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Benneyworth: A small practitioner’s journey into MTD

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Rebecca Benneyworth responds to AccountingWEB members’ negative views of MTD with observations drawn from her own expierence working digitally with very small client businesses.

22nd Oct 2021
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I have been following the comments on AccountingWEB regarding the MTD announcements for years. Many of you will know that I have been interested in and involved in MTD since before it was announced to the public in December 2015. I first heard of the project (which was called something else at first) in August 2015 at a presentation for the Administrative Burdens Advisory Board which I have been a member of for around eight years.

Not for me – initially

I found the presentation about the future of tax in a digital world fascinating, although I could not see how my motley collection of clients would ever join in. At the time there was no suggestion that the new ideas would become compulsory, and they looked like an interesting idea – but not for me!

Things were getting more and more difficult for me in my practice at the time. My lecturing commitments were huge and my clients were as uncooperative with their records as ever. My story about asking clients to bring their books in early in the year that I underwent chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy for advanced breast cancer – with the result that absolutely none did – still provokes laughter, but unfortunately it was true.

I could not persuade my clients to part with their attempt at records early and I was beginning to hate my practice. Unlike other practitioners, I don’t have the luxury of running latecomers into February – my lecturing business starts up again in early February and there is minimal time for client work until Easter.

The crunch point

I had reached crunch point: either I had to radically change my practice or give up. I literally couldn’t go on any longer. But a number of things had conspired to offer me a way out. I had worked with AccountingWEB with a company called BankStream – and gained insight into what a bank feed could do – way before open banking.

I read the ICAEW Tomorrow’s Practice, which also referred to bank feeds and how artificial intelligence could recognise regular transactions and allocate them appropriately within accounting records to reduce processing time.

My way out seemed to be to go digital – go digital or die if you will. But what about my bloke with an exercise book, a pencil and a duplicate book for his invoices? Well, he was a good place to start.

I charged a fairly hefty fee because his records were so dreadful – hours spent trying to separate out a tangle of bank, credit card and cash payments so I could do a bank reconciliation. The fee was large enough to pay for a software licence and for me (joined by my daughter) to bring the bookkeeping in house. In fact, the move produced a better recovery on the time spent, as there was no mess to sort out and no waiting for records.

That spurred me on, and I started to move clients very slowly onto digital records.

The threshold issue

Like many of those commenting on Giles McCallum’s article last week, I was horrified at the thought of my clients being mandated into MTD, and at the £10,000 income threshold. But the last 4-5 years have taught me a lot. I am amazed at how many clients adapted to digital tools.

Of course, some have not – and we have had to be imaginative sometimes to come up with solutions for those who don’t “do” mobile phones or digital in any shape or form. The huge benefit for me is my own experience of being in practice.

I made this shift at first because it was do or die. I continued because I thought if MTD was coming I wanted to be ready for it. Now I cannot ever imagine going back to the drudgery of incomplete records work and the increasingly desperate pleas for paperwork.

Happy bookkeeping in house

I’m happy bringing the bookkeeping in house because I don’t have to spend time (much of which is not chargeable) sorting out the mess after the client has mucked it up. That little lesson was a favourite comment by Frank Woods at BankStream: don’t let them muck it up and then spend hours sorting it out. Why not cut out the middle man and get it right from the start? He is right – it is quicker and easier, and therefore more profitable.

So I’m responding to your comments and your worries – and please don’t accuse me of being out of touch. I have been in practice for 35 years, mainly dealing with mobile hairdressers, fencers, joiners, childminders and the like. I was six months pregnant for the first self assessment season and thought it couldn’t get any worse – how wrong I was!

But I’m now enjoying my practice and welcoming comments from very small businesses who feel more in control of their finances and are gaining confidence with digital technology as time goes on.

The absolute key to MTD is digital records. Get that right and everything else will follow with minimal effort. The technology has developed quickly and there is more to come – we just need to take those first steps. For me – I’m enjoying practice sufficiently that when I stop lecturing this will be my “retirement” – something I could not have imagined six years ago.

