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VTT+ abandoning the struggle

I've just received an email from VT, to say that no more development work will be carried out

For businesses over the VAT exemption threshold which will have to file VAT via MTD from April 2019, this product will no longer be suitable. I love this product, and now I have to work out what to replace it with. Any ideas?

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02nd Oct 2017 10:27

Can you post the e-mail?

Not seen this yet & can't see anything on their web site.

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02nd Oct 2017 10:30

Actually just found this:-
http://www.vtsoftware.co.uk/hottopics.htm
Making tax digital
VT have decided to do no further development work on VT's bookkeeping package, VT Transaction+. The government plans that all VAT returns for businesses with a turnover over the VAT registration threshold must be submitted via MTD from April 2019. As a consequence, VT Transaction+ will no longer be suitable for these businesses.

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By SJRUK
02nd Oct 2017 10:31

Noooooo - I cant believe it. However, found this on their website.
http://www.vtsoftware.co.uk/hottopics.htm

"Making tax digital
VT have decided to do no further development work on VT's bookkeeping package, VT Transaction+. The government plans that all VAT returns for businesses with a turnover over the VAT registration threshold must be submitted via MTD from April 2019. As a consequence, VT Transaction+ will no longer be suitable for these businesses."

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02nd Oct 2017 10:35

That is a big blow, I was rather hoping they would come up with an excel solution to the new regime.

They seem ideally placed to hoover up a big part of the market for those with clients who whom cloud based application are unsuitable and need a simple solution.

Or typing in 9 numbers and pressing send as its known!

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to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
02nd Oct 2017 10:49

Hi

I agree, it's very disappointing. I do the vast majority of my clients bookkeeping and all through VT so will now need to either switch and pay for additional Quickbooks / Xero or other solutions.

I also have a few clients who use it themselves who won't want to go through any retraining / additional costs for diferent software.

I'd be quite prepared to pay extra for VT - the one-off fee and multiple books is brilliant value.

I've tried other software and nothing is as easy, also use it for final accounts.

I can't see VT surviving in any form if they don't provide a solution to something which seems so easy.

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02nd Oct 2017 10:43

This would appear tantamount to signing their own death warrant.

Accountants can no longer recommend VT on that basis and will move all the non-VAT registered businesses away from VTT+ along with the VAT registered ones to a new service provider.

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to andy.partridge
02nd Oct 2017 10:51

andy.partridge wrote:

This would appear tantamount to signing their own death warrant.

Indeed. I'm amazed. One wonders whether there's some other scenario going on in the background.

VT is definitely the most user-friendly bookkeeping software I've used and I'll continue to use it for businesses which are not VAT registered. But this also begs the question - as MTD encroaches more and more into taxpayers' lives, will VT become unsuitable for these too ? One has to presume that it will.

Just shows - don't plan too far ahead for MTD.

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By Matrix
to andy.partridge
02nd Oct 2017 10:54

This was my preferred solution to non-cloud clients.

I have just trained up a client on it moving from Sage and she has not paid since still in the first 60 days (although she has incurred training costs).

This is not great news, I love VT and so does my bookkeeper and we were going to offer a combined MTD solution.

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02nd Oct 2017 10:52

Lets hope they don't stop with final accounts as well

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to ohgoodgodno
02nd Oct 2017 11:00

ohgoodgodno wrote:

Lets hope they don't stop with final accounts as well

What would be the point in carrying on ?

MTD is on its way - albeit more slowly than before.

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02nd Oct 2017 10:59

Holy [***]!

I had been relatively calm on the MTD front because I had assumed (clearly very dangerous) that VT would add a filing option meaning all I would have to do would be press a button or 2...

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By Tornado
02nd Oct 2017 11:11

I use VT for final accounts preparation and it is exceptionally good for this.

I was tempted to use VT Transaction+ for future book-keeping but felt that the requirements of MTD were too specific for the system to handle, and because of my own view that eventually full Audit Trails will be included in MTD submissions, VT Transaction+ might not be easily adapted to do this.

