on price. Moving forward my target clients will either be those clients who would never contemplate doing their own accounts and tax returns (lots of these) or don’t fall into the micro business category.

Do I need to change? My business is constantly changing/evolving and I will respond where I feel necessary but I don’t see this potential change in legislation being a threat to my practice or my financial well being.

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By andy.partridge
28th Jun 2012 11:15

Simple

However, simplified tax becomes it will still be too complicated for most just as it is now.

As for Bob's mantra 'Maybe I'm wrong, but what if I'm right?' This is accountingweb. Try www.philosophyweb.co.uk

 

 

 

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Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
28th Jun 2012 11:28

Advertising

Have you considered buying advertising space on Aweb to market your accountancy franchise?  No offence, but it strikes me in this thread that you have only really succeeded in winding up your target audience.

For what it's worth, I think there is a degree of validity in the debate that you started, although not to the extent that you suggest.

One problem I often encounter is getting clients to do more themselves ... even when I lay it on a plate and show them how simple it is.  Never under estimate the extent that many small business people simply have no interest in financial matters and and jump at the opportunity at off-loading this onto someone else they trust.

Accountants have largely adapted in the past ... the audit market has largely been lost to the small practitioner.  Computerisation came in the 1980s and accountants largely adapted.  Every time there is a large step change, a certain percentage will fail to adapt, but that is true for any industry.

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By Ken Howard
28th Jun 2012 11:47

Look at universal credit

If the proposed reporting requirements aren't radically changed, there'll be lots of new business for accountants to prepare and submit the monthly returns required!

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By Ken Howard
28th Jun 2012 12:04

Software firms taking over from accountants - that's a laugh!

Considering the most of the new clients I get these days are people who've tried and failed to do it themselves using the new breed of so-called "simple" accounting software, particularly Kashflow, Freeagent and Quickbooks, I think we're many years away from software firms taking over the market - if ever!

Time and time again, I see fundamental design flaws - by making things simple and user friendly, they miss the important things to make the book-keeping robust.  Kashflow's bank reconciliation is poor and freeagent don't even have a reconciliation feature.  In both, and quickbooks, far too easy to make changes to past data, which has the potential for a right royal foul up of subsequent accounts and returns!

OK, they've moved on from the dire offerings of Sage, but even with simple data entry, they're still not up to the standard for non accountants to do the job properly without lots of research into how things should be done.

You can only standardise and systemise so far!  You can't provide for idiots who duplicate, omit or enter wrong figures or wrong classifications.  Garbage in = garbage out.  My stock in trade for accounting system users is to build checks & balances around the system to make sure it's robust and accurate, and to build management reporting out of the system.  Both of these areas are specialised and tailored to the clients' needs - and things that nor the client nor software writers can do themselves.

Even people who do it themselves often want someone else to check it over for them.  I've got clients who are qualified accountants and IFAs who prepare their clients' tax returns, who want me to do their accounts and their own tax returns because they value the second opinion and know that there may be areas of further opportunity that they've missed.

Every couple of years, something comes along and the usual suspects preach "the end of the world is nigh" for the accountancy profession.  I remember it 29 years ago when I first started as a trainee and NatWest were heavily promoting their cheap accounts prep service.  And again when self assessment was introduced.  And again when special VAT rules for smaller businesses were introduced.  And again when computers became widespread.  And again when online software became fashionable.  And again when small company audit was abolished.  

People either want an accountant because they can't be bothered to do it themselves, or are incapable of DIY, or more likely, they value the advice and services of the professional accountant.  Probably half my client base "could" do their own accounts and tax if they wanted to - even today under today's rules and regs.  Simplification won't matter to them because they get value from having me on their side.  Clients who want cheap and cheerful will already have moved to the latest in the long line of new back bedroom startups.

 

 

 

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By petersaxton
28th Jun 2012 12:13

Don't panic!

I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Accountants have been adapting for centuries and not just over the past few decades.

It appears to me that the new plans are more complicated than a simplification.

Trying to second guess what business owners will do is madness. I will see if it has any effect on my business and then adapt accordingly if necessary. 

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By Bob Harper
28th Jun 2012 12:43

Bad press

@Kent - thanks for your reply although it didn't answer my question:

Assume cash accounting is the way micro business do their tax. Assume low salary/dividend is blocked which means many small Ltd Cos could be advised to become sole-traders/LLPs.

What percentage of GRF would you lose if these clients self-represented?

Yes, there are a few people here who are negative towards what I say. And, to that extent it is bad press but I don't care about them.

I actually get people telling me to carry on because they enjoy mass-debating.

I am honest and down to earth in real life and on AWeb. Why should I take crap from people on here? When I get a dig why shouldn't I give a dig back. Turning the other cheek doesn't work for me. 

@Advertising - when we start promoting Crunchers we may buy advertising on AWeb. 

@Ken - I can't believe the proposals on Universal Credit. I actually think they will re-think this but the software that does the accounts at the end of the year could do this everything month if it is based on cash accounting.

As regards software, I've developed bookkeeping software so I know exactly what you mean about robust. And, my guess is that you'd love what we did with the Bank Reconciliation.

But, if we did something I think I'd have a compulsory set-up and check service to make sure the user was doing it right, as well as video training. Not so much on software but basics on what you can and can't claim.

Should it be possible for a business to set-up and operate without needing an accountant?

@Peter - sounds very sensible but the question is a "what-if".

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

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Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
28th Jun 2012 16:56

What are the real barriers to change?

Bob - I believe you are assuming that the real barrier to clients dealing with their own affairs is technological.  For a few this is true, but in my experience those sort of DIY clients mostly left the market years ago - or moved over to cheaper (perhaps unqualified accountants) when they felt the fees became too high.

The main barrier (in my opinion) is the mindset of clients.  Many just don't want to do it themselves.  Others muddle through for a while with Sage, Quickbooks or whatever until they decide enough is enough and it has to be done properly or when they are forced to do things properly following a tax inspection.

The biggest regulatory change that happened in my career was over 10 years ago when the company audit turnover threshold increased from £350k to £1m.  Virtually overnight the firm I worked at lost 75% of its audits.  But we go through it OK.  As I remember, we were actually looking forward to the increase.

Unless there is a RADICAL simplification in the tax system - by which I mean elimination of income tax, VAT or corporation tax - then I doubt whether the proposed changes will affect me much.  So far the Office of Tax Simplification hasn't even managed to merge income tax and NI.

Whilst I and others might fall victim to the odd client deciding to go DIY - perhaps as the technology improves - a far great impact will be the general economic climate, natural client wastage (often they decide to close their company and become employed) and other changes that probably none of us can predict.

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By Bob Harper
28th Jun 2012 17:23

Radical

@Radical - for me cash accounting is fairly radical and I do not think technology is the barrier to clients DIYing their own tax.

My experience is that most micro businesses do their own bookkeeping and VAT (if they are registered) anyway. They use accountant because they have no idea how to do accounts. If they make £30k plus the accountant recommends a Ltd Co and saves tax to cover the fee.

If the low salary/dividend tax planning opportunity wasn't available then more businesses would be Sole Traders/Partnerships. And, if they could do cash accounting then I think they would DIY to save £500 to £1,000 a year.

But, I am not asking if you agree with me. I am asking what percentage of GRF would you lose if I am right?

How much of your fee income is made up of micro S/T, Partnerships and Ltd Cos?  

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By petersaxton
28th Jun 2012 17:24

What if ...

<<<@Peter - sounds very sensible but the question is a "what-if".>>>

 

What if anything happens?

There's so many different possibilities that there is no point of thinking about something that is unlikely to happen.

When something happens I will deal with it then. It's not like my clients are all going to leave at the same time.

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By petersaxton
28th Jun 2012 17:33

Relevant question?

"How much of your fee income is made up of micro S/T, Partnerships and Ltd Cos?"

About 70% - but about a third of the limited companies are over the threshold.

Many clients want to be limited companies for other reasons than tax.

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By Bob Harper
28th Jun 2012 17:46

What if you answer the question?

@Peter - this is very specific and on the very much on the agenda...what percentage of GRF would you lose if clients did their own tax because:

a) Cash accounting was the way micro businesses did year-end returns.

And

b) NIC could not be avoided on business profits by funnelling them through a Ltd Co.

[By the way, when I write the second assumption it sounds similar to what Jimmy Carr did. He just did it more aggressively, with more money and using an overseas structure]

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

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By thomas34
28th Jun 2012 18:01

Very Sad

Most of us plan ahead for things that we know are going to happen.

Bob plans ahead for things that might never happen i.e. (a) compulsory cash accounting for micro businesses (whatever they are) and (b) national insurance on dividends.

You need to do a bit more homework on the Jimmy Carr case Bob, which was nothing to do with (b).

As ever, my admiration for your sheer tenacity.

 

 

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By Bob Harper
28th Jun 2012 18:18

Tenacity

@Tom - the only think you know is a) we are both going to die and b) I don't give up.

Yes, I am aware of how K2 (and many other schemes) work, I just made a comment that as I wrote about "avoiding" NIC on business profits by "funnelling" money into and out of a Ltd Co I just thought it just sounded a little similar.

You are right, the two points it "might" never happen but they could. I get the feeling that this time simplification is going to happen.

Have you heard this quote "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be" Wayne Gretzky. What is sad is that most accountants are not even where the puck is.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Acccountants

 

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By petersaxton
28th Jun 2012 18:42

You guess but we will deal with reality

They are both tax avoidance but there the similarity ends.

"Simplification" is not going to happen. What might happen is the government brings in some rules to try to make preparing accounts simpler but due to a lack of understanding they end up making it more complicated. Remember Gordon Brown's idea about a 0% company tax rate to try to encourage investment. It only encouraged businesses to save tax. Eventually it was scrapped after providing a lot of extra work for accountants.

You appear to use analogies that are not relevant. What is the point of guessing what is going to happen? In hockey you may score but in accounting you are practically certain to get it wrong when it is possible to wait and see what happens without any cost. Some hare-brained scheme to market ineffective accounting software or bargain basement bookkeepers will result in inevitable failure due to lack of understanding.

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By Ken Howard
28th Jun 2012 21:01

What about clients who NEED a limited company?

I think you're being very naive thinking that clients only trade via limiteds because dividends are NIC free.

I've several clients caught by IR35 so the dividend/NIC situation is irrelevant to them, yet they chose to be limited rather than attempting to be sole traders or operating via umbrella companies.  Most don't have a choice as the end client insists on limited.  Compared with umbrellas, they're still better off limited under IR35 than going through an umbrella.

Also several clients who are limiteds for other reasons, such as limitation of liability, flexibility of spreading income over several years to minimise exposure to higher rate tax, spreading income between family members, easier transfer of business to the next generation, tax advantages of property ownership etc etc.

Very few of my clients would disincorporate if the low salary/dividend route were made less attractive - there's still plenty of reasons to stay limited.

Even if people can do things themselves, they still tend to like to get a professional to do it to save the hassle, stress and risk.  As an example, just had a new client in this morning.  Not self employed, only income being two part time jobs.  For some strange reason, HMRC asked her for a tax return - she could easily have done it herself - literally two figures from her P60s, but she wanted me to do it.  That's £90 thank you very much.  I'm happy, client happy.

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By Bob Harper
28th Jun 2012 21:30

Exceptions

@Ken - for the record I:

do not think that NIC avoidance is the only reason why clients trade through a Ltd Coam not denying there are are good reasons to trade through a Ltd Coalso know some people prefer to complete tax returns for them  

It sounds like you have no sole-traders who do their own bookkeeping (because they could be able to DIY tax) and no one-person Ltd Cos who are Ltd for tax purposes. 

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

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Replying to david wilks:
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By Ken Howard
29th Jun 2012 10:12

Making wild assumptions there, Bob!

Bob Harper wrote:

It sounds like you have no sole-traders who do their own bookkeeping (because they could be able to DIY tax) and no one-person Ltd Cos who are Ltd for tax purposes. 

Making wild assumptions there Bob!

Most of my clients, whether sole traders, partnerships or limited companies, do their own book-keeping, mostly via Kashflow or Freeagent.  

