April 9, 2013

Thomson Reuters Survey Highlights Self Assessment Improvements for 2014

Findings show that streamlining process is key to the advancement of Self Assessment

LONDON – Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced the results of its ‘What would you do differently next year survey’.

Based on a survey of more than 250 accountants who are members of the AccountingWeb community, the online survey, carried out in February, highlights the areas where respondents plan to carry out improvements during the next 12 months.

The pressure created by the January Self Assessment deadline lives on with a tiny minority of respondents (3%), experiencing a trouble free tax season while the remaining 97% suffered at the hands of disorganised clients with invoices, receipts and other documentation delivered with just days to spare ahead of the January 31 deadline.

The survey reinforces the premise that excellent client and practice management principles are needed along with the ‘right’ systems to help streamline the Self Assessment workload. The priorities for improvement are:

  • 44% would like to introduce higher rate to penalise late client submissions
  • 32% will introduce a better response system for incomplete records
  • 11% will chase clients earlier
  • 9% will install integrated tax software to streamline the process
  • 4% will look to improve organisation efficiency

“The survey shows that accountants are confident that they can deal with self assessment tax returns efficiently if they can get clients to provide the information they need earlier and if they have the right systems in place”, says Andrew Flanagan, managing director, Professional Market for the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters.

This is borne out by the fact that 41% of respondents mention areas within their practices that would directly benefit from streamlining processes and introducing technology.

  • Better system for incomplete records 32%
  • Install integrated tax software 9%

“The survey highlights the techniques successful practitioners use to manage their tax workload and clients,” Andrew Flanagan continued.

“Integrated tax and accounts systems allow you to update records incrementally during the year and to generate tax returns from trial balances with a minimum of manual intervention. They can take you through the whole compliance side, with virtually no work to get the tax return produced, validated and test filed before approval – streamlining the process and taking some of the pain out of the Self Assessment season.”

Thomson Reuters

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