Member Since: 12th Jun 2015
Director of All Paul Limited, a modern, proactive firm of accountants based in north Leeds that focuses on helping smaller businesses and their owners manage their accounting, business and taxation.
Director All Paul Limited
19th Nov 2021
I'm sure that bookkeepers, well digital recordkeepers, will take up the surplus not wanted by accountants. Maybe its time to let lower qualified people do what they want to do and leave the experienced accountants to focus on tax and business advice.
14th Nov 2021
Assuming that you can get clients on to Excel, they do need to use some simple digital software, bridging software will be ideal, or you obtain csv from bank software. Clients cannot be so idle so maintain no records!! If they are they need educating.
All you then have to do is map the column heading to around 8 boxes (per the usual Self Employed I&E boxes on the Tax Return)
Nothing fancier than that!
13th Nov 2021
I would fully accept that larger small businesses and above must use proper software and can’t really manage their business if they are dealing with Excel cash books etc.
However, what I do not accept them is that simply because MTD is coming our way that we must ditch Excel cash books, used in association with bridging software, and all move to the cloud.
I have been an accountant at the coal face for over 36 years. I think that makes me highly experienced and in the position to give a balanced opinion. I have clients of all ages. I run my own very successful accountancy business.
Clients choose to use Excel cash books because they are simple, mostly free and are extremely adaptable. Clients don’t need to be trained how to use complicated software, whether that be cloud or desktop.
I have absolutely no issues with a client choosing to use proper software, cloud or desktop. But please, can we stop banging on about that we must use cloud would software, which is not always simple to use or flexible.
There must be a good reason to change, and I’m sorry, lots of clients like Excel as it follows a logical, simple and highly adaptable solution.
9th Sep 2021
I wrote to my MP regarding how HMRC were being extremely slow to deal with CIS tax refunds etc where clients had received SEISS grants. The reply from HMRC is shown below. I've slightly updated the text to remove names and privacy data. Hope it is of use to some of you.
Thank you for your letter of 26 July 2021 on behalf of your constituent about processing Self-Assessment returns where a customer has received a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant. I am replying on behalf of the Chief Executive as I have responsibility for this policy area.
We have received 2020-21 tax returns where SEISS grants were not reported in the way we expected. For example, the amount of SEISS grant(s) reported did not match the figure we paid a customer, or SEISS grants have not been included in the correct box on the return.
We have now improved our processes and any returns received on, or after, 19 June have been automatically checked by our system, with the SEISS grant figure changed where necessary. For returns received before 19 June we need to correct these manually.
We are working hard to process them in the order they were sent to us.
You ask that we should process all tax returns submitted by authorised tax agents (accountants) as these should have been submitted with the SEISS grants included. I understand the frustration and the impact of these delays, which is why we are processing them as quickly as possible. We do need to check all returns where the SEISS grants have been reported in a different way than we expected, even when submitted by a tax agent.
There is support for customers facing financial hardship due to the delay, and anyone in this situation should call us on 0800 024 1222 to speak to an advisor.
I understand your concern that SEISS grants could be taxed twice, which is why are sending customers a statement of account which explains what we have corrected and why. We will also send this to their agent. Depending on the changes made and how the customer initially completed their return, customers may need to submit an amended tax return to make sure they pay the right amount of tax. It is important the customer checks any adjustment and statement of account to make sure they are accurate.
To make it easier for customers to make changes to their tax returns, we have recently updated our Business by Telephone direction and are now able to process amendments to SEISS grant entries over the phone. Authorised agents can also make these amendments by telephone, on behalf of their clients.
You can find further information on how to check the adjustment, and any next steps required, at
8th Jul 2021
What is wrong with 5 April?
I know its a big of a strange date, but don't we all know that 5 April is the end of the tax year!
Why waste more time and resources. There are bigger issues to address, like cancelling MTD for Income Tax. If they need cash flow, then making 4 quarterly payments!
17th Jun 2021
MTD is probably going to be fine for the larger small clients and above as they will already have software and can press the button at the end of the quarter. It is going to increase cost and workload for somebody but probably will be not that big on these largest small clients and above.
Some clients don't need to maintain quarterly records in a digital format.
Why does a small sole trader or small landlord need to maintain copius digital records throughout the year?
There are plenty of people happy to maintain annual records on behalf of the small clients whether that be an accountant or bookkeeper at the end of the year.
Requesting records, reviewing them, starting to update transactions etc etc right through to finalizing them each quarter is going to take an eternity and the cost will be felt on the smaller business or landlord.
A £10,000 exemption is a joke. This level is far too low. A landlord with rental income even of £20000 probably will not even net down to £ 12500. It is going to create an awful lot of work for somebody and I can only see it's going to cost a disproportionate amount on the really small business.
What is the big thing about dealing with your accounting records at the end of the year and dealing with a handful of receipts?
I would dearly love clients to maintain copius digital records as it would make my job a lot easier. That has been my opinion all the way through my 35 years in practice when everybody seem to be using simplex d cash books.
Software has made everyone's life a lot easier but but the business owner has chosen to use it where it is sensible to do so. It has not been forced upon them for no sensible reason.
For some small businesses and landlords there is absolutely nothing wrong with the accountant picking these transactions up on an annual basis and dealing with. It might only take 30-60 minutes or so to review 12 bank statements and agents statements containing rents, commissions and repairs etc. It will only take a few more minutes to enter the numbers into a few boxes on an annual tax return.
