From XU Magazine, 
Issue 33

MTD for ITSA: How practice management software will help

MTD for ITSA is the biggest shake up to the administrative foundation of the UK tax system since self assessment.
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Despite delays and speculation, the impending industry overhaul is absolutely on its way. In this guide, we take a look at how practice management software will help you handle MTD for ITSA. 

Task management and workflow 

The increased workload of MTD for ITSA necessitates organisation across your whole team. Practice management software provides comprehensive task management that means you can forget endless to-do lists and reshuffling your day. Using your clients’ period end dates and deadlines, AM automatically generates task lists for each person on your team. You can set internal target dates and create your own tasks for any non-compliance work. Break tasks down into subtasks and assign them to individual team members.  

Technology adoption: Old dogs, new tricks

MTD for ITSA is also going to increase the workload of your clients. They’ll need to get into the habit of submitting information regularly - just like your team will need to. It will take time for your clients (and your team) to adapt. The upheaval requires you to take a step back and look at the big picture. This isn’t just about specific MTD work; it’s about reviewing your entire process to make the changes feasible. A solid digital set up for you and your clients will bring simplicity. It’ll ease your workload, but also make technology the norm.  

Communication: keeping everyone on the same (paperless) page

With the shift from one submission to four, clients are going to have to engage with you, the accountant, more. Many accountants don’t communicate with their clients on a regular basis, because they simply don’t need to. This won’t be the case anymore. Make sure that as well as clarifying new procedures and introducing technology, you also outline the benefits of the new system. 

Practice management software makes it easy to communicate with your clients regularly. Automatic communication features plus time-stamped records of all correspondence keep everyone in the loop. It means any member of your team can pick up the client work and provide a seamless experience. It’ll also protect your liability - when emails that have been opened by clients are tagged, you can guarantee that your practice has followed the correct procedures if any disputes arise. 

Pricing your services: making data-based decisions

There’s no denying it: if you’re doing more work for your clients, it’s going to cost more. Many practices will need to review fee structures to ensure that additional work and additional software licences are reflected in service prices. Don’t be afraid to charge more if you need to. But how do you decide price points? 

Practice management software includes time tracking tools so that you can analyse staff costs against specific client work. Keep an eye on productivity, track profitability and see where profits are coming from.

Many firms recognise MTD for ITSA as an opportunity to move clients to regular billing. Historically, annual billing on completing a job has been the industry standard, but this hasn’t always been to the benefit of an accountant’s cash flow. In the future you’ll be providing services on a more regular basis and you’ll be communicating on a more regular basis. This gives you an opportunity to bill on a more regular basis.  

Discover AccountancyManager

The quickest way to find out how practice management software can help your firm tackle MTD for ITSA is with a free AM demo. Discover how our fully-customisable system works in a way that’s best suited to the needs of your firm. 

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