Both those systems already allow/encourage automatic VAT return submission directly via the software.  About a third want me to review and submit, a third want me to review before they submit, and the remainder do it themselves without asking me to check every quarter, although most of them still ask for advice/help occasionally.  Many of these are on the flat rate scheme, many others have very simple VAT affairs.  They could very easily already deal with their own VAT returns, but like I say, most chose not to.

Same with payroll.  Example one man limited company.  Payroll dead easy.  Could easily use the HMRC website to submit their annual P35 and P11d at no cost, not even having to buy software.  But do they?  No, they're happy to pay for it to be done professionally.  

Same with personal tax returns.  Most basic/simple taxpayers can already submit online for free via HMRC website.  Plenty do.  Plenty don't.  Again, they're happy to pay for it to be done professionally.

Even if some people start to submit themselves, there'll still be spin off work for accountants, i.e. when they're investigated, when they need an accountant's certificate for a mortgage, when they've messed it up by a botched DIY and need it correcting.  More interestingly will be the "small" businesses who grow to be larger and breach the "simplified" thresholds - there'll be plenty of chargeable time for accountants to manage the transition and set up new accounting systems to cope with proper accounting and tax for the future.

Just like the professional has done for decades and centuries, it continues to evolve.  Some accountants will fall by the wayside, some will move with the times.  That's the way it's always been.  Take compulsory E filing for CIS and PAYE - I know 3 sole trader accountants who concentrated on tradesmen/subbie clients - rather than embracing the electronic age, they simply retired as they never even moved from manual to computers, let alone the internet.  

You also have to look at "dumbing down" generally.  Generally, my younger clients (20 somethings) need a lot more hand holding than my older clients.  By rights, the younger ones should be more "switched on" to searching the internet, doing their own research, working things out for themselves, etc., but sadly plenty aren't.  Against all common logic, I find myself doing more for the younger clients who are supposed to be the "internet generation".  

Virtually everywhere, people can do things themselves, but chose to use qualified/professional people to do.  I can decorate my home but chose to use a decorator.  I used software to design a house extension, but handed it over to a professional to tweak the plans and to apply for planning permission.  I could have dealt with the conveyancing of my property, but chose to use a solicitor instead.  Just because it may be technically possible for a sole trader to prepare and file his own accounts (as he can do today!!), I suspect few will and those few will be the runt of the pile who already use cut-price, maybe unqualified or untrained accountants, maybe back bedroom merchants.

I'm not worried in the slightest.  My practice is completely different today than it was ten years ago.  In ten years time, it will be completely different again.  Ten years after that, I'll have retired.   

As for limited companies incorporated solely for tax reasons, no, I have very few if any, because I make it crystal clear from the outset that the potential nic savings can be stripped away at any time and cannot be guaranteed for the long term.  I chant the mantra of "don't let the tax tail wag the dog" at every possible communication opportunity with every client.  I also make it crystal clear that my charges will be at least double, if not treble, if they trade via a limited company as opposed to being a sole trader.  I give them a pre-printed list of pros and cons, not least mentioning the potential costs, hassle and taxes of disincorporation if they want to get out of it later, and "if" they still want to be a limited company, then that's fine, but it's made clear that they should have good alternative grounds for being a limited over and above nic saving, and it's certainly not something I suggest or encourage solely for the potential NIC saving.

 

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By petersaxton
28th Jun 2012 21:38

Why?

"It sounds like you have no sole-traders who do their own bookkeeping (because they could be able to DIY tax)"

Why not? A lot of clients keep their own books and expect me to give them tax advice and use the books to prepare accounts and tax returns.

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By Bob Harper
28th Jun 2012 22:50

Missed the point

@Peter - I think you may have completely missed the point of my post.

The question is about sole-traders that keep their own books because they won't need you to prepare accounts because they can use the cash basis. And, the bookkeeping software (which they use to keep their own books) can complete the tax return for them.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

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By petersaxton
29th Jun 2012 05:56

How?

Why does using the cash basis mean that clients won't need accountants to prepare their accounts? There's very little difference between the accruals basis and the cash basis except the rules for the cash basis are more complicated.

