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MTD and Accuracy

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As we come closer to the first MTD Vat filing and clients take on board my advice I wanted to ask what you think I should do about information for HMRC. Currently we receive manual records from clients and these are checked and where possible are re-keyed onto a computer. So as to ensure our Fees are competive not every item of data can be inputted. It would seem that record keeping would pass back to the client , a situation encouraged by HMRC where we can no longer check the work ,  this may lead to VAT records being at risk of errors. Should exemption be requested from HMRC on the basis that the risk of error may increase with the MTD rules and if so, are they likely to   this as a reason. Their is a great risk that VAT returns maybe incorrect if clients are let loose on them.

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27th Mar 2019 17:31

Your argument is correct however it is completely polar opposite to HMRC's view:-

“By mandating digital record-keeping and filing, the government expects to reduce the amount of tax lost through error”

"Mythbuster - MTD won’t reduce errors
This is not correct
Keeping records on paper and submitting VAT
returns to HMRC manually results in errors
– in a recent YouGov poll 61% of businesses
said they have previously lost receipts – and
errors also occur in the manual transposition
of data and manual calculations. MTD offers
a more integrated approach to business
administration and tax, reducing the time
businesses spend on administration in the
longer term and making it easier for them to
get their tax right."

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to Wanderer
27th Mar 2019 17:55

Very interesting but they might just be wrong !

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to GHarr497688
27th Mar 2019 18:07

You think so?
Surely HMRC / gov couldn't get it that wrong?
I mean they've really got their finger on the pulse, look at this, just published in January, they are committed to:-
"ease the burdens on new businesses, enabling them to concentrate on what they do best – producing goods, providing services and contributing to the UK’s reputation as one of the best places in the world to start a business."

And this great new service:-
"is part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy’s commitment to reduce administrative burdens on small businesses, enhancing the UK’s reputation as one of the best global environments for small businesses to thrive in."
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/helping-hand-to-set-up-new-businesses

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By GW
27th Mar 2019 17:57

So you don't think John the Plumber with his smartphone is the worlds best bookkeeper?

Just remember, prepopulating 2017 tax returns with interest received was going to increase the tax take - until HMRC received less tax.

HMRC have sold MTD to the politicians on the basis that it will reduce the tax gap (at the same time telling Joe Public that it is being made compulsory because it is good for you), presumably they are expecting the errors to be in their favour.

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27th Mar 2019 18:29

HMRC have had the easiest ride on BBC Moneybox this afternoon.

Feels to me that HMRC cannot cope, even at this stage when surely they should be ready and heldesks should not need 24 hour turn round times.

Much less should those 24 hours extend to 36 and counting as has been the case this week.

There will be many more errors due to the sheer exasperation of those who seek to use software which may be more capable but less efficient than their current accounting procedures.

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to Open all hours
28th Mar 2019 08:16

Open all hours wrote:
... and heldesks should not need 24 hour turn round times.

Double L, surely.

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27th Mar 2019 19:23

24 hours behind - more like 120 hours.

Last Thursday (21/3) I called the VAT helpline to get put through to the MTD team (there is no direct phone line) and was told it is a 5 day callback - still waiting. Would also be nice if automated call system recognised “MTD” or “making tax digital”.

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to MrsMiggins
01st Apr 2019 13:41

I posted this on the Agent Forum at https://online.hmrc.gov.uk/webchatprod/community/posts/list/5030.page. HMRC's 'solution':

'Kevin as explained in MTDVAT38 we are in discussions with our colleagues to introduce a message on the helpline to assist and looking to enhance the Intelligent Telephony. Our advice in the meantime is only to use the phrase Making Tax Digital and please transfer me to the Glasgow Team once you have access to an Advisor. Using the phrase VAT will assist you in accessing the Advisors. '

It's as if HMRC didn't know MTD was starting.

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to kevinringer
01st Apr 2019 13:58

I have suggested to HMRC that they make more use of MTD suppliers in disseminating information. For example there are questions such as registering partnerships that don't have UTR's and how to register a Channel Islands limited company that it is difficult to find the answer to. It is obvious there is a volume of queries problem - hence the 5 days delay.

I recently changed my software so that when someone opens an account it suggests that they get registered for MTD. It is interesting seeing how many people then stop (whilst registering for MTD with HMRC).

I had quite a few "why does it not work" questions. Where the answer was that people had not actually registered for MTD.

