Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTD for VAT) is set to come into effect from 1 April 2019 for businesses which have a taxable turnover above the VAT registration threshold (currently £85,000). Under MTD, businesses will be required to maintain digital records and submit VAT returns using their accounting software.

These days, a lot of cheeky providers make clever use of the general confusion in the market about what is and is not cloud software. They ‘disguise’ their on-premise, desktop or hosted business software as bona fide 'cloud' software. They do this by stamping a 'cloud' label on itand offering it in neatly packaged (monthly) subscriptions. In the best case scenario this is actually hosted, single-tenant software.

  1. Understand what is currently happening. Describe the current systems and draw out the processes.
  2. Identify and clarify your objectives & constraints. Can they measured? Is there a value to achieving the objective? What do you want? Perhaps survey staff to identify their wants and concerns and get buy-in. If possible, pull together a guiding team who can help you look for improvements.
  3. Generate options. There may be some quick wins along with medium and longer term options.
  4. Evaluate the options. Test them. Pilot them. Embrace the unknown and learn from it.
  5. Put together a vision and a strategy / plan of how you are going to get there. Refine the plan. Clarify how to make the future a reality. Make sure others understand and accept the vision and the strategy.
  6. Implement.
  7. Review. Did you do what you said you would do?

Finding solutions is about coming up with an idea. The idea may solve a problem in one area but in all likelihood may create a perceived problem in another.

If you know what you want out of a cloud accounting system, if that is clearly defined, then it is clear what needs to be done to set it up and what needs to be entered in from the outset.