Costs and benefits to small companies of digital reporting
Research reveals accountants’ views on digital reporting.
Brunel University, with support from ACCA members, conducted the first UK survey since digital reporting to HMRC became compulsory for small companies and joint filing for small private companies was introduced. The report makes some key recommendations:
accountants working in small companies and those in practice are in the best position to advise on the adoption of digital filing and financial reporting. In doing so, they increase awareness of the joint filing facility and the free HMRC corporation tax filing software
principal directors of small companies should be aware that technical knowledge and skills are not needed and that costs can be very low. Support from top management is important for overcoming any obstacles to digital filing (which makes data transfer between different information systems easier than with paper filing)
HMRC and Companies House should take steps to increase awareness of the benefits of the joint filing facility by publishing a business case for joint filing by small companies. Software suppliers should organise seminars, webinars and other training workshops on digital filing
policy makers seeking to reduce the regulatory burdens on smaller entities should find ways of extending the scope to medium-sized companies and releasing the data obtained from joint filing to other government agencies.