Steven Cox
4 minutes length
Posted: 10th December 2015

Turn a grudge purchase into an opportunity

Your checklist for choosing a ‘value add’ software provider

There’s no escaping the need to implement a proprietary CT600 solution in 2016. But HMRC’s withdrawal of its free service for filing CT600 corporation tax returns creates an opportunity to gain greater value for your business.

The basic choice is whether to opt for either simple forms-based software, similar to the original HMRC service, or go for a more comprehensive solution that will link with other practice software to give you the benefits of an integrated solution.

But whichever type of software you choose, assess what the provider offers in the way of added value:

  • Experience – What’s the provider’s track record in offering CT600 software? How many practices use the software? Is it designed specifically for the UK market?
  • Choice of implementation – As well as ‘standard’ on-premise solutions, does the provider offer the option of a cloud-based solution, giving you the flexibility to work wherever there’s an internet connection?
  • Support to make a smooth transition – Can you access telephone support to help you in the early days and with any future queries? Is there a charge for this? Is the support team UK-based? What are their opening hours and their average response times? What do other customers say about their service?
  • Guaranteed compliance with HMRC requirements – Are legislative updates provided at regular intervals? How frequently? How are these provided: over the web or on disk, which means time-consuming installation at your end?
  • Knowledge transfer – What does the provider offer in the way of training, online resources and events to help you optimise your use of the software and keep up to speed on industry developments?

IRIS provides all this and more to users of its CT600 solutions. Check out our new inforgraphic, which helps you to consider your options when choosing a proprietary replacement for HMRC’s free CT600 service. 

Donwnload the CT600 infographic

Turn a grudge purchase into an opportunity

 

Steve Cox, Director of Product Management at IRIS Software Group, writes…

 

Your checklist for choosing a ‘value add’ software provider[MC1]  

 

T[MC2] here’s no escaping the need to implement a proprietary CT600 solution in 2016. But HMRC’s withdrawal of its free service for filing CT600 corporation tax returns creates an opportunity to gain greater value for your business.

 

The basic choice is whether to opt for either simple forms-based software, similar to the original HMRC service, or go for a more comprehensive solution that will link with other practice software to give you the benefits of an integrated solution. But whichever type of software you choose, assess what the provider offers in the way of added value:

 

ÿ                    Experience – What’s the provider’s track record in offering CT600 software? How many practices use the software? Is it designed specifically for the UK market?

 

ÿ                    Choice of implementation – As well as ‘standard’ on-premise solutions, does the provider offer the option of a cloud-based solution, giving you the flexibility to work wherever there’s an internet connection?

 

ÿ                    Support to make a smooth transition – Can you access telephone support to help you in the early days and with any future queries? Is there a charge for this? Is the support team UK-based? What are their opening hours and their average response times? What do other customers say about their service?

 

ÿ                    Guaranteed compliance with HMRC requirements – Are legislative updates provided at regular intervals? How frequently? How are these provided: over the web or on disk, which means time-consuming installation at your end?[MC3] 

 

ÿ                    Knowledge transfer – What does the provider offer in the way of training, online resources and events to help you optimise your use of the software and keep up to speed on industry developments?

 

IRIS provides all this and more to users of its CT600 solutions. Read our briefing paper, which helps you to consider your options when choosing a proprietary replacement for HMRC’s free CT600 service.


 

 [MC1]Or ‘vendor’ ?

 

 [MC2]I don’t think we need this background:

 

To date, when filing straightforward CT600 corporation tax returns, agents have been able to use the free service on HMRCs website. HMRC is withdrawing this service and replacing it with a new, fully online company tax return and accounts filing service, which will not be available to professionals such as accountants or providers of tax services.

 

The HMRC service was relatively unsophisticated, basically consisting of downloadable Adobe PDF software to complete with the client’s details, but at least it was simple and free. 

 

Undoubtedly, choosing a replacement will be a price-sensitive decision, possibly undertaken reluctantly. No accountant is going to relish having to purchase a replacement for what has always been a free service, so simplicity and cost will major in the purchasing decision.

 

 [MC3]Not sure the wording is right here but I know it can be an overhead with some vendors