Despite increased awareness of MTD regulations, 50% of businesses are still not ready for MTD, with 30% still in the planning stage and 20% yet to begin preparations, according to a new report by Tax Systems.
The report, A Tax Professionals Survey 2019: Attitudes and Approaches to Making Tax Digital, recommends more support for businesses to get MTD ready before the deadline.
“Our results suggest the need for more education from vendors around options for process testing, since 58% of respondents did not know about options to test processes before formally signing up to the service,” the report said.
Tax Systems’ report also showed that there was an increasingly positive outlook on MTD and technology in general, with nearly half of respondents believing that MTD would lead to better accuracy and fewer errors.
“Initially, it would appear that automation is still in its relative infancy when it comes to tax since 80% of survey respondents still use spreadsheets in their compliance processes. However, there is a clear effort to move away from this as professionals begin to recognise the benefits of automation and how they can use it to assist in their everyday work as well as longer projects,” Tax Systems’ report said.
Using technology to attract millennials
Sixty-two per cent also felt that a wider embrace of technology could help attract younger employees into the workforce.
“As Millennial and Gen Z workers begin making up more of our workforce, this tech-savvy generation will want and even demand more automation as they are used to bypassing manual compliance work and other tasks,” the report said.
“If you combine the increasing regularity and quality of automation with a growing workforce who want it in their businesses, we can expect to see automation continuing to redefine current jobs and allow tax professionals to undertake more value-added and arguably more interesting work.”
“Tax professionals realise businesses need to embrace automation in the next five years and they are prepared to navigate the challenges it brings”
However, there was still some way to go to convince everyone, with 65% believing that automation would not move tax professionals away from their spreadsheets.
“Automation is very much the future. Spreadsheets are still massively in use, but this is unsurprising. MTD and the wider change that automation brings is colossal and businesses could never have been expected to make the switch overnight. Tax professionals realise businesses need to embrace automation in the next five years and they are prepared to navigate the challenges it brings,” the report said.
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Half of businesses not MTD ready, according to report