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Hear what Rebecca Benneyworth, Steve Cox (IRIS) and HMRC have to say about preparing for MTD at Rebecca's 11:15am "bootcamp" session at the AccountingWEB Live Expo in Coventry on 1 December. Details and links below:

Replies (236)

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Replying to RebeccaBenneyworth:
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By johnjenkins
27th Oct 2021 16:13

Rebecca, I think you are not seeing the full picture. You can only accelerate the payment of tax if you know that the liability is correct. Quarterly figures will never give the correct yearly liability. That's not even way down the list and not possible in the long term. As for economic activity - do we have a budget every quarter? etc. etc.
In fact I will say that quarterly figures will give a distorted economic view and if decisions are based on that then there will be major problems.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
Rebecca Benneyworth profile image
By Rebecca Benneyworth
27th Oct 2021 16:40

John - it has to start somewhere, and whenever it starts it will be flaky. It will improve over time. I don't see that as a reason not to start.

While I'm on I agree with the views on here that there is no (obvious and tangible) benefit to business owners in MTD. Nor was there when self assessment was introduced - a huge increase in workload on the profession and by association our clients. Changes in the tax system come around - the new CGT reporting requirement is utter madness, HICBC even worse, but it is the world we work in. There won't often be a benefit to taxpayers (almost never). But unless we change career it comes with the turf.

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Replying to RebeccaBenneyworth:
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By johnjenkins
28th Oct 2021 10:11

You cannot compare SA to this load of lies. (yes HMRC have lied about MTD and quarterly updates). The concept of SA, one return with all income on it was right and we Accountants could actually see the benefit although the workload increased for one year. Over the period of time I'm sure most business and Accountants will be using digital stuff but it has to be a natural progression, not frightening people into having to have stuff they have no idea about.

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Replying to RebeccaBenneyworth:
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By sammerchant
29th Oct 2021 16:56

But at least with Self Assessment, we could see the benefit to HMRC even if there wasn't to the taxpayers. How does HMRC benefit in this case, by receiving reams and reams of meaningless information ?

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By David Gordon FCCA
25th Oct 2021 13:36

Rebecca
It is not digitilisation per se that is the problem.
It is the idea that these small clients will have to prepare four or five returns instead of one.
There was good reason for setting a lower VAT limit. I am old enough to remember the discussions when VAT was first introduced
It was simply that the administrative inconvenience, and discouragement the paperwork represented for micro-businesses was not worth the fuss.
This was also the reason that annual VAT returns and fixed rate, were introduced for small businesses.
The same argument simply applies in Spades to MTD.
Does any person apart from the fixated HMRC really believe that the £10,000 Gross Income start limit is sensible or equitable?

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Replying to David Gordon FCCA:
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By DavidAWilks
25th Oct 2021 13:49

The £10,000 is certainly neither sensible nor equitable as is the rest of this MTD nonsense neither sensible nor equitable.

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Replying to David Gordon FCCA:
Rebecca Benneyworth profile image
By Rebecca Benneyworth
27th Oct 2021 16:45

David, the point in the quarterly submissions is that they are merely a submission of the transactions recorded for the period. They are not returns, nor is anything more needed than to click submit if using software. Obviously more is needed if using spreadsheets as bridging software will have to be used.
Once accountants get the difference between "returns" and "updates" then MTD becomes solely about the accounting records, which have to be digital.
I agree that many businesses and almost all landlords won't see any benefit, but when did changes in the tax system need to be for the benefit of the taxpayer?

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Replying to RebeccaBenneyworth:
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By Jo Nokes
27th Oct 2021 17:48

Rebecca, it was very good of you to take so much trouble to respond to the many posts. You have brought all the bookkeeping inhouse, fair enough, but does that mean all your clients are on cloud-based software, with the resulting bank feeds, no need to beg the client for records, and no errors to correct. But I thought you took pity on the smaller ones, who wouldn't want to pay for a Xero subscription (or equivalent), how do you deal with them? And at the year end, making adjustments to what has been filed, can you do this from your software, not what the client has been using? It's this year end procedure that has many baffled on here. And the idea that these small unrepresented landlords will be able to cope on their own is fantastical; I wait for the publicity machine to begin rolling and hear the reaction

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Replying to Jo Nokes:
Rebecca Benneyworth profile image
By Rebecca Benneyworth
27th Oct 2021 19:19

Thanks Jo.
I'm trying to respond to everyone who has asked questions about MTD - that wasn't the point of the article, it was just a very personal view about digital record keeping. I accepted the point made in someone's reply that I had not responded to questions - that wasn't the purpose of the article, but if I can correct some misapprehensions then I am happy to do so.

