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Letting off steam (MTD as if you couldn’t guess)

The cost of MTD

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I’ve been a good girl, started telling my clients about MTD a good year to 18 months ago, and for those using spreadsheets, keeping on at them to think about what software to use, give themselves plenty of time, etc.  Not unexpectedly I had a range of outcomes, some started using software in good time, some decided to pay me to do their bookkeeping, and I have the usual stragglers.  Spent about an hour on the phone to one of them today, he has finally taken the plunge with some software but needed me to basically teach him how to use it.  Fearful of making mistakes that couldn’t be corrected, so we had a play keying things in and then amending them.  He’s got one more old-style VAT Return to do and then he’s in MTD and I can see that I will have to do a bit more hand-holding before he will be comfortable with all of this.  I’ve got a couple more clients like this.  My (rhetorical) question is: who’s going to pay me for my time getting them all up and running?  Thank you HMRC.  Can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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By GHarr497688
03rd Apr 2019 20:47

Your a bit silly complying really as it just encourages Hmrc . Also as loads are saying the asa isn’t up to speed not to mention undisclosed numbers of Accountants non AML compliant so cant file . I’m doing my best to comply and asked Hmrc for help and they havnt even acknowledged my letter despite saying they will support the worst affected . I guess if we are non compliant for at least one return then Hmrc will have a better idea of numbers . Please remember it’s the clients who must comply not the Accountant. !!

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By Tim Vane
03rd Apr 2019 22:07

Er, surely your clients pay you for your time? That’s the way it’s supposed to work anyway, unless they do thing differently over your way.

Frankly I am not surprised you hate extra work if nobody is paying you to do it. I run a business not a charity.

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Replying to Tim Vane:
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By WhiteRose
03rd Apr 2019 22:15

I mostly charge fixed annual fees, don’t charge for phone calls etc. Yes there comes a point when I have to say to a client that there will be a charge for extra work, but it’s the steady drip drip drip of time used on this project overall that is bugging me.

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Replying to WhiteRose:
By jon_griffey
04th Apr 2019 09:42

There lies the folly of the fixed fee all-you-can-eat model. I have found recently for some clients that it is extremely time consuming training them to use software and then spending hours on end every quarter straightening it out for the VAT return, so you would be wise to have a frank conversation at the outset. It is evident that in many cases cloud accounting software significantly adds to the time costs compared to spreadsheet.

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Replying to jon_griffey:
Tornado
By Tornado
04th Apr 2019 09:56

It is only on rare occasions that I use fixed price fees.

Charge the client for the time that you have actually spent on their work (with discretionary adjustments if necessary) and you cannot go far wrong.

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By WhichTyler
03rd Apr 2019 22:54

Interesting article here about making HMRC digital. It's really not going to go away...

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/04/02/why_the_tax_man_needs_4000_it_s...

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Replying to WhichTyler:
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By adam.arca
04th Apr 2019 09:46

WhichTyler wrote:

Interesting article here about making HMRC digital. It's really not going to go away...

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/04/02/why_the_tax_man_needs_4000_it_s...

I appreciate that article is directed at IT professionals and that accountancy articles are probably guilty of including jargonese but....

Was that even written in English? I barely understood a word of it.

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By Wanderer
04th Apr 2019 03:49

I think we should just absorb the time to help out clients and HMRC. It can't be that much and clients lives will be sooo much easier as a result.

HMRC wrote:

HMRC estimate that the average one-off ‘transition’ cost for businesses moving to MTD for VAT will be £109, and that businesses will pay an additional £43 in ongoing costs on average.

OR is it nearer to £5,360:-
https://www.accountsandlegal.co.uk/tax-advice/making-tax-digital-will-co...
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By DaveyJonesLocker
04th Apr 2019 07:47

Why are you forcing the spreadsheet clients away from them?

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Replying to DaveyJonesLocker:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
04th Apr 2019 08:49

Well quite

Gov propaganda 1 : clients 0

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Cheshire
04th Apr 2019 09:19

Gov propaganda lots more than 1.

Never mind clients, I'm actually amazed at how many advisors are falling for this, despite the number of times it's been mentioned.

The only conclusion I have come to is that they don't read widely/do general CPD, only using forums like this when they have their own question.

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By Crouchy
04th Apr 2019 09:19

Surely your client will be the one paying for your time?

Of course they are being forced into a situation where they may have to call on you for extra help, but if they came to you wanting additional help and services in other areas wouldn't you be charging for that?

Why should MTD be any different?

charging for your time here is most likely going to make your clients take notice and make an effort to get it right, if you give your time away for free, there is a good chance you'll be cleaning up your clients mistakes for free for a long time

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blue sheep
By NH
04th Apr 2019 10:41

Two things to mention.
1. I think there is an obvious mistake you have made here - instead of telling them to go out and find software if you had set up deals with one or more software companies yourself, made yourself familiar with the software and then gone out and sold that to the client you would have avoided the issue.
That is what we did a couple of years ago, the clients rely on us to tell them what they should be doing, so it was a simple conversation with them all - "MTD is coming in so we are doing this which will cost you this". not one single client had a problem with it.
2. For those that are saying why move away from spreadsheets I would say you need to embrace the cloud and see the benefits, once you can see that for yourself you can easily go and sell that to the client. I am not saying never use spreadsheets ever again, for some clients they work but from my experience having worked both ways getting clients on software is the way to go for sure.
(NH sits back and waits for all the abuse)

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Replying to NH:
Tornado
By Tornado
04th Apr 2019 11:00

"(NH sits back and waits for all the abuse)"

What a delightful post.

Do have a nice day

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Replying to NH:
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By nodrogbir
04th Apr 2019 12:05

I totally agree that the benefits of cloud are great if you are a trained accountant , have loads of time to learn the process and are bang up to date with all your record keeping and you have a reasonable level of intelligence.
If you are a small business making a small profit and you have to comply with so many rules or pay an Accountant to comply then I would argue the case that MTD is a step too far in the way HMRC are selling this .

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Replying to NH:
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By legerman
04th Apr 2019 15:00

NH wrote:

For those that are saying why move away from spreadsheets I would say you need to embrace the cloud and see the benefits, once you can see that for yourself you can easily go and sell that to the client. I am not saying never use spreadsheets ever again, for some clients they work but from my experience having worked both ways getting clients on software is the way to go for sure.
(NH sits back and waits for all the abuse)

While I agree that software has more advantages why the need to push the cloud? Those using spreadsheets will manage adequately well using VT cash book or if things a little more complicated VTT+

For those wishing to continue using spreadsheets then why are some luring them away to the dizzy heights of the cloud, with all it's additional costs and clunkiness? The majority are small businesses and there is no valid reason why they should change.

From my point of view, having used Sage, Quickbooks Desktop, VTT+, Xero and Pandle, then VTT+ comes out streets ahead, although I do like Pandle having used it for a client over the last couple of months.

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Replying to legerman:
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By GHarr497688
04th Apr 2019 17:42

And what if a client hates computers has never used apart from surfing the net and is approaching retirement ?

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