How to Switch to Making Tax Digital In your Business

EditorM2M, Making Tax Digital

 

We have spoken about Making Tax Digital on a few occasions now, and without wanting to prattle on, the M2M team hope that by revisiting the subject, we are, if nothing else, demonstrating the importance of the topic, particularly with implementation soon to take place.

In April this year, businesses will start to be required to keep their records digitally and send their 9 box VAT return data to HMRC. Sounds straightforward right? But there’s a few things you’ll want to consider first…

To help simplify your considerations, Sage has put together a Business checklist – a 4 step process – which is as follows:

1. Determine whether you’re impacted by the change
2. Review your plan
3. Start reviewing your VAT process
4. Adopt early

Let’s explain this in more detail…

Step 1: Determine whether you’re impacted by the change

Any business that is above the VAT threshold (of 85k+) is most likely already utilising some form of software or spreadsheet.

By understanding how much of what you are doing already is MTD compliant, you’re halfway there, as this will help to indicate if there is anything extra you need to do.

For people using software for VAT, a lot of the software is enabled already to translate into the 9 boxes of VAT return data, so for businesses that are using their package in that way, they will no-tice very little change or impact.

For those who’ve got a mixed approach or manual approach to record keeping however, they will be more affected by the change, as they will require a digital system to replace the manual one.

Step 2: Review your plan

If you’ve got an accountant, now is the time to talk to them. And if you’re using software, and you’ve got a supportive software package, now is a good time to talk to your software provider – doing so will help to bring you clarity. You’ll want to know when their software will be enabled for MTD, and when to join the pilot. With only a few months to wait until MTD implementation, the answer will likely be now.

For businesses that are using spreadsheets, and manually completing their VAT, there are provid-ers that are offering bridging software, bridging the gap between manual and digital, so this is po-tentially an option to help assist in your transition to MTD.

If you’re a new business or an accountant who’s got new clients joining, it’s advised that you whol-ly undertake a digital approach, rather than opting for a manual one. This is because, digital will soon be obligatory so you’re effectively complying from the get-go, but also because, by taking on software that recognises MTD, you’ll benefit from a much fuller service. For example, Sage soft-ware helps to eradicate common errors made when using a manual approach, it also offers advise such as managing credits and debtors, creating invoices etc.

Step 3: Start reviewing your VAT process

Work with your partners or accountants – and don’t hesitate to get support from your software provider if you will be downloading accountancy software for the first time.

Outline the processes you may need to change:

• Are you submitting through HMRC’s online gateway? Are you using Excel or paper?
• Will your current methods/software allow you to submit through the gateway once MTD comes into effect?
• Do you have any adjustments to make before April?

Step 4: Adopt early

The faster you get started, the more likely you are to fulfil your new MTD obligations seamlessly come April 2019. Give yourself the time to adapt and get the support you need to make the impact as minimal to your business as possible.

The VAT Mandated Service WILL Have A Soft Landing

Just remember, HMRC won’t penalise people for getting things wrong for the first year, that gives you a year to get used to the new digital VAT service. And for those joining the pilot service, this provides you with additional time to get used to it. This means, HMRC won’t penalise people for not keeping their records digitally, and not sending their data in the agreed API format.

Don’t Spend Another Year Getting Ready…

As step 4 suggests, the key is to adopt MTD early. Despite HMRC not penalising businesses who haven’t adopted the digital approach within the first year, this shouldn’t mean that businesses spend another year getting ready.

So, what happens next? If you are a current Sage customer and would like to be a part of the pilot, find out more here.

Or for more information on MTD, why not watch the video we’ve featured below, which explains the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT in more detail…

10 Making Tax Digital for VAT Questions Answered

EditorM2M, Making Tax Digital

 

We spoke about Making Tax Digital back in September, yet with so many common misconceptions regarding MTD still circulating, and with less than 6 months till the VAT changes come into play, we thought now would be a good opportunity to answer some of the most commonly asked questions by businesses to help keep you abreast of the 2019 MTD initiative.

