Making tax Digital for business owners

Hopefully by now you’re using software which is MTD compliant but there are still a couple of things to look out for:

1.Don’t forget that you will need to register with HMRC for MTD for VAT.

Go into your HMRC account (if you can remember the passwords etc) and sign up there. After that you should be able to use the new service through your software.

2.Watch out if you pay by direct debit as MTD is unable to process a submission under the old system and collect the DD under the new one. I suggest that you finish your final VAT return under the old system and wait for the final DD to be paid before you register for MTD for VAT

MTD for VAT – setting up your new HMRC account

This seems to be creating all sorts of problems for people.

1. Create your new gateway

2. Link to your old gateway

3. Port your existing clients across (sometimes problems if they were authorised by a paper 64-8 instead of online) (No, you can’t see the full list as the bigger firms didn’t want all their clients displayed to all their staff) 

4. Set up each client for MTD for VAT but watch the timing of direct debits eg March VAT DD is due mid May. If you move to MTD before then the DD is not recognised/collected (yes, it’s daft but just work around it for one month)

Give it a try and let me know how you get on

Update: apparently HMRC can now handle the seamless transfer of the direct debits

Top Tip – Eliminating your emails

Sometimes the emails can seem overwhelming so here are a few ways that I like to deal with them.

1.Keep your newsletter subscriptions under control. What may have been useful at one point may now be redundant. Do unsubscribe if it is no longer useful. That goes for my ‘Top Tips for Accountants’ and ‘Top Tips for Business Owners’ too; I have to earn my place in your inbox because I know how busy you are.

2. Move all items for reading to a separate folder. But, as you will probably never get around to reading them, it might make more sense to delete or unsubscribe. Be brutal

3. Use Calendly app to set up meetings and calls. I use the free app which only gives you one length of timeslot. The paid version will allow you to set more meeting lengths and you can set it to build in travel times between your meetings.

4. When you’re starting to build up a bit of an email trail over a single issue then it is often easier to pick up the phone. I know it’s a big deal for an introvert but really, it will save soooo much time.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on

Hints and tips from Xero

Xero are currently running a series of posts on hints and tips to get more out of their software. I’ll collate the links and post them all here

1.Xero mobile app for your clients to do their bookkeeping while out and about. This may be less intimidating for many businesses than the full functionality of the main software. Raise invoices in site and collect payment instantly by card with an app like iZettle.

2. Invoice reminders can help you chase debts even when you’re busy. (For even more functionality consider add on

Top 50 Women in Accounting

It’s not every day that you wake up to find yourself on the list of Top 50 Women in Accounting.

It was a wonderful surprise to find out on International Women’s Day that I was one of only three women from the UK amongst a number of household names (in the accountancy world, at least) I can’t believe how well this year is going as I see the work of the last few years falling into place.

Thanks to Practice Ignition for sponsoring the award and to all those who nominated me

Top Tip – Pomodoro Technique

This is a great technique when you’re struggling to concentrate as I was earlier this week when I was overtired. It’s also a good way to eat the frog that you’ve been dreading.

– Set a timer for 25 minutes.
– Roll up your sleeves and work intensively on a single task for 25 minutes. 
– When the alarm sounds stop work and stretch your legs etc for 5 minutes. 

You may manage to repeat this 2-3 times in total and you will be amazed at how much you can achieve in a relatively short time. I’d love to be able to work at this 100% rate all the time but the rest of the day usually continues at a more sedate pace after these initial few bursts of mental energy.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on.