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Making digital tax a doddle

24th May 2017
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Malvern accountant Karen Lowen has developed an innovative cloud application to help small businesses tackle Making Tax Digital (MTD).

Speaking at Accountex earlier this month [see video below], Lowen explained how she developed her own cloud-based accountancy software after hearing the Chancellor’s plans in the 2015 Budget to scrap annual tax returns.

"I wondered how millions of small business owners and sole traders across the country would be able to fulfil this objective without the use of simple software,” she explained.


Quick out of the blocks, Lowen assembled a team of developers and got to work on her own simple-to-use solution called ‘dod-dle’ to help clients at her accounting firm Turl & Co.

The software solution has since grown out of that initial client concern and this year made a splash at the annual accounting trade show, Accountex.

The first programme they made, simply called dod-dle, launched late last year and uses the traditional method of accounting of accruals and prepayments.

It allows the user to enter opening balances, will automatically calculate CIS tax for both a sub-contractor and a contractor and will print out a set of accounts. Users can also print out a sales invoice from the minimum amount of data entered.

dod-dle cash

New for this year is ‘dod-dle cash’, a simplified version which uses the cash basis of accounting with prices starting from just £10 per month.

This simpler version assumes that all expenses and sales entered are already paid in cash. There is no bank account facility (so no bank account to reconcile), but keeps a running total of sales and expenses to provide either a profit or loss figure.

According to Lowen users can still create a sales invoice, take photos of expense invoices and take advantage of other features that dod-dle users enjoy.

The team will be taking dod-dle cash into the public beta with HMRC from 1 July.

Accountants hub

It has also come up with an accountant's hub which is a free facility for accountants to sign up clients to dod-dle directly.

Accountants can log into any of their registered client accounts and view them in their entirety.

Lowen said they are now working on providing a direct filing facility so that accountants can submit MTD quarterly updates on behalf of their clients via the hub.

“If an accountant signs up a client new to dod-dle through their hub we pay a 10% commission monthly from the second sign-up onwards,” she said.

Lowen added that they can also assign clients to an accountant if they have signed up to dod-dle independently, although in these cases they do not pay a commission.

Watch the Accountex dod-dle interview below:

Watch more videos from Accountex 2017 in our YouTube playlist

Replies (6)

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By seitler
24th May 2017 20:51

Will Dod-dle do any more than Vt Transaction and Vt cashbook ? (The latter being free)

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Replying to seitler:
Karen Lowen
By Karen Lowen
25th May 2017 09:17

Thank you for your question Seitler. Dod-dle is designed to be so simple that most people can use it with ease. It is the simplicity that we believe makes it most appealing to small businesses and which sets it aside from other programmes. However, as Rob mentioned in this great article, dod-dle offers many features that wouldn't normally be expected with a programme designed to be so simple and we are adding more features all the time. For example, many accountants we met at Accountex asked for a feature to download the trial balance in CSV. We have now added this facility. We offer a free trial of both 'dod-dle' and 'dod-dle cash'so I would encourage you to try it and see what you think of it.

Thanks (1)
By bosclibby
25th May 2017 15:50

Was at AccountEx both days and must admit I didn't see your stand....or if I did it didn't register what you were offering.
Could you put a link to your free trial as it might be worth looking at.

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Replying to bosclibby:
Karen Lowen
By Karen Lowen
26th May 2017 09:34

Hi Bosclibby,

Oh dear, I'm sorry we missed you. We found that as we aren't a recognised name it was sometimes hard to catch visitors attention. However, when we did get to speak to accountants we had a really positive reaction. "Software for carrier bag men" was one of our opening lines!

We offer a free trial to both 'dod-dle' and 'dod-dle cash'. I suggest you try the cash basis one first, then road test the other. The free trial can be accessed from our website:, just click the round "Free Trial" button in the top right corner. However, a better way to access both is to sign up to our Accountants Hub here: You can then see how that works and still have free trials of both dod-dle products.

I hope you enjoy using dod-dle and sorry, again, that we didn't get the chance to chat with you at Accountex.

Thanks (2)
My photo
By Matrix
27th May 2017 12:20

Well done for developing this but I had two questions:

1 What happens if a sole trader becomes VAT registered - will they have to change software?

2 Where do you see the product as positioning itself in the market? I can offer FreeAgent to sole traders for around £10 a month so £20 plus VAT a month looks high when your software looks like a simplified version of FreeAgent?

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Replying to Matrix:
Karen Lowen
By Karen Lowen
30th May 2017 10:42

Hi Matrix,

Thankyou, that's kind of you and I will try and answer your questions.

We will be releasing "dod-dle VAT" in the future, along with a programme for small limited companies. These, however, won't be available until later in the year as we are currently working on making dod-dle ready for the public beta testing of MTD first.

Dod-dle cash is £10.00 a month plus VAT and is our cash basis option. I have developed both versions of dod-dle for those clients that have no knowledge of bookkeeping and want a simple to use, easy to understand option ready for MTD. There is also quite a lot of hand-holding, such as an online help section, help videos available and online chat although dod-dle is so simple we find that nearly everyone can use it straight away.

In answer to your question, then, dod-dle is aiming to be the easiest, simplest, online bookkeeping solution.

Please feel free to take advantage of our free trials, our accountant's hub is permanently free to use and you can add dummy clients to try out dod-dle for yourself and see what you think.

Thanks (0)