Despite government plans to make all businesses file tax returns digitally, two-thirds of small businesses don’t currently use accounting software. And, with recent issues with HMRC’s personal tax computation software causing thousands of tax errors, many accountants remain sceptical about the UK’s ability to deliver on its aim.
But regardless of the cynicism, there’s no denying that tech is transforming accounting. And, with the new legislation underway, firms must get ready for the most significant change to the UK’s tax system in recent times.
Switch to a cloud server
While some accounting software is cloud-based, it isn’t’ yet used as standard across the sector. However, when it comes to digital tax accounting, and keeping systems up to date with changing tax legislation, any firms using tax applications that aren’t currently in the cloud should look to make the switch.
Of course, whenever we talk about the cloud, firms raise concerns about security. However, the truth is that modern cloud-based systems are often safer than storing information onsite.
Help your clients get ready
16 % of business owners currently use the ‘shoebox method’; of accounts. But this method is no longer viable. Instead, all business users will need to get online and keep accurate records. So, to prepare, help your clients make this a part of their day-to-day routine now. This includes letting them know which information they need to enter, and what you’ll look after on their behalf.
Become a trusted advisor
To be seen as a trusted-advisor, it’s not enough for accountants to know what you and your clients need in terms of software. You should also be able to advise them on how best to make this work. For example, central to using any cloud-based accountancy software is access to the internet. So, first and foremost, you’ll clients will need a decent broadband connection (at least 4MB per second). If they don’t, they’ll need to get this sorted before making the switch. You and your clients can check your internet speed here: www.speedtest.net
Become a modern accountant
A modern accountant is more a bean-counter. They should be able to supply insights, advise clients on how to improve their finances, and anticipate future trends.
But more than this, whatever way you look at it, tech is changing the way accountants do business. And, in the face of digital transformation, businesses are going to want an accountant that understands these changes. Regardless of whether they are tech savvy themselves.
So, here again, it’s important to understand how cloud computing works as well as the online accounting solutions available. Only then will you be able to advise on the right set up for your clients’ unique needs (e.g. how easy it is to scale up or integrate with existing business systems). Of course, you don’t have to do this on your own, working with a trusted cloud-computing partner means you’ll always have someone on hand to support you with whatever you may need; be that technical solutions or advice.
At Cloud Geeni, our Cloud Server services consistently achieve the highest level of data security and reliability. To find out how we can help you and your clients prepare for the roll-out of digital tax accounting, speak to a member of our team on 01942 263 434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.