Making Tax Digital

lisajayne1lisajayne1 Posts: 47Registered, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
Once again I am a new practice with a few clients. I am reading and reading everything I can and have demo's booked for several different software providers

I am currently sage all the way, however I have found issues with accounts production mainly. Sage One is NOT getting good reviews, I think they were so popular for so long, they didn't see the competition coming.

I have Line 50 Accounts, Sage Accounts Production, Payroll, Business & Personal Tax and Partnership. All of which have their own subscription fee. It mounts up.

Xero and now Capium seem to offer everything and easily evolving for the future. Plus have been recommended on the forum.

After reading about sage I am concerned about MTD. In fact I am concerned - full stop -

How are you thinking of monitoring your clients qtly returns?

e.g are you asking them to download app? are you looking to import their information into your accounts programs? (for example if you had a client, on sage or VT can these files be incorporated into xero or capium with ease, xls or csv files possibly)

Our clients could be claiming all sorts as expenses? they also have no clue as the Capital Allowances etc.. so how do HMRC think they can just submit income and expenses through their digital accounts.. I have clients that don't have separate bank accounts, so the direct bank feed/reconciliation is not an option.

I also have clients that don't own a computer.

Just throwing it out there for a little support and opinions please.

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Comments

  • DavidbyworthDavidbyworth Posts: 70Registered
    Hi Lisa

    I am just starting out with my own practice and have been toying with Xero and Sage. Xero seems to get better reviews however I know many businesses (potential clients) use Sage as it is the one that those out of the accounting world tend to know about.

    With regard to MTD there still seems to be some grey areas on the thresholds etc, is this your understanding?

    It seems ridiculous that small business that I will have as clients with turnover under £25k will need to pay quarterly? 4 returns over 1 each year will just burden either the clients with additional costs or the accountants who may absorb the costs
    lisajayne1
  • lisajayne1lisajayne1 Posts: 47Registered, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Hi davidbyworth,

    Sage has been my accounts package for 17years.. so blindfolded comes to mind.

    To change software & contend with MTD changes is a scary thought!
    Yes seen a lot of info on thresholds!! Crazy numbers!
    I've read doubling the fees, however it's almost 4 returns per year? But I guess all the other info on the return (personal details etc) will be redundant, so save time there.

    I personally would love to stay with sage.. but I think they are behind in the race.. let's hope they catch up.
    Good luck with your practice :)
  • lisajayne1lisajayne1 Posts: 47Registered, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Thank you mrme89. I think a change of software is on the cards
  • DavidbyworthDavidbyworth Posts: 70Registered
    Hi

    Thanks for the advise.

    As new to this I am feeling abit uneasy with which software to go for with all this. From the above would you recommend then that I ask clients to use VT if they are small sole traders/personal tax clients? Does VT have the capacity to upload directly onto the HMRC tax retrn site?

    I am keen to have my and larger clients books go through a cloud based system and think from what I hear Xero is well equipped for this. Is this opening up a nightmare for me though with clients who already use Sage (or another).

    I hadn't been as worried prior to reading the MTD drafts as one return per year would give much time to work around things, 4 a year time wouldn't be available.

    Thanks

    Dave
  • lisajayne1lisajayne1 Posts: 47Registered, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Hi Dave,

    I guess the 1st question is can you import sage files in Xero?? (csv files etc)

    I don't have VT but have looked at it, as again its coming up a lot.

    The price to purchase the bookkeeping+ (I think it is) is £125+vat this is a one off. However she did say that once MTD goes live it will be subscription based around £100+ vat a year. (This takes you to Balance sheet & P&L)

    There is an accountants package for (I think) £190, but the reviews are not great.

    So if my understanding is correct, we would need the subscription to upload our clients data. (to Check & submit on their behalf) that would enable us to recommend to our clients to get the free, cash in cash out cashbook type software, saving them on costs.

    OR

    I'm thinking out loud here.. We could also get the free software package to review the data sent in by the clients.. (small self employed)

    I think if you had a small business (25K plus) and wanted P&L & B'Sht for your client, they could still use the free software (again depends on cash accounting or accruals based accounts) and "we" as accountants would use the Bookkeeping +. However then you would need to upload it into an accounts production package for full accounts tax comp ect. ??

    Please anyone correct me if I'm wrong.

    Love the idea of our clients having a free cashbook software. Although it is only PC based !!!

    Cloud have an app. I have a consultation booked for later this week, will ask how much for the clients?

    I am rambling .. sorry :)
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home Posts: 280AAT Licensed Accountant
    edited February 2017




    I personally would love to stay with sage.. but I think they are behind in the race.. let's hope they catch up.


    I've been using Sage Accounts Production for years together with Sage Corporation Tax without any problems. They work fine for me.

    Sage won't let go of their market share easily and will come up with something. Whether that's improvements to Sage One (which we've just started using) or an evolution of Sage 50, time will tell.

    Having said that, I'm more than willing to give others a go and we're looking into utilising Xero, Quickbooks and/or Capium.

