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Hassle or opportunity? Reframing MTD ITSA

17th Oct 2022
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Award winning CRM & practice management software

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For many, it may feel like a leap to consider MTD ITSA as an ‘opportunity’. But recognising the long-term benefits is a crucial first step in preparing your clients, your team – and yourself.

No one’s saying the move to Making Tax Digital for Income Tax and Self Assessment will be easy, but there are opportunities out there for both clients and firms alike. 

MTD is a huge opportunity, the question is, does the profession have the ambition to make the most of it?” - Martin Bissett

Highlighting these positives and seeing MTD ITSA as an opportunity to grow your business – and your clients’ – is a good place to start.


More people needing an accountant or bookkeeper

The most obvious opportunity is simply more people in the market for your services. According to HMRC, MTD for ITSA will apply to 4.2 million taxpayers (with business and/or property income over £10,000, including landlords, sole traders and partnerships).

Some accountants and bookkeepers actively avoid sole traders, so it’s fair to say that they won’t be rushing to prepare for MTD ITSA. If you cater for sole traders and landlords – and will be set up to manage the quarterly submissions – you’ll be first in line to take advantage of this rise in prospective clients. 

Just make sure that your clients and the wider market know you’re there, prepared and ready to help. Start communicating with existing clients now and consider how you might target sole traders and landlords in your marketing and referrals down the line.

“HMRC will scare everyone with penalties which, in turn, will bring more clients,” says one of our practice management software users.

Dishant Desai at 3E'S Accountants Ltd. “Many accountants will not be ready, so clients will look for other firms. If we have a robust system and process in place, we will be able to capture these clients. It’s all about People, Process and Platform (tech).”


Getting your clients away from paper

Keeping digital records (and keeping them up to date) is mandatory for clients under MTD ITSA. Many firms appreciate this as the kick their last-remaining ‘bags-of-receipts’ clients need.

It will make people use accounting software, which can only be a good thing! It also increases the amount of work available for us.” - Kirsty Heywood-MacDonald at Heywood-MacDonald Accountancy Services Ltd

Fellow practice owner Vicki Boddice concurs, “My clients are all set up with a receipt management system for example, so it’s encouraging them to use it – and use it correctly. That way, I’m not having to chase them, instead our conversations can be more about ‘what that information means’. Which are the conversations we should be having with our clients!”


Provide more value and generate a higher income

In our recent Summer Session on Pricing, Tim Seymour from Profit First Professionals cited MTD ITSA as an opportunity to give more value – and generate more income.

“Having to produce quarterly work is a great opportunity to increase your fees, add value and provide your client with more information on a more regular basis.”

It's forcing the clients to have to talk to us a lot more often and, by default, that should bring a higher income in for you.”

“If you're working with them on a quarterly basis, you can add in all of these extra qualities and values to the service. Not just giving them profit, loss and tax bills but you can actually manage their cash for them in a much better way.” 


The opportunity to ‘poke and prod’ in different areas 

“Some firms see it as a burden, some see it as an opportunity,” reports FreeAgent’s Tony Stevenson. “There’s firms that historically haven’t worked with landlords and now they’re going to serve that side of the market, for example.”

Companies that see opportunities in MTD ITSA correlate strongly with those that are pro-cloud and pro-technology.”

“Once you’ve got your clients on that platform and the compliance piece is whirring away, it gives you the opportunity to go out to clients with real-time data and poke and prod in other areas. Potentially offer new service lines or business efficiencies you couldn’t have before.”

For accountants and bookkeepers it’s an opportunity to show business owners what can be done with good financial information.” – Samantha Nelmes, LilyIris Accounting Ltd 


The biggest opportunity right now? Get clients on tech early

“It’s an opportunity to connect with your clients on a more regular basis,” concludes Rob Ellis at BTCSoftware. “It’s not a once-a-year bag of receipts, it can be a real value add if you get them onto quarterly filing, looking at their data with real-time feeds and problems or areas to improve.” 

It’s a good kick for those clients that historically have proven the stickiest with not wanting to pay extra for software or accountancy fees.”

“It’s not going to be easy, but there are opportunities out there to streamline things and digitise your workflow. The biggest opportunity is to get them on this tech early.”


Talk to AccountancyManager about your workflow

Right now, you could use our practice management sofware to create a list of all clients affected by MTD for ITSA and reach out to them. 

Then, when you need to manage the increase in work, our practice management software will automatically create tasks for you and your team, send automatic requests and reminders for your clients – and make sure no deadlines are missed.

Want to learn more about how practice management software can help with MTD for ITSA? Download our free guide to discover 5 key ways we can ease your MTD workload. Looking to take AccountancyManager for a spin? Sign up for a free demo today to see how our award-winning software works in more detail.

Book a demo Download free guide