I'm also sufficiently robust to refute / correct and challenge those who make incorrect assumptions and even statements as if they are facts about me / my practice and my clients, for which I make no apology. I believe that no inaccuracy should go unchallenged.

So to answer your questions. I am usually careful to say 'almost 100% digital' and forgive me if I have slipped up and omitted the 'almost' - my very smallest clients (including landlords) - jobs of £120 annual fee - cannot support a licence fee. Even if I have a discounted job lot from QuickBooks at £2 per month that only lasts three years and I can't countenance putting them on that knowing that I will have to hike it to £10 (or £11 as I now learn yesterday, plus VAT) in a couple of years - it would not be fair.

I had decided to be 'QuickBooks only' but I now realise that is not going to work for my clients. So I am on the lookout for good, free software, or at least something costing no more than £2 per month (Which is £2.40 plus VAT to my client - so £30 of the fee gone). With charges for bookkeeping it is inevitable that the fee will rise a bit - something I will resist as much as possible, although many would probably argue that I am undercharging at the moment.

I will be writing to my smallest clients in about February 2023 explaining the change in my charges, having publicised MTD to all clients from 2022 onwards. I will then give them the option of going onto software from April 2023 - one year early or leaving me (remaining on manual records for their last year), and support them with whatever their decision is. We have discussed this at length in the practice meetings and I'm very reluctant to cast them adrift but there is no point running jobs at a loss - and I mean at a loss versus wages rather than charge out rates.

I feel a huge responsibility to these very small businesses and will be doing some presentations for local business groups free of charge to help members understand what the change is and what is the best way for them to go forward with or without their accountants. And before anyone reads into that that I'm on the lookout for clients - please, can't anyone offer free help these days without being accused of being on the make?

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By K81
25th Oct 2021 13:50

I work for a small firm of accountants in a small southern seaside town.
we have quite a few clients usually one man band gift shops, beach stalls & the like who only work in cash. we have a lot of pensioner clients who do not use technology, they are often landlords & they collect the rent in cash monthly & write in a rent book. We still file quite a few paper tax returns as clients refuse to let us file them online (all done for this year)
in the last few years we have seen a move away from online banking & a general distrust of computers.
I have spoken to acquaintances who work in other accountants in the same town & their experience is the same as ours.
MTD for SA for us is very very worrying.

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Replying to K81:
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By johnjenkins
25th Oct 2021 14:13

Why oh why are the smaller business not trusting on-line stuff? Maybe it's because I'm a scaamer that I love scamming folk. Scams are all over phones and on-line gadgets. How many older people have smart phones? The worst thing is that a lot of older people get conned because if it comes from a large organisation it must be true.

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By BryanS1958
25th Oct 2021 14:42

Don't worry, the £10k limit will be increased as part of a PR stunt, so that everyone will say how wonderful HMRC are to listen to accountants, etc.

But of course, the requirement to file up to 25 returns a year will remain, so that HMRC can collect lots of penalties.

Or am I being too cynical?

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Replying to BryanS1958:
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By DavidAWilks
25th Oct 2021 14:53

Perhaps HMRC could get even more street cred if they cancelled MTD altogether!!!!!!

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Replying to BryanS1958:
Rebecca Benneyworth profile image
By Rebecca Benneyworth
27th Oct 2021 16:50

Up to 25??? I don't actually think there is a limit.
It is 4 updates per business on a quarterly basis - this is just a submission of the data in the records for each quarter on a cumulative basis. Record keeping done = press the button.
Plus one EOPS per business (we already do this - it's called SA103 / SA105 but it will be filed stand alone).
10 separate trades is 10 x 5 = 50 (not kidding)

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Replying to RebeccaBenneyworth:
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By lionofludesch
27th Oct 2021 17:05

RebeccaBenneyworth wrote:

Plus one EOPS per business (we already do this - it's called SA103 / SA105 but it will be filed stand alone).

It's interesting that HMRC are moving to "stand alone".

Twenty five years ago, we were told that Self Assessment was the future because everything was filed together. None of this "schedules" nonsense.

Not that I'm suggesting in any way that HMRC don't know what they're doing.....

