Guest post by Flow Online Accounting

One of the biggest things to take away from George Osborne’s latest budget (well specifically from an accountant’s point of view anyway) was the news that the traditional end of year self-assessment tax returns are now going to be scrapped. Instead we will now see a revolutionary transformation to online returns where people will have digital tax accounts by 2020. The Chancellor’s move to introduce digital tax accounts is clearly going to help thousands of small businesses across the country streamline their procedures for what is often a very stressful time of year.Flow B-W - Registered

This move is a no brainer for us; everything else is going mobile now – so why can’t that include your tax returns? Being able to give real time information from a mobile device simplifies the process so much and it will act as such a big time saver for small businesses and sole traders.

We wholly back this move; from our experience of using online software, like KashFlow, we know how advantageous real time accounting information is for businesses and because of this move by the chancellor it should open the door of online accounting to even more companies in the UK.

Furthermore, businesses will be able to save more money. Firstly, because the digital tax accounts will give you free reign over when you submit your returns, therefore the chances of getting caught with a fine are highly reduced, and secondly businesses won’t be charged through the roof by accountants either.

This last point may sound strange – as we are accountants – but at Flow we recognise that times are changing. With cloud accounting software we no longer have to bill clients’ hourly rates or huge quotes for last minute returns. By moving to online processes the pricing becomes much more scalable meaning we save time and are able to process more, whilst also saving our clients’ money as they have monthly fixed costs and fully inclusive services. More traditional accountants who aren’t yet up to speed with cloud technology could well feel the pinch after the announcement for online tax returns, so they may not be too happy with the news. However we feel that this, coupled with a reduction in the corporation tax and better business rates, is a great signal for our clients that they will have an environment in which they can grow in over the next few years.

We really feel that this is a positive move and luckily something that we are prepared for. For instance, by 2020 we hope thousands more people using the Flow Online App to access their accounts and do their returns, and get the benefits our current clients are receiving. If you take into consideration the big push for delivering super broadband as was promised in the budget, then the move to online really is an easy decision. Of course there will be people who may be technologically challenged, but that’s where experts like ourselves can come in and help – or for the really stubborn you will still be able to submit a paper return if needs be.

For anyone who does have questions on how the budget will affect their business, please do get in touch with us at”

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