5 ways for accountants to get the most from IRIS this busy season

payroll outsourcing
By Jenny Strudwick | 14th October 2020 | 16 min read

Having created solutions for accountants for over 40 years, IRIS is very familiar with the stresses and strains of tax busy season for accountants.

And this year – the most exceptional for decades, due to the COVID pandemic – could be the hardest in memory.

Are you getting the absolute maximum from your IRIS software and services to help you get through the challenges of the coming months?

Here are five ways you can use IRIS to cut the stress and boost efficiency.

1. E-approvals

The popularity of e-approvals surged during the past couple of busy seasons, with the highest ever number of e-approvals made through IRIS OpenSpace – 217,000 - up from 150,000. Why?

  • You can upload tax returns instantly and securely to OpenSpace.
  • They’re seamlessly integrated into your software, baked into the workflow
  • GDPR compliant and far quicker than post
  • Save money: we calculated you would save £600, compared to doing 200 tax returns the traditional way
  • Provides auto-reminders to clients.

2. E-checklists

IRIS Personal Tax Electronic Checklists enable you to collect clients’ tax information online. The e-checklist can be populated with information already entered into IRIS Personal Tax, for example HMRC pre-population of employment income. 

Other such information may include trade income figures transferred from IRIS Business Tax, dividend income calculated from the dividend feed for shareholdings, and director dividend income from IRIS Company Secretarial for Limited Company directors.

This is a key benefit as clients can then review and confirm (or comment) on any missing or incorrect information on the e-checklist.

Read how to use e-checklists here:

3. Outsourcing

With a potentially bigger backlog than ever and resources stretched to the max, now could be the time to consider outsourcing. IRIS Resourcing gives you:

  • Professional, highly trained, and high quality outsourced staff to complete routine accounts and payroll work
  • Escape the expensive overheads from recruiting extra employees
  • Full compliance with UK data protection laws (ISO9001 and 27001 certified)

4. Quicker payments

The IRIS Payments module, fully integrated with IRIS Fees & IRIS OpenSpace,  enables your invoices to be paid faster and gives your customers a secure and simple way to pay you online. 

Key benefits include:

  • Time savings with automated email reminders to chase late paying clients
  • Send invoices via IRIS OpenSpace with a 'Pay' button, speeding up payment
  • Accept debit and credit cards without the need for a card reader
  • No fees for your clients when they pay securely using IRIS Payments

5. Dividend feed  

If you have clients with investments in  publicly traded shares, then you will need to calculate dividend income from keying in the values from dividend vouchers.

The old way of dealing with this was to key those vouchers into the product to show dividend income, and also  because you may have capital gains tax from any disposals.

But using IRIS’s dividend feature, shareholdings are entered, and can be rolled forwards from previous years. You press a button and get all the dividend income. CGT is calculated for any disposals you have entered. This saves a massive amount of re-keying data.

Want to learn more?

Call us on 0344 844 9644 or email hello@iris.co.uk

About the author

Jenny Strudwick

Senior Product Manager

Jenny is Senior Product Manager for Tax at IRIS. She has been with IRIS for over 18 years working across many different departments including Support, Engineering and now Product Management. During this time she has been instrumental in major tax changes from FBI to iXBRL and now MTD. Jenny works closely with HMRC on major changes in taxation especially now as they develop their MTD strategy. Prior to joining IRIS, Jenny spent a number of years in practice and has now accumulated over 21 years’ experience in UK taxation.