I am very sorry to hear this as VT provided an extremely cost effective and straightforward solution, but the resolve of the Government to force us to use MTD software from a relatively few select software developers is a difficult one for VT to fight.

I have made my decision already to move over to Gbooks which is an integrated suite ideal for small practices, and although the book-keeping module is still in development I can see this as ultimately the best solution for me.

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02nd Oct 2017 11:13

Perhaps VT don't want to be involved with the car crash that MTD will inevitability become. They can then latterly pick up the pieces.

I firmly believe that MTD won't actually happen. There will be additional transition periods which will get stretched until we all die of boredom (rather like Brexit)

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By tom123
to bernard michael
02nd Oct 2017 12:22

I tend to agree, in which case why advertise the fact that you are not planning on being involved in something that might not come to pass.

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By Tornado
to bernard michael
02nd Oct 2017 12:56

"I firmly believe that MTD won't actually happen"

As much as I would like to agree with you, I think MTD of some type will eventually be introduced, even if it takes 10 years to do. It is unworkable in the short term and there is much to sort out before HMRC can even consider going live, so I am sure that the eagerly anticipated start of MTD for VAT in April 2019 will not be mandatory.

This last weekend has been an unprecedented disaster for HMRC online services and even now we are unable to file VAT Returns for clients. We do have a few more days to get the Returns filed but that is not the point, if HMRC are going to commit just about everything to a digital system, then that system MUST be 100% reliable and we seem to be a very long way from that.

I have much sympathy with VT and can very easily understand why they would not want to struggle with a giant like HMRC which has no ears, no eyes and no conscience. Better to settle down on some beach somewhere in the sun with a drink in hand and let the Giant get on with its aimless flailing on its own.

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02nd Oct 2017 12:46

Well, none of this answers the question as to what's the best alternative software.

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By DMGbus
02nd Oct 2017 13:23

From what I have read so far on the subject of Excel based record-keeping being linked to MTD submissions I have only seen one positive reference to a software house offerring an Excel to MTD filing facility.

That software is Clearbooks.

I wonder if Clearbooks could seize the opportunity here to help VT users (and gain new business for themselves), as I understand that VT is Excel based.

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to DMGbus
02nd Oct 2017 13:36

Well, even on the current timetable, we have 18 months to decide.

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to DMGbus
02nd Oct 2017 15:16

DMGbus wrote:

I wonder if Clearbooks could seize the opportunity here to help VT users (and gain new business for themselves), as I understand that VT is Excel based.

That seems to be a popular misconception, but VT is definitely NOT Excel based. Perhaps the confusion stems from the fact that their Final Accounts package is Excel based.

It is a very odd decision from VT, since making the software MTD compliant cannot in itself be very difficult and the explanation does not ring true (after all, it already handles quarterly VAT reporting perfectly well).

At first glance, I think there is something we are not being told...

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02nd Oct 2017 14:06

Just to clarify… the Clear Books product referred to is Clear Books Micro. It’s not actually an Excel spreadsheet, but a product that looks and feels like a spreadsheet. It’s designed to make the basic accounting data entry as easy as possible with a “look and feel” that will be familiar to existing users of spreadsheet solutions. It’s also been designed to reinforce the accountant’s role as the tax specialist; something which we believe will be crucial as MTD goes live.

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02nd Oct 2017 14:07

Clearbooks has been working on a bookkeeping package that could be used as a replacement as DMGBus suggests.
See here:
https://clearbooksmicro.co.uk

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to JAADAMS
02nd Oct 2017 14:28

i take it that this isn't ready yet.

Anyway, as I said earlier, still 18 months to go.

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to lionofludesch
02nd Oct 2017 17:49

It's in Beta testing but, as you say, no rush so I dare say it will be worth having a Gamma & Delta before everyone's happy.

