Member Since: 24th Sep 1999
17th Sep 2021
Well, I charge £180 pa for this (from my commercial premises) although that does include submitting the confirmation statement, and I still have enough takers to make it a decent enough profit centre.
So I would suggest you may be looking at this the wrong way round. It's the same argument as per payroll: accountants charge more but clients on the whole are prepared to pay that for the reassurance that it's being done right by people they trust.
8th Sep 2021
Well, I'm still working to covid protocols when it comes to opening the post. It's quarantined for anything between 3 and 5 days depending upon when we get round to it.
In all seriousness, it's probably well past time where we knocked the habit on the head but it's effectively become embedded as part of our routine now.
4th Sep 2021
It seems the consensus is that not all accountancy fees are allowable expenses.
Just to reply re the disposal.
I think you’ll find it’s unanimous rather than merely a consensus.
2nd Sep 2021
Yep, I've got a scansnap scanner (might even be that model) and it's fantastic. I'm not a gadget guy and I'm pretty happy hanging on to my old fashioned working ways as a rule but my scanner really is just about the best piece of kit I've got.
2nd Sep 2021
I agree with all the above negative comments about MTD (and on every other thread) but would just like to add one more:
I could live easier with MTD if HMRC / HMG were just honest about and showed a little integrity. If they said "we want MTD because it will suit us, we'll use it to accelerate tax payments and we'll also use it in due course to remote audit the digital audit trails that we will require in due course; oh, and we don't care about the extra costs and hassle we're imposing because we think they're outweighed in the big picture by the benefits to us," then I would disagree with the direction of travel but I would at least appreciate the openness and clarity about where we're headed.
As it is, however, their argument that MTD will be better for us because, err, it just will be holds no water and smacks of the sort of dishonesty and disingenuousness we have come to associate with our policy makers.
25th Aug 2021
Well, the main point is that you DEFINITELY need a tracking system of some sort. You've already realised that which is good.
That tracking system doesn't need to be a bloated commercial product although there are arguments for that, but it could be paper or Excel or Access or maybe something else.
Excel works for the solo practitioner as long as s/he is competent with spreadsheets, familar with conditional formatting and just a little VBA knowledge would definitely be helpful (or the new scripting language which seems to be in the latest releases). But spreadsheets can be difficult to maintain accurately.
Access would be better as it is already a multi-user database environment but the learning curve is steep. I started my practice way back in the Stone Age (the 90s) and that was before PM was much of a thing, so I built and still use my own PM database, originally in Approach (yep, I'm that old) and now in Access. It keeps me out of mischief and, best of all, it's free.
If I had my time again, however, and knowing what I know now, I think I would bite the bullet and go for the bloatware even though it costs the thick end of a grand even for a single user (I think £60pm is a common pricing point) and even though they all come with bells'n'whistles which are just not needed.
24th Aug 2021
I don't think the OP is an idiot even if they think they are: we've all been there and done something which looked daft in retrospect. Now that it's happened, however, the lesson to be learned (which I was lucky to learn early in my career) is NEVER to rely on a third party as your reminder system.
As for what to do now, I would direct you back to the first reply. Only you know your full circumstances and, as long as you're confident that you're a completely pukka operation, you're now left with a choice of committing a technical offence but continuing to ensure your clients meet their responsibilities versus downing tools and taking the flak for HMRC not being able to organise the proverbial event in the brewery.
17th Aug 2021
You're arguing from legal fact but I would argue from economic substance.
The liability for s455 doesn't crystalise until 9 months and a day after the end of the period (regardless of the fact that the calculation is based on the year end position) and in any case only crystalises if post B/S repayments aren't made (which in most cases for most clients they are). For me, that makes the s455 a non-adjusting post B/S event (or whatever the terminology is these days).
Us accountants, eh? Really living the high life here.
12th Aug 2021
You make some good points and it's interesting to have a different perspective. To pull you up on one of your points, however:
At the same time, we did some independent research on SME businesses with 2+ staff in the trade space. For each of QB, Xero and Sage in answer to the question "What are the 3 things you most love about the solution "Easy to use" (or some variant of that) was the top answer.
It appears that Winston's saw should now be changed to "lies, damned lies and market research conclusions! HMRC are also guilty of wilfully misapplying / spinning their market research (not that I am suggesting that is what you are doing).
Of course the man on the street thinks the software is wonderful and easy to use: that's why they have the misplaced confidence to carry on and make such a mess. If it were difficult and they really had to stop and think about it, then the more cautious / sensible ones would speak to their accountant first and that would be better for them in the long run.
So, in other words, that question is misleading and / or doesn't really dig deeply enough.
10th Aug 2021
I do actually agree with the thrust of your argument that, in general, bad workmen blame their tools.
I'm just a little surprised by your stout defence of software companies in this particular case.
The ads are clever but there is undoubtedly the subliminal message that a) accounts is easy, and b) your accountant can be binned off (or at least excluded from the process). Also, c) there is no mention of the risks of getting it wrong in terms of missed deadlines, potentially underpaid tax and potential penalties, and d) we as accountants know perfectly well there are many, many clients who either won't cope or where MTD isn't really relevant to them (which may not be the software companies fault unless you subscribe to the conspiracy theories).
It's points c) and d) (because I do subscribe to this conspiracy theory) in particular which are the aggravating factors for me and tip these ads into the actively misleading category where "something should be done" but where nothing will be done because it doesn't suit the bright young things at the Treasury who think we should all be like them and live our complete lives online.