VAT records and accounting software authorisation

VAT records and accounting software authorisation particularly as it affects Freeagent

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My question relates to VAT Return preparation and submission.
Using Freeagent's software, and after VAT preparation, I enter agent Government Gateway credentials with all client's VAT details including their VAT number.  Is this  authorisation for Freeagent for one client only (which I want) or does it affect all other authorisations for other clients too, for whom I use different software including bridging software? Of course, this is important to me and want to get this right. Thank you.

A second question for contributors. Regarding VAT preparation for limited companies I encounter no problem in obtaining log-in details from clients for bank access for the purposes of pointing to accounting software.  However, do other contributors like me,  find client resistance to access client log-in details for sole trader clients?  This is because we would then have access to not only their business bank accounts but also their personal accounts as well which some clients resist.  Of course,  I understand this.  However, how do other colleagues deal with this when needing access to both bank accounts for purposes of VAT preparation?  Thank you. 

Replies (6)

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By DKB-Sheffield
18th Feb 2024 16:46


On question 1... I can't speak for FreeAgent per se BUT... linking your agent login with FA shouldn't* affect your other authorisations in other software. This authorisation is to allow you submit, via that software, for approved clients (per you ASA) using that software. In other words... you should* only need one approval l, per software, per 18 months.

* Note... I use should/ shouldn't! Some software I need to go through the approval process regularly. Oh... and this is HMRC!

On question 2... I've read your question in 2 ways:

A: I do have clients who refuse to link accounts via bank feeds BUT not for the reasons you've given. I also have clients I don't wish to have bank feeds for... but that's a different story (barely compatible overseas banks, Paypal etc.). What you need to explain to clients is... the only bank accounts you can see, are those they approve for the feed. If they have 20 accounts showing in their online banking dashboard, you will only be able to view the account(s) they approve access to. Most can set up the feed themselves. Those that can't sit with me and I guide them through it. They NEVER provide me with login details though.

B: If you are actually saying that sole traders don't wish to show you personal bank statements (for accounts used in their business) because they don't want you to see their non-business transactions... there is either; a trust issue, or potentially something more sinister. Either way, you can only work with what you have got, and you need to make very sure the client is aware of what information they gave you. There are options... the client gets a business bank account, you take a risk, or you disengage.

Obviously, there is a third way of reading your question... that is that the client doesn't want to give you the login details for their bank accounts. I'm sure that is not what you are asking as you will know you shouldn't be asking what you're not asking them to do!

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Replying to DKB-Sheffield:
By DKB-Sheffield
18th Feb 2024 17:38


On the VAT question...

What did you do on 15th Nov 2023? This seems a very similar question... is it not?

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By Matrix
18th Feb 2024 16:53

If I understand you correctly then you just put in your agent details once to set up and then submit for all clients. The client sets up the bank feed. It is no different from other cloud software.

Why would clients give you access to their bank account just to set up a bank feed?

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
18th Feb 2024 17:04

Is the login you entered (in your first major para) your agent login; or that of your client?

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By Cylhia66
19th Feb 2024 06:36

It sounds to me you are using your clients HMRC log in details and their bank accounts credentials. You're not supposed to do either of these two things.

You should have your own agent HMRC log in details to file the VAT returns. And your clients should be linking their bank accounts to the accountancy softwares themselves. I'm not the least surprised that that they are reluctant to share this information with you. And they are quite right, they shoulnd't share this information with you, even if you are an accountant.

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By Vallery Lee
22nd Feb 2024 13:18

Why not just ask the client/s to send you copies of the bank statements on a quarterly basis? works for me

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