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02nd Oct 2017 17:37

A big surprise to be honest. I had thought they were going to offer MTD as they introduced a button on the latest version ready when for when it was introduced. Either something else is amiss (as hinted at above) or the goalposts have been moved and it's a more complicated process to get the product ready for VAT submissions.

I too agree that this will be the death knell for VT, and I will now need to look around for alternative software. The majority of my clients are non VAT but what happens if they do reach the threshold?

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02nd Oct 2017 17:44

What is also disappointing is that as a long time and, up until now, satisfied user of VT I first hear of this via AWEB. Why no email or letter explaining the reasons?

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to killer33
02nd Oct 2017 18:18

killer33 wrote:

What is also disappointing is that as a long time and, up until now, satisfied user of VT I first hear of this via AWEB. Why no email or letter explaining the reasons?

I bet DJKL wishes he'd stuck with Aweb now .......

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By DJKL
to lionofludesch
03rd Oct 2017 12:54

Lion

I am now just a reader and have currently merely ceased as a contributor. (Except this post, of course)

Hope all of you are well and thriving

DJKL

(This post is the equivalent of having a couple of drags a few days after giving up smoking, may push you the wrong way or you may overcome the lapse)

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to DJKL
11th Oct 2017 15:27

DJKL wrote:
(...may push you the wrong way or you may overcome the lapse)

I guess it's now clear which way that went. WB, but perhaps you should consider counselling. Or slow-release patches... perhaps readers' questions in an actual, hardcopy magazine would be the equivalent?
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to killer33
03rd Oct 2017 09:57

I should mention that I posted my original question following an email that I received from VTSoftware. It was a circular, not specifically addressed to me

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to Jo Nokes
03rd Oct 2017 11:34

Thanks, my email seems to have been missed off that circular..

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to killer33
03rd Oct 2017 13:03

Mine too.

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02nd Oct 2017 17:46

.

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By marks
02nd Oct 2017 23:48

While I havent used VT for years I know it is a popular choice on AWeb for users.

If MTD isnt going to offer an excel based submission option then MTD is going to be a car crash as most small businesses and a lot of large businesses use excel to maintain their accounting records.

Businesses wont like the fact of having to pay and learn software that is being forced upon them by HMRC.

Had a client contact me today who thought we wouldnt be able to work with him when MTD happens given he keeps his records on excel. I said that although Xero is our preferred software option we will work with anything as at the end of the day the quality of record keeping is more important than the software used to keep it.

If he cant use excel to maintain his accounting records he will be most unhappy as he doesnt want to use anything else and doesnt see why he should when excel works perfectly well for him.

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to marks
03rd Oct 2017 07:23

Of course, but the Government are used to making people unhappy. It's what they do.

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03rd Oct 2017 08:34

That is a real blow. I have come to really enjoy using VTT+ (strange thing to enjoy I know!). I and, I would think,my clients would even pay for an upgrade. Compared with the cost of selecting, acquiring, transferring data and learning new software, it would be the cheap opton.

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By Tornado
03rd Oct 2017 09:08

I am just guessing here, but I think the logic is sound.

I believe the Government want to use digital capabilities to the limit which will not only mean the submission of audit trails, but also other easy to extract information and possibly reports by the software that will alert HMRC to anomalies in the records.

To put it more bluntly, MTD compliant software will actually be 'spyware', informing HMRC of every move that a business makes. The ultimate State Control of business.

This would explain the insistence that everyone uses MTD compliant software that has been designed to specific criteria.

OK, this may seem far fetched but if you think about it, even with today's technology, this is perfectly feasible.

Perhaps this is something VT do not want to get involved in.

On the other hand, people can be very awkward and already the MTD plans are falling apart with exceptions and adjustments and probably also eventually, simple refusal to comply. Cyber technology is both enabling and controlling and it is up to us to ensure that there is a fair balance.

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03rd Oct 2017 09:12

Bringing in MTD compatibility would probably result in a massive revenue increase for VT.

