In the beginning there was euphoria when we learnt of the HMRC initiative to collect financial statements and tax computations in iXBRL format. You don’t get an opportunity to address a new market with such a large size.
The euphoria was followed by anxiety. How do we address such a large market spread across multiple locations in the United Kingdom.
We decided in favour of a self-service internet portal model where users can sign up, upload input documents and place orders for conversion.
It is a lot easier to adopt this model for selling, say books. How do we use this model for providing a “knowledge based” service where the client may want the output to be modified a few times (based on better knowledge of facts or a better opinion on what is appropriate classification for any piece of financial data)?
We made it widely known that clients can come back to us as many number of times and as frequently as they want to get changes incorporated in the output. We provided the email addresses to which they can communicate. We provided the phone numbers they can reach us at.
The last six months have shown that both companies and accounting firms have adapted to the business model of ordering and using knowledge based services through internet. We have processed more than 1,500 returns as of date and it is gratifying to know that the model works.
Based on our experience so far, here are a few tips on how to use DataTracks so that you get a high quality output.
1. Make use of price concessions. You get a lower price if you provide a longer turnaround time than a shorter turnaround time. You get a lower price if you avoid peak season (Nov, Dec, and Feb).
2. Provide your financial statements (and tax computations) in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. Though we can accommodate inputs in PDF format, you can avoid even the very minor risk in translation of your inputs into a format readable by our iXBRL tagging tool.
3. If you plan to provide your financial statements (and tax computations) in Microsoft Excel, please provide in one worksheet with all content fit within set page width displaying page breaks. Do not use multiple worksheets and do not let content spread beyond the width boundaries of a page. Since iXBRL instance document would have to have the same look as the input, we may have significant difficulties in converting content spread across multiple sheets or exceeding standard page widths into a consistent and visually elegant iXBRL document. In other words, send us a printable input; not working papers.
4. Get your information right. Ensure the company registration number and company name are exactly as in HMRC records. The company name, number etc that you fill in your CT600 return to HMRC should be “identical” to what you provide us to avoid rejections due to mismatch when you attach the iXBRL instance document to your CT600 return. We trace a substantial part of the validation rejections to this simple error. Even an unintended space in the name can get your filing rejected by the algorithms adopted by HMRC.
5. Make sure all the mandatory information is provided. The names of the directors signing the director’s report, the date when it is approved, the names of the officials approving company financial statements, the date they are approved are important.
6. Ensure you indicate the taxonomy (UK GAAP, UK Charities, IFRS,IFRS Banking) to be used in generating the iXBRL instance document. If you do not indicate, we would presume UK GAAP taxonomy is applicable.
7. If you are uploading group financial statements, indicate the schedules and notes that relate to the group company (and not to the consolidation of the group company and its subsidiaries) clearly. Send an email to us if necessary giving the details. Do not forget to quote the job number in the email.
8. Do not be surprised if the tag we have chosen is not acceptable to you. Choosing the right tag depends upon facts of the case and accounting judgment. You know your facts far better than we do. In the end your accounting judgment prevails. Just send us the corrections by an email to our Customer Care address (firstname.lastname@example.org) quoting the job number. We will incorporate the changes and send you a revised output for filing with HMRC. We are happy to execute as many changes as you desire at no extra cost.
9. When you submit your CT600 form with HMRC, make sure the header information (Company name, Company registration number, start and end period of the financial statements) are exactly the same as in the financial statements (and tax computations) sent to us for tagging.
If you need any other help, we are just a call away.