Surveys showing that many practices will not be ready for the April MTD for VAT deadline are numerous.

But while HMRC has received criticism for its preparation for the deadline, software companies including Xero have been rushing in to fill the gap.

The latest is QuickBooks, with a raft of options for those at different stages of the transition.

The MTD for VAT Pilot is open in QuickBooks for accountants wanting to get ahead of the deadline. Meanwhile, the Bridging Software Private Pilot has been launched for those who want to use spreadsheets but still comply with MTD.

The company has been running a private pilot since May with some accountants and HMRC. The aim of this was to understand and iron out pain points in time for the deadline, so that QuickBooks’ software could run as smoothly as possible.

They discovered that accountants want access to the software available before small businesses, so that they have time to understand it ahead of the deadline.

The pilot is now open for all accountants.

Charlotte Ing, a manager at Sagars, said: “MTD is a significant moment for our practice. We wanted to get ahead by signing up for QuickBooks’ Private Pilot and also serve as a testbed to help the industry understand and navigate the change.

Bridging the gap

Those who are not ready to move to the cloud or fully transition can use bridging software to file their VAT through QuickBooks using spreadsheets.

This will enable them to comply while sticking to a familiar process.

QuickBooks Bridging Software will be available for all QuickBooks clients in April, and all QuickBooks Online Accountant users can now register interest for the MTD Bridging Software Pilot.

New tools

QuickBooks has launched a suite of tools within QuickBooks Online Accountant which are designed to make the transition to MTD for VAT easier.

The Client Analysis tools help accountants determine which of their clients are VAT registered and when they need to be moved to MTD compliant software. The MyMarketing Portal is designed to communicate the MTD for VAT changes needed through readymade marketing campaigns.

It is now also possible to import existing bills and invoices.

Head of product at QuickBooks UK Shaun Shirazian said: “We have been working hard with HMRC, accounting professionals and small businesses to understand how we can make industry leading software that makes the MTD transition and submission easy.”

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