Currently in VTT+ if you press the MTD button it gives a message that MTD will be available to those that have bought the product in the last 12 months or those who have a support subscription.

At present you can buy once & use forever. If they followed through with MTD & the above then this would probably result in far more support subscriptions.

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03rd Oct 2017 10:05

This is only a guess but, given the increasing dominance of cloud software, maybe MTD was the final straw?

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to Paul Scholes
03rd Oct 2017 10:09

Dominance?
Do you have any stats?

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to andy.partridge
03rd Oct 2017 10:21

Hi Andy - there's more to life than stats, besides which, as with say renewable energy and electric cars, today's stats have little bearing on the direction of travel.

Anyway, do you not see cloud apps as being dominant in terms of MTD when it arrives?

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to Paul Scholes
03rd Oct 2017 11:22

Hello Paul, you mentioned increasing dominance. Perhaps you meant something like a growing minority? But, in what way can you define an ever-increasing dominance without stats?

My view is that those with a vested interest in growing anything tend to (often wrongly) suggest to sceptics that it has already happened so their view is obsolete. It's a tactic and loose use of language is a tool.

I wouldn't want to predict the future of cloud apps or MTD. Predictions generally make fools of us all.

Not personal, Paul. I love reading your views.

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to andy.partridge
03rd Oct 2017 11:48

OK Andy - but I'm just talking from 6 years of experience of cloud apps with my existing clients, I have no vested interest, besides which I'll probably be retired by the time MTD hits, bit like the founder of VT perhaps, again I'm only guessing?

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to Paul Scholes
03rd Oct 2017 11:59

My apologies. I thought you still had a connection with Clearbooks.

We might all be retired before MTD hits ;)

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By Tornado
to andy.partridge
03rd Oct 2017 11:52

I tend to agree with your summary but can say that I will be moving over to more cloud based software as this will suit my circumstances. This will be regardless of what happens with MTD.

On the other hand, my lengthy discussions with IRIS earlier this year about discontinuing cloud based OpenTax led me to believe that IRIS have very little in the way of cloud based integrated software and had no particular plans to expand in that direction.

I think smaller practices like mine can benefit significantly from Cloud Based applications, but I can also see that the same benefits would not necessarily apply to larger practices.

So, as you say, it is not really possible to predict the future at the moment as there is much yet to come that will influence the direction people will take, not least of all the big question about online security.

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03rd Oct 2017 10:06

Since when did HMRC consider a taxpayer's happiness or otherwise?

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By cc2011
03rd Oct 2017 14:12

How very disappointing. I've been very happy with this product and I don't know what I'll be replacing it with either.

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03rd Oct 2017 14:29

The fact is that there isn't any MTD approved software yet - mainly owing to the fluid nature of the position of the goal posts.

So how exactly are folk expected to prepare?

We all thought VT would be grand. Now it seems it isn't.

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By tom123
to lionofludesch
03rd Oct 2017 16:12

Is there any guidance that mere mortals can read, or is it all just released to cherished software companies privately?

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03rd Oct 2017 19:32

VERY disappointed with this news. Though, not surprised, as a few years ago, I was equally disappointed when VT announced they had no intention to go down the cloud accounting route and were sticking to desktop only.

I understand that it's a private/family firm and that maybe the owners are winding down rather than gearing up, but you'd think that they'd have lots of interest in maybe selling out to bigger players who could develop their valuable brand and loyal customer base rather than them just giving up and letting it die a death.

Such a shame. I was equally saddened 20+ years ago at the demise of the old Auditman dos based system which had a lot of similarities, i.e. very quick and easy data entry for piles of invoices, etc.

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By Tornado
to Ken Howard
03rd Oct 2017 20:25

"Such a shame. I was equally saddened 20+ years ago at the demise of the old Auditman dos based system which had a lot of similarities, i.e. very quick and easy data entry for piles of invoices, etc."

We beta tested an Auditman program running under CPM way back in 1981 on an overblown PET and our business was transformed overnight.

Ah yes, the good old days.

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