Are too many cooks spoiling the MTD broth? Why competition might not be the best thing for MTD.

/ Accounting, Quarterly Updates

Author: Henry Ejdelbaum

Tags: hmrc, MTD, Quarterly Update - May 2019, software

AIMS Accountants for Business - MTD

The big bad bogeyman has finally arrived. After much posturing and planning, April marked the moment that the Government’s Making Tax Digital initiative finally computerised VAT.

A lot of people have had a lot to say about MTD (us included – this certainly isn’t the first time we’ve talked about it). This has led to a huge array of opinions. Use bridging software or do a full conversion? Should now mark the point that you finish MTD preparations, or should you have been ready far in advance? Myriad opinions has resulted in myriad software options.

Now, we’re all for businesses having options – but are there now too many? The Government’s MTD software list recently hit 300 different pieces of software. Maybe a big company has the resources to look at every option, but for a small business that’s absurd. With 300 different options, even a dedicated business accountant would struggle to find what’s best – and it’s not as if every product is unique. There’s only so many ways you can approach VAT – but every software provider wants their piece of the pie, so we have hundreds of pieces of software doing the exact same thing.

The dizzying array of MTD options is making the whole situation far more complicated than it needs to be. Businesses and service providers alike have no idea what to choose, and no clue if there’s a better option available. It’s a real “too many cooks” situation that’s making what should be quite a simple change for most businesses needlessly complex.

There’s no easy way to solve this – the Government has chosen to let software providers make their own tools, and we must live with the consequences. For our part, we know what software we want, and we make sure that we use it – no random picking from myriad options, just a simple solution to what really should be a simple problem!

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