Member Since: 24th Sep 1999
19th Aug 2021
I think programming skills are probably a two-edged sword for accountants.
I’m a self-taught programmer (in VBA if that counts) and I started purely out of intellectual curiosity. I can now program badly in Excel and Access, and a little bit in Word but I’m not as familiar with its object model. For 20 years of effort, I’ve got two big applications which I wouldn’t be without and / but am still developing and I’m also always tinkering with little workarounds and time savers.
That sounds great but, when looked at purely from a commercial point of view, the thousands of hours I’ve spent really can’t be justified. So, beware if you’re ever thinking of stepping out on this road!
30th Jul 2021
And the lesson from that in my opinion (other opinions are of course available) is to not make yourself dependent.
For me, that means assiduously swerving cloud software except for the few clients who are insistent they want to use it. For others, it suggests that a more defensive stance might be to spread your clients over a number of different cloud platforms to try and minimise this sort of risk (but of course create some new risks).
22nd Jul 2021
If 93% of sole traders and 67% of partnerships already align their accounting year to the tax year, then they are obviously not going to be affected by this change and only a small minority will.
So, how would making this change a) be worth the effort given the small proportion affected, b) improve matters as one set of special rules (which are well understood despite the rubbish which HMRC got the minister to sign off) are replaced by another, or c) be a simplification of any sort when the new rules would likely require significant use of estimated profits?
9th Jul 2021
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I have a 24 year old son myself and he seems fit and healthy but your story would horrify any parent of a child any age. I appreciate that it must be early days for you and I'm sure there will always be a hole in your heart but I would just like to say that I am impressed by the way you, and others who suffer loss too, are still functioning.
9th Jul 2021
Lucy, you were incredibly unlucky but also incredibly lucky. What your story tells us is that we're all potentially one step away from disaster: "there but for the grace of God" and all that.
Thank you for sharing. I'm not really a touchy / feely people person myself but it's nevertheless uplifting to read a massive human interest story like yours and see this as an example of triumph through adversity.
23rd Jun 2021
And just another thought:
31 Dec isn’t the universal tax year end. Australia’s is 30 June and they’re likely to become an increasingly important trading partner so, that argument goes, why not align with them?
Or, radical idea here, why not just align with what works best for us? At the end of the day, international issues are a vanishingly small part of the average practice’s workload and of the average taxpayer’s tax burden, so let’s avoid the tail wagging the dog here.
23rd Jun 2021
Hang on a minute, isn’t there a certain inconsistency of thought here?
Most of us are opposed to MTD, partly because we can’t see the point, partly because we’re defending our clients’ right to arrange their own affairs their own way, but mostly because we think HMRC will make a complete cobblers of the job.
Yet on this thread there are multiple posters advocating not only a “sensible” date for the tax year end but the opportunity to be radical and move it to 31/12. What leap of faith is needed to believe that HMRC can find its way out of the toilet let alone manage a change of this magnitude? (And bearing in mind that this isn’t the same Revenue of 30 years ago which handled the SA / CYB change pretty well).
16th Jun 2021
Well, that's my point.
HMRC have decided this is good for us (well, actually, it's good for them but they want to sell it as good for us). In fact, it's so good for us that they're making it compulsory and we can all then come to appreciate the benefits just as the article OP has. Hurrah for the Revenue (they think) but really that's all @r$3 about t1t.
In an open market, we the consumer would first decide that product X was good for us and then migrate that way. If HMRC really feel that digitalisation is good for everybody, then they should have the courage of their convictions and let the market decide (which it naturally would do over time, all the Revenue needed to do was wait 10 or 20 years and see the current business generation replaced by those millennial whippersnappers and their endless social media).
16th Jun 2021
Yes, but this article could just as easily be headed up "Don't support MTD for the wrong reasons."
Whilst some of these benefits claimed for MTD MIGHT happen, the reality is that most WON'T happen. That is what most accountants are complaining about, the prospect of pain with no gain both for ourselves and our non IT-savvy clients.
HMRC need to get out of their Soviet-style mentality and embrace the open market. When their software offering is so good and offers such advantages that the market moves that way and adopts, that is the time to make these things compulsory and not a second earlier.
10th Jun 2021
C’mon now, you already know the answer to that one!