The UK government have moved the goal posts since this blog was posted. The content here still has value so we've left this post live but suggest you click here and check this article out first about MTD.

Last week I shared a few insights at the Thomson Reuters Making Tax Digital conference into working in a weekly rhythm so that you turn the threat of Making Tax Digital into a positive and lucrative opportunity for your firm.

Be clear on what action you’re going to take…

The Thursday panel session at the conference last week really fired me up and gave me clarity on 2 crucial actions!!!

Here’s why it fired me up…

There is so much uncertainty about MTD, with HMRC unclear on the details and the software companies therefore hand-tied. So…

…here’s the 2 actions I’m convinced will set your firm up for MTD success:

1. You must act on MTD every week and start now – resisting MTD or adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach and you’re stockpiling a problem that could make every January 31st deadline look like a walk in the park

2. You must focus on controlling what you can control – as much as it’s easy to criticise HMRC it does not move your firm forward. Weekly action to move 1 or 2 (or more) clients a week onto cloud accounting makes the transition to MTD easier and faster when all the details are eventually sorted out

The firms I work with who already have 60% or more of their clients on cloud accounting software will find transition to MTD much easier than the firms who are still managing most clients on desktops or excel or worse.

Between now and April ’18 you can get your ‘ducks in a row’ by focusing on what you can control – getting clients onto cloud accounting.

You can easily work out how many clients must migrate to quarterly MTD reporting by April ’18 – let’s pretend you have 100 (but work out your number). There are 52 weeks between now and then. 100 divided by 52 means migrating 2 clients a week onto cloud accounting is your goal. Your plan? See 2 clients a week and persuade (insist) they go to cloud accounting. Work out the person in your firm who’s going to take ownership of this migration work - your cloud/MTD champion - and take weekly action.

Weekly or daily action?

Roald Amundsen was first to the south pole and got back alive. Captain Scott got to the pole second and never made it back.

Amundsen obsessed with walking 15 nautical miles a day (every day) come hail, rain or shine. On the other hand, Scott made hay while the sun shone, going long hard days on good weather days, staying in the tent on bad weather days.

You will always find loads to do every day and every week in your firm. But if you’re going to be well placed to make MTD work in your firm – retain clients and grow your firm in the new MTD world – you need to adopt an Amundsen strategy. Take steps every week to migrate clients to cloud accounting so that MTD is easier.

Your next steps…

Read this Bitesize report and learn more about Amundsen vs Scott. Commit to a ’15 miles a day’ strategy so that you can make cloud accounting and MTD work better and faster for your firm. 

You’ll also learn how Intel beat AMD and how Southwest airlines beat all other airlines because they adopted an Amundsen approach to their business.

Go here for the Amundsen vs Scott Bitesize report

I wish you every success

Paul Shrimpling