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By fgcardona
25th Oct 2021 16:02

I have read all the articles with interest. I truly feel we are missing a vital point here. Let all our clients know how very worried and concerned we are about MTD for Income Tax, and they'll have another Poll Tax Revolution on their hands!

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By cfield
25th Oct 2021 16:43

I love your webinars and Accountex lectures Rebecca, and obviously we're very lucky you're still with us, but I think your views on MTD have been skewed by the unfortunate way your practice developed. You seem to have lumbered yourself with what most accountants would call D-listers, with all the attendant frustrations they bring, and this obviously came to a head around the time you were ill.

You probably kept on servicing these clients out of loyalty and a strong sense of duty, when really you should have steered them towards a trusted book-keeper of your choice, who would have got the records shipshape for you to work on. For a knowledgeable tax advisor like you to be spending hours on book-keeping when you could have earned far more in advisory work was absurd. You should have kicked that into touch years ago.

Sorry if that sounds like a gross impertinence, telling you how to run your business, but that's exactly what HMRC are doing, supported by you. They are telling the public how to run their businesses, and even worse, using that to disguise a more covert agenda. I think the £200 fines are part of that covert agenda.

You said last week that you were sceptical at the start but were won over when HMRC pointed out that most +£10k traders had other income from jobs or savings so would owe tax. I really don't see what difference that makes. The question is not whether tax is payable. It's whether there is a material risk of that tax being wrongly assessed due to poor record-keeping, and the consequent impact on the Treasury. In other words, the tax gap argument, but that always was a load of tosh. A quick sum on the back of an envelope would have told them that right at the start, but of course, it was only ever an excuse. Even McCallum didn't trot out that argument in his piece last week.

Apart from the huge burden this is going to impose on the small business community (and even the ones currently using software or spreadsheets are going to feel this) the real outrage here is the erosion of civil liberties by making it mandatory. It is simply not the sort of thing that should be happening in our so-called liberal democracy. It is a huge victory for big business over the public (who will be next to lobby for mandatory use of their product) and it will have an adverse impact on the economy. Higher costs and higher regulation always do.

You're right about one thing. MTDfIT is going to happen, come what may, even if that petition gains a million signatures, and we must either adapt to it or get out of public practice. Our mission, as always, will be to provide an adequate service at an affordable price, and above all to avoid those £200 fines. There's only one way to keep the price down and that's to keep the work down, which will probably mean basing the quarterly submissions on estimates. These might come from the software, if clients choose to buy it and use it properly, or they might be pre-determined figures on a spreadsheet, but either way, they will be estimates. The only legal requirement is to keep digital records and submit quarterly returns. Not even HMRC expect them to be perfect. That's why we'll have the EOT reports. That's illegal, I hear you cry, but let's be honest, no one will give a tuss, least of all HMRC, as all they'll want are the quarterly submissions, so they can say we're all being good little boys and girls and doing what we're told. It will be a bit like Companies House accounts. Apart from us, no one really cares if they are right or not, least of all the authorities. The important thing is to avoid those dreaded late-filing penalties. The same will apply to MTD.

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Replying to cfield:
Rebecca Benneyworth profile image
By Rebecca Benneyworth
27th Oct 2021 17:00

Thank you for your comments. When I started my practice I was not a well known tax lecturer, just a mum starting out in business to support my family (my husband was not earning). I went into lecturing to keep me up to date with tax - I found it difficult to keep up to date and knew that if I was teaching it I would have to keep on top of it every day. So I'm not a tax specialist turned practitioner, but a practitioner first. And like many who have been in practice a long time, as you say, you serve businesses out of loyalty and duty rather than any other motivation. What I have not done is dumped clients in favour of more profitable work, as I can make a living alongside my practice through lecturing - which happily I have proved successful at.
My commitment to my client businesses is very important to me - I work (like many on here) evenings and weekends to fit around their needs. But if hairdressers were good at bookkeeping they would not need me - and mine aren't. Accepting that and changing what I did - having failed to change what they did - was my saving. And digital tools allowed me to do that.
In this article I have not expressed my current opinion on MTD at any point. I just wanted to share my experience that the changes are possible. Even for a practice like mine where far from having time on our hands (as one response indicated) we all have other jobs and are incredibly busy.

