The Government’s plans to digitalise the tax system through its Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme has understandably got many SME business owners in a bit of flap. Enforced changes are never welcome, particularly when there is a cost implication, and few are convinced by the Government’s assertion that MTD is in the best interest of customer more so than HMRC.
Whilst I agree that MTD has more to do with increasing tax revenues than making the system “easier for taxpayers”, I strongly believe the changes to accounting administration that MTD necessitates will prove beneficial to businesses. Yes I’m putting it out there – Making Tax Digital is good news.
Like it or not, MTD will mean some businesses will have to embrace new technology and change their way of working to comply. It will be very uncomfortable for some. I run introductory workshops to help clients understand their obligations and options under MTD and I see the look of pained resignation on the faces of some business owners. But I am a zealous advocate of cloud accounting and my job is to help owners realise the benefits of going digital and embrace the changes which will make them MTD ready and futureproof their business.
My colleague thinks I go a little over-the-top when I invite clients to “get on the digital bus” but I can’t help being so enthusiastic when I know, from running a business myself and from the many businesses I have worked with, that effective use of cloud accounting and related applications can positively transform a business.
Essentially it comes down to efficiency. I often quote Jim Rohn, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” Few business owners wouldn’t welcome more time and this is precisely what an integrated cloud system can give through the reduction of input time and the duplication of work. Efficiencies are also achievable because cloud systems are accessible remotely, so the same level of convenience and functionality is available whether you are in the office, working from home or travelling. Also multiple users can access the system at the same time, including your accountant. Shared access to real-time information via your cloud accounting system really keeps things moving along.
Another benefit to cloud accounting is the flexibility to scale up and integrate with a range of other time-saving business applications, rationalising procedures through information sharing. What an attractive prospect for growing businesses whose requirements will change over time.
And when we also take into account improved security, better financial management, lower overheads and automatic software updates, you can see why I’m so evangelical about cloud systems.
All aboard the digital bus – next stop success.
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