It’s here: Making Tax Digital’s big opportunity

Brought to you by Wesleyan Bank

It’s almost here. Making Tax Digital, the generation-defining transformation of the UK’s tax system is weeks away.

The rollout has been rocky at times, with plenty of fear around what it means for the accounting profession -- but the reality is MTD is an opportunity. With the right tech and the right preparation, your practice can blossom in the digital era.

First up is MTD for VAT. From April, VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold will keep VAT business records digitally and submit their quarterly returns using MTD compliant software.

MTD’s rollout is phased (and considerably less ambitious than the timeline announced in the 2015 Budget). But while it won’t be as all-encompassing as originally envisioned, MTD is a bellwether for our modern, digital economy.

So if it can’t be avoided, then the question is how can MTD be used as a catalyst for growth? The likelihood is that a digital tax system and MTD-compliant software will eat into compliance work. But ultimately, is compliance really the work you’d want to do long term?

Instead of tallying a client’s historic profits and reporting on their tax liability, the accountant’s services will shift to advisory services focusing on the real-time analysis of clients’ business performance and where they have scope for improvement.

Far from the client relationship ceasing to exist, it’ll become deeper and more nuanced. Especially in the early years of digital taxation, business owners will heavily rely on their accountants for advice and guidance. If anything, MTD is a client services challenge, with you helping clients record and report their data.

This deepened relationship will help position you as a business expert, not just a number cruncher. You can use the MTD momentum to diversify your service offering. It is an opportunity to overhaul your processes as part of a wider digital transformation.

If you want to help your clients navigate the MTD maze, your practice must be up-to-date and armed with the latest tools.

MTD has unleashed a tidal wave of innovation, with new software, tech, and apps offering new ways to improve your client’s experience. Choosing which solutions work best is up to your professional judgement, but the cost of investment shouldn’t stop you from taking the plunge.

Spreading the cost of investing in tech is a simple way to ensure your practice stays up to date, without the large upfront investment. Wesleyan Bank can help finance the hardware, software, installation, training and ongoing support and maintenance costs in one monthly repayment contract, meaning no hidden upfront costs to your practice.

Call 0800 980 9348 or email [email protected] and mention ‘AccountingWEB’