By now, you’re likely to already know the basic facts, such as;

  • When MTD is due to be implemented – 1st April 2019
  • How MTD will affect your business – customers will be unable to submit a return manually via HMRC gateway and instead will need to do so via their accounting software
  • How to remain compliant with the new changes – customers will need to upgrade to Sage 200cloud Spring 2018 release or a subsequent release in order to remain compliant

But what about the other, trickier questions that businesses are asking? From 1st April 2019, given that all businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) will be required by law to store financial records digitally and submit VAT returns from MTD-compatible accounting software, we’ve put together 10 Q&As commonly asked by businesses up and down the country, we hope you find the answers useful;

  1. What’s happen if you don’t have Sage 200cloud Spring 2018 release?

Not all customers will be in a position to upgrade to Sage 200cloud Spring 2018 before April 2019, therefore Sage have created a new MTD Submission module to provide customers on previous versions the ability to comply with the mandate without upgrading in the short term. This is only a temporary fix, so a full upgrade is still advised.

  1. In clause 2 .1.1 HMRC states that there will be a soft landing period where businesses will not be required to have links between software programs. So, why would a customer require the MTD Submission module?

Customers don’t need to have a digital link between the software and their VAT return in the first year, but they will still need to keep digital records and submit digitally.

Customers who want to do it this way will still need to invest in a submission tool (bridging software) that will send the data, make sure they trust it is going to be compliant, then in a year, they will need to start using a solution which has digital links.

Customers will benefit from not having to switch software providers in 12 months time if they use the MTD submission module.

  1. Sage customers on 2015-17 are on supported platforms and the EOL policy states they will get legislation updates as part of their services. Why should they pay for this?

Legislatives updates started in the summer 2018 release and will continue to be provided, giving Sage customers 4 versions of Sage 200cloud that will be MTD compliant by April 2019.

Using the latest software is the best way for Sage to help customers run their business effectively, however for those customers who are unable to adopt one of these versions, the MTD submission module enables them to remain compliant.

  1. Does the module support group VAT submissions?

The MTD module offers new functionality and capabilities that are currently not available in Sage 200cloud, so yes, the module will support group VAT and/or multi-company submissions. For example, if a customer upgrades to the latest version of 200cloud, they will still require the module as the product mainly supports single company submissions. In this instance the module will be available at no extra cost.

  1. How long can customers use the submission module for?

The module will be sold to you on an annual subscription. If at the point of renewal, you haven’t upgraded to a compatible version of 200cloud, the subscription will automatically renew.

  1. What if a customer chooses not to buy the module from Sage?

There are 2 options;

  • Upgrade to the latest version,
  • Buy the submission module

Therefore, if neither option is selected, we will assume that you have chosen an alternative unsupported solution from a third party.

  1. How straightforward is a Sage 200 upgrade to the latest compliant version?

Your business partner can advise and assist with the upgrade process. The complexity of the upgrade will depend on many factors:

  • Hardware and infrastructure compatibilities (which may require new servers and/or Microsoft Software),
  • Bespoke and 3rd party add-ons upgrades,
  • PC/Workstation spec,
  • Training and data migration
  1. When is the MTD software required by?

The MTD software will be required from April 1st 2019 however this will depend on your VAT Periods. e.g. If your VAT quarters runs from 1st February to 30th April, you will need the MTD in place for 1st May, which is the start of next VAT Period following the introduction of MTD).

  1. Will there be any training on the new module?

Yes. When a customer buys the MTD submission module they will receive a free eLearning course (£200 value), delivered via Sage University. There is also a demo available on AskSage article, 41667. This can be found here.

  1. How does the customer obtain the MTD module for non-compliant versions of Sage 200

This needs to be ordered via your business partner.

For Further information, M2M Can Help…

So, what happens next? For customers looking to buy the latest module, our friendly team at M2M can help by processing your order with Sage. We can also advise and assist with your Sage 200 upgrade, and for those with non-compliant versions of Sage 200, we can order the MTD module on your behalf.

