The End of the Tax Return – How accountancy firms can respond

Changing fortunes for accountancy firms – How will HMRC change the current tax system?

During late March we ran a webinar entitled ‘The Death of Tax Returns and How Your Firm Can Benefit’, in reference to the recently unveiled plans at HMRC to replace our current system of handing in tax returns. Despite the potentially inflammatory subject matter, reception has been extremely positive, and over 2500 people attended our most recent webinar on the subject. Many attendees raised valuable questions and concerns.

Among the multitude of reasons that people attended, attendees asked us:

  • “Why would HMRC accept our App if they will not let us deal directly with them by other means?”
  • “I have no confidence that HMRC will import accurate data, therefore we will have to spend additional time reconciling from HMRC figures to client figures.”
  • “How can HMRC make this compulsory when broadband or a smartphone isn’t available for many clients?”
  • “Many of my clients do not use smartphones, especially the older ones. I doubt that they have a tablet. What then?”
  • “Any ideas what HMRC intend to offer those clients who cannot/will not change to digital?”

Perhaps the most frequently asked question was about confusion as to what HMRC are trying to achieve. Attendees were worried that HMRC were threatening their business thorough either malice or ineptitude, or leaving hundreds of thousands of taxpayers behind with this insistence on digitalisation. On the other hand, some see these changes as an opportunity to move their firm forward or pioneer a new form of accounting. Whatever your opinion is on the matter, one thing is for certain. Things are guaranteed to change.

Unfortunately, many firms have failed to realise that the time to respond to these changes is now.

So what can an accounting firm do?

Enter MyFirmsApp™; the only accredited App provider by the ICAEW, and recommended by the ACCA, CIMA, ICAS and the ICPA. The main advantage of our App solution comes from putting all the services your clients use frequently and putting them all in one place. Chances are that your clients may already use this software regularly; websites and software like Xero, Quickbooks, Receipt Bank and others.

As HMRC rolls out its new system, all of these programs will have to be integrated into these new Digital Tax Accounts to get rid of the mindless data entry that these things typically involve. If your firm doesn’t try to offer its clients an alternative to third party accounting software and HMRC, your firm may be cut out of the loop.

At the start of 2015, there were 5.4 million recorded private sector companies – a 55% increase since 2000 and a 2.7% increase since the beginning of 2014 – 4.1 million of those companies are a one-man operation. This represents 76% of all businesses in the UK, and very few of these companies use any kind of accounting software whatsoever and fill in their taxes on their own – They may not even have an accountant. Unfortunately, they can’t hold out much longer against the digitalisation of the tax system – they must start using accounting software if they want to do their taxes.

Because of this, MyFirmsApp™ is ready to provide an all-in-one solution – your clients can connect to several different cloud accounting services through your App, putting you back in control and serving as a much-needed barrier between your clients and HMRC. Not only is this technology extremely innovative, it’s battle-tested by hundreds of firms and accounting bodies in the UK and beyond. It’s been over 3 years since we started working with Apps and the numbers speak for themselves; over 120,000 end users have downloaded the App and 500 firms worldwide have had their App created and released by us.

Digital Tax Accounts

So in 4 years’ time, when the HMRC has finally rolled out its digital tax account system to all, your firm will be in control of the connection between HMRC and the taxpayer. They will still be your customers, as opposed to firms who lost all of theirs as the middle-man role of accountants became a pointless exercise. Many may be fearful of what HMRC intends to do but the solution is simple – give your clients an all-in-one solution to their finance and taxes. 500 firms & 120000 end users would be inclined to agree that there’s only one Accountancy App company worth considering – MyFirmsApp™.

If you’re also attending Accountex this year on May 11 and 12, thought leader David Oliver will be running workshops from 12.00pm to 12:45pm about this topic. If you’re interested, please follow this link if you wish to see it on Wednesday or this link for Thursday’s session and complete the registration form.

Register here for your free App demo. Find out how it will be customised exclusively for your firm and act as the interface between you and your clients.

Feedback from our DOTR webinar:

•	HMRC are going digital

“Hi Daniel,

I found the webinar very informative and I am starting to realise I am going to have to go down the app route.

I need to first think about what digital software e.g. Xero I want to recommend and include. That is why I have not as yet requested the one to one. I will definitely keep in touch though and get back to you in the near future.”

“Hello Daniel,

Thank you! It was my first ever webinar and I found it to be very helpful given the confusing times we accountants are going through at the moment.”

“Hi Dan,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me on a personal level, will you be producing some kind of podcast that might be available as a download, after the event by any chance?

Well done on a successful webinar day too!”


Categories: Apps, Blog

Daniel Richards

Daniel Richards |

Daniel is Head of Sales and a member of the executive team at MyFirmsApp – the global leader in Apps for Accountants and Bookkeepers.

He is passionate about helping firms maintain a key role in the always-on App environment which plays such an important part in our daily lives. He is particularly keen to raise awareness of the threats posed to accountants and bookkeepers by 3rd parties and even Government. Without a firms’ own App, it really has no way to serve within, benefit from or control the environment where so many clients and prospects now spend their time each day.

Daniel has been involved in helping professional service firms grow and make the most of new techniques, strategies and technology for over 17 years. He is considered to be a thought-leader, is a renowned speaker, and is the go-to-guy for firms and professional bodies when it comes to Apps for accountancy firms.

He has hundreds of testimonials from large and small firms alike, has presented to thousands of firms through the MyFirmsApp and Insight webinars, and regularly speaks for the professional bodies and membership organisations.

Outside work: In his early days Daniel spent most of his time mountaineering and was fortunate enough to undertake expeditions in places such as The Himalayas, Alps, Alaska, Papua New Guinea, Norway and others. Now he enjoys the outdoors as much as possible with his family and friends as well as being active in the leadership of a local church.