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How to choose the right accounting software before the Making Tax Digital deadline

The government is changing the way businesses and self-employed people do their VAT and tax returns. They’re calling it Making Tax Digital, and it’s hopefully going to make doing taxes faster, easier, and a lot less intimidating!

From 1 April 2019, you’ll be able to submit your VAT return through your online accounting software. Other small businesses and self-employed people will be able to do it later, but it’s a good idea to get yourself acquainted with cloud accounting software now if you haven’t already.

Here’s how to choose an accounting platform that works for you, your business, and your budget.

 

Check the list of compatible tools

To submit your financial info straight to HMRC, you’ll need to choose one of their compatible tools. Take a look at the list before you sign up to something.

Your software needs to be able to communicate with HMRC, so it’s got to be cloud-based. If you’ve been using software that’s installed on your computer, rather than accessing it through your browser, you’ll probably need to make a switch.

 

Decide which features you need and which you don’t

Different tools are designed for different businesses. Some are stuffed full of features like payroll, automatic VAT calculations, and subcontractor deductions. These might be handy for some small businesses, but a lot of self-employed people would never need to look at it.

Some accounting tools have different membership options for self-employed people, small businesses, and even their accountants and bookkeepers. Check what’s included and sign up for the one that suits you best. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying for more or less than you need. Not ideal!

 

What if your needs change? Make sure you can add features too

You obviously want your business to get bigger. What you don’t want is to keep upgrading your accounting tool every couple of years.

You might not need payroll now, but it’s nice to know you can add that function to your accounting tool later without much trouble. Look for flexibility, and easy one-click add-ons.

 

If there’s a free trial, go for it!

You don’t know for sure how user-friendly something is until you’re actually a user. If you can get a demo or free trial, sign up straightaway. Test the day-to-day functions, find out how fast it is, and check what kind of automation you can set up.

 

Check the reviews

Obviously the website is going to rave about what it can do and how much people love it. The real truth can be found in the impartial reviews.

Trustpilot is the best place to go, but people like to rave and sound off on social media too. If they're particularly happy with the service, they might even have a referral code or discount for you to use. 

 

Once you've found an accounting tool that suits you, Solna's got invoicing covered. Create professional invoices in a flash, send automatic reminders that get you paid faster, and check new client's credit scores. Oh, and it's free. 

 

Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t. Get started now.

 

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