For further information on MTD, why not take a look at VAT Notice 700/22, which explains the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT in more detail, or please feel free to contact us.

6 Reasons Why SaaS Is A Good Business Alternative to Traditional On-Premise Software

EditorM2M

 

Software as a Service, also known as SaaS, is a software licensing and delivery model. When compared with traditional models of business software installation, SaaS offers many advantages. For example, SaaS – and more widely cloud computing – can help you make the most of a limited IT budget while giving you access to the latest technology and professional support.

Examples of SaaS Use within a Business Include:
  • Accounting and invoicing
  • Tracking sales
  • Planning
  • Performance monitoring
  • Communications (including webmail and messaging)
6 Reasons Why SaaS Is A Good Alternative to On-Premise Software
  1. Reduced IT Spend

Because SaaS is often subscription-based and has no up-front licence fees, initial costs are much lower.

Your SaaS provider will manage the IT infrastructure that is running the software, which also brings down fees for the likes of hardware and software maintenance.

  1. Fast Install and Operation

Because SaaS is installed and configured in the cloud already, delays often associated with traditional software deployment can be kept to a minimum.

  1. Stress-free Upgrades

Your SaaS providers will handle all hardware and software updates on your behalf, deploying upgrades centrally to the hosted applications and removing this workload from your shoulders.

  1. Increasing Flexibility

SaaS providers generally offer countless subscription options and the desired scalability to alter subscriptions accordingly as and when needed, e.g. when more users need to access the service, or when your business expands.

  1. Heightened Convenience

SaaS is an accessible and convenient alternative to traditional business software installation, as all you need to access a SaaS application is a browser and an internet connection. It’s also available on a wide range of devices and from anywhere in the world.

  1. Boost Productivity

Using the SaaS Salesforce platform, you can build a bespoke business system that spans across your front of house to back office systems, providing access to crucial information simply and easily. For example, Salesforce products like Sage Business Cloud Financials can help you to analyse cashflow and undertake key accounting tasks wherever you may be.

What Is Sage Business Cloud Financials?

As mentioned above, SaaS product; Sage Business Cloud Financials is a popular and frequently implemented business tool. As a cloud-based package, it offers a completely agile business solution, ideal for managing all your business processes in one place. For example, you can link your sales, accounting, banking, invoicing, and payments.

With Sage Business Cloud Financials, you’re able to connect your back-office key financial data with your front office sales CRM system to provide your employees with better insight, allowing your team to work smarter, be more agile and increase business growth.

Find out more about Sales Business Cloud Financials in this video:

Sales Business Cloud Financials Advantages
  • Manage Projects
  • Maximise Team Productivity
  • Evaluate Profitability
  • Simplify Complex Customer Billing
  • Create and Accept Invoices
  • Flexible Subscription Management
  • A Complete View of your Accounts
  • Gain Immediate Visibility into KPIs
  • Build Dynamic Financial Reports
  • Access 100% Functionality on Mobile
  • Simple and Intuitive for Rapid Deployment
How M2M Can Help…

At M2M, we are now accredited to sell and implement Sage Financials, where we can tailor your system to meet the individual needs of your business. M2M understand that each business is unique and the support needs that you have may differ, depending on how you use the system.

Our customer support packages are priced on an individual basis and reflect the level of support you need as you need it. To arrange a Sage Business Cloud Financials demonstration or for more information, contact us here or on 01245 49 48 47.

How to Conquer Bad Debt Once And For All

EditorCredit Hound, M2M

 

Credit control is an essential part of your business, it helps you to effectively manage your cash flow, avoid late payments and prevent bad debts. Think of it as a system used by well-managed businesses to ensure that credit is only given to customers who can pay and pay on time.

And yet, good credit control requires specialist skills combined with the correct systems and processes. It’s not simply a case of collecting funds from non-paying or late paying clients. Credit control is based on building relationships with your customers and creating a rapport with them.

For example, understanding your customer’s processes and approval systems when it comes to invoicing can prove extremely beneficial, helping to reduce invoice errors, the need to re-submit invoices, and lessening the wait-time between payments.