    I'm sure there will be other "smaller" players enter the game too. It's too big an opportunity for software developers to miss out on.

    lisajayne1
  • DavidbyworthDavidbyworth Posts: 70Registered
    There seems so many packages all offering benefits in different areas.

    Are there any conferences/events that the software suppliers attend to show their products? I think for me seeing them all 'in action' would be of great benefit.
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home Posts: 280AAT Licensed Accountant

    There seems so many packages all offering benefits in different areas.

    Are there any conferences/events that the software suppliers attend to show their products? I think for me seeing them all 'in action' would be of great benefit.

    Accountex 10/11 May ;)

    http://www.accountex.co.uk/
    lisajayne1
  • DavidbyworthDavidbyworth Posts: 70Registered
    Thanks, this looks like a good opportunity.
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterPosts: 1,440Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    MTD will see a bit of a shakeup but mainly with new players I think most of the others will just be adding some form of filing function.

    Sage Accounts production and tax software is terrible and exepnsive. I've been quoted almost as much as for Iris. It would currently cost me in excess of 4 times what I pay Capium and I would get a worse product.

    Line 50 still has its place and we still have clients who use it. For these we have subcontract bookkeeping firm who manage all of these with onsite visits.

    For us the immediate focus is those who are using spreadsheets and to get these all on Xero by this April.

    There will be some work then on some to get them onto separate bank accounts and online banking and getting over the fear of online as they are more than capable.

    This should leave us with about 20-25% who are more challenging as they either don't have the required skills, don't have spare funds to pay us to do the work, are very cash based have limited internet access. These will be a challenge and we need to work out how to help them best.
    Regards,

    Burg
    lisajayne1
  • lisajayne1lisajayne1 Posts: 47Registered, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    I have a consultation with Capium & Xero this week. VT looks good for my smaller £10-15k self assessment clients.

    Sage production has been shockingly bad -for me too-

    How are you looking to process capital allowance items?
    Will you still be making year end adjustments as usual- being that they go in the final qtr of the year ? ?
    I have just registered for accountex, however I fly home from holiday on the 10th .. so depending on alcohol consumption - not sure how much I'll take in :)
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterPosts: 1,440Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant

    I have a consultation with Capium & Xero this week. VT looks good for my smaller £10-15k self assessment clients.



    Sage production has been shockingly bad -for me too-



    How are you looking to process capital allowance items?

    Will you still be making year end adjustments as usual- being that they go in the final qtr of the year ? ?

    I have just registered for accountex, however I fly home from holiday on the 10th .. so depending on alcohol consumption - not sure how much I'll take in :)

    Much of this is yet to be finalised but my understanding is the 4 in year returns will be on a cash basis and simple 'income - expenses = profit'.
    The final 5th return will then be a normal return as per the current rules which will then wrap up everything including year end adjustments.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • DavidbyworthDavidbyworth Posts: 70Registered
    Thanks Burg.

    I have just enrolled too Lisa. Are you there for one or both days? May see you there
  • lisajayne1lisajayne1 Posts: 47Registered, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Thanks burg ...
    all these comments are great & making things clearer. Very much appreciated.
    It's a juggle between knowing the responsibilities & rules - then also implementing them to jo public & navigating them due to ability

    Hi davidbyworth .. not sure what time I land on the 10th but definitely be there on the 11th :)
  • DavidbyworthDavidbyworth Posts: 70Registered
    I agree Lisajayne1. Is there any indication when HMRC will finalise their intentions with regard to thresholds etc?
    lisajayne1
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterPosts: 1,440Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant

    I agree Lisajayne1. Is there any indication when HMRC will finalise their intentions with regard to thresholds etc?

    No. My feeling is work on what you currently know i.e. pretty much everyone is in and then if they end up out it's one less to sort at that point.
    Regards,

    Burg
    MarieNoellelisajayne1
  • lisajayne1lisajayne1 Posts: 47Registered, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    > @burg said:
    > MTD will see a bit of a shakeup but mainly with new players I think most of the others will just be adding some form of filing function.
    >
    > Sage Accounts production and tax software is terrible and exepnsive. I've been quoted almost as much as for Iris. It would currently cost me in excess of 4 times what I pay Capium and I would get a worse product.
    >
    > Line 50 still has its place and we still have clients who use it. For these we have subcontract bookkeeping firm who manage all of these with onsite visits.
    >
    > For us the immediate focus is those who are using spreadsheets and to get these all on Xero by this April.
    >
    > There will be some work then on some to get them onto separate bank accounts and online banking and getting over the fear of online as they are more than capable.
    >
    > This should leave us with about 20-25% who are more challenging as they either don't have the required skills, don't have spare funds to pay us to do the work, are very cash based have limited internet access. These will be a challenge and we need to work out how to help them best.

    What accounts production & tax software do you use with xero?

