Two MTD workflows to save you time

Brought to you by Clear Books plc

Your clients are no doubt a varied bunch. Firstly, you’ve got the ideal clients, who are hands-on and want in on the action. These are clients that log into accounting software regularly to provide income and expense information. 

Not all clients, however, will be so willing to get involved. You’ll also have some clients who’d  rather just throw a box of receipts at you once a year and then head for the hills. They simply want to be safe in the knowledge that you’ll take care of everything for them.

What works for one business owner, won’t work for another…so how do you square that up with Making Tax Digital? How do you serve both types of clients while keeping them in line with the new HMRC guidelines?

Here are two great MTD-ready workflows that will work for different clients.

Collaborate-to-digitize

For clients with the tech know-how and motivation to actively provide data, you can give your client’s access to MTD-ready software. Using this access, they can upload information so that it’s instantly available to you. 

Here’s how it works;

  1. Create an account
    As the main user of your software, you can create a new account for each client you work with.

  2. Set user permissions
    Allowing clients to do as little or as much as you like. Most users allow clients to raise invoices, explain bank transactions and enter expense information.

  3. Set up bank feeds
    Bank feeds on Clear Books are free. Get the client to enter their online banking credentials to allow transactional data to flow through dynamically. 

  4. Review the information and create MTD VAT returns
    As the client enters data into the system, review, edit and use the information to create reports and VAT returns for HMRC.

The Clear Books Large package is the best online accounting software option for your more involved, tech-savvy clients. The package offers full system access for both client and accountant and features a wide range of additional benefits such as online invoice and quote creation, a multicurrency tool, a dividends tool, bill tracking and reporting tools. And of course, it’s fully MTD-compatible, allowing you (or your client if you set the permissions that way) to create, check and submit their VAT return directly to HMRC.

Use of the package requires a degree of technical skill — or at least a willingness to learn — but it does allow your clients to retain as much control over their bookkeeping and accounts as they’d like, as well as giving them a real time view of their income, expenses and their upcoming tax bill. 

Collect-to-digitize

For the shoebox or Excel accounting fans, who just want to leave the whole process up to you, there is a much simpler option. What they (and you) need is Clear Books Practice Edition. This business accounting software package offers practice-only access so the client can stay as hands off as they’d like. They simply hand their files over to you, as they’ve always done, and you’ll have access to Clear Books’ core features, including a three-step VAT return submission procedure so that they can stay MTD compliant. 

Here’s the workflow:

  1. Create an account
    As the main user of your software, you can create a new account for each client you work with.

  2. Set up bank feeds
    Bank feeds on Clear Books are free. At your next client meeting, ask the client to enter their online banking credentials to allow transactional data to flow through dynamically. 

  3. Enter additional information
    If your client supplies Excel files, you can upload these straight into the system. For those that supply paper records, the ‘bulk invoice’ and ‘bulk bill’ entry features allow you to quickly key information in. 

  4. Review the information and create MTD VAT returns
    Creating an MTD VAT return in Clear Books is a 3 step process, simply select the start and end date of the quarter, review the return and submit to HMRC.

Collaborative software through Clear Books costs £22/mo. Practice only software costs £6/mo. If you fancy a free Clear Books trial? Get started today.