I’ve been scratching my head the last few days. According to AccountingWeb:
The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and the other five main professional tax and accountancy bodies have called on the government to delay its plans for compulsory iXBRL online filing.
All six have jointly written to the Exchequer Secretary to ask the government to reconsider the timing of the plans, which are expected to come into force from 1 April.
Why? What have the professional bodies got to do with this? The letter says:
We strongly recommend that the plans are revised to recognise the adverse impact of delays in software availability and implementation problems. These issues will disadvantage a substantial proportion of UK businesses, with small to medium sized businesses and their agents being hit the hardest, running the risk that precious management time is diverted away from customers and growth towards red-tape and compliance.
The software industry has had YEARS to respond to this problem. There is nothing new to learn. The fact Sage has taken it upon itself to delay delivery does not go un-noticed. Does this mean Sage lobbied the professional bodies? They are the largest of those developers that have not got their iXBRL ducks in a row. No-one’s admitting anything but I smell something rotten.
The professional institutes should have the backbone to tell Sage: ‘tough luck’ rather than pandering to a single vendor that hasn’t done the right thing by its users.
In an email response, Phill Robinson, who runs IRIS practice business said:
The growing level of hysteria surrounding HMRC¹s impending iXBRL accounts requirement is a concern for IRIS Accountancy Practice Solutions.
As a business, we have made a multi-million pound investment in ensuring our software is fully iXBRL compliant not only in time for mandation, but ahead of schedule, and we are not alone in this. Many other software vendors have also made commitments to support this new standard, and have had products available on the market for some time.
IRIS Corporation Tax product has been available since April 2010 and our Accounts products since November 2010, all of which are available with iXBRL support.
As a result of this, our accountancy customers have had an opportunity to become accustomed to this new way of working and to date 167,391 online filings with iXBRL documents have already been made by IRIS users. Many of our customers have developed such an understanding of iXBRL that they have taken it upon themselves to develop new business practices in support of the technology.
The accountancy sector is already well served by the existing iXBRL solutions on the market, which are simple to implement and cost effective. Even if one or two vendors have delayed their iXBRL compliant products and been forced to offer work arounds there is still sufficient capacity for every accountancy practice in the UK to ensure it meets with the iXBRL standard by April 1st.
As a result, we would strongly recommend that HMRC maintain its current implementation timetable.
I concur. This stinks and the professional bodies should be ashamed of themselves for taking this spineless position.