MTD: Your 5 steps to success: Part 4
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 4 of our blog series to accompany this, we look at…
4. Enabling the practice
You’ve reviewed your client base and your practice and then selected the technology which best fits your business.
So, you’ve taken the first three steps to make a success of the MTD transition. In doing so, you’ve essentially begun to design the new look of your practice.
Now, you need to enable the above steps and implement your decisions and changes.
Training for staff
You will need a training plan to ensure your staff are all totally clued up on all of the new tech that you have brought in and the new services and ways of working that you have devised.
There will be plenty of new things for the team to get their heads around. Is the new workflow and scheduling understood by all staff?
You’ll need to fine tune the workflows in the practice, including asking questions such as:
• Who’s going to be doing what activity and how frequently?
• Have the job profiles and workflow been added to IRIS?
There are a few essential questions you’ll need to address at the outset. These include:
• Has the practice registered as an agent for each client they are representing?
• For which clients is the practice making VAT submissions and which clients are making their own submissions?
You’ll need to get these sorted straight away before going further.
A key part of stage four is getting clients on board, so they’re aware of the changes you’re making, and they are clear on the new arrangements working together.
Clients need to be sharing important information with you all of the time.
What are the deadlines? Have they changed?
How are you processing client data and getting it to HMRC?
The frequency of contacts with clients is going to have to increase in order to do quarterly submissions. Are they aware of the timescales for sharing the information to complete VAT calculations and submissions in a timely fashion?
Time is very tight because once a quarter has finished then you have just one calendar month and seven days to determine the VAT due, make the submission and ensure the client pays.
Your clients can make it harder to get your job done if they sit on important details for six weeks. So, that’s why it’s vital to ensure they’re aware and understand the new set up from the outset.
You may need a more efficient transfer method and better scheduling.
Accountant Go, our mobile app for you and your clients, could be tremendously helpful for you in this process of informing clients because it gives you one central hub to manage all MTD related activity from. The self-service portal is ideal for helping clients to understand more about what’s required of them on MTD and what changes you are making. It enables you to:
• Create a dedicated MTD button on the app, directing clients to your MTD web page
• Create a dedicated team inbox called MTD to send and receive messages on only this subject, giving your clients an easier way to contact you on the go
• Send messages to non VAT or VAT registered clients in groups that are automatically created based on IRIS data
• Create an MTD microsite – a pack of information which can contain text, pdf, videos and websites.
• Send your clients forms which they can complete on their phone. For example, ask them what they need in terms of MTD and if they are registered.
• Inform clients of deadlines on the app calendar
• Allow clients to view their UTR and VAT numbers so they can register for MTD without asking you
If you think you could do with a hand carrying out any of the points raised in this or the previous blogs in this series, please contact our team by e-mail them today at MTD@iris.co.uk. They will make sure your concerns and queries are all met.
You’re now 80% of the way through the 5 step programme. Be sure to look out for the final stage in our next blog.
Want more MTD content? Check out our 5 steps webinars and whitepaper by clicking here.