Navigating MTD changes and stress
HMRC’s “Making Tax Digital” initiative puts digitalisation first and aims to make the process accessible for all, but may be creating new sources of stress for accountants, increasing the pressure on them to be ready for anything. For instance, when a client can easily check their bank account at any time of the day, they may want the same service when checking on their tax information or returns, thus leading to the intersection of technology and service. A recent CABA study found that only 2% of accountants reported to be unaffected by stress, while nearly half said they are close to their self-reported breaking point. While stress is unavoidable, CABA recommends that accountants set hard boundaries between their work and home life. Automation offers a potential relief valve; since robots can work around the clock, some tasks that would otherwise be tasked to a human can be instead delegated to software. Likewise, for clients who require around-the-clock management, software can alert accountants to potential problems when the arise, thus minimising the need for constant human oversight.