Getting Paid On Time… What’s the Hold Up?

Handling late payments has to be one of the more infuriating elements of running a business. And with so many companies being vulnerable to late payment due to the imbalance between their receipts and outgoing payments, what’s stopping businesses from chasing their customers for the money they’re owed?

Well, many SMEs find it difficult to raise the late payments issue and be firm with their customers because doing so could jeopardise future relationships. In addition, they simply don’t have the right resources or processes to chase late payments. So, how can you ensure you get paid on time, every time?

How to Conquer Bad Debt Once and For All

Rather than having to convince late paying clients to settle their invoice, it’s far more productive to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Having the right tools in place can assist with this, and enable you to use automation instead of verbally chasing your customers.

To help conquer bad debt once and for all, we recommend using Credit Hound. This advanced credit control software gives you the tools to work more proactively, improve cash flow and get paid faster.

Integrating with your ERP system, Credit Hound shows you where your money is and who you need to chase. With all the information you need on screen to help you chase payments, you can record notes and set to-do tasks to chase late payments.

The software also helps to save time carrying out repetitive tasks by enabling you to set up rules and actions to automatically send chase letters, put accounts on stop and schedule phone calls. Whilst dispute handling features help you keep track of disputed invoices and its comprehensive reporting system gives you a clear overview of your debtor situation.

Credit Hound Features:
  • Dashboard view; see who owes money, how much, promised cash & disputed payments
  • Pre-emptive reminders; help to encourage prompt payment
  • Automated rules and actions; allows you to automate repetitive tasks
  • Interactive aged debtor list; sort and filter in real-time, no more manual check-lists
  • Chase screen; see information during calls and record notes
  • To-Do List; keep on top of your chasing calls
  • Reporting; range of reports available to assess your efforts and highlight debtor issues
  • Consolidated chasing; chase and report at branch or head office level
  • Dispute management; tracks and records disputes
  • ERP integration; seamless integration, so no re-keying data or manual admin
  • Quick return on investment; more available cash for your business
Get Paid Faster with Advanced Credit Control

If you need to get paid faster, M2M can help. We’re happy to discuss your credit control options and to help answer any questions you may have regarding advanced credit control software; Credit Hound. Contact us on 01245 49 48 47 to find out more.

Making Tax Digital – Are you Ready?

EditorM2M, Making Tax Digital

 

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is HMRC’s move to digitise tax, and up to 89% of UK business will change the way they process tax as a direct result.

As of April 2019, businesses with a turnover above £85k will have to submit VAT returns through the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) gateway using commercial accounting software.

This is one part of a vital journey the UK needs to take to tackle low productivity and improve the business environment for SMEs.

What Does MTD Mean for Businesses Like yours

Making Tax Digital will change the way your business pays its taxes to HMRC. For businesses with a turnover above £85,000, MTD is less than one year away. If that includes you, you will need to purchase or update your commercial accounting software to an MTD-ready version before April 2019.

Why is Making Tax Digital Happening?

HMRC loses £9 billion each year on taxation errors, and they believe that’s partly due to the way businesses declare their income, therefore digital record keeping and automated VAT submissions will make the process easier and error-free.

What Should you Do to Prepare?

If you’re a VAT Registered business which has a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000, it’ll be mandatory for you to keep your records digitally and send your VAT returns using MTD compatible software from April 2019.

Part of improving VAT means you’ll need to record your transactions throughout your VAT period and send HMRC an automated nine box VAT return at the end of each period, directly from your software.

It’s a simpler, more efficient process that will be less disruptive to your business in the long run.

The Solution? Sage Software

Sage software can help you get ready for the April 2019 MTD deadline. With a long history of working with British businesses and accountants, Sage is a trusted and reliable tool for various businesses all over the UK.

