BUSINESSES should already be putting plans in place to meet the new HMRC regulations changing the way they file VAT returns.
Currently, it is possible for people to file online but as from April 2019 specific software will be required to submit VAT returns, said Sean Buckley of Forest Bookkeeping and Accountancy.
The HMRC's drive to Make Tax Digital for business will ultimately lead to companies submitting quarterly accounts which means companies will need to have properly approved software.
Sean said: "It is still unclear exactly how the regulations will work but it is important that businesses start putting plans in place. The rules for VAT come into force in April 2019 and Corporation Tax April 2020 which mean that the new processes need to be up and running at least three months before payments are due to avoid heavy fines for missing deadlines."
There are businesses who still prefer to 'go it alone' but the need for investment in software and the know-how to run the systems mean it can be more cost-effective to work with a trained bookkeeper or accountant.
"It makes sense for clients to spend their time being able to concentrate on key products and services to improve the bottom line, while having the skills of a trained bookkeeper or accountant ensures that the finances run smoothly, and any pitfalls are avoided," said Sean.
The former company bookkeeper set up his own business four years ago to provide outsourced bookkeeping to sole traders and small businesses that don't have the resources or the need for full-time accounts personnel.
The Rushden firm can provide bookkeeping, credit control, invoice services, payroll, management accounts and VAT returns, while on the accountancy side, self-assessment and tax returns, filing of accounts, annual returns and company formations are also offered.
Sean said: "Small business owners need to concentrate on their specific skills and the success of their business and that can lead to the accounts being done as a second thought or on a shoestring.
"Our services ensure that everything is kept up to date, that legal requirements are covered and that there are no nasty surprises from HMRC."
For more details about the services of Forest Bookkeeping and Accountancy, call 01933 213223 or visit the website www.forestbookkeeping.co.uk