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By Tornado
to kevinringer
01st Apr 2019 14:09

"Intelligent Telephony"

Surely an Oxymoron

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By Tornado
28th Mar 2019 10:58

"Should exemption be requested from HMRC on the basis that the risk of error may increase with the MTD rules"

On the basis that it is the capability of the INDIVIDUAL which defines whether they can be exempt from MTD for VAT or not, and the fact that they could employ someone else to maintain their records for them is irrelevant, I think the inability to properly record data (VAT) in accounting software is a very good reason to claim exemption.

A test case might be required but effectively most businesses that use Accountants to maintain accounting records could be potentially exempt.

A client of mine (VAT registered) who raises his own invoices from a Word template and sends a copy to us has now given three different invoices the same invoice number. Despite education, supplying a VAT compliant template and a general telling-off over the last twenty year or so, nothing changes. He would not be able to even open accounting software let alone understand what it is all about so is ONLY with our help that his VAT submissions are correct.

If HMRC want to deal directly with 'customers' and ignore the valuable work that Accountants do to keep business in this country moving and the essential contribution that Accountants make to the efficient calculation and collection of taxes, then good luck to them.

I shall be sitting in the sun with my G & T whilst HMRC try to convince my client that he cannot issue three invoices with the same number.

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to Tornado
28th Mar 2019 21:14

you are a smart guy , we can say cheers as we drink our G & T. I wish I was five years older and I would retire . I feel very sad that my career spanning 40 years will end with this pantomime . How on earth can a small business owner deal with learning accounts and computers and even then only put half the information in due to the VAT only roll out and HMRC thinks they will get better records . Are they mad or lacking in brains ?

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to Tornado
29th Mar 2019 13:53

This is a classic example of the kind of obstinate behaviour HMRC are trying to push people past. There are clearly issues around some of their implementation, but the basic principle they're working to is entirely sound.

If your client can issue invoices from a Word template, he can 100% use FreeAgent or one of the other user-friendly book-keeping packages targeted at small businesses.

And if he did, there would be no need for you to spend 20 years "educating" him not to issue invoices with the same number : the software would prevent it. As it would prevent issuing ones where he's calculated the VAT percentage slightly wrong, or typed the total in wrong, or made any of the other myriad mistakes that non-accountants make when invoicing.

He also would not need to remember to send you copies of the invoices, or pay for your time to manually check and re-key them.

He would of course probably still need your help to check for actual accountancy issues - has he charged the right rate of VAT, is he getting his tax point date right, etc.

Think honestly:

* When you invested your time and money in training to be an accountant, did you genuinely want to put those hard-won and valuable skills to use as a glorified calculator and data entry clerk?
* Do you actually enjoy cross-checking a list of invoice numbers and telling your client every time he re-uses one?
* If you took a cold hard look at the skill level realistically required to do these parts of the job, can you justify the hourly rate you charge the client to do them? Does that part of your fee really "keep his business moving"?

Surely it would be better to allow a computer to deal with (and prevent) the really basic mistakes like this, and focus your time and energy on services that actually need someone with the skills you have?

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to andyscotland
29th Mar 2019 14:08

Sounds good, Andy, but the reality's different.

You need a basic level of accounting literacy for a system to be "user friendly".

Even then, problems arise. I myself raised an issue with Xero only yesterday. Should have been easy - I ended up with a "work around" which is software-speak for "our system doesn't work very well but here's how to get round it".

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to lionofludesch
29th Mar 2019 16:44

It very much depends on the system.

I use Xero for a charity that needs fund accounting and more complex "accounting" stuff and I wouldn't ever recommend it for a business owner. For all the marketing hoo-haa, it and systems like it are still very much designed for accountants or at least bigger businesses with book-keepers etc. And even then I don't actually think Xero is all that user friendly even if you know what you're doing.

At the other end there's systems like FreeAgent, which I use for my own business, which are very much designed for small businesses and non-accountants.

There are absolutely areas of FreeAgent - VAT returns, year-end, adjustments, interpreting some of the reporting - where "mortals" might need an accountant to help / train / do it for them. And yes, some of these involve slightly clunky workarounds in part because features you'd expect to find aren't there or are hidden away as part of making the interface "simple".

But for actual day-to-day invoicing, data entry and bank reconciliation, I 100% stand by my claim that you actually need *less* accounting literacy to issue an invoice from FreeAgent than you do to issue one on a Word template.

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By Tornado
to andyscotland
29th Mar 2019 14:18

You just do not get it do you Andy.

