Bookkeepers celebrated in Global Bookkeeping Week as key way taxpayers can cope with MTD for ITSA burden.

Bookkeepers up and down the UK are taking part in Global Bookkeeping Week, an international celebration of good bookkeeping and its transformative power for small businesses. 

Meeting at the Bookkeepers Summit

ICB member, Clare Kendall MICB, owner of CLK Books based in Barnetby, Lincolnshire, is joining over 1000 fellow bookkeepers at the online Bookkeepers Summit on Wednesday 10th November to raise a cup to her profession. The bookkeepers, who provide bookkeeping, VAT, payroll and tax returns for local businesses, will be meeting in a virtual lounge at the event to celebrate Global Bookkeeping Week, a worldwide celebration of a profession that is said to have its origins in the manuscripts of a 15th Century Franciscan Monk named Luca Pacioli who tutored Leonardo Da Vinci. 

"Bookkeeping has come a long way! Everything's digital now so it's not just about keeping the 'books', we're also helping our clients better understand technology and harness the power of automation,’’ says Clare who left a career in IT working for the NHS 6 years ago to start her bookkeeping practice. 

Making Tax Digital Demand

ICB Bookkeepers have seen increased demand for their services during the pandemic and HMRC reports that the smallest businesses rely the most heavily on bookkeepers for help as they struggle to get to grips with Making Tax Digital (MTD). The first stage of Making Tax Digital, MTD for VAT, was introduced in 2019, and is followed by Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTD ITSA) which will be introduced from April 2025, for 4.2m taxpayers with business or property income over £10,000 a year. That includes business owners, sole traders, landlords and partnerships. 

HMRC’s research report found that across all of the businesses surveyed, 'a quarter (27%) took the step of increasing their use of an existing bookkeeper or agent and one in five businesses (20%) set aside extra budget' because of Making Tax Digital. 

Like MTD for VAT before it, MTD for ITSA means businesses must keep digital records and use third-party software to submit their income tax returns to HMRC. Under the changes, people required to file under MTD ITSA will for the first time need to send a quarterly summary of income and expenses using the right software, rather than just one return at eth end of the year. This represents significantly more work for affected taxpayers. Bookkeepers, whose hallmarks are regular communication with clients and a plain-speaking approach, are seen as crucial to the success of the MTD initiativeHMRC is working closely with professional bodies like ICB to ensure a smooth transition. 

Bookkeepers have a client-centred approach

For Clare and her fellow ICB members in November’s Bookkeepers Summit, MTD is nothing to worry about, "I’ve been working with my clients to help demystify the MTD process and reassure them that they're in good hands. After all, I’m an ICB Certified Bookkeeper!’’ Clare will be hosting a session on MTD at the Bookkeepers Summit with FreeAgent’s Practice Implementation Consultant, Tony Stevenson. 

Global Bookkeeping Week 2021 will see ICB Bookkeepers in the UK link up with a 150,000-strong community of students and members of ICB Global, whose president, Garry Carter, puts it this way, 'Good bookkeeping has the power to transform businesses and lives across the world! Gone are the days when you could get through your first year of trading and find out you couldn't pay your tax bill - bookkeepers not only save you time and money, they talk in a way you understand, putting you back in control of your finances and making sure you're ready for Making Tax Digital and whatever comes next.' 

ICB Global comes together 

Global Bookkeeping Week runs from 8-12th November and is supported by ICB Global representative bodies in New Zealand, Australia, The Philippines, Singapore, the UK, Ireland, and North America.