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By Peter-S
25th Oct 2021 16:48

We have a good many clients along the lines of Rebecca's example but sadly not many get the hefty fee that she refers to as they would be off up the road to the nearest competitor so there is no scope for a software licence taking that element out of the annual fee. We are also not in a position to bring in a member of the family to take bookkeeping in house and move on in that way. Like many other practices this leaves us and our clients with a problem that has no easy solution. I dare say some of Rebecca's clients were sympathetic to her situation and complied accordingly and others no doubt are quite happy to have Rebecca in their corner and, I would guess, pay accordingly but this particular set of circumstances will not apply to the most of us. So we have to try and sell an idea that we are not convinced about, potentially teach clients how to completely change systems, keep pricing reasonable in difficult circumstances and find the hours to deal with it all. Yet Giles and Rebecca make it all sound so easy.

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By Nebs
25th Oct 2021 19:06

Every 3 months every client will be totally up to date. I'd be happy to go along with MTD, despite all the problems everyone can see, provided HMRC do the same.
Every 3 months, with the same deadline day as MTD, every HMRC office must be up to date. All phone calls returned, all letters replied to, all problems caused by their computer resolved. Penalties for missed deadlines the same as the taxpayer and payable by HMRC to the taxpayer.

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Replying to Nebs:
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By North East Accountant
26th Oct 2021 08:14

Love this idea.......

HMRC with their huge resources are more like "do as I say not as I do".

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Replying to Nebs:
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By johnjenkins
26th Oct 2021 09:22

Make them to be as perfect as they want us to be eh.

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Replying to Nebs:
Rebecca Benneyworth profile image
By Rebecca Benneyworth
27th Oct 2021 17:03

You've got my vote.

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By Darryl F Gibson
25th Oct 2021 19:48

Please tell me why the limit for MTD has been set as low as £10K and why quarterly for such a low level of income…absolutely absurd and nonsense and will cost businesses just above the £10K turnover a lot more money to comply for the same result.
Small companies are those below a turnover of £10.2 million so why can’t we consider small unincorporated businesses as being say below £30,000 and again why quarterly reporting
If the Revenue want the tax earlier then let’s just change the dates of when the tax is due and perhaps make the on account payments more frequent
Much less costly for the small businesses

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Replying to Darryl F Gibson:
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By johnjenkins
26th Oct 2021 09:33

If you look at the real intention of MTD you will understand that this is just the start.
So, my view is that MTD is for every transaction to be tagged and cross checked. This is in order for HMRC not to have to open fishing trip enquiries. In order for that to happen all business has to get used to having their records on a digital system.
Now if, again this is my view, HMRC had been honest right from the start and asked us to work with them on this, a proper framework and work plan could've been put in place. Instead you've got a complete mess which HMRC will never be able to get out of.
Why hierarchy do not realise that when you have an ideology, the concept has to be right otherwise it will never work. The concept of mandatory MTD is wrong.

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By ruth.julian
25th Oct 2021 21:15

I have a friend who is a landlord who will fall into the MTD for ITSA regime and whose total income from all sources is less than £60,000. He is not averse to IT, but he does like a simple life. His analysed cash book cost him £10.99 and has enough pages to last until he is 108 years old, with enough lines and columns on two pages to record his 4 rents in and roughly 3 to 4 outgoings monthly. It takes him less than 20 minutes a month to post all the entries and check his bank account, and 20 minutes a year to fill in the land and property pages and his other income (pension, dividends, etc) on his tax return. He has a mobile phone for phone calls and texts, and has no interest in social media or surfing the web so has no broadband/internet access. He is totally perplexed as to why he should either invest in a laptop, MTD software and internet access, or pay one of us to keep his records digitally and submit MTD returns, just to help HMRC/the Treasury estimate tax revenues better.

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By Scott Hallesy
26th Oct 2021 09:32

Hope that you're still in remission and that MTD is the worst of your problems

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
26th Oct 2021 12:37

A small practitioner’s journey into MTD.

Title reminds me of Eugene O'Neil's "Long Day's Journey into Night" except that Eugene's play instills slightly more hope in the observer.