Having to buy, setup, review, check, alter, amend, train client on how to use software even before the accountant gets involved with adjustments and more adjustments is going to be totally disproportionate and a sledgehammer to crack a nut for the micro client.
For the really small clients the limit needs substantially increasing. If it is not about tax then leave the smaller people out of the equation. When you add the small quarterly payments together for the 80% of clients in terms of tax payable you will still end up with probably around 20% of tax receipts but having created a lot of stress and extra work very little benefit.
If it is about tax and getting some money in on a quarterly basis than use the existing payments on account process and make some estimates and pay these quarterly. Quarterly filings and quarterly payments don't need to be by so tightly linked if they do need tax payments. Just take last year and divide by 4.
HMRC and our professional organisations need to clearly understand and what it is like on the coal face and the amount of enormous work that will be required and cost on the smaller taxpayer.
16th Mar 2021
Partners in practice have to take the rough with the smooth, and lower profits with higher profits.
If staff have worked harder, and been efficient and effective with their efforts, then you pay/reward them. You wouldn't advise a client to not service and maintain their key plant and equipment.
Howe many times do you see 'super pay' increases a few years later to compensate for pay freezes/reductions in the past. When profits start to roll in again, I've not seen large pay increases much in my past career as an employee.
16th Mar 2021
Thank you Jason for your comments.
With the C79 procedure, my clients are provided with a dated invoice from the freight company. This requests payment from the client and also provides the required VAT invoice. Each invoice is entered into the accounting software transaction by transaction. Whilst I do check that I have a VAT invoice to go alongside each C79 certificate entry, to make sure we've actually recovered the VAT, that can be lost within other net charges on the invoice, the C79 certificate then becomes somewhat superfluous.
This is not the same with MPIVS. There is no invoice produced by the freight company.
I have a read detail articles and watched short videos produced by Sage (for Sage 50c) suggesting that businesses no longer use tax code T8 (for goods imported from the EU into UK) and instead use a different tax code e.g. T18 for all PVA transactions. In summary, allocating a tax code against each invoice transaction makes the software gross up boxes 1 and 4.
Whilst the members on AccountingWEB do tend to slate Sage, I would have expected such a large company to have not suggested dealing with this on at transaction by a transaction basis if the simple answer was to make a single manual adjustment at the end of the VAT quarter for 3 amounts on MPIVS.
I do believe that Sage have really complicated the matter further, and created a mountain out of a molehill. Their suggested tax code actually creates two entries into your software to get amounts into box 1 and box 4. I have found an easy way, by using the reverse charge tick boxes within setting, which were previously used for general reverse charge transactions. This new facility is only available within the latest version of Sage, therefore effectively requiring customers to upgrade to the latest version. I don’t wish to change the this article into one commenting on Sage software. I would however be interested in what other subscribers to AccountingWeb do within their own software.
15th Mar 2021
The practical thing that I understand about PVA, and after reading many articles from software providers on how to deal with it through their software, is that when you enter the purchase invoice or payments into your software you have to note that it is a reverse charge transaction and therefore your software puts the required entries into boxes 1, 4 and 7 of the VAT return.
I have also read articles that say that you have to build up the amounts in box 1 and 4 amounts on a transaction by a transaction basis and that you can’t just do a single journal adjustments / manual entry at the end of the month or quarter to account for the amounts in boxes 1 and 4. That accords with the underlying concept of MTD for VAT i.e. no manual rekeying of data after transactions have been entered in to your accounting records.
I have registered several clients for the CDS system and I have successfully downloaded the Monthly Postponed Import VAT Statements (MPIVS).
Even though my client has only several transactions, and totals are shown on the MPIVS for each supplier and port of entry into the UK, I cannot reconcile the totals on the statement to underlying purchase invoices. As my client only has a handful of transactions I do not know how larger businesses will cope.
The article by Jason, and others that I have read, suggests that we should make a Manual adjustment at the end of the VAT quarter using the totals shown each month on the statements.
I appreciate that just because a purchase invoice has been issued does not mean that the goods have entered the UK in the same month and therefore the import VAT would not be due based on the purchase invoice date. Without a detailed list of every purchase invoice/transaction how an earth are we going to practical use these MPIVS each month, unless we simply enter the month end / quarter end adjustments directly from the statements, but that undermined MTD VAT returns totals being built up by individual transactions.
I’d appreciate others thoughts!
16th Feb 2021
Fixed prices work best on relatively fixed work.
If I agree to prepare your accounting records for £1,000 pq and you come with more invoices, unbalances records, missing bank statements then I need to charge more. The client hasn't stuck to the agree pricing methodology.
To me, you have to over price to cover the little extras in a fixed price. Why do I take the risk of undercharging for valuable work for a fixed price to the client?
As long as clients are aware of the extra work and the extra charge I find they do not complain. If the work takes less, then you charge less with hourly billing.
Mostly, I use fixed(ish) prices for regular work.
I do not like annual bills and monthly Direct Debits if I'm not recovering for my time/work.
How many times have you had to do extra work and bill extra to then find the DD is not covering the extra work?
Fixed prices are great for fixed agreed work. If I want a service on my car for £300 then I agree that. We all know exactly what will be done in that service.
If I then ask to fix the air-con I do not expect that to be with the same price.