Thanks for the reference to the preceding articles: I have now read them also :) Congratulations on putting together a good review and analysis of this subject.
One quote that caught my eye was "Compliance is what clients are willing to pay for, but it’s advice they come to you for and why they stick around" - contributed by one of your readers. This has been true for a long time, but I wonder if this is what will change going forward?
I'm going to stir the pot here a bit and suggest that we should flip this traditional business model on its head: the future should be charging for advice, while giving the compliance (publishing and filing returns) away for free.
Advice is the human element, compliance is done by computers. The new expectation is that what is delivered by technology is free?
Official statistics tell us there are 5.5 million private businesses in the UK. Of these, 4.2 million (76%) employ nobody other than the owner.
It's a generalisation, but a fair one I think, to say this means that three quarters of the client population are "self-employed" individuals, not "small businesses".
What advisory services would this huge majority of clients look to pay for? Not enough to support a valid business model for existing accountancy practices I would strongly argue.
Hi Valme, please confirm what the final paragraph here is saying: there are 80,000 UK users of OneUp?
TBH I have never heard of it, so this stat seems erroneous.
Hi Chatman, you might like this new service then https://www.backupmybooks.com/
Unfortunately, it seems we are rapidly heading to a definition of tax avoidance which reads:
"Failed to organise their affairs in order to pay as much tax as possible".
The logic in that approach would suggest that driving below the speed limit on a road with cameras is penalty dodging.
Sorry, but I have to disagree with "Realistically, VAT is just too complicated for off the peg accounting software."
My company was formed in April 2010 and since then has submitted 4 VAT returns a year at (more or less) the press of a button. Via Xero, as it happens, in our case.
I would argue that, for the majority of "normal" situations, bookkeeping software can file accurate VAT returns without any issue.
Yes, there are special schemes and situations that require additional and, sometimes, quite complicated calculations but that's not a requirement for most businesses.
Hi John, can you please expand on what this means please: "Accountants will be able to join the NatWest/FreeAgent “advisory eco-system” by paying a £3.00 monthly subscription per client."
Surely this is the sentence that is likely to be of most interest to your site's audience?
FreeAgent is free to the small business (via Nat West). Why are accountants picking up a £3 tab here?
Thanks and yes, my wording was not quite precise enough there :)
I'm not sure many of the commentators who are referring to the news today have realised this. Most seem to think that these small businesses fall into the net in 2020.
Let's hope we're right!
@mabzden so you interpret the first bullet point in the announcement here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/next-steps-on-the-finance-bill-and-ma... the same way as I do: that for non VAT registered businesses, MTD now has no impact.
They (can) continue as they always have done. With paper records if they wish.
I might be being a bit thick here, but aren't the first and third bullet points in HMRC's press release contradictory?
"only businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will have to keep digital records and only for VAT purposes"
"businesses will not be asked to keep digital records, or to update HMRC quarterly, for other taxes until at least 2020"
One statement suggests that digital records will not be a requirement for non VAT registered businesses (at any immediate future date). The other alludes to digital records being required for (all) businesses by 2020.
John, can you clarify please?