Chapter 4

Communicating MTD and Xero to your clients

Learn about segmentation and messaging for different client groups.


If you haven’t already, we recommend getting started with your client migration as soon as possible.

You’ll need to communicate the change with any clients with turnover above the £50,000 threshold well before April 2026. The earlier you prepare, the smoother the transition will be.

Segmenting your audience

Client segmentation is an important step to preparing your practice for MTD for ITSA. This involves splitting your client base into groups depending on their characteristics or needs. You can then tailor your messaging to each group to ensure you’re sharing the right information at the right time, as some clients may need to use cloud-based accounting software for digital record keeping for the first time, whereas others may be more comfortable.

Read our guide to segmenting your client base for MTD for ITSA for information on the process. For additional support on identifying and migrating clients, check out our client migration resources and migration course, which have useful information on moving clients to Xero from other software, and the steps you should take in the client migration process.

Mapping your message

Once you’ve segmented your audience, consider the different messages you need to communicate to each audience and when.

For example, your clients who are already using Xero won’t need to change software, but they will need to sign up for MTD for ITSA ahead of the deadline.

Begin by mapping out the different client types in your practice. You could put clients who need to file both MTD for VAT and MTD for ITSA returns in one group, and clients who only need to file ITSA returns in another. Note down the specific messages you need to share with each audience, and decide how you’ll communicate with them.

Here are some points to consider:

  • The number of clients in each group: If the number is small, a personal phone call from a client manager might suffice, followed by an email or letter to clarify your message. If the audience is larger, you might like to send an email or letter to outline next steps – and perhaps invite them to contact your team directly to find out more, register for a webinar, or attend an event you’re hosting.
  • Your clients’ preferred channels: How do you communicate with clients? Do they prefer to receive emails or do you use private channels to communicate with them such as Slack, WhatsApp, or a Facebook or LinkedIn group? Maybe it’s a mixture. Whatever you use, bear in mind the mediums through which your clients like to receive information.
  • Prioritise – when do your clients need to hear from you? Some clients will be simpler to migrate than others and it might be best to start here. Consider your timelines for each audience.

Here’s some example messaging you can use for different client groups:

Clients using Xero

Option 1: Already signed up to MTD for VAT

“Although you’re already signed up to MTD for VAT, you also need to register for MTD for ITSA. Let’s have a chat about what you need to do.”

Option 2: Not VAT or ITSA registered

“You need to register for MTD for ITSA. The good news is that you’re already using HMRC-recognised MTD software. Let’s have a chat about what you need to do to prepare.”

Clients not using Xero

Option 1: Using spreadsheets/manual software

“In preparation for MTD for ITSA, you’ll need to use HMRC-recognised software to keep digital records and submit returns. We’d like to switch your accounts to Xero online accounting software, as this will ensure you are compliant with Making Tax Digital. Plus, there are so many other great benefits to moving your accounts online! Join our Xero demo to learn more and book a time with us to get your accounts converted.”

Option 2: Using non-Xero desktop software

“In preparation for MTD for ITSA, you’ll need to use HMRC-recognised software to keep digital records and submit returns. You’ll need to check that your software is HMRC-recognised before MTD for ITSA takes effect. Or you can switch to Xero, our preferred online accounting platform. Get in touch if you want to find out more.”

MTD compliance is the tip of the iceberg

There’s so much your clients can do with Xero. Businesses face increasing financial pressure, but you can ease the strain for clients with Xero software. Help your clients get a clear view of their accounts, manage cash flow, and get paid faster.

We’re already helping 3 million+ subscribers transform their businesses with these features: