Welcome to our weekly round-up of the latest news and updates from the accounting tech world.
This week, Tech Lowdown features FreeAgent’s new spending report and insight, BTCSoftware’s first Live MTD for VAT submission and the views of IRIS chief evangelist Steve Cox on artificial intelligence.
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BTCSoftware’s first live MTD for VAT submission
After being included in HMRC’s list of Making Tax Digital for VAT software suppliers, BTCSoftware customer Spence Accountancy Services Ltd has now successfully submitted the first live MTD for VAT submission via the BTCHub. BTCSoftware's BTCHub will allow agents and businesses to continue to be MTD for VAT compliant while still using their VAT-related spreadsheets.
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Steve Cox on artificial intelligence
Steve Cox, chief evangelist of IRIS, has pushed back against the Bank of England's chief economist's "almost scaremongering" artificial intelligence predictions.
In a recent post shared over the industry insights page of AccountingWEB, Cox reflected on the technology evolution, the simplification of tasks across several industries and its impact on jobs and the financial services industry.
“AI is enabling processes to be simplified across several industries,” said Cox. “The first evidence comes from HMRC’s launch of ‘Open HMRC’, using Alexa (AI technology) to remind taxpayers to renew their tax credits."
Cox also analysed the use of AI to gain insight and improve client relationships: “In our industry, AI is empowering accountancy professionals to make decisions quicker as it’s removing very time-consuming processes and enabling us to expand not only the depth but the range of services offered to clients.
“This helps practices evolve beyond traditional assurance services to capitalise on new business opportunities through better engagement and collaboration that attracts, manages and serve prospects, clients and staff.”
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FreeAgent launches new spending report
FreeAgent has launched two new features to help small businesses. A new spending Insight will show clients their top five spending categories over the last six months based on their categorised bills, expenses and bank transactions and will appear in the client's accounts every six months.
Additionally, a new spending report let clients dig deeper into their data, spotting trends over time and enabling clients to compare their spending both month-on-month and year-on-year.