How customer insight shaped our approach to Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital (MTD) will be the most significant change to the UK tax system since the introduction of self-assessment. With the speed and complexity of the regulation changes in our industry, Wolters Kluwer set out to design an end-to-end tool to meet the requirements of MTD and truly embracing digitalisation.

Since the introduction of MTD for VAT, we’ve been engaging with many of our customers to better understand the issues surrounding this change.

The objective of the research was to establish:

  • What does the end-to-end VAT process look like for you and your clients?
  • How do you collaborate with your VAT clients to complete the process?
  • What solutions do you and your clients currently use for VAT?
  • What impact do you think MTD for VAT will have?
  • These discussions have given us valuable insights that will help us support you and your clients with the transition to MTD for VAT.

Here are a few of the key findings from that research:

  • Practices don’t have a single process for dealing with their clients’ VAT. Processes differ per industry and types of client. They even vary from one practice employee to another. There is no “one size fits all” VAT process so any attempt to digitalise must be flexible enough to cope with this.

  • Practices must deal with a wide variety of systems that their clients use to capture VAT information. These include keeping manual records, collecting scanned documents, entering information directly into spreadsheets and using a variety of online bookkeeping solutions (including bespoke or industry-specific systems). Practices will need maximum flexibility as they transition their clients to MTD for VAT.

  • For clients with simple VAT returns and low volume of transactions, manually maintained spreadsheets are acceptable. For those with slightly higher volumes – but still with simple VAT returns – bookkeeping solutions can be used from beginning to end, to collect information, process data and submit the VAT return.

  • For many clients with more complex VAT requirements, online bookkeeping solutions cannot be used end-to-end and spreadsheets must be used to perform additional calculations and make final adjustments before submitting returns. Advisors have invested a lot of time and effort into these spreadsheets to create the most efficient process possible for each client.

  • The widespread use of spreadsheets to complete the final calculations is probably one of the key reasons that so many returns are still currently submitted via the HMRC’s online service, rather than directly from bookkeeping solutions. Research has found that 87% of VAT returns are submitted this way. Since it offers a simple way of submitting VAT return information, many advisors are concerned about the withdrawal of the HMRC online service, post April 2019.

The result: CCH OneClick

In April 2018, Wolters Kluwer launched CCH OneClick, built for accountancy practices and their clients, to help enable them to embrace digitalisation. It’s a toolkit fit for MTD and its digital needs. CCH OneClick is a secure, set of cloud tools accessed in one place, so you can connect, communicate and collaborate – anytime, anywhere on any device. CCH OneClick provides you with an end-to-end MTD solution and a consistent process.

For a live demonstration of our MTD for VAT solution, join us at one of our half-day Making Tax Digital Roadshow events in October and November to see how CCH OneClick supports your transition to a fully digital future. Book your place today.

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