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Accounting software is a type of computer programme that automates some bookkeeping and accounting tasks for you. It’s generally used for data automation, storage and analysis, although this varies depending on the provider you go for.
If you’re an individual taxpayer, accounting software can help you to send invoices, keep track of your income and expenses, and submit both Self Assessment and VAT tax returns to HMRC. It can also provide more precise reporting with less margin for human error.
For most everyday taxpayers, a simple spreadsheet that includes your income and expenses is all you need. That said, many use providers like Quickbooks or Xero just to automate the process.
For sole traders who are registered for VAT, you’ll have to switch over to using online software for your accounting reporting to stay in-line with MTD (“Making Tax Digital”). From April 2022, VAT-registered sole traders have to use software to report VAT. Before then, it’s just those with an annual turnover of £85,000 or more. That said, this date has been delayed more than once so there’s still time to get prepared for this change if you haven’t already!
Accounting software does not replace the need for an accountant. It only shows you what you earned and spent, and helps you to calculate the tax that you owe. In comparison, an accountant will help you to make a claim, advise on what expenses you can claim, or which tax-free allowances you should take advantage of.
We’re not an accounting software platform ourselves. But you can upload your income and expenses directly from certain platforms and send it straight to your accountant. Doing it this way, there’s less margin for error when it comes to your calculations. And any back and forth between you and your accountant should be more limited.
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