How can bookkeeping software complete tax returns? How does it know what transactions are disallowable? How does it know how to calculate capital allowances? How does it know about use of home as office?

Your whole premise seems to be derived from somebody who doesn't know about accounts and tax.

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By Bob Harper
29th Jun 2012 07:22

Read the document

@Peter - under cash accounting there would be no need to calculate capital allowance and everything else is pretty much flat rate.

The declaration for tax will be the difference between Money In and Money Out (excluding drawings). It is even proposed that things like personal use on telephone is going to be ignored.

There is real intent to allow business to trade without the hassle and costs of full accounting and accountants.

Bookkeeping software could easily be extended to include a tax return module. This would take the information from the cashbook and complete a tax return. The software could even have a year-end process to make it easy.

You may not agree with me (and I may be wrong). It may also take some time as less tech-savvy business owners are replaced. But, the question is based on an assumption that sole-traders will DIY their own tax because the change in the law makes it really possible. If you do not want to consider this as a possibility then no need to reply. 

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

 

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By Bob Harper
29th Jun 2012 11:02

Thanks

@Ken - thanks. 

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountants

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By Old Greying Accountant
29th Jun 2012 14:44

Another point or two ...

... many people I believe will still want a "professional" to prepare their tax reeurn because rightly or wrongly they feel protected if they get it wrong, but, if their accountant offers them fee protection, and I feel any that don't are being negligent (if they don't take it up is there choice, but it should be explained and offered), then if they are investigated they will nave someone to fight their corner.

How many of us would take on an investgation for someone who had done their on cash accounting tax return.

Also, although there are many micro businesses, swathes of these are "low" income but very shrewd and use accountants to add a veneer of legitimacy to their affairs, because they know a good accountant will check that the income/lifestyle balance is reasonable: hand on heart, how many of us can say they don't have clients where there is nothing to prompt a MLR, as any "discrepancies" are readily explained and "corrected" but "know" there is more somewhere?

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By petersaxton
04th Jun 2020 11:48

It's good to see that Bob's predictions of doom never happened.

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
04th Jun 2020 11:51

When I saw this thread, my heart leapt at the sight of a new Bob Harper post. Imagine my disappointment when I realised it was 8 years old. Such is life.

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Replying to Red Leader:
Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
05th Jun 2020 17:59

This old thread is a bit of a blast from the past, but a welcome one. I kind of miss Bob and his entertaining and provocative threads.

8 years on, the type of work that I do pretty much the same as it was then, as are the types of businesses / people that I act for. In spite of Bob's dire predictions back in 2012, I have more clients and higher turnover than then back then.

The only thing that has really changed is the technology. In the 1990s and up to the early 2010s, Sage reigned supreme. I moved my last client away from them just over a year ago when MTD came in.

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Replying to Locutus:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
05th Jun 2020 20:49

But presumably you're now doing the compliance work for free and billing for value-based work (or whatever the line was, I forget).

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avatar
By Dib
04th Jun 2020 17:00

Reopening threads like these makes me realise how many of the old posters have now gone.

The band is the relatively short lived Goodbye Mr MacKenzie. Can't think of the name of the track. Didn't realise they had had a reunion tour.

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Replying to Dib:
By petersaxton
04th Jun 2020 17:03

Many of the old posters went when AccountingWeb downgraded the site in search of clicks and away from quality content.

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Replying to petersaxton:
By mrme89
05th Jun 2020 22:44

A lot of them that left in protest are still about under different guises.

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Replying to Dib:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
05th Jun 2020 22:23

Well done. Wake it Up.

They toured with everyone but Shirley (after Garbage she was not going to be playing the Liquid Rooms etc), they even got Big John over from the Netherlands.

Great concert except Martin had laryngitis.

Here is a link to one of the two Edinburgh nights last May watched by a motley collection of geriatrics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX9WBu4pVxc

And a more polished Wake it Up vocal last December 29th in Edinburgh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU826HEsnWc

Concert dates 2020/2021 though not sure they will happen

https://www.songkick.com/artists/212832-goodbye-mr-mackenzie/calendar

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