9am Lowdown: MTD preparation and student wellbeing

9am Lowdown
Richard Hattersley
Community correspondent
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In the Lowdown this morning, a Thomson Reuters survey reveals what accountants are doing to prepare for Making Tax Digital. Elsewhere, new research from CABA shows how students are faring within the sector, and on Any Answers, a small practitioner needs help relocating.

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How accountants are preparing for MTD

The snap general election has somewhat muted talk about Making Tax Digital. Although MTD was shelved in the Finance Bill, that’s not to say that it will grind to a halt.

According to a Thomson Reuters survey before the Finance Bill, 69% of accountants have already undertaken measures to prepare for Making Tax Digital, such as:

  • Appointing an MTD champion
  • Segmenting their client base
  • Reviewing internal processes
  • Assessing their software
  • Applying for the MTD pilot
  • Communicating with clients
  • Refining their service proposition

Elsewhere, 80% of the 564 accountants surveyed said that technology will play a very important role in their jobs over the next 12 months.

Have you taken any of these measures or different ones to prepare your firm for Making Tax Digital?

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CABA research reveals student wellbeing concern

Two in five ACA students (38%) are unhappy about their work-life balance, according to research from CABA on student wellbeing.

The accounting charity surveyed 471 ACA students on how they are currently fairing. A concern expressed from the survey respondents was the amount of time needed to complete their work is affecting their personal lives, with 28% saying that they saying they’re expected to work extended hours and 22% said there were not enough hours in the day to complete work.

Responding to the results, Kath Haines, CABA’s Chief Executive recommended ICAEW students take a break and ensure they go home on time, as they need to learn how to balance their workloads and lifestyles.

She added: “This research highlights that unhealthy lifestyles are having an effect on student accountants, and employers would be wise to take note. Striking a work-life balance is hard, but working too much is a vicious cycle – not getting enough sleep or exercise will be to the detriment of their workplace performance. The students may take longer to complete tasks and deliver a poorer standard of work, which could result in yet more time spent in the office.”

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Moving next door to a nationwide firm?

AccountingWEB member Arsalan Shah is looking to relocate their small practice because the current lease is running out in a few months time. Looking around for a suitable place to work, Shah pondered on Any Answers whether moving next door to a nationwide firm would be an opportunity.

AccountingWEB regular Tom123 offered some advice about Shah’s potential big neighbour. “Are they so big (KPMG) that they wouldn't really notice you, or just regional players who could target your market, he said. “They are unlikely to stick notes in their window saying "don't go next door", and I suppose you could attract some cast offs if they are expensive.”

What do you think? What sort of clients would you expect if you set up next door to a bigger competition?

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