MTD: Your 5 steps to success: Part 5

By James Nadal | 21st January 2019 | 16 min read

Making Tax Digital is the biggest immediate challenge facing accountants across the UK and, with many still trying to get to grips with it, we’re giving you a big helping hand. The team at IRIS have broken down the essential stages into our 5 step programme. In part 5 of our blog series to accompany this, we look at…

5. Ongoing obligations

We’ve nearly reached the end of our 5 step programme and although there is a lot to take in, we believe we’ve broken down the essential components for you to make a success of this vital transition.

The overall point of the steps is to identify and address as many of these issues as early as possible so that you’ll have more capacity to expand services and delight customers.

So onto part 5.

It’s the new business as usual

The changes that your practice is undergoing, the actions you are taking, are not just a one off activity. These are points for every day work that are happening all the time. So, it’s important you are working as efficiently as possible.

What we’re saying is, think of it as the new business as usual – how you will work from now on.

Submissions: Whose job is it anyway?

Imagine we’re in April, it’s MTD day and you need to make your first submissions. Who is doing it? How are you doing it? Are you using bridging software or a bookkeeping solution?

Are you recording VAT submissions in IRIS Accountancy Suite? Are you entering it in disparate systems?

These serious questions need to be answered now, not when we are actually in April.

Much of the research we’ve done at IRIS suggests accountants largely do the VAT submissions themselves at the moment, but are you going to continue doing that? Could clients make the submissions themselves? Either way, a decision needs to be made. There is no right or wrong answer. Just what is right for your individual practice.

HMRC registration process

It’s important to look at how the registration process with HMRC works. We have created a set up guide for agents with a detailed 3 step process, which you can view in full HERE. Essentially it runs like this:

1) Registering on the HMRC Website

2) Connecting your Agent Services Account with your client relationships

3) Registering clients for Making Tax Digital

Client expectations

Clients need to be aware of their responsibilities. You need to iron out at the start who is carrying out each activity and leave no room for doubt. Are clients making payments and claiming refunds themselves or is it the role of their agent?


Some of the measures you need to take can be greatly supported by a range of IRIS solutions.

Have you seen IRIS VAT Filer? Launched in October, we’ve seen huge interest. While we still believe your clients are best served by using a bookkeeping solution, ideally KashFlow, VAT Filer enables you to make MTD for VAT submissions to HMRC with ease.

Another new solution you may yet to become familiar with is IRIS Payments, which also aids your digital journey, cutting the time and hassle of chasing late paying clients.

By incorporating the function into our client portal, IRIS OpenSpace, clients can pay for services when approving documents. OpenSpace, used by nearly half a million accountants, offers a simple and secure way for accountants and their clients to work together online.

IRIS Payments leverages IRIS Fees, enabling invoice payments to be requested as part of the daily workflow, as well as automatically updating the practice financials. For communicating more easily with your clients about MTD, Accountant Go offers a plethora of benefits. We wrote extensively on this in part 4 here


There is a lot to do to be fully prepared for MTD, but the great news is that, even by just reading our 5 step programme, you’ve already made great progress. It can seem overwhelming, but we genuinely believe, as we’ve been explaining during our MTD Roadshows, that the HMRC reforms can be a great opportunity to push your practice forward, make it more profitable and resilient for the future.

Our IRIS team is standing by, ready to help, whatever MTD queries you may still have. If you think you could do with a hand carrying out any of the points raised in this blog or the previous ones in this series, please contact our team by e-mail today at They will make sure your concerns and queries are all met.

Want more MTD content? Check out our 5 steps webinars and whitepaper by clicking here.