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By DavidAWilks
26th Oct 2021 14:07

Is the thinking behind the introduction of MTD that those of us responding in this blog will vent our spleen (as we have been doing most admirably) but will keel over in submission come April 2024?
Please HMRC, professional institutions and anyone with perhaps more than one brain cell (exceptng the first two of course) use all influence and endeavours to bring an end to this madness.

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Replying to DavidAWilks:
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By johnjenkins
26th Oct 2021 14:37

If the Economic Affairs Committee can't do anything, what chance has anyone else got.

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By tanyajackson
26th Oct 2021 14:10

No offense, but I don't think your experience in part time practice compares to a normal full time working practice. I am a great advocate for digital working and it is an anormouse help for running my practice and helpful to those clients that are currently required or want to be digital.
I've gently introduced other clients to becoming digital, but this was for their benefit, for example, wanting to reduce our fees. Some have tried and failed and gone back to old school paper records.
So, with the greatest respect, if you speak to HMRC about it's digital plans from an acountant's point of view, please don't speak for me. I don't think you can represent most of us in practice.

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Replying to tanyajackson:
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By Moo
26th Oct 2021 17:14

Well said Tanya, I entirely agree with you.
I would go even further and suggest that Rebecca will have lost a great deal of credibility with much of the accounting community for the views she has expressed in this article. It might have been a good idea to sound out practicing accountants about MTD before presuming to speak for us to HMRC.

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Replying to Moo:
Rebecca Benneyworth profile image
By Rebecca Benneyworth
27th Oct 2021 17:18

I don't pretend to speak for anyone on MTD. What I try to do is bring an accountant's perspective to the project which would otherwise be absent.
Your suggestion that my "part time" practice cannot represent what goes on in real life is difficult to understand. Do you think therefore that I have hours of time on my hands? Am I less committed to success, or the wellbeing of my staff and clients? What exactly does "part time" imply, if not to somehow reduce my experience as "less"?

The suggestion is that I have no idea what "real" practice is. So my clients are different to yours are they? Somehow less representative of the 'real world'? Far from being easier, running two businesses is a major challenge, for ever trying to balance the needs of both. The sudden need of a client against the fact that I have a lecture to prepare for and deliver.

All I was trying to do was give a bit of hope for the future, based on my experience.

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Replying to RebeccaBenneyworth:
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By tanyajackson
04th Nov 2021 12:49

Rebecca,
I don't think anyone after your responses now doubts your position on MTD however, your article reads like you have already given up trying to get HMRC to change their mind.
Individually, your clients are no different to everyone else's but even you must agree that your situation is very different to most accountants. It sounds like a good part of your work is not in practice and therefore you can't really understand that for some accountants, our practice is our sole livlihood and chosen career.
If HMRC suck the joy right out of it and introduce plans that are unworkable, it could be devistating to both our practice and those we employ. You yourself are not solely dependent on yours.
So, it's not surprising that the readers are reacting to your aticle which very much screams 'do or die'.

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By geraldw
26th Oct 2021 17:08

As this thread draws to a close, and I have just finished reading all the wonderful contributions, can I ask what is so wonderful about digital records ?
My particular gripe is bank feeds where, say,a supplier is tagged with supplying materials. But what if they also supply equipment ?
I have a small client whose work comes to me via a registered bookkeeper who uses Xero ( UGGGGHHH) and bank feeds ( many x UGGGGHHH ). I know the accounts of a sole trader might not have to show a true and fair view, but for my own pride they should reflect reality, let alone know the difference between revenue and capital expenditure. Not to mention packaging costs ( direct cost ) being analysed to stationery (admin cost )

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Replying to geraldw:
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By johnjenkins
26th Oct 2021 17:19

It's like any technology - great for some, bad for some. Some clients are awash with digi stuff and enjoy its merits. Some clients are frightened of on-line stuff and won't even have broadband. What is wrong is HMRC trying to force those that are frightened, into doing something that could mentally affect them.

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Replying to geraldw:
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By lionofludesch
26th Oct 2021 17:19

geraldw wrote:

As this thread draws to a close, and I have just finished reading all the wonderful contributions, can I ask what is so wonderful about digital records ?
My particular gripe is bank feeds where, say,a supplier is tagged with supplying materials. But what if they also supply equipment ?
I have a small client whose work comes to me via a registered bookkeeper who uses Xero ( UGGGGHHH) and bank feeds ( many x UGGGGHHH ). I know the accounts of a sole trader might not have to show a true and fair view, but for my own pride they should reflect reality, let alone know the difference between revenue and capital expenditure. Not to mention packaging costs ( direct cost ) being analysed to stationery (admin cost )

Ach - to be fair, that's nothing to do with digital records. It's about being too bone idle to look at the bills.

