Ask it as a new question/thread - you are more likely to get a proper response.
Michael C Feltham wrote:
"Logically, if the final parametric specifications for full-blown MTD is not yet finalised, then it is utterly impossible for ANY software house to properly script the blocks of code for each module, which remember, has to be intensely interactive with all other blocks!
As much as HMRC are inept the software houses who write software without a specification are equally stupid. Sadly there are many of them; they’re easy to identify - they’re the ones trying to sell MTD compliant software! Compliant with what?
The Office of Tax Simplification ... really seems to have done a through job!
Is this real ?
What does the 'S' stand for in OTS?
I'm not sure the "cloud based" systems offer the functionality that charities require. I am certain that they claim they do. Evidence suggests otherwise. One "popular" system offers a "SOFA" code as its cutting edge technology. In reality it's a field to enter 1 to 23 to represent line items on a report - be impressed if you will!
If a charity has anything more than unrestricted reserves then it may well need to produce a trial balance per fund (or even per project). Much will depend upon the complexity and the risk of unrestricted costs being met out of restricted cash funds. Traditional accounting systems will not provide a trial balance per fund and the few systems geared towards charity accounting are not perfect.
A charity with high overheads, restricted funding and limited free reserves is in danger of funding those high overheads from restricted cash balances, being a misappropriation of funds. It is important that trustees recognise this and the importance of (discussion for another day) full cost recovery.
Sadly many are oblivious to these complexities and sometimes ignorance is bliss. But of course "MTD compliant software" will solve this overnight - surely?
Is budgeting worth the effort?
If you have to ask the question; think again!
The Rogue wrote:
Will we need to spend several hundred thousand pounds on a nerw system so that we can fill in our VAT Return?
Not unless you want to. The only thing your current software solution (MSDOS and spreadsheet) appears not to do is transfer data to and from HMRC. I would hope that a solution to that is found before too long - although I guess the software companies won't be interested in providing it.
All I can say that accountants and the clients better be very computer literate as else it will crash spectacularly.
The fact that my IT programmer clients have great difficulty using cloud based accounting software does not strike me with confidence.
Then again not a slouch but I am not an Excel or IT specialist and to old to go back to school just to drive MTD.
Too much too soon.
The users of the spreadsheet being computer literate is not the issue.
The spreadsheet design requires to be robust enough to withstand the attacks (accidental or otherwise) on its integrity – the same for any system. To make the grade it would have to pass the HMRC testing procedure. I would say that most good experienced and competent users of Visual Basics for Applications (VBA) for Excel could (maybe with help and lots of effort) navigate their way through the testing and write the code to make the connections.
I would expect (hope) that your IT clients could also navigate their way through this too, as this should be part of their skill set. The fact that your IT clients have difficulty with cloud based accounting software is probably due to a lack of understanding of accounts in general.
The point is I believe Microsoft Excel has the capabilities; whether anyone tests it out to prove it is another matter entirely.
Matt Bailey wrote: “Would using a spreadsheet to maintain the records, and then manually typing the nine VAT values into the HMRC portal, be considered a “set of compatible software programs” meeting this requirement?”
I think we can do better than that!
Functional compatible software means a software program or set of compatible software programs which can connect to HMRC systems via an Application Programming Interface (API). The functions of the compatible software must include:
• keeping records in a digital form as required by the regulations
• preserving digital records in a digital form as required by the regulations
• creating a VAT return from the digital records held in functional compatible software and providing HMRC with this information digitally
• providing HMRC with VAT data on a voluntary basis
• receiving information from HMRC via the API platform in relation to a relevant entity’s compliance with obligations under the regulations
I am sure all of us would recognise that Microsoft Excel can meet all of the above but have doubts about this API thingy. My understanding is that the API is the means by which the two systems have to communicate between each other to both send and receive data. So if Microsoft Excel can meet this requirement then it is – and can be – MTD Compliant.
This API thing appears to come (or be supported) in several languages (Java, Scala and Node.js – whatever they may all be) and consists of commands like GET, PUSH, POST, DELETE and OPTIONS.
The trick seems to be to log on, carryout authentication and then send and receive data. Hardly surprising.
A few internet searches suggest these commands can be written within the Developers VBA section of Microsoft Excel.
Now clearly it must be more complex than this because the accounting software industry have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on this. Or perhaps they are just stupid, inefficient and lacking business sense. (Answers for our continued amusement welcomed).