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.
13th Jun 2016
Don't forget TaxCalc is ideal for a small practice. We use it.
3rd May 2016
We charge depending on the client, number of employees, turnover of staff, how much we need the hassle, etc. We charge for monthly payrolls from not enough to loadsamoney. For weekly payrolls multiply by 4. We've stopped doing weekly payrolls as they are too much trouble. And finally charge separately for the auto enrolment additional duties.
14th Apr 2016
We're in our fourth year with TaxCalc having changed from Digita. No regrets. They have reduced prices for lite users all displayed clearly on their website. Excellent products for the smaller practice.
5th Apr 2016
Last time I was there was a few years a go now but they had blocked up the letter box and were not accepting mail. I'm not sure if its still open but last I heard it was being used as training centre.
5th Apr 2016
MoneySoft, NOW & NEST
We have used Moneysoft for two years and pleased to say it was a big improvement on our previous RTI payroll. Shame its not in the cloud though. We staged one client last October with a payroll of just under 50. We discussed with the client and opted for NOW. There was no fee back then but currently NOW charge new sign ups support at £20pm ex vat for over 5 employees where the bureau uses their microsite, £12.50 pm ex vat for 1 to 4 employees. For employers who do not use a bureau its £36 pm ex vat.
NOW's pension is a net pay arrangement so it doesn't benefit low earners as they don't get the tax relief. NEST uses a tax deducted a source arrangement so everyone pays contributions net of tax and NEST claws the tax relief back from the government (remember stakeholder pensions?). NEST is much more beneficial for the lower paid.
Our next client to stage will be in July and has a mix of lower and medium paid. I have signed up for a NEST account and will give this a try. Our client wont want to pay NOW fees anyway. Moneysoft have published a guide on how to use the new (Feb 2016) NEST web direct service which integrates with their payroll so should be a lot easier.
I agree with the OP that the NOW microsite is clunky. We had our first upload total rejection on 29 Feb and after much analysis I found it was a "payroll period" problem. Changed the payroll period dates on the microsite and it worked. Then had the same problem at the end of March. Same cure. 29 Feb seems to have thrown the payroll periods out of sync a by a day or two.
Recently had a look TPR site and found only seven master trusts had achieved master trust assurance status. Despite receiving regular emails from many more pension companies all claiming to be master trust types I would only consider ones that achieved the assurance status. NOW and NEST have plus five others (sorry, can't remember them all). TPR website list them all and explains what this means.
30th Mar 2016
We've used Iris Openspace for a few years now and its free. Each year we get more clients to approve returns and accounts using it. Now up to about 75%. Saves postage and hassle. Once approved all returns are submitted online using our TaxCalc software including accounts to Companies House. They accept the online submission with no signature on the balance sheet so why worry if it's not physically there [@john_griffey] when we have the e-approval certificate.
22nd Mar 2016
I've been using Credit Safe for a few years now for their electronic AML ID verifications. According to their website they have international options so I would call them and discuss your requirements and they'll give you a demo. I have found them very flexible as I don't have to do many checks each year so every year when it's time for renewal I manage to pull off another cheaper deal with them. Currently I'm on 50 AML checks for £100 (ex vat). That's £2 a check with 20 company checks thrown in for free. Seems reasonable to me.
4th Mar 2016
#Tim. In the annual users survey last year we were asked about our interest in several future developments. One of them was a cloud based version of TaxCalc. Whilst it shows that the TaxCalc development team are considering it (and I hope they do) it doesn't mean it will happen. If anyone can put any meat on this bone I too would love to know.
3rd Mar 2016
We Use TaxCalc
I have just posted about TaxCalc on another question about accounts production which you can see here.
See all the prices on their web site and there are deals for smaller practices if you don't need unlimited tax returns.
3rd Mar 2016
We Use TaxCalc
I have used TaxCalc for 3 complete years both for tax returns and accounts production. Have found it more aligned to the small practitioner and far less expensive than Digita that I used previously for some 15 years. Their prices are quoted on their web site and if you are a member of the ICPA you can claim 2 optional extra features for free. When opening a client in AP you currently have the following formats on which to base your accounts:
OLD UK GAAP
FRSSE (2008)FRSSE (2015Micro entitiesSimplified small entities (Non FRSSE)Small company full Provisions
NEW UK GAAP
FRS 102 (Small)
Therefore you can adopt FRS102 early for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2015 should you so desire.
TaxCalc continue to upgrade ahead of the curve and are responsive to feedback. I am glad I made the switch. Why don't you go to Accountex at ExCel in London on 11 & 12 May and meet all the software suppliers yourself. Have some demos, ask questions and try before you buy.