But others are less happy with the situation. AccountingWEB member Charlie Carne told AccountingWEB at QuickBooks Connect last week: “Why can’t you see a list of clients? I don’t know if clients can file via MTD. There’s nothing to tell me.”
As a result, he has to view each client record individually to find out whether they are MTD-enabled.
“We’re told it’s for security reasons – which means the existing website is not secure. That’s indicative of HMRC’s incompetence. The implementation is appalling.”
Anita Monteith from the ICAEW tax faculty and the CIOT have both raised the issue with HMRC. The tax faculty website explained: “If a client list were to be available in the ASA it would permit access to all client records by all of the firm’s staff. HMRC expects agents to manage their MTD client list and staff access though their MTD software and to manage their client lists for other services through the existing agent portal. ICAEW has raised the difficulties this will cause agents (particularly if an agent uses more than one software product).”
“It’s a management nightmare,” commented AccountingWEB’s Rebecca Cave in this week’s Not Accounting For Taste podcast.
“Speaking to HMRC, that is the way the service has been designed,” said Davis. “The list sits within the software itself. So in QuickBooks Online, for example, you will see a list of clients that are registered and enabled for MTD.
“I know the feedback to HMRC is that agents would like a single dashboard view within the HMRC [system] because they have a number of clients accessing a number of different software applications.”
HMRC has indicated that it will be responding to the feedback with a basic list feature in the ASA, but it may not have all the management features practitioners are hoping to see. Instead, that information will depend on the availability of application programming interfaces (APIs) to feed details back out to commercial systems.
Simpler bridging programs are unlikely to include such facilities, so Rebecca Cave advised practitioners to look more carefully at specialist applications offering more comprehensive client views.
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.