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Despite HMRC’s response to Making Tax Digital (MTD), British businesses must not turn their back on digital progression.

The warning comes from IRIS Software in response to HMRC’s digital initiative which aims for 2.4 million SMEs to move to digital record keeping and begin submitting updates quarterly, rather than the current annual process from April 2018.

Sion Lewis, CEO of IRIS Accountancy Solutions, says, “HMRC’s announcement has significantly softened the impact of the MTD initiative on British business. I’m pleased to see the government has listened to the concerns of UK accountants and eased the strain of digital transformation, allowing accountancy firms and their clients to go at their own pace. 86 per cent of the respondents to our MTD consultation survey felt the initial proposals for digitised tax weren’t possible by 2020 and the changes outlined today will have helped appease these concerns.

“There will of course be those companies which are already moving towards fully digital record keeping and this softening of the legislation shouldn’t act to stop British businesses being leaders in the global digital economy. HMRC’s initial goal was to ensure Britain is one of the world’s most digitally advanced tax systems and this shouldn’t be shelved. As the uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues, it’s vital companies are working as efficiently and effectively as possible, using the best tools and technologies at their disposal, to ensure continued compliance to the ever-changing legislation and continual business success.”

IRIS Software, working closely with HMRC and customers, will provide accountancy software and services that seamlessly bridge the digital gap for accountants and their clients.  IRIS will offer the tools and services that provide flexibility to choose the starting point for switching from paper to digital record keeping, whilst guaranteeing the journey concludes with the submission of MTD compliant digital records to HMRC.

IRIS Software is announcing:

  • Market leading accountancy practice solution, IRIS Accountancy Suite, will be fully MTD compliant in October 2017, six months ahead of the initial mandate, ready for customers wishing to participate in the HMRC MTD beta programme.
  • Ahead of this date, KashFlow, online bookkeeping solution from IRIS, will also be MTD compliant enabling SMEs to access and submit accounting information to their HMRC digital tax account.
  • To help accountants and their staff prepare their practice for MTD, IRIS will roll out an online and classroom-based education programme, which will run throughout this crucial digital transformation period.  IRIS is also publishing an MTD information hub at iris.co.uk/mtd to update accountants on the latest developments and download resources to help prepare their practices for MTD.
  • IRIS is also announcing IRIS Web Portal, which enables accountants to communicate and collaborate with clients digitally through an intelligent, branded web presence.  Practices using IRIS Web Portal, will be able to interact with existing and prospective clients via a modern, mobile friendly web shopfront, offer a portal for clients to access online record keeping services, exchange important documents with clients digitally, and execute marketing campaigns to attract and retain new clients.

Steve Cox, senior product director at IRIS Software, says, “For many accountancy firms the transition to MTD will be a seamless one. Many already digitally collaborate with clients using accounting software and are therefore well on their way to complying with the upcoming legislation. However, for those who either currently work with paper invoices or are ignoring the proposed changes altogether, now is the time to begin engaging with MTD and their digital journey.

“IRIS has an unrivalled track record in delivering fully compliant software, on time, to the accountancy profession and MTD will be no exception. With IRIS filing more than three million digital tax returns in this last financial year alone, and 17,000 accountancy firms already relying on IRIS to help run their business, we are in prime position to support accountants and their clients on every step of the road to MTD.”