AccountingWEB head of insight John Stokdyk considers the portents for a compliance-heavy summer season.
The power of Making Tax Digital as a marketing theme may have diminished slightly since the beginning of April, but can still rear its head within the AccountingWEB traffic stats. On 21 May we saw a big spike as Neil Warren reported on a business that managed to overestimate its VAT inputs and outputs by £19,000.
More questions and horror stories are likely to appear in the next month or two as businesses and their advisers gear up for the first quarterly returns at the beginning of August. Vendors in this market should keep a close eye on developments; in a field with 360+ rival suppliers, being able to come forward with troubleshooting tips when they’re needed is a good way to differentiate your product.
There will be more on this theme in our next Insight Exchange market report on the MTD for VAT software boom.
Coming soon: IR35
Looking beyond MTD, another compliance nightmare is looming in the shape of off-payroll rules for private sector engagers of personal services companies. The ‘employer decides’ approach to IR35 was rolled out first in the public sector and is scheduled to go live for the private sector next April. Lee Knight’s IR35 guide for businesses drew a lot of traffic in late May and Capium’s resource on the subject was our top download last month.
The change will have major implications for engagers and advisers, but practitioners will only have a short window between the first MTD for VAT filings in August and the onset of self assessment season to research it.
Now would be a good time to follow Capium’s example and plan campaigns reaching out to employers, freelancers and accountants affected by IR35.
P11D – a mini-tax season
Traffic and queries about benefits in kind are increasing in the lead-up to the annual 7 July P11D deadline. Many vendors and professional bodies are aware of the workload P11Ds cause, but surprisingly few of them use it as an opportunity to connect with their customers and potential prospects.
Yet there is more to life on AccountingWEB than the latest compliance challenge. The stats on our Fintech tag page have been rising steadily in recent months. The convergence of banking and lending with accounting software is continuing and forward-looking accountants are beginning to sniff out different options and opportunities for their clients. The quieter summer months are a good time to influence those conversations.
Editorial plans for June
A quick peak at our editorial calendar highlights a few other themes for the month ahead, including:
- KPI focus
- Blockchain: Will it make debits and credits obsolete?
- What’s driving the second wave of firm apps?
- Client surveys: How to run them and learn from the results