Do you know how the latest changes to iXBRL will affect you?

By Jon Martingale | 16th July 2013 | 8 min read

The introduction of iXBRL represented one of the biggest compliance challenges to date for accountants in practice and organisations preparing their own accounts. You may well have a solution in place now to allow you to fulfil yours or your clients’ requirements, but new changes to legislation show us that the move to iXBRL is far from over.

HMRC have confirmed changes to iXBRL that will be introduced in October 2013 and will be mandatory for all accounting periods on or after 1st April 2014. As with any legislative change, it is vital that you start thinking about it and planning for it as early as possible, in order to make your transition as smooth and stress free as possible.

iXBRL accounts tagging

The change announced by HMRC relates to the tagging of the detailed profit and loss, whether this appears in the accounts or computation provided with the CT600 tax returns. Once this update has been rolled out, your detailed profit and loss must be tagged using the updated DPL taxonomy. In my opinion, this change is a necessary step, given that the detailed profit and loss account contains the information which is most useful and important to HMRC. However, it could present some new challenges for your practice and your clients.

As part of the latest update to the iXBRL taxonomy, HMRC has stated that they “expect the detailed profit and loss to be tagged in either the computations or the accounts but not both”. Interestingly, they went on to add that including tagged accounts and a tagged computation “may cause the return to come under further scrutiny, especially if there are inconsistencies with duplicate tagging across the accounts and computations.”

Whilst this announcement is a little vague, I believe it is the first evidence we have that HMRC will be taking a firmer stance with tagging, moving away from the “soft landing” approach previously used.

Being aware of changes like these and making sure you are prepared is a vital step in avoiding extra scrutiny and potential penalties from HMRC for you or your clients.

I would recommend you do the following to prepare for the changes and avoid any ‘further scrutiny’ from HMRC:

  1. You should ensure you are only tagging one detailed profit and loss and that your tagging remains consistent. This is much more straightforward if you are using a single, integrated system such as IRIS Accountancy Suite. IRIS Accountancy Suite uses a single iXBRL tagging engine and the iXBRL tagged detailed profit and loss will only be included in your final accounts.
  2. Speak to your current software supplier to make sure their software will be ready to handle these changes. With no soft landing in place, you need confidence you have a fully compliant solution. At IRIS, we will ensure our software is updated in October to coincide with HMRC changes.
  3. Speak to a member of the IRIS team to find out more about the latest iXBRL changes and our solutions by contacting your account manager.

Want to find out more about how implementing a single, integrated system could help you avoid added scrutiny from HMRC and save you 22 hours per month, per user? Why not going our free webinar on Tuesday 13th August at 10.30am.