Xero - not that user-friendly
After yet another attempt at Xero, I just do not find it that user-friendly.
For example, there is no running balance in the bank transactions screens. One has to keep a second window open showing a "report" in order to see the running balance, and make sure it really does agree with the paper or PDF statements. Receipts and payments are shown in the same column, unlike the real bank statement which shows them on different sides.
If everything was entered into Xero in order along the way, it might be great, but as accountants we often have to work with someone else's data, and a data set which might be 90% right still needs a lot of work.
Xero is widely used and I'm sure that for afficionados it's easier because they have acquired an in-depth knowledge, but if the basic task of getting the bank right is not really easy, then it doesn't matter how many bells and whistles it has.
Online is best, but when nothing happens, revert to paper forms
I agree with jon_griffey - can't wait until the Agent Online Self Service comes in.
We've just sent off a batch of 10 signed forms for a new partnership, all on paper because nothing online happens until HMRC gives the person a number. HMRC might not want all of those 10 forms, but we don't want to omit one only to revisit it later.
In the last 2-3 years we have used online authorisation whenever possible, and it's quick when it works, but sometimes it doesn't work:
- details not accepted (but details are correct, and used elsewhere by HMRC)
- no authorisation letter received by client
- new VAT numbers not recognised by HMRC's system until some days later
so we send in a paper forms.
CIS tax refunds to companies
In five days this article has been read over 3,000 times, and every accountant or other replying here has experienced similar issues.
We got a result by going, with our client, to our local MP (Stephen Gilbert, mid-Cornwall).
If all the accountants / CIS taxpayers here did the same, this might be the most effective course of action, because after all the MPs are part of the legislature. We can't change the law, but they can. Enough MPs raising the same topic is bound to have some effect... eventually.