Tips and tricks for the modern accounting firm to help standardise your VAT return process.
There’s no such thing as a pain-free VAT return. We can get close with focused, uninterrupted work and full client cooperation. But even with all that, it’s hard to shake the overhanging sense of risk. We’ve all heard of the horror stories, the visits from HMRC and the tough client conversations when mistakes are made. You may have even lived those moments yourself.
Whether you pull together the client’s VAT returns or another staff member does the work, a robust framework allows you to standardise your firm’s process, mitigating the risk of human-error, no matter who is doing the work.
In this 3 part series VAT video guide, we’ll be sharing what that looks like. By the end, you’ll have access to a specific VAT returns workflow that you can use to either complement your existing process, or install as an initial framework.
Important to note: You must ensure that you have selected your ‘Start Month‘ in the Tax and Control Settings in each of your client’s configuration settings in order for the VAT reports to reflect the correct reporting periods but also the workflows enter the flow list to be processed at the right time.
To set this go into the Client – Configuration – Tax & Control Account settings as show below in screen shot.
Watch our introduction video on using our VAT Return Checks in Precision
Part 1 – Getting set up & common use cases
This video will cover the following:
- Integrating with your HMRC Agent Services account
- How to review and build reports using Practice Dashboard
- How to review and build reports from your MTD Dashboard
- Hww to review and build reports using Deadlines Dashboard
- Using Flows for VAT Return processes
Part 2 – While you prepare the VAT Return
This video will cover Bookkeeping Checks:
- Multi Coded Transactions
- Duplicate Transactions
- Duplicate Contacts
- Draft Invoices (review these inside your Xero client account)
- Reconcile Accounts Payable/Receivable ledgers
Part 3 – Before you file VAT Return
This video will cover specific VAT checks before you file the return:
- Check high risk account codes, like travel and entertainment expenses
- Key ratio checks for VAT boxes 1-6
- Check high value transactions – the higher the value, the bigger the risk
- Reconcile VAT control account in accounting software (so the balance sheet is correct)
- Send queries to client
- Confirm the VAT return is prepared (and balance)
- Key Ratios checks (ie Box 1 – 7)
- Additional Checks you should be mindful of before you file