I can see that you simply cannot comprehend that some people are unable to use software of any type beyond the very basics at best

As I have mentioned on many occasions, we were one of the first firms of Accountants in the UK to prepare final accounts on personal computers back in 1981 (38 years ago) so I probably have more experience in this field than most others reading AW.

One thing has been abundantly clear throughout those 38 years is that many people are unable to use computers or apply logic in the same way that you can.

You need to set aside your arrogance and try and understand that everyone is not as capable as you and this needs to be taken into account. We are supposed to be in an inclusive society and that means looking after those that need additional help and not expecting them to do what they cannot do.

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to Tornado
29th Mar 2019 16:55

My counter to that Tornado would be that having been using software for so long, perhaps you have not actually seen or experienced using some of the newer non-accountant products that are now on the market. I'm younger than you, but I remember how horrendous most software was even in the late 90s, and there are some products that don't really seem to have advanced much since then.

I wouldn't dream of trying to get someone with a simple business and no prior knowledge to use SAGE, Xero or many of the others that accountants like. They are overcomplicated, not at all user friendly, often very slow, and far too easy to make mistakes in.

I also totally agree that some people really can't use a computer at all. If you had been complaining about a client who was issuing handwritten invoices on paper from a triplicate book and keeping their receipts in a shoebox I would fully agree that MTD is going to be problematic for them.

But your example client has mastered computers and admin enough to be issuing invoiced in Word. And your example problem is one that simply wouldn't exist if they were using the right tool for the job.

I fundamentally disagree with you that that client couldn't in a matter of hours - perhaps with your help to get set up - switch to one of the modern small-business focused packages like FreeAgent. And if they did so, it would significantly *reduce* the amount of accounting knowledge they need both in general and in reminders from you post-event on how not to make basic mistakes.

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By Matrix
to andyscotland
29th Mar 2019 18:02

There are some business owners who just can’t do the basics, one client on FreeAgent stresses every time she has to update the bank feed, the one thing we can’t do for her. She pays us to issue her invoices since she does not even want to learn how to do it on FreeAgent, does not want to be trained. She is young. This is just an example to show that these things are not easy for everyone.

So the new MTD rules will incur costs for business owners to pay someone unless they apply for exemption (my client does have mental health issues so maybe could apply if she ever reaches the VAT threshold but the records are on FreeAgent so there is a solution and soon the only way to submit will be using MTD since they are closing the existing portal).

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to andyscotland
29th Mar 2019 23:18

Matey read all the other comments on Aweb then rewrite your ridiculous reply . Are you an Software salesman ?

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28th Mar 2019 16:45

To answer the original post - I think there is very little chance of ultimately obtaining exemption in the circumstances described. However, it might be worth applying in writing (perhaps mentioning a possible breach of human rights) and then subsequently appealing. On present form this is likely to take months and months. Meanwhile your clients are entitled to carry on submitting their VAT Returns as before. Probably only a stay of execution though.

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29th Mar 2019 11:28

HMRC think that the software will be the solution but they forget the statement garbage in garbage out. It needs human intervention to carryout a reality check when dealing with VAT.

When will they come into the real world?

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29th Mar 2019 22:29

"So as to ensure our Fees are competive not every item of data can be inputted"

Do you just miss invoices out once you have spent the time allotted on the vat return?

AndyScotland makes the comments that any half decent proactive accountant would make but is shot down by the usual moaning minnies against progress.

This is going to cost clients is a terrible excuse and TBH accountants don't know how lucky they are. All business have compliance costs its an overhead of being in business.

Back in my FD days we operated Care Homes, Hotels, Bars,Restaurants & a construction operation.

The Care Homes were inspected by 3 different bodies every year, all of which inspected to a different set of standards, all of which had the power to close you down, they also graded your service which effected the fees you could get paid.

They all had kitchens so were all subject food hygeine laws again inspected regularly. We had all the constant HR issues to deal with, HSE rules, Immigration, building control etc.

The hotels were the same, fire regs, you had to have policies for everything. Then came gender pay gap reporting a huge exercise for no gain to the business, ESOS reporting on the energy use etc the list is endless.

All this is compliance that everyday business have to face and the costs that come with they are an overhead of operating a business. As an FD you did not have to do all of it but had to make sure competent were dealing with the bits you were not.

Ultimately they all come with fines or imprisonment, or business cessation if you get it wrong all which have a financial consequence if you get it wrong so it lands on your desk as FD.

By comparison a practice accountant is a piece of [***] we get major legislation change every 20 years and people cannot cope with it. Some people need to step out of their offices and understand what business actually have to deal with.

