A simple solution to tackling Making Tax Digital is just what the accountant ordered, says Joel Oliver
Over the past few months we have made it our goal, as an app platform developer, to find out exactly what MTD means to accountants and what kind of solutions you want for your clients. To gain a better understanding, we ran a survey that covered a range of topics within the digital tax sphere and received feedback from over 270 respondents.
The responses have been more than helpful, with some surprising insights. One that stands out is that over half (61%) said they would be recommending to their clients that they move to digital record keeping sooner rather than later.
This will necessitate a significant digital leap for some of the smallest businesses that still bring their records into the office in shoeboxes and keep notebooks. And we believe that MTD represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to provide them with the functionality and technology to solve their legal obligations in a painless, simple and easy to use manner.
A digital revolution
There can be no doubt that the move to digital technology has become a mobile-first experience and smartphone adoption among UK adults has risen to 85%, according to the Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey 2017. Only five years ago adoption stood at 52%, but the real shift is in the amount of time spent within apps, and not on mobile websites, with research by app Annie revealing that over 900 billion hours were spent using apps in 2016.
A simpler solution
Some 43% of respondents told us they were in favour of a simpler solution for the smallest clients, which is why we have developed the new ‘Collect’ app platform. It provides your clients with all the tools they need to collect the information you need and to manage MTD using their smartphones and tablets.
As the statistics above show, most adults now have a smartphone and are used to spending time within apps so providing them with an app for MTD, is a natural progression.
Complete control with Collect Cloud
Ensuring you are always in the loop, our new ‘Collect’ platform gives you complete control. Simply login using the ‘Collect Cloud’ by using any modern web browser at a location that works for you, select the client you wish to review and you now have full access to all records collected. In every sense, you are now fully logged in as your customer and you have identical access rights allowing you to perform the same set of actions as your customers.
Thanks to built-in ‘instant sync’ technology, you always have the most up-to-date copy of your customers’ records – no more chasing your customer to send you an export of their data, or manually entering thousands of records. Working with live data saves you time and money, freeing you and your team up to focus on what’s really important.
What’s more, our ‘Unsure’ category makes allocating records a breeze. Any income or expenses the customer is unsure about can be seen, allocated and saved – reducing error and removing the common pain point for your customers of knowing how to categorise an expense.
What are the alternatives?
It’s worth stopping for a moment and reflecting on this; if you don’t provide the solution, what’s the alternative?
It’s going to mean your clients are forced to use two or three different apps to keep track of receipts, income and mileage and pay for each one. That means not only spending a lot of money, but each app dilutes your strength as an accountant. It’s also very confusing with three different login profiles and three different dashboards, with no visibility between one and the other.
What’s even worse is that with no centralised place you will have no idea who has submitted what and there is no agent privilege to review the data. The likely scenario is that your clients are left allocating stuff to places they think are right – and we all know what that means!
So instead of this why not give them one solution and each time they interact with it, it’s in your branding – a service and solution provided by your practice. That’s great news, as it’s solidifying your status as trusted advisor, it’s protecting your client from competitors and it’s streamlining the service you provide.
Responding to clients by reaching out to them in a mobile way and bringing everything together into one sensible and centralised place, has the potential to bring huge benefits to your firm and your customers.
For more information about Collect go to https://www.myfirmsapp.co.uk/collect-how-it-works?
- Joel Oliver, CEO, MyFirmsapp
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