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
22nd Jul 2021
Thanks for all the flashbacks down memory lane, everyone. The quote that stands out for me came from a senior executive at another software company who complained, "Whenever Gary Turner farts, you write about it."
He has been so ubiquitious in recent years that I can see where they were coming from. But it also reflects how Gary successfully followed the Dennis Keeling principles of software media relations:
1. Have an opinion, preferably fresh and interesting
2. Be willing to stand up in public and express it.
It's surprising how far those principles can take you, and how few technology execs apply them. If some of us are waxing a little nostalgic, it might be because there will be fewer quotable sources to turn to in the near future. But I'm sure Gary will still be around to dish out morsels of his unique wisdom for a long time to come.
15th Jul 2021
Oh dear... it sounds like an interesting concept, but in their enthusiasm to define and categorise the world of cloud apps, MS has gone down rabbit-holes of jargon that have very little meaning for actual users in the real world.
The first thing I thought when I heard about the Cloud PC idea was that Microsoft was introducing an equivalent to a Chromebook... Anyway we live and learn, and at least I can tell you the difference between SaaS, PaaS and DaaS now.
15th Jul 2021
One other question that may have been missed in the original article: Q - Are you thinking of bringing client bookkeeping in house to ease the transition and expand the client base?
This is a sub-question of the one about building up a lower-tier service line to cater for MTD ITSA and the inevitable laggards who will struggle to comply with digital record-keeping requirements.
There's been a very visible shift in this direction from entrants to our Accounting Excellence Awards over the past 4-5 years and initial samples indicate that momentum may have picked up again this year.
Talking to the people who have done it like Lucy Cohen and Rebecca Benneyworth, it provides an opportunity to whack in expenses capture and cloud bookkeeping linked to bank feeds, plug it into an MTD preparation and filing tool and work towards a "hands-off" automated process. There are several webinars that touch on this approach including this one:
... and several more MTD software available via the AccountingWEB Live On-Demand page:
FreeAgent, Xero Tax, Capium, Nomisma, QBO/Taxfiler and Sage all look up to the job for this approach (with added expenses capture apps where necessary). If you've already tackled it, it would be great to hear you're observations. As a follow-on, we'll try to pull together practical suggestions and software recommendations into a separate article.
15th Jul 2021
Note that the Nomisma product leader said the "target" was to be fully compliant. He's obviously got experience of HMRC policy quirks and the occasional frustrations of software development.
That said, it is a public declaration of intent to comply and I'm happy to accept that on face value.
15th Jul 2021
Update from Nomisma on their plans... I didn't have time to check all the facts before publication, but Nomisma's product owner Ashleigh Hall got back to me to confirm that the target is to be fully MTD-compliant by the end of the year, so that customers have a year to refine their processes before MTD ITSA filing becomes mandatory.
"We've already built digital links between our bookkeeping and payroll modules, which automatically populate annual self-assessments for employments, self-employment, partnerships and dividends," Hall wrote.
"Workflow is going to be key, so we've designed an end-to-end workflow process which will be adapted to quarterly submissions."
15th Jul 2021
You make your point well, John, but so far I haven't heard anything from VT Software about its plans for supporting ITSA filing - it's a good prompt for me to give them a call about that.
You're also right that there will still be some twists and turns in the MTD plot, but I would think it advisable for practitioners to plan ahead for the scenario as it stands. That's why I thought it was time to start the discussion with my water-testing article.
I'd also be curious to hear what your thoughts were when VT said it was planning to cease development of its VT Transaction+ bookkeeping package back in 2017. They rescinded that decision in the light of customer demand, but I think it justifies my primary focus on cloud-based solutions to the MTD ITSA challenge.
If you have hundreds of personal tax clients reporting every quarter, how are you going to input all their transactions to VT?
17th Jun 2021
The picture selection was my responsibility, not Charlie's. I'm sorry if several of you found it offensive, but as with headlines we try to use images that grab people's attention while giving a clue to some element of what the underlying article is trying to communicate.
As a headline and basis for an illustration, "Anti-MTD argument based on false assumptions" posed a bit of a challenge, so I looked to see if I could find something that worked to illustrate "blinkered".
I'm sorry my picture selection may have crossed a line of acceptability and will bear that in mind when preparing items for publication in the future.
10th May 2021
Thanks for pointing that out - you are indeed right about how the discrepancy arose. As we suspected, the article attracted a lot of interest and we felt the need to publish it asap. Our tax editor spotted the PSC/partnership confusion and stepped in to correct it.
As it happens, the interaction of IR35 and partnerships is prompting quite a lively debate not just on the thread here, but in our Monday news meeting. Expect a follow-up article before too long - and thanks to all the contributors who have weighed in on that issue.
1st Apr 2021
Just to let you down easily if you got excited by the prospect of deploying the ApologyBot on your website, check the date at the top of the article.
I guess the subject was too close to reality to get much of a reaction. I should have known that when it comes to new technology, there's nothing you can think up that hasn't already been turned into a startup pitch.
Happy Easter everyone!
17th Mar 2021
We've been getting a lot of traffic on this item all day (Wednesday), so perhaps HMRC's programmers had some extra motivation to patch the MTD for VAT filing mechanism up asap.
I've just updated the article with news that came through from the API email alert at 15:28 that the problem had been rectified.
I'll be asking for a background briefing on what went wrong, and more interestingly, what new features they were adding to the system over the weekend. But give the emergency response team for fixing it ahead of Thursday morning. Now let's see if it holds...