From XU Magazine, 
Issue 30

Is your VAT compliance up-to-date? There’s a simple way to find out.

Did you know, almost 60% of accounting files contain VAT-related errors?

As Making Tax Digital deadlines loom – how much time do you spend cleaning up VAT errors in the books (and do you catch them all)?
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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A whopping 59.6% of Xero accounting files audited by XBert’s AI in the last quarter of 2021 contained VAT activity for a contact without a VAT number.

What’s more, of the files analysed in the 12 months to January 2022: 

  • 43% had bills without attachments over £250 
  • 21% had a business with incorrect VAT status. 
  • 23% had bills with a cancelled supplier  

The April 2022 deadline is fast approaching for smaller VAT businesses – all 1.1 million of them – to meet the Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements. Which means it’s more important than ever to ensure you and your team are rock solid in your capacity to deal with the new compliance measures (and have complete confidence from your clients). 

Maxing Tax Digital: Change Management 

There’s no denying the introduction of MTD brought a great opportunity for small business to streamline their accounting processes. The plan to digitise the tax system for VAT, is intended to make tax returns simpler and more efficient for everyone.  

However, like with any change – even positive – it comes with some change management. The new compliance measures associated with MTD have meant many small business owners have been required to leap from existing dated systems to paperless, cloud-based solutions.  

Part of the change management process for accountants and bookkeepers has been helping those small business clients with that process. In some cases, to also help them trust the security and accuracy of those online platforms. And absolutely includes helping them see the monetary value/benefit of implementing these systems within their business. Clients need to see and feel the information is accurate, time saved and headaches avoided, in order to trust those new systems. 

Without the right tools in place, this can place extra strain on your workload as a bookkeeper. Keeping records and filing tax digitally opens up space for accountants and bookkeepers to utilise AI Audit to not only help with capacity management, but to supercharge their services. Of course, VAT status and the compliance associated with it, is one of the most obvious uses for using AI audit in your practice. However, its relevance extends far beyond that.  

20 minutes saved on every quarterly tax prep

Mae Kudzius, Bookkeeping Manager – Cloud Specialist at Bray Chan Chartered Accountants said XBert AI Audit is saving them 15-20 minutes per client on an average quarterly tax review. 

“We were so impressed at how the AI audit was able to go and detect the things we needed to look at. Then to just hit the resolve button - it’s so much quicker and simpler than trawling through transactions on a file to spot something.” 

The audit risk alerts are particularly handy when preparing tax lodgements for clients who do their own bookkeeping.  

“Our quality control and audit control is bang on, not just for ourselves and our due diligence, but for our clients as well.” 

AI Audit finds $20K tax issue 

Sue Dowling, Bookkeeper for Aintree Group, said using XBert AI Audit has increased productivity by 15% in one month.  

“XBert’s AI Audit is like having a personal assistant. Just today, XBert found a $20k tax issue between related entities that we were able to solve quickly and seamlessly.” 

This comprehensive audit system, integrated with intuitive workflow tools, has also made work life more enjoyable. She knows she is giving the accounting team the cleanest books possible. 

“My job satisfaction has increased. We are far more proactive and able to offer early advice or to make observations thanks to XBert’s AI.” 

Improve checking processes by at least 15% 

With XBert’s AI-audit and bookkeeping risk alerts surfacing issues, Diane McCaffrey and her team at BYO Group know they can rely on the quality of the data and insights. The value and efficiencies gained from XBert mean the solution is now included on all proposals sent to clients. 

“We love perfect, and with XBert we can enhance what we do, do it faster and know it’s right. Our checking processes have improved by 15%, and it raises the bar with regards to the level of service and integrity in the data. XBert blew me away with how quickly it picked up issues and inconsistencies.” 

Diane no longer has to intensively check the work of her team or review data at a granular level. Her job satisfaction has ncreased when reviewing work, she’s moved away from oversight and dedicates time to growing her practice with confidence. 

Save $65,000/year with the right tools   

“With XBert, you effectively save $65,000/year because you don’t need to hire resourcing staff, you don’t need to hire planners, you don’t need to worry about internal controls and compliance - you’ve got it all built into one system,” says Zander De Klerk, Managing Partner, XETA. 

Founded just three years ago, XETA has seen 300% growth every quarter, is currently 12 times bigger than they were two years ago and has a staff in the double digits.  

Using AI Audit means managers aren’t wasting hours on manual checks, and with full visibility across workflows, employees are empowered to be in control of their workload and clients without being micromanaged.  Couple that with XBert’s workflow tool and the XETA team have been able to deliver high quality results for their clients and scale the business rapidly, all while maintaining work/life balance for their team. 

Zander is confident when he says XBert is the only system they have found that allows them to effectively manage the level of complexity in their workflow and workload. 

“We’ve broken it down into sectional areas, we’ve broken it down into internal controls... and we have the ability to balance everyone’s workload to make it very easy. When your XBert’s are under control and your tasks are ready and set up the right way - that means we can work from wherever you want to be, because you’ve got a simple dashboard that tells you what’s working and what’s not and it’s easy for us to manage our own time.” 

“If you put all of this stuff together, what it comes down to is a happy team, a satisfied team, and a flexible team that can deal with anything as it arises.” 

Happy, satisfied and productive

A simple way to reduce the time you’re spending on fixing your clients mistakes – or finding them in the first place – is to let AI Audit be your second set of eyes.

Why leave it there?

To find out more about how XBert’s 60+ audit checks can do that for you

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