Making Tax Digital


The digital practice toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to taking your practice digital, helping firms to keep up with the competition and get prepared for new legislation. Changing your processes demands time and planning so don’t delay – the time to start is now.

Don't ignore the digital deadline

HMRC has revealed that only 11% of VAT returns are currently filed using software. But, as the MTD deadline draws near, accountants and bookkeepers will need to go digital to stay relevant – laggards will quickly find themselves forced into the margins.

Step 1 – Define your vision

Before you can act, you need to think. It’s important to outline your goals from the outset, committing to progress and identifying your metrics for success. Make the space to think, then define your vision of a digital practice.

See how to start the process

define your vision for going digital

Step 2 – Set out your stall

Digital accounting allows your practice to offer a broader range of more profitable services, stepping away from commodified compliance services and into valuable advisory roles. It’s time to broaden your services and add revenue streams.

Diversify your services

digital accounting practice set up

Step 3 – Choose the right technology

Technology is central to any digital strategy, and making the right choice could be the difference between surviving and thriving. No two firms are the same, so what’s right for your practice will depend on your specific circumstances. Here’s how to make that assessment.

Find the right solution

technology for accountants

Step 4 – Bring the right people together

Moving forward as a firm means having the right people behind you. Whether you’ve already got a great team you want to hang onto, or need to plug some gaps with qualified staff, here’s how to hire and retain good people for your practice.

Pick the perfect team

hiring accountants for your firm

Step 5 – Train your staff for efficiency

When you have the right people and software, it’s time to bring your team up to speed with free online educational resources. From written guides to video tutorials, you’ll find all the information you need to help you and your team go digital.

Train your team

training accounting team to go digital

Step 6 – Profile your clients

Though any small business will benefit from digital accounting, it’s important to carefully select your first clients. Here are a few pointers to help you get it right as a new partner.

  • Work with internal clients first to enjoy efficiency gains without needing clients to change their processes.

  • Consider clients who do their own bookkeeping – they’ll be primed to take advantage of Xero’s streamlined way of working.

  • Moving clients from desktop software? Movemybooks will migrate your clients and their historical data.

help your accounting customers onto the cloud

Step 7 – Educate your clients

Making Tax Digital is a great motivator for going digital, but what about clients under the threshold? Moving accounts online will be met by some resistance by some clients, but it’s easy to defeat any concerns when you’re armed with the right information.

Help clients feel comfortable online

educate your clients on making tax digital

Xero helps practices to thrive

Digital software can help practices to grow, and there’s no better example than Xero – online accounting software that makes your processes more efficient, and profitable.

Submit online VAT returns

Xero makes it easy to submit VAT returns online – with simple, accurate tracking.

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Run your practice from one place

Xero HQ gives you the tools you need to get your processes humming, all in one place.

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Solutions for clients of all sizes

Move your smallest clients off spreadsheets and onto Xero with Ledger and Cashbook.

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Our recent research showed that Xero partners grow four times faster than the UK industry average – and your practice can benefit too. The first step to building a better practice is to join the Xero partner programme.

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