Last week Tornado claimed "the problem i have is I don't spend time at the sharp end" whilst this is offensive and totally misguided I have a much better idea of what goes on than he clearly does. I have been in the game using software as long as he has.

However I actually see our role as advising/helping clients to have a better business by recommending constant improvements to systems.

Our role does not begin and end with the filing of a tax return.

With the example of the guy who has not moved on from issuing sales invoices on word. That is negligence by the accountant for not helping him improve what he does.

Forget MTD, introducing that guy to a balanced system for credit control and something like GoCardless will revolutionise his business, it could bring £20k into his business it could half his debtor days. That is going to have positive impact on him. If you are not giving that advice you are holding his business back.

Another example last week was a hairdresser who rented 3 chairs in her shop and kept all the takings in the drawer and she had been doing this for 30 years.

The fact the accountant had allowed that to happen is appalling. That wasn't compliant 30 years ago. From a control point of view the girl sweeping the floor could have been ripping her of for years.

If money left in the drawer is your sales records HMRC will drive a bus through it. The reason they don't want to change is she is likely been suppressing sales for 30 years so doesn't want a till as it would record the truth.

I wouldn't work with someone who operated in this way. For this reason MTD is correct it will force cash businesses to be more compliant.

MTD in its current form is a non event.

My clients would be on software if MTD was not even a thing. Clients with staff should have proper till systems with controls attached to them, to stop theft and providing data to maximise margins and stock control. This is key when working in industry, practice accountants don't seem to get this detail as they only look at year end accounts.

If you have clients who sit and list invoices down with pen and paper then add them for there vat returns, how prone to error is that and how long does it take them to do that.

We as accountants should be looking at our clients to make constant improvements to run better businesses not bleat on about a change to how we file a vat return, because if you spend some time in the real world you dont know how lucky we are.

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By Tornado
to Glennzy
29th Mar 2019 23:37

There is much to comment on your post but I will pick up on -

"With the example of the guy who has not moved on from issuing sales invoices on word. That is negligence by the accountant for not helping him improve what he does.

Your approach seems to be based on compliance with rules and regulations and improvement of systems. My approach is to work with clients to enable them to utilise their talents to their best leaving us to deal with the mundane compliance.

This particular client is a Master Carpenter and Joiner and can produce fine furniture, kitchens of beauty in any wood you like, renovate and restore old wooden buildings. Preparing a perfect invoice in Word is not high on his list of priorities and neither should it be, that is where we work with him to pool our talents to produce the best result for both of us.

If you think that is negligence by the Accountant then it is clear that we have different ideas about what assisting clients with their businesses is all about.

You want compliance and I want people to spend their time on doing what they do best.

From my point of view, those clients who were able to use computers to record their accounting transactions have already done this for years already. Others who were able to do part of the work on computer provide what they can this way and we do the rest. For those that are unable to effectively use or do not want to use computer accounting then that is OK with us as we can adapt to give them the help they need.

I get satisfaction from seeing my clients prosper by helping them to develop and expand their talents to the full. It seems to me that you get satisfaction only when your clients have it drummed into them as to how to produce an immaculate and technically compliant Sales Invoice.

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to Tornado
31st Mar 2019 22:33

Fantastic reply to a very arrogant AWebber

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to GHarr497688
01st Apr 2019 14:56

A great response. Tornado seeks to abuse and ridicule anyone who does not share his out of date views.

"What part of this do you not to get" to the guy above simply for having an opinion

"The problem I have (apparently) is that I don't work at the sharp end so therefore not allowed an opinion despite operating as a sole trader and working at the sharp since I was 16.

Thats arrogance for you

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By Tornado
to Glennzy
01st Apr 2019 15:12

"I get satisfaction from seeing my clients prosper by helping them to develop and expand their talents to the full."

An "Out of Date" view!

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to Tornado
01st Apr 2019 19:34

There is arguably a common ground which recognises the merits of technology whilst accepting that people at times have difficulties with abstract concepts which means that they feel uncomfortable with intangible systems and prefer those which are more intuitive to follow.

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to Glennzy
02nd Apr 2019 00:00

I would not take offence but be mindful that some HATE technology and indeed to force people to use it as HMRC are going tends to result in either awkward behaviours or possible error in processing data as a lack of learning skills. If I had a wish it would be for an Accountant trained in double entry to prepare monthly accounts on a digital platform and then business decisions made based on those figures. As I have forty years experience and am a realist I know that this will not happen and so can only assume HMRC are doing this as a long term goal to bring in a BIG BROTHER style checking system as set out in the book 1984 .

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to GHarr497688
02nd Apr 2019 09:10

I think it might be more a fear than a hatred. They feel concerned that everything could go wrong causing them material problems (lost data or something having to be retyped) and feel powerless in the situation.

MTD because it is about interfaces between computer systems is inherently more complex as when things go wrong it is not immediately clear what is causing that and how to get around that.

That is a design challenge for people like me as we need to try to tell people what is happening and how to fix it. That is the main reason why I like doing support issues because I find out what problems people are having.

For example yesterday I decided that people were getting confused from time to time as to what to put in a particular input box. It matters, but not that much, so I changed the system so that after 40 seconds it fills in the box for people and gets on with things.

I am currently pondering what to do when OAuth problems occur. I might change the system to automatically prompt the user to reauthorise things.

OAuth is a good system, but it adds an extra level of complexity into any system as it requires that it is used somehow.

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01st Apr 2019 16:04

"To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer." Paul Ehrlich.

God help MTD and all who sail with her, or should that be sink?

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02nd Apr 2019 17:18

Can one ignore MTD and continue using Government Gateway for VAT for the first quarter post 1/4/19 - and not be penalised?
I assume not - but am unclear what the Soft Landing period of 12 months means.

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to Peter Bromiley
02nd Apr 2019 17:27

Who knows ? There's no track record, is there ?

Personally, soft landing or not, I suspect that you're not going to be able to just ignore MTD for a year. You'll need to make some effort.

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to Peter Bromiley
02nd Apr 2019 18:56

Soft Landing is about the digital links in accordance with VAT Notice 700/22

HMRC are expecting people to use MTD compatible software (which includes bridging software for which there are 11 suppliers offering free real services - real in the sense that you can make submissions).

I would, however, only expect them to ask people why they are not doing this rather than issue penalties ... to start out with.

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to Peter Bromiley
02nd Apr 2019 18:59

I have written to HMRC listing each client and explaining the problems and once I get a reply I will take the next step.
I think this demonstrates I am bothered . Don't forget that the "cowboys" that do not have a AML registration are unable to file as they won't have a ASA. To me it seems that the guys who ignore the rules are treated far better than guys like me who actually bother . Very disillusioned !!

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By Matrix
to Peter Bromiley
02nd Apr 2019 21:09

My understanding is as follows:

- if you continue to file using the HMRC portal when you should be registered for MTD then you are breaking the law. Penalties unknown.

- if you apply for an exemption then you can continue to file using the portal until you receive a response.

- the soft landing is regarding digital record keeping, not the submissions.

- businesses may decide to take the risk but I would not do this as agent.

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to Matrix
03rd Apr 2019 07:08

Matrix wrote:

Penalties unknown.


I generally agree with what you say. However, I think the penalties are defined somewhere in law. I would, however, expect HMRC to take a relatively soft line on enforcement initially and merely write to people asking what they are doing and why they are having problems.

However, I think it is a risky position for an agent to take merely saying that client should not bother doing anything. Applying for an exemption for everyone is pushing it.

Yesterday I dealt with an experienced businessman who has not used spreadsheets before and keeps a handwritten cashbook although he does have a computer and does use the internet. He will take a couple of phone calls to learn how to use excel and put in digital links, but I don't think he will be unable to comply with the law (which is the argument for exemption)

I accept that there are quite a few people in his situation.

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to johnhemming
03rd Apr 2019 14:36

The point is that each case is different and I do not feel an Accountant should be expected to teach a client about a spreadsheet when Teresa Middleton had clearly said that long term spreadsheets where no what is required . You are all going on as if its just a means to and end and have forgotten the focus is - do Accounts FULLY - help the clients business and real time etc etc . The way it works out in the end is just a quick fix. Gross Vat net in Inputs and Outputs and a spreadsheet then use software to ping the numbers over job done. This was not the vision of MTD agreed in 2015 its just a messed up version that means my clients have to pay for some software and training etc .

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to Matrix
03rd Apr 2019 07:09

Matrix wrote:

Penalties unknown.


I generally agree with what you say. However, I think the penalties are defined somewhere in law. I would, however, expect HMRC to take a relatively soft line on enforcement initially and merely write to people asking what they are doing and why they are having problems.

However, I think it is a risky position for an agent to take merely saying that client should not bother doing anything. Applying for an exemption for everyone is pushing it.

Yesterday I dealt with an experienced businessman who has not used spreadsheets before and keeps a handwritten cashbook although he does have a computer and does use the internet. He will take a couple of phone calls to learn how to use excel and put in digital links, but I don't think he will be unable to comply with the law (which is the argument for exemption)

I accept that there are quite a few people in his situation.

