ike it or not, Making Tax Digital (MTD) is here. MTD went live in April 2019, and it’s going to have an impact on your firm. Check these four practical rules to make sure you’re fully up to speed.
1. Communicate with clients
If your clients aren’t up-to-date with MTD, then you need to ensure they are, right now.
We asked Lorraine Ellison of Simply Additions accountants how her practice went about informing clients about the change. “Many of our clients had heard nothing about MTD from HMRC and had no idea what it meant. So we talked a lot about it when we moved people over to QuickBooks.”
Lorraine and her team used the opportunity to explain the benefits MTD brings to their clients – such as having a real-time view of their finances and a clearer view of the tax they owe.
Some tips for effective communication:
Make MTD a part of every conversation your staff have with clients.
Add an MTD reminder to the bottom of every email and letter you send to clients.
Customise QuickBooks resources such as those in our Making Tax Digital Marketing Kit and send them to your clients.
Consider sending newsletters, blogs or email updates to your clients on this topic.
2. Scale up for success
A personal approach can be very effective in encouraging a client to change, but it’s impractical if you still need to on-board clients in large numbers. Think about how you could swap the one-to-one approach for a one-to-many approach.
Don’t leave the entire on-boarding process to one person on your team. That approach works when you have lots of time, but MTD is already here. You could be playing catch up for weeks. And, by including everyone you’ll increase the reach of your message.
To help you scale up QuickBooks can:
Offer advice about running successful seminars with your clients.
Supply training materials and documents.
Provide access to bi-weekly webinars and how-to videos to share with clients
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3. Get support from experts
It’s not just your clients who need reassurance about MTD. At QuickBooks we recognise the pressure that some accountants have been under. So as well as making sure our software is MTD-compliant and as user-friendly as possible, we’re helping firms beyond the on-boarding process.
Our range of support resources includes a digital marketing kit, an on-boarding guide and a range of printable PDFs explaining everything from the benefits of cloud accounting to how MTD affects small businesses. Our account managers can also offer expert, practical advice and help you build a landing page with links to videos and technical support.
4. Look to the future
This has been a hectic time for accountants. However streamlined your on-boarding process may have been, some clients will have been reluctant to move to digital record keeping until absolutely necessary. But with clients and staff now familiar with a new way of working, MTD frees up time to let you do more advisory, higher-value work.
Firms who are confident about meeting deadlines, like Lorraine at Simply Additions, are positive about the changes. “I think it’s brilliant. It takes away all the manual entry and means we have time to look at how our clients are doing and give them advice.”
Feeling better informed about Making Tax Digital rules? The QuickBooks blog covers a wide range of business-related topics – it’s all part of our mission to help accountants and bookkeepers grow.