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.

In a recent presentation to the audience at the 2017 Thomson Reuters Digita conference Paul did what he could to cut through the clutter surrounding the hot topic that is Making Tax Digital (MTD).

The DANGER attached to MTD is real and present, here and now.

The OPPORTUNITY attached to MTD is also real and present, here and now.

You decide…

Whether MTD is a threat or an opportunity for your firm depends on how you respond now.

You can choose from three strategic responses:

1. Resist the change

2. Wait and see what happens

3. Embrace the change and get ready now

The MTD deadlines in 2018, 2019 and 2020 look fixed according to HMRC. However, there are still several unknowns and uncertainties surrounding the detail on MTD.

You can use the lack of detail as an excuse not to act now, to wait and see.

Or, you can manage the things you CAN manage now and make the deadlines much easier on you, your team and your clients when they arrive.

Every 13 weeks is your challenge…

As good as you, your firm and all accounting firms are at meeting deadlines, moving from reporting annually to reporting every 13 weeks for all your business clients is a big deal! Bigger than hitting Jan 31st tax return deadlines once a year or hitting the 9 month filing deadlines for annual accounts once a year.

The repeating 13-week reporting cycle requires a whole new way of working. New habits for your team and your practice. A new rhythm of working.

4 practical recommendations…

My recommendations to the firms I advise, my recommendations to the Thomson Reuters Digita crowd and my recommendations to you and your firm are:

1. Build your list of clients who will be on MTD from April 18

2. Meet everyone on this list and convince them of the merits of cloud accounting and get them working on QuickBooks, Xero or another cloud accounting package

3. Make sure every week, enough clients upgrade to cloud accounting so that 80% or more of your 2018 list are live by the time April 2018 arrives (then turn to your April 2019 list)

4. Get your firm’s client portal working brilliantly (if it isn’t already) to smooth the flow of communication between your firm and your clients

A weekly obsession is your best friend…

Becoming weekly obsessed (rather than monthly or annually obsessed) is what’s needed to get your firm to brilliantly manage MTD effectively. Moving 2 or more clients every week onto cloud accounting gives your firm the best chance of turning Making Tax Digital into a lucrative opportunity rather than a dangerous threat to the future profits of your firm.

Click on the button below to check out the interview John Stockdyk of AccountingWEB did with Paul at the conference here –

What are you doing weekly to get ready for the enormous wave that is MTD?