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to johnhemming
03rd Apr 2019 08:17

"He will take a couple of phone calls to learn how to use excel"

Possibly the most scary thing I have read in this thread. :-) :-)

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to paulwakefield1
03rd Apr 2019 09:17

paulwakefield1 wrote:

Possibly the most scary thing I have read in this thread. :-) :-)


Its not about IRR calculations, but simply =SUM(D1:D4)

If you just take a cashbook and put in the formulae it is not complicated particularly when people only have a few transactions.

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to johnhemming
03rd Apr 2019 09:33

johnhemming wrote:

It's not about IRR calculations, but simply =SUM(D1:D4)

I've no idea what this means.

I can use a spreadsheet. I can't set one up. And I've never needed to.

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to lionofludesch
03rd Apr 2019 09:52

lionofludesch wrote:

I can't set one up. And I've never needed to.


How do you know you cannot set up a spreadsheet?

It means:
If you type the sequence of characters into a cell above then it totals a column D from rows 1-4.

It saves having to do =D1+D2+D3+D4 and also means that if you insert a row into the middle then you don't need to change the formula.

It is only really very basic spreadsheet functions that people need to use for MTD.

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to johnhemming
03rd Apr 2019 10:11

Most of us use spreadsheets regularly so take basic functions for granted but there are some users who are not at all confident. I know someone who won't even use a formula to total a column. Instead they add up the column on a desktop calculator then manually input the total! I have showed them how to use the SUM button that will automatically put the formula in, but the user still has a fear of using it. This may seem very basic to us, but it is a real cause of stress for some people. That's one of the reasons why I feel HMRC are wrong to force MTD on businesses. I'm going to have fun trying to claim MTD exemption for these clients. Will HMRC be sympathetic?

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to kevinringer
03rd Apr 2019 11:47

My feeling (based upon conversations) is that HMRC are likely to be reasonably sympathetic and may allow more exemptions than from the requirement to use the gateway, but until people have asked they won't know.

I do think trying to exempt everyone is not likely to succeed.

I accept entirely the point that there are people who are quite nervous about technology and don't trust it. That is simply a fact and a fact that should be taken into account.

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to johnhemming
03rd Apr 2019 10:32

Whilst my comment was rather tongue in cheek, it does have a real point. Users with little experience of Excel are often not aware of the pitfalls even with the simplest uses.

How many times have you seen the formula =SUM(D1:D4) in cell D6 and a large figure in cell D5?

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to paulwakefield1
03rd Apr 2019 10:48

paulwakefield1 wrote:

How many times have you seen the formula =SUM(D1:D4) in cell D6 and a large figure in cell D5?

Yes - I've seen similar.

People get complacent about their computer's infallibility, forgetting that the user is fallible.

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By Tornado
to lionofludesch
03rd Apr 2019 11:49

People who already use spreadsheets to record information and those spreadsheets have errors in them will still use those spreadsheets with Bridging Software, so under MTD for VAT there is no improvement in accuracy in these circumstances.

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By DJKL
to Tornado
03rd Apr 2019 12:15

And clients given spreadsheets to complete have been known to damage the formulas in the sheets.

I have one who completes an excel cashbook I have provided who types over the total column with actual totals rather than typing into the analysis and letting the sheet do the adding work. At least I am aware and each quarter correct everything back to how it should be.

Still, my last vat returns for clients are fast approaching then it will be" So Long and Thanks for all the Fish "as I thereafter merely observe all of you dealing with client errors/mistakes/howlers etc.

It is at times like these that I appreciate that I started my pension scheme in my twenties.

Thanks (1)
By Tornado
to DJKL
03rd Apr 2019 12:51

Wow. If you started your pension scheme in the twenties it is going to be worth a small fortune by now.

I lock all spreadsheets given to clients leaving only the cells that require entries unlocked. Many has been the spreadsheet ruined by clients using 'delete' when they should have used 'clear contents', or copy and paste indiscriminately.

I also include conditional cell markers in my spreadsheets which, for example, will turn a cell Red if there is a problem or Green if it is OK. It is amazing how many clients simply ignore these warnings and leave it to me to sort out all the Red cells scattered about the records.

Thanks (1)
to Tornado
03rd Apr 2019 13:04

Tornado wrote:
It is amazing how many clients simply ignore these warnings and leave it to me to sort out all the Red cells scattered about the records.

Not really.

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