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MTD for VAT checklist for practitioners

​In a recent webinar Jahan Aslam of Fusion Accountants shared his checklist to help practitioners prepare the next phase of MTD for income tax.

4th Nov 2020
Community Assistant AccountingWEB
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Step-by-step actions for bringing clients into MTD for VAT
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During the recent Start preparing clients for MTD now webinar for AccountingWEB Live,  London-based Fusion Accounts founder Jahan Aslam shared the planning and workflow checklist that he had used to manage clients into the Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT regime.

Aslam explained that more structured approaches to client filing hold the key to managing them into the next phase of MTD. He had spotted the logistical challenge from the earliest days of MTD and resolved then to move as many of his clients as he could onto MTD-compliant cloud accounting software.

To better manage these clients, Aslam recommended segmenting clients into different groups for attention at different times. Then he structured the MTD workflow into tasks, creating a checklist of steps for his team to complete.

MTD for VAT tasks

1. Setup online VAT account and enrol for MTD
Add completion date in practice diary

2. Complete VAT fields
 Add milestone in practice diary

3.  Request agent authorisation for VAT through new Agent Services Account

4. Accounts team to provide agent authorisation link
Complete agent authorisation and MTD enrolment form

5. Auto email to client
Send “urgent action required for VAT registration” email and ask them to confirm they have activated the link

6. Update accounting software with VAT number, set up MTD connection with accounting software

“For every task, we’ve broken it down into individual jobs,” said Aslam. “We’re creating each job and creating a workflow against it, and then assigning clients those jobs.”

He has automated the process, and is currently looking into artificial intelligence as a viable option to further implement.

For the vast majority of clients who are VAT registered, they had workflows and training ready to implement with calculations of expenditure already in place.

But when you introduce the idea of increased fees for new software subscriptions, Aslam acknowledged that some smaller, price-conscious clients would drag their feet.

But he remained optimistic that clients would respond when they started to experience the benefits of better record-keeping and fewer hassles reporting figures to HMRC.

As part of this exercise, keeping clients properly informed is vital: “Talk about the benefits… send them simple, jargon-free emails talking about when it’s going to happen and how it will impact them - lay that structure out.

“We have a choice - we either get ourselves ready, or we keep on leaving it.”

Visit AccountingWEB Live to see Jahan Aslam talk in more detail and to watch other webinars about the practicalities of MTD phase two.

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