Member Since: 20th Sep 1998
Stephen established his general accountancy practice in 1986 to help individuals and small businesses become more successful. Stephen is an Independent Certified Practising Accountant and Fellow member of The ICPA and member of the IAB. He was a TAS Software accounting partner and used TAS Software since 1995. In 2012 he became a Xero Certified Advisor with the strong belief that Xero Accounting software was changing the way accountants interact with businesses. Never looked back.
A visit to an Accountants' Exhibition in London's City area back in the 90's Stephen discovered a young Sift company promoting a new website called AccountingWeb. Since then he has been a regular subscriber.
15th Oct 2020
I've been a Xero certified advisor since 2012 for a our small practice. I decided not to use Xero Tax as it's simply not finished. No support for sole traders, partnership accounts and the related tax returns, just FRS.105 and FRS.102-1A companies and CT600s. Why would I want to setup and learn another software with limited capability (yes I know it's free but my time isn't). I have used TaxCalc for several years and have just renewed again. It's easy enough to export a csv from Xero and import into TaxCalc AP (by the way we don't use the direct import, I prefer to merge code and description fields using the concatenate function in Excel and then import - told TaxCalc how to do it but they didn't want to know).
It's rather a similar to the payroll scenario. I don't use Xero payroll either. We use Moneysoft as I need to process payroll for clients not in Xero. In 2012 Xero didn't have a working payroll so we looked elswhere. I need to cover all our clients.
I agree with others on here that I don't like all my eggs in one basket. When you have software that works well and that you are comfortable with (and the fee is reasonable) why would you change? Xero Tax may be free but it's incomplete and unfinished. I am happy with things as they are and by the time it's fully functional I'll have retired!
29th Jun 2020
Yes, we use moneysoft and got the same HMRC alert notice with 3 employees listed for post-grad loans. Check MSP and all correctly set up as SL, not PGL. Must be an HMRC glitch. Also told to repay contributions! What a mess.
27th Apr 2020
My only knowledge of the London & Zurich system is what I have read on the ICPA website as they list it as a member benefit (yes I am a member) so I assume this is discounted in some way. I believe it uses the old direct debit method of sponsoring and I note that it only made two collections per month. At the time I didn't think the costs were any better than GoCardless which I have been using now for 4 years, 2 of those with Xero integration. I wouldn't change from GoCardless now as the total control you have over every client's individual invoice and payment collection via the dashboard is second to none. New improvements are rolled out from time to time such the ability to split an invoice into instalments. Yes, the GoC fees have been increased but still very reasonable IMHO. A £1000 payment collected for £4, whereas by Paypal that would be around £35.
Perhaps the London & Zurich system would work well enough for the regular subscriptions that you mentioned as it would be repeating amounts each month with little or no changes. You would need to compare the fees yourself and decide how fees compare against flexibility.
16th Apr 2020
Clearly HMRC are identifying the entity by asking for CT UTR if it's a company (or Companies House reg number) or SA UTR if a person. I have 3 entities to claim for. One is a company with employees, one is a sole trader with employees and one is a person who employs personal carers for their disabled relative. All employees furloughed for different and obvious reasons. This last one is not in business so won't have a UTR. All have PAYE reference numbers. I hope for the last one that the question is optional.
9th Apr 2020
There is a Hubdoc training course on the Xero support pages. I seem to remember it contains about 5 segments broken down into a few sub-segments each. I started this course but have not had time to finish it yet. I am sure your problem is covered. If your serious about using Hubdoc and getting clients involved you should complete the course first. It's free and a no brainer.
1st Apr 2020
I have received an email from the IAB confirming that the Department of Education agrees that payroll professionals are key workers. (Thanks to the CIPP for lobbying them). I spent all last week processing payrolls in my office and I see no reason to change this for accounts and tax work and providing coronavirus support to clients. I work on my own in a self contained office in my village business park. I see no-one all day, arrive after others in the BP and leave after they've all gone home. Our paths never cross. I drive the quarter mile as it's safer but I could walk and risk bumping into a neighour (they do like to natter). I can't cross the road to avoid them as we have no pavements in the country. It's safer here than being at home. In fact this is how I work all year round. The only change is having no face to face meetings.
9th Jan 2020
Still down. How disappointing again. HMRC and GOV need to change their focus from "best digital tax system in Europe" to "an online tax system that you can rely on". Forget all the bells and whistles, just give us one that works!
7th Jan 2020
Just tried and I was allowed in for the first time today.
17th Oct 2019
Many thanks for this. I was already logged as normal but with all the clients missing like everyone else. Opened up a new tab and pasted in your link and it worked. Brilliant! Thanks again. I agree with all the sentiments about HMRC already posted on here - not fit for purpose. Why do they do this to agents? After all we're only trying to assist our clients to get it right.
5th Aug 2019
Not relevent to OP but useful for emailing HMRC FRS team. Having attended an HMRC webinar around March 2017 just before the FRS reduced cost basis changes were to be introduced from 1 April we were advised to send an email to [email protected] if the client wished to withdraw from FRS and just explain with brief details. We did this for two clients. Although we asked for confirmations of receipt none were received. However one client did tell us he'd received a letter confirming withdrawal from FRS about 10 weeks later. The other client was a poor communicator anyway. Not sure if the email address is still valid but certainly worth a try. For belt and braces you could always send it by post as well.