Making Clients Digital

By Sam Thomas | 28th July 2016 | 16 min read

Did you know that 75% of UK businesses don’t currently maintain their accounts digitally using accounting software?

This is despite the already-confirmed arrival of HMRC’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD) initiative, tasked with ushering in a fully digital tax system by 2020, where:

  • Bureaucratic form-filling is eradicatedtaxpayers should never have to tell HMRC information it already knows
  • Unnecessary time delays are eliminated — the tax system operates much more closely to ‘real time’, keeping everyone up-to-date and removing the risk of missed deadlines, unnecessary penalties, debts arising and errors in the system being carried forward from one year to the next
  • Taxpayers have access to digital accountswith the information HMRC needs automatically uploaded, bringing an end to the tax return*

To put this into perspective, from April 2018, landlords, self-employed businesses, partnerships and limited companies will have to start digitally reporting their information on a quarterly basis. That’s less than two years away.

From April 2019, all VAT returns will have to be filed digitally rather than via the gateway, and from April 2020, all corporation tax returns will also have to be filed digitally.

Putting down the abacus

‘Making Tax Digital’ will make cloud accounting a necessity as opposed to a luxury. Chances are a number of your clients are part of the 75% yet to adopt digital bookkeeping, so it’s crucial that both they and you understand the value of a highly effective cloud strategy.

The challenge you now face is how to appropriately nurture those clients into the digital realm before ‘Making Tax Digital’ kicks into gear.

So how do you overcome this challenge?

Get online bookkeeping working for your clients

IRIS have been planning for the digital revolution for some time. Digitisation is affecting every industry by varying degrees, and right now it’s the turn of the accountant to learn how to survive and thrive in this potentially volatile and transformative environment.

To ease the process for both you and your clients, we’ve developed the KashFlow Partner Programme, helping you implement an online bookkeeping strategy at your practice.

KashFlow is a powerful and easy-to-use online bookkeeping and payroll solution for accountancy firms and their small business clients, offering a 360 degree view of your practice & client relationships.

Integrating seamlessly with IRIS Accounts Production, it enables superior collaboration, giving you a complete picture of your clients’ businesses, including all work carried out to prepare tax and accounts in addition to their real-time bookkeeping data.

This allows you to develop your role into that of a trusted adviser – not just a number cruncher.

Client demand for advisory work continues to grow; mid-tier accountancy firm income from non-audit work rose by 7% in the last two years (to 55% in 2015)† and shows no sign of slowing. With KashFlow, those demands can be met thanks to robust integration with forecasting software such as GearShift, easily providing forecasting plans, reports and advice that your clients will value.

Plugging in

There’s no magic wand you can wave to make your clients’ information digital, nor can the less technologically literate among them be plugged into The Matrix only to emerge a few minutes later exclaiming, ‘I know Cloud-fu,’ but what KashFlow can do is the next best thing.

KashFlow provides a substantial number of support mechanisms and benefits to make adoption of the cloud as pain-free and profitable an experience for both you and your customers.

Take a look:

We’re preparing to Make Tax Digital, are you?

The ‘Making Tax Digital’ directive might seem far away but, in reality, 18 months will come and go in what feels like the blink of an eye – which is why preparation in the here and now is so very crucial to your continued success.

And don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what the lovely people at Rochesters Audit Services Ltd recently had to say about their experience with IRIS, KashFlow and the cloud:

"In one year of using KashFlow we’ve secured an extra £90k of fees, which over 10 years translates to £900k, [resulting in] clients now having us oversee their day-to-day books, something that in the past we couldn’t do due to cost. It really can turn you into a 'one-stop accountant'. KashFlow provides security for the client and allows us to deal with accounting problems much more easily, ensuring problems don’t get out of hand. It’s the preferred route for business accounting and [it] really is the future."