Or take a photo of them before uploading using the free app.

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Replying to geraldw:
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By Self-Employed and Happy
26th Oct 2021 17:23

You can just split the transaction between the relevant categories.

All of my clients that upload and match their own bills know to ring me straight away if they have a "split" transaction, easily dealt with inside a minute.

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Replying to geraldw:
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By Self-Employed and Happy
26th Oct 2021 17:23

You can just split the transaction between the relevant categories.

All of my clients that upload and match their own bills know to ring me straight away if they have a "split" transaction, easily dealt with inside a minute.

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Replying to Self-Employed and Happy:
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By johnjenkins
27th Oct 2021 09:50

You really have missed the point. If the client is not tech savvy, and many aren't, you can give them the answer in 30 seconds it won't make any difference they will still post [***] and coke to motor expenses when buying fuel especially if they can't get hold of you cos you're on another call.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By lionofludesch
27th Oct 2021 10:05

johnjenkins wrote:

You really have missed the point. If the client is not tech savvy, and many aren't, you can give them the answer in 30 seconds it won't make any difference they will still post [***] and coke to motor expenses when buying fuel especially if they can't get hold of you cos you're on another call.

If the client isn't tech savvy, he shouldn't be posting anything.

Quicker and cheaper for your staff to do it that sort out his mess.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By johnjenkins
27th Oct 2021 10:32

That is the point. HMRC are forcing these people to be tech savvy or pay for the privilege. Foe me to do that I would have to take on 2 extra staff (assuming I could get the quality of staff needed) and claim the costs back from a client that is earning £12k. Just not on.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By lionofludesch
27th Oct 2021 15:03

johnjenkins wrote:

That is the point. HMRC are forcing these people to be tech savvy or pay for the privilege. Foe me to do that I would have to take on 2 extra staff (assuming I could get the quality of staff needed) and claim the costs back from a client that is earning £12k. Just not on.

When your non-tech savvy client brings his paper records in, what do you do with them ? Much the same as HMRC are asking you to do ?

I'm not seeing this as the issue. The main problem for me is the bunching of work, though there are others.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By johnjenkins
27th Oct 2021 15:17

Wrong. They bring them in once a year not every quarter. Why should I and my clients have all this cost and palaver for no benefit to ANYONE.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By lionofludesch
27th Oct 2021 15:22

johnjenkins wrote:

Wrong. They bring them in once a year not every quarter.

Yes. And ?

What do you do with them ?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By johnjenkins
28th Oct 2021 09:40

Yes of course we put them on VT (yes it is a digital bookkeeping and Accounting package) ONCE a year. To do it quarterly would take a lot longer, surely you can see that.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By lionofludesch
28th Oct 2021 10:04

johnjenkins wrote:

Yes of course we put them on VT (yes it is a digital bookkeeping and Accounting package) ONCE a year. To do it quarterly would take a lot longer, surely you can see that.

A lot longer ? Or a bit longer ?

The difference is only significant for the smallest businesses, which shouldn't be in there at all, imho.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By johnjenkins
28th Oct 2021 10:20

If you're doing it correctly a lot longer. It's a mindset thing. Some people will not take as long, admittedly but why should you have extra work for no reason, apart from HMRC saying you have to.
"The difference is only significant for the smallest businesses". Isn't that what this is all about?

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By lionofludesch
28th Oct 2021 23:49

johnjenkins wrote:

If you're doing it correctly a lot longer. It's a mindset thing. Some people will not take as long, admittedly but why should you have extra work for no reason, apart from HMRC saying you have to.
"The difference is only significant for the smallest businesses". Isn't that what this is all about?

What's extra? Opening up the file more often? How long can that take?

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Replying to johnjenkins:
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By Rebecca Benneyworth
27th Oct 2021 19:28

Why should you and your clients do it when it doesn't benefit them?
Might that be because it is the law?
Or at least, on the current state of the legislation, will be from 6 April 2024 anyway.

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