Here are some of the ways Sage software can support you through the MTD transition;

  • Compatible Software

With Sage MTD compatible software, you can:

a) Record and preserve electronic records in an electronic form;

b) Provide to HMRC information and returns from the electronic records in an electronic form and by using the Application Programme Interface (API) platform; and

c) Receive information from HMRC

  • HMRC Trusted

Sage has been working with HMRC on MTD for years to ensure their Accounting products are leading the way in compliance.

  • 100% Compliant

Sage market-leading software will mean you can submit your VAT return with confidence, in line with MTD legislation.

  • World-Class Support

With the help of a vast amount of digital content, such as expert led webinars, live events, web chat and telephone support, not to mention bespoke services designed to support your business including 1-2-1 training and onsite support, you can feel at ease knowing your business will get the help it needs.

  • Pioneering Technology

Sage has been helping with VAT for years so it’s important you understand that you won’t get left behind. With Sage technology, you can also make sure the changes will feel as small as possible.

Sage Business Cloud offers solutions for businesses of all sizes, providing software that grows as your business does, and meeting your needs every step of the way.

Need Help with MTD? Contact M2M…

For businesses needing to use digital software for the first time, or for those looking to invest in MTD compatible software, M2M can help.

Using Making Tax Digital compatible software, you can store and submit your digital records securely and keep track of everything you owe, making it easy for your business to meet the MTD requirements.

For further information about the benefits MTD complaint software can bring, such as saving your business time, decreasing admin levels and preventing late filing and errors, contact M2M today.

How Standardised Software Could Be Inhibiting your Business Growth

EditorM2M, Sage

 

Just as every business is unique, the requirements of a business are too. So, when it comes to business software, it’s logical that users want more than just a standardised solution, especially since productivity levels took a nosedive in 2009 and are yet to recover.

According to Red Letter Days’ 2017 ‘Productivity in the Workplace’ report, the reduction of business productivity growth in the UK in recent years has seen employees spend more than 4.4 million days every year on ‘time wasting’ office tasks, as a result of ‘too much admin’ and ‘slow technology’.

So, what can be done to resolve this problem? Well, bespoke software can help to increase employee output significantly by minimising unnecessary admin tasks and eliminating slow systems within a workplace.

The Benefits of Bespoke Sage Software…

There are a variety of reasons why a business would choose to develop their Sage systems, so here we consider the benefits of bespoke business software, and how software development can help to achieve them:

• Speed Up your Processes

Bespoke business software is about having a software package that’s assembled to meet your individual business needs rather than potentially being made to fit afterwards. It’s like gaining a suit made by a skilled tailor who takes the time to understand your size and style, as opposed to buying one from Debenhams.
If you feel that your standardised Sage software is hindering your business growth, customised Sage software can be implemented to precisely meet your business needs and streamline your business processes, ultimately helping to enhance your return on investment.

• Achieve Greater Visibility of Information

Sage developer services ensure you gain bespoke software to help your business operate more efficiently and systematically. Software development that’s uniquely built to fit the needs of your business allows you to directly address your strategic goals, because it allows your unique business needs to be fully realised, improving visibility, as well as reporting, collaboration and automation for greater productivity and profitability.
Greater visibility will also help to ensure better departmental communication. Instant access to all business data, and automatic updates, will mean your workforce can improve collaboration within their teams. Such centralised communication also better enables employees to work from anywhere at any time.

• Integrate with Other Applications

With the right software development team, you can benefit from Sage software that strategically integrates with other applications. For instance, Line 50 and Line 100 Sage accounting packages can be integrated with sales processing and other systems. This type of integration can save considerable book-keeping time and can pay for itself within a few months.

Sage integration can be achieved by writing custom integration code using the Sage Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK allows skilled developers to create custom programs which can directly add new entries to a Sage accounting file, for example automatically creating new customers, sales records etc.

Need Help Increasing your Business Productivity?

At M2M Technology, we provide Sage software development, helping to meet the unique requirements of your business and adding direct value. We offer in-house Sage development, where you can gain greater visibility of the development process and updates as and when you need them. If you’re interested in discovering more about Sage software custom development services, contact M2M today. We’re happy to help and recommend meeting with us to discuss how your current system can be tailored to match your requirements.