    Capium seems - on the surface to tick every box, however I have yet to play around with it!
    (Their future app tho is going to between £5-£8 approx per client per month) but I guess that's up to the client if they want to pay for that convenience.
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home Posts: 280AAT Licensed Accountant
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterPosts: 1,440Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Yes I use Capium but do not use any of their bookkeeping products. Have not even looked at them as Xero suits us very well and so many people use it and clients find it very easy to use.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • lisajayne1lisajayne1 Posts: 47Registered, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    > @burg said:
    > Yes I use Capium but do not use any of their bookkeeping products. Have not even looked at them as Xero suits us very well and so many people use it and clients find it very easy to use.

    So you use the self assessment & accounts production on capium? What about the payroll?
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterPosts: 1,440Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Payroll I currently use Moneysoft but considering Capium for April onwards
    Regards,

    Burg
    lisajayne1
  • SueSue Well-Known Posts: 217Registered

    I have a consultation with Capium & Xero this week. VT looks good for my smaller £10-15k self assessment clients.



    Sage production has been shockingly bad -for me too-



    How are you looking to process capital allowance items?

    Will you still be making year end adjustments as usual- being that they go in the final qtr of the year ? ?

    I have just registered for accountex, however I fly home from holiday on the 10th .. so depending on alcohol consumption - not sure how much I'll take in :)



    Hi

    You said you had a consultation with Xero last week. Just wondering whether you heard from them? I also contacted them last week for prices and rather than email they wanted to speak to me and asked when I would be available. I gave them a number of times I would be available last week and heard nothing back from them. I realise they may be busy but an email to say they were not available at those times would have been something. It's kind of putting me off trying them now.
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterPosts: 1,440Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    I admit support can be a bit iffy but only needed to use it a handful of times. We have our own account manager with direct email address and mobile number. Speak with him pretty regularly to discuss plans for implementing Xero to different areas of clients.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • SueSue Well-Known Posts: 217Registered
    burg said:

    I admit support can be a bit iffy but only needed to use it a handful of times. We have our own account manager with direct email address and mobile number. Speak with him pretty regularly to discuss plans for implementing Xero to different areas of clients.

    I'm going to wait and see how long they take to respond to my initial sales enquiry, if they don't respond to that then I will assume they don't want my business and look elsewhere. I would have been quite happy with an email giving me a rough idea of the prices it was them who emailed asking to speak to me.
  • lisajayne1lisajayne1 Posts: 47Registered, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    > @Sue said:
    > I have a consultation with Capium & Xero this week. VT looks good for my smaller £10-15k self assessment clients.
    >
    >
    >
    > Sage production has been shockingly bad -for me too-
    >
    >
    >
    > How are you looking to process capital allowance items?
    >
    > Will you still be making year end adjustments as usual- being that they go in the final qtr of the year ? ?
    >
    > I have just registered for accountex, however I fly home from holiday on the 10th .. so depending on alcohol consumption - not sure how much I'll take in :)
    >
    >
    >
    > Hi
    >
    > You said you had a consultation with Xero last week. Just wondering whether you heard from them? I also contacted them last week for prices and rather than email they wanted to speak to me and asked when I would be available. I gave them a number of times I would be available last week and heard nothing back from them. I realise they may be busy but an email to say they were not available at those times would have been something. It's kind of putting me off trying them now.

    Hi Sue

    No they rang when they said they would.. xero guy wasn't as good as capium sales guy! He made the pricing for xero Seem complicated ! I do however also have an email from them with a breakdown which is easier to decifer.

    I am happy to forward you that email if you'd like a bit of head start info before you speak to them
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home Posts: 280AAT Licensed Accountant
    I'm registering with Capium this afternoon for the 7 day trial. Nothing to lose and there's a substantial cost saving should we decide to switch from Sage.

    Feeling quite excited :p
  • SueSue Well-Known Posts: 217Registered



    Hi Sue



    No they rang when they said they would.. xero guy wasn't as good as capium sales guy! He made the pricing for xero Seem complicated ! I do however also have an email from them with a breakdown which is easier to decifer.



    I am happy to forward you that email if you'd like a bit of head start info before you speak to them

    Hi lisajayne

    Yes, that would be great, thank you. I will send you a private message with my email address.

    I have never heard of Capium before reading this topic this morning so will have a look at that as well.

    I have also just registered to attend Accountex.

    Thanks



  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home Posts: 280AAT Licensed Accountant
    edited February 2017
    When you look through the website, it doesn't mention 7 day trial anywhere from what I can see.

    I went onto live chat and they said you get this when you register your details. All the modules too apparantly :)

  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterPosts: 1,440Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    mrme89 said:

    I went through the structured demo and it just wasn't enough. We were declined when we asked for a trial.



    For now, Taxfiler meets my needs. Should I grow and / or make it full time, I'll have to have another look at Capium as it deem seem to have a lot of potential.

    It has a different way of working compared to the traditional software such as Iris, Keytime, PTP, etc. but didn't take too long to get used to.

    Taxfiler I really liked and I waited 4 months for them to make the necessary improvements to accounts production to make it useable (i.e. editable account codes and accounts layout) but they kept saying it would be soon. For us with businesses that do not fit on a standard chart this was essential. They could not deliver so we could not go ahead.
    Regards,

    Burg
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