Has anyone produced any accounting software that will stop our dear beloved clients from:
1) Posting Car HP payments ( or even the cash purchase of a car) to Motor and Travel
2) Posting an expense invoice to a p&l nom account, and then posting the payment of that invoice to the same p&l account.
3) Posting a drawing against director's loan account to Directors' remuneration.
4) Posting the payment of the director's child's school fees to Legal and Professional. (That might be the client himself doing the book-keeping...)
Any other examples anyone?
You'll still get clients saying "Got everything done on Quickbooks (or Xero, whatever) this year. Absolutely everythings in there! I think your fee this year should be about half what it was last year..."
Hmm -- everything is indeed in there. Sometimes even twice. But getting accounts out of it? Its like trying to get the milk back out of a cup of coffee.........
About 20 years or so ago I wrote a piece for The London Accountant magazine on a similar problem for accountants when the first computerised accounting programs came in (Sage and suchlike) I wrote then that what was coming back from clients was the equivalent of the old brown paper parcel jobs, and referred to these optimistic backup disks coming in as "Brown Paper Disks". As the OP suggests, this can now be updated to "Brown Paper (or now plastic bagged) spreadsheets.
The client will give us now (instead of a disk) a spreadsheet with more than you could or would need, and will tell you that there is no problem as "everything is in there" Well, yes it will be, sort of, sometimes even twice or more. For example, car HP payments will still be entered under motor expenses, motor vehicles, and heavens knows where else, and no attempt will be made to split capital from interest. Or are they lease payments? Who cares, the accountant can deal with it. ("Oh and I can get 45p a mile as well, can't I?") I've even come across spreadsheets where the totals are just numbers typed in because the client doesn't know how to use the totalling formula.
So yes, it will "all be in there" for sure. But getting it into anything like an MTD-able submission will be like trying to get the milk back out of a cup of coffee.
Happy days ahead, colleagues. If I wasn't thinking of retirement quite yet last year, I certainly am now!