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.
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.
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.