IRIS brings MTD functionality to accountancy suite

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IRIS accountancy suite will incorporate the prepopulated data generated through the HMRC API once the Revenue flips the switch scheduled for the 14 April.

The integration means that IRIS will be an early adopter of the Making Tax Digital functionality, enabling all IRIS accountants to inspect their clients’ data. When HMRC releases the APIs, a new digital tax tab on the client dashboard in IRIS OpenPortal will be populated with the client's data and this data can be pulled directly into the client’s tax return and tax calculations.

Speaking to AccountingWEB earlier this week Sion Lewis, CEO accountancy division at IRIS, said: “Offering this service twelve months ahead of the April 2018 mandate for businesses with turnover in excess of the VAT threshold will enable accountants to become accustomed with the MTD functionality... It's vital accountants are familiar with these systems as early as possible, rather than undertaking training once MTD becomes mandatory for the entire client base.”

The APIs will reveal data HMRC holds on the client. This data includes: Class 2 NIC, marriage allowance, individual benefits, individual tax, individual income and individual employment.   

Beside HMRC’s column of information, the accountancy suite lists the calculation held in IRIS using information already obtained. The accountant can then compare the information, and override HMRC or take the value HMRC has already declared before submitting.

IRIS digital account

Capability used in the 90s

Steve Cox, IRIS CTO, said that a form of this capability was available in 1990s but was taken away when File By Internet (FBI) was introduced in the late 90s (circa 1999).

“Back in the days of Electronic Lodgement Service (ELS), HMRC used to send the client’s Statement of Account (SoA) information via email to the agent/accountant”, said Cox

“Software vendors used to automate the collection of this data from an email into the tax products, meaning they had access to their clients’ statement/tax position within the software for the next tax year. Whilst this wasn’t as detailed as the information that accountants can now get access to via IRIS’s pre-population of tax information, it was something that accountants regularly used.”

IRIS October releases

The pre-population of tax data heralds the first phase of IRIS’s MTD plans. The software house has scheduled an MTD app for Kashflow to be released in a couple of weeks. However, IRIS’s big MTD play is likely to be in its October release: an MTD module that will fit inside the IRIS practice suite.

With the module, practitioners can wield value-added analytics and reporting, workflow management, job tracking, data mining, and communication tracking, all powered through the MTD-sourced data.

Lewis expects the new functionality will free accountants to add value through high level advisory services. “It's about getting accurate, timely data at your fingertips for the accountant, rather than looking around for it,” he said.

“The reason I think that's really important is that it enables accountants to get on and do more advisory work with the client, as opposed to chasing paper and looking for data.” 

About Richard Hattersley

Richard Hattersley

Richard is AccountingWEB's practice correspondent. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.


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06th Apr 2017 16:05

I guess this new feature will only appear in Iris' cloud software? Will it appear in the desktop software? What about PTP?

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to kevinringer
07th Apr 2017 10:19

I installed PTP desktop last night. The update was for CT as well as SA. Good news: the new SA software includes APIs for:
• Employment earnings and benefits
• Some state benefits – jobseekers allowance, incapacity benefit etc.
• Marriage allowance
• Class 2 NIC
• Tax refunded or set off by tax office
I've just been contacted by Paul Onions from PTP with some bad news. Though the APIs are already in the software, they can't become active until they're switched on at HMRC's end. HMRC have told the software developers that HMRC won't switch the APIs on until HMRC have done the 2016-17 payroll reconciliations which won't be until after the P11D deadline of 6 July. In other words 30% of the filing window will have gone before HMRC will let us use the APIs. This raises a question: HMRC said MTD will be tested for 12 months before it goes live - if the APIs don't go live until 06/07/17 then that means MTD can't go live until 06/07/18 which means 06/04/18 to 05/07/18 would have to be returned under SA?

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07th Apr 2017 11:28

Whilst IRIS announce today that their "OpenTax" product will not be ready until May 2016!

Leaving a host of Accountants with no tax software to prepare 2016/17 tax returns.

Obviously IRIS have diverted their attention to MTD, whilst leaving OpenTax users hung out to dry!

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