The government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative is a rapidly dawning reality across the UK. It has led to some elevated stress levels among many accountants and business owners, given the looming 2020 deadline for businesses to embrace and adopt MTD-enabled business software for the submission of Digital VAT Returns. Whilst there’s an element of panic, this also offers an opportunity to gain operational efficiencies through business software such as Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management (formerly Sage X3).
Driving digital transformation
The MTD initiative’s goal is to usher in one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. This will have benefits that reach far beyond improved efficiency at HMRC. It’s pushing businesses to make the leap into digital transformation. This does entail some short-term pains, but these can be mitigated. The long-term payoffs will make it all worthwhile, especially in terms of allowing businesses a better handle on their finances.
HMRC aims to improve accuracy with quarterly tax returns that allow for an ongoing projection of tax due instead of a single sum at the end of the year. On the surface, this would appear to make tax compliance more demanding, but automation through business management software is the key to making digital tax a simpler and more efficient process.
Those with legacy systems are included in the search for a compliant business system before April 2019 where VAT will no longer be accepted through the post or online via the Government Gateway tool and must do so via their accounting software. System Integration will be a prerequisite in the evaluation of accounting software and considering the expense and effort required to implement ‘bridging / temporary’ software, it makes more sense to take the opportunity to consider comprehensive digital transformation. Only then will businesses truly begin to realise the benefits of the MTD initiative.
The Sage Business Cloud product line – namely Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Sage Business Cloud Financials or Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management (from version 9 onwards) – will offer a seamless experience in line with meeting the HMRC requirements.
Holistic solution through an ERP
If your organisation is looking for a scalable, flexible and cost effective way of managing a multi-national business, implementing a state-of-the-art ERP like Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management puts digital systems at the core of an organisation bringing an unprecedented level of insight, control and accuracy to every department and process. It breaks down internal silos and puts data to work. In doing so, it creates the opportunity to save time, money and improve overall efficiency.
Ashley Regenass, CEO of SynergERP, explains: “It’s important to understand that you don’t have to host Enterprise Management in the cloud, you still have the flexibility and choice to opt for either cloud or on-premise deployment, the system is web-native and the communication with HMRC will still take place over the web in the same way.”
HMRC provides a list of approved software developers that have tested their products in its test environment and demonstrated a prototype of their software. We are proud to say that Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management is on that list. As an implementation partner of the product, we’re committed to helping HMRC deliver its vision for a digital Britain where businesses can benefit from unprecedented efficiency, accuracy and simplicity.
In addition, Sage – a global vendor – has been careful to build this system to be globally applicable and ready to accommodate compliance requirements for the adoption of digital tax systems in any country.