I begin to receive promotion calls from those softwares which provide cloud accounting as you know, MTD (making tax digital) is around the corner. Like you, I am a practitioner and I prefer to use desktop accounting software, which is truly designed for professional accountants in practise although I use cloud accounting softwares for some certain clients, But I do think they are slow and designed for non-accountant users.
Having done some researches regarding this MTD, I think HMRC is: getting rid of their old system (you know how bad and slow it is) and probabaly some staff who know nothing about taxes, trying to collect more tax revenue and more quickly of course rather than once a yeark, and eventually tighten the tax laws to eliminate more tax avoidance ways that professional accountants and tax advisers know.
On one hand, I fully agree that this country needs to collect more tax revenue and the tax system at the moment is too slow and stupid. On the other hand, I am quite confused and worried about the MTD outcome. For example, with the MTD function, individuals can upload their revenue and expenses and communicate with HMRC, then tax will be calcuated and shown on real time basis for them. This may imply, professional accountants will lose clients. Another example is: MTD declares that you do not need to wait until the end of the year to do tax return, and this may apply to corporation tax eventually. How on earth that corporation tax can be accurately calcuated on quartlery basis, they are only esitamates, there will be lots of adjustments through the year. Let me give you a third example, MTD will only apply to quarterly/monthly VAT return first. I am sure all the bookkeepings have already done by softwares than you submit through software or in your HMRC account online. If there is a VAT audit, they ask you to provide breakdown, but under MTD, they do not accept spreadsheets. Then you can only give them cloud accounting access, is this possilbe and reasonable?
So far, I have no idea what the MTD will look like and how it will affect us. Please share your opinions here and apologise for being picky. It is however my sincere wish that HMRC can collect more tax from everyone to benifit this country.