Member Since: 1st Feb 1998
AccountingWEB’s interim Editor in Chief has been with the site since 1999 and returned to the editorial hot seat in March 2020 to lead the hunt for a long-term successor... Send a DM if you're interested! When not tending to the needs of AccountingWEB members and geeking out on their technology habits, he devotes much of his time to his oddball collection of stringed instruments and seeking out obscure indie music in Brighton UK and beyond.
Editor in Chief AccountingWEB
6th Jul 2021
PS - I forgot to mention, if your clients are very price conscious, you can probably put them onto FreeAgent for free if they switch to NatWest - since the group acquired FreeAgent, the software has been used to lure in new business banking customers.
6th Jul 2021
It's an interesting question that caught my eye, John, but do bear in mind MissAccounting's advice.
Part of me still wonders about whether the Taxfiler founders set their rates to build up a significant customer base that would lure the attentions of the bigger software houses that they disrupted. So the scenario you're describing might have been built into their business plan rather than just being a continuation of IRIS's premium pricing strategy.
Meanwhile, are you a Xero user by chance? If you're just doing very simple accounts and CT returns, the Xero Tax application might meet the needs of those clients. Once you've signed up for the Xero partner programme, Xero Tax comes free. It should now also a personal tax return capability: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tech/practice-software/xero-previews-per...
FreeAgent is going the same route, and now allows users to file CT600s and final accounts from within the accounting app. https://www.freeagent.com/blog/introducing-corporation-tax-ct600/
These new entrants to the compliance software scene are relatively young, immature tax apps, but are likely to gain in functionality and reach as we migrate to MTD for income tax. So, having itself been the disruptive player in the market a few years ago, Taxfiler could find itself being disrupted by the big accounting platforms.
6th Jul 2021
Thanks for a really useful thread, everyone. I've come late to the party, but along with Maddy I'm taking a closer interest in the digital banking market because of the impending wave of digital record-keeping that will be needed to feed into MTD for income tax.
One of the names not mentioned here is Countingup, which has featured fairly prominently as one of the most heavily used banking apps among accountants taking part in our annual software surveys (NB - they were from relatively small samples).
Where Countingup looks most interesting is the way it presents itself as an accounting app with banking attached. As well as running the business current account and handling payments and receipts, Countingup will categorise the transactions to HMRC's main expense headings and output MTD for VAT returns.
We've heard that Anna Money is working on similar functions and with sole traders and other initiatives are sure to follow from other banks.
The big question we'll be looking to answer in the next few months is whether these new digital banks will successfully expand in the sole trader market and lure business people away from accounting software-based MTD solutions.
30th Jun 2021
To add to that argument, HMRC have been in touch with us to emphasise that taxpayers are perfectly entitled to ask agents for support. What they cannot do is ask agents to claim on their behalf.
The spokesperson advised: "In relation to the SEISS 4th grant, which closed on 1 June 2021, claims needed to be made by individuals. Like for every SEISS grant, your agent may be have been able to help you understand the process and the information required. If anyone has any concerns about claiming future SEISS grants, you should speak with your agent in the first instance. If your accountant or tax agent tries to claim on your behalf that may result in a delay to receiving payment. Further detail on the SEISS 5 will be published in early July."
While that is the department's stated policy, the issues about staff training and consistency are familiar to us here on Any Answers, and among the wider profession. Hopefully this episode will be down to an isolated "rogue" helpdesk staffer.
8th Jun 2021
Richard tracked the most likely source down to the Fastly content delivery network (CDN), which helps to accelerate and distribute net content through distributed servers.
They noted an issue at just before 11am UK time and reported back a few minutes ago (11:44 BST): " Identified - The issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented."
Thanks for alerting us to the issue, we'll see if we can find out what the cause was and whether there are any serious implications for the profession.
22nd Apr 2021
"AccountancyManager" was a tag the OP selected from the menu when posting. It's an Aweb site label, not anything to do with their role. I changed it to "customer service" to make the tag more relevant to the subject matter.
19th Apr 2021
Thank's for the update... we got notified at 10:47 that HMRC was investigating the MTD for VAT issue.
But we've also had comments from several accountants in Any Answers that all their clients had disappeared from the PAYE portal: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/paye-accounts-on-agent-dashb...
We'll do some poking around and report back if/when we discover anything more.
19th Apr 2021
You could well be right, hrbs.biz - While I was tied up in meetings, an incident report came through from HMRC at 10:47 about VAT MTD service not being available availability and under "urgent investigation".
As you suggest, if PAYE dashboards have been out of action since 9am, this sounds like it's a broader system issue than just MTD platform.
We'll see what we can find out from official HMRC channels.
13th Apr 2021
Don't forget Mark Taylor's summary if you want a look at some of the implications for accountants: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/business/finance-strategy/greensill-coll...
31st Mar 2021
Sorry - it's always been that way. Our verbal security guard comes from across the Atlantic, where that word has slightly different connotations.