MTD: A STATE OF FLUX

Our recent survey of the readership of Accountancy Age magazine revealed businesses are lacking confidence and ill prepared to meet the requirements of MTD phase 2, particularly in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

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ACCOUNTANCY AGE SURVEY: THE FUTURE OF TAX

We asked the readers of Accountancy Age magazine about their views on the implementation of digital links under MTD and the automation of the tax function.

The findings include:

  • Tax and finance teams haven’t embraced the technological revolution seen in other markets
  • Many approached the second phase of MTD with short term solutions
  • Around a third used MTD to encourage technological advance across the business
  • 46% percent were concerned about having to make amendments and error corrections and 65 percent admitted that incorrect formulas could lead to errors in returns, while macro and tracking back errors are also a significant area of concern.
  • More than half of those still reliant on spreadsheets are aware of their inability to allow multiple individuals to work on returns simultaneously, and over 40% suggested managing multiple spreadsheets is an operational challenge
  • Although MTD has been pushed back, those who had embraced automation now have greater capabilities, much more agility, and a condescended cost base

 

Key takeaways:

  • HMRC has given the market time to bring systems up to speed and it may be a mistake to approach April 2021 in a similar position with “poorly fitting antiquated and creaking systems that struggle to keep up with the requirements”
  • Those who rely still on spreadsheets are aware of the risks when processing returns and are aware of their failings  
  • As we exit the pandemic and businesses started to feel the impacts, the race to automate may only gather pace