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IRIS Accountancy Solutions is today warning UK accountants they must future-proof their practices to be ready for the imminent climatic flip set to impact the industry. The company argues changes in the political and legislative landscape, the local and global economy, along with social and technology advances, cannot be ignored.

This warning comes as IRIS announces its Accountancy Suite Autumn 2017 release to support accountants as the changes take place. Its close working relationship with HMRC, along with a significant R&D investment, has demonstrated it is leading the software industry with the Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme.

According to IRIS’ Voice of the Accountant research, over four fifths (83 per cent) of accountants believe when MTD legislation is implemented it will increase their workload. To reassure those who have concerns surrounding MTD, IRIS will announce new innovations in its core products and launch new products at its annual conference this week.

The company is continuing to lead the digital agenda for accountants, with a first to market MTD accountancy practice suite and third-party accounting data integrations that demonstrate it is the most efficient, compliant and connected practice suite. IRIS is also enabling customers to participate in the HMRC Making Tax Digital early adopter programme with several customers already enlisting on the HMRC pilot scheme. The popularity of this move is supported in the IRIS research, as 42 per cent of interviewees feel MTD legislation will help grow their practice’s client base.

The most prominent of the innovations being announced is IRIS Connector, allowing clients’ accounts data to be imported into IRIS Accounts Production from a wide variety of sources, including direct accounting data imports from all the major cloud bookkeeping providers. Combined with a significantly improved and intuitive CSV import wizard, IRIS will ensure accountants stay digitally connected to their clients’ data irrespective of the source data received from clients.

IRIS Accountancy Suite has been updated to incorporate several significant user experience improvements to the Time and Fees module, as well as many ongoing legislative updates. This has also included the extension of its Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) leadership position with a new Statement of Income and Retained Earnings.

Sion Lewis, CEO at IRIS Accountancy Solutions, believes this release will be the tipping point for the industry’s digital transformation: “With many accountancy practices already reaping the benefits of digital records, from bookkeeping efficiencies to greater tax accuracies and compliance, this release will enable many accounting practices to join the digital journey. Lewis sees this as a clear win-win for both small businesses and accountants.”

Lewis continues, “There are simultaneous benefits for both accountants and their clients; as consumers, we want to instantly consume information and want it at our fingertips. Digitising tax enables clients to enter and view data themselves, while the accountant gains the data entry time back and can use it to drive regular, insightful discussions.

“As the first Making Tax Digital accountancy suite to enable accountants to file quarterly submissions, we are in the best position to equip accountants to become more efficient and productive than ever before, simplifying their lives so they can focus on attracting new clients and growing their businesses.”

IRIS Customer, Yvonne Cookson, partner at Your Tax Shop and HMRC MTD early adopter says, “Early access to the HMRC MTD programme from my core IRIS practice software suite enables me to prepare my business for the changes ahead, and at the same time get my clients up to speed and into a new routine well ahead of the new mandatory deadlines.”

IRIS PTP and Keytime brands have also embraced MTD with HMRC pre-population enabled for both products in April. IRIS PTP will also offer quarterly filing from October 2017.

Key features include:

  • Seamless digital journey for client accounting data to practice suite for quarterly filing and submission
  • Wide range of client data integrations available:
    • KashFlow
    • FreeAgent
    • IRIS OpenBooks
    • Xero
    • QuickBooks
    • Sage (later in 2018)
    • PS Financials
    • OpenAudit / MyWorkingPapers
    • FarmPlan
    • Other sources via IRIS’ significantly improved CSV importer