Minimum tagging disappears with the arrival of the new FRS taxonomies

Since the introduction of HMRC’s iXBRL mandate in April 2011, the subject of minimum tagging has been the subject of considerable debate.

Back in early 2013 at the end of the so-called HMRC ‘soft landing’ period it was widely reported that HMRC’s published minimum tagging list, introduced alongside the April 2011 iXBRL mandate, would be abandoned in favour of full tagging of the accounts documents that accompany the CT600 form and computations. Many breathed a huge sigh of relief when that proved not to be the case.

Under UK GAAP and minimum tagging it was possible to tag using only a small subset of the full taxonomy, which, if done correctly, would allow the document to be accepted at the Government Gateway. Continue reading “Minimum tagging disappears with the arrival of the new FRS taxonomies”

‘Roll forward’ to 2015 with Seahorse iXBRL accounts filing

Customers often tell us that one of the most useful and time-saving aspects of our Seahorse® iXBRL conversion software is the ability to take an existing iXBRL filing and re-use it as the basis for another year’s filing, the so-called ‘roll-forward’ effect.

That’s really helpful to existing users, but what about new customers who have previously tagged accounts using a different system?

Continue reading “‘Roll forward’ to 2015 with Seahorse iXBRL accounts filing”

CoreFiling at the SID4GOV 4th Supplier Engagement Conference – 2nd June 2014

On 2nd June CoreFiling was proud to participate in the 4th Supplier Engagement Conference, supported by the Cabinet Office and several other HM Government departments, illustrating the Government’s continuing commitment to the SME agenda.

The Government’s stated target is that 25% of all direct and indirect central government spend should be with SMEs by 2015. The aim of the conference was to explain to the audience, consisting of around 300 representatives from the SME community and government departments, the progress achieved in engaging and conducting business with the SME community.

The Rt. Hon. Francis Maude, MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, delivered the conference Keynote Address – ‘The Importance of SMEs to Government’. He focused on the advantages offered by SMEs, who make up 99.9% of UK businesses and provide economic stimulus as well as developing innovative products, and acknowledged that the days when Government dealt with only a small number of larger vendors are long gone. His key message was that working with SMEs promotes better value for taxpayers’ money and provides an engine for economic growth. He stressed the importance of IT companies and as an example, he cited the G-Cloud initiative, part of the new digital agenda, which has seen some £175M worth of Government contracts let under this umbrella.

In turn, SID4GOV (Supplier Information Database for Government) marks a new initiative to help match Government requirements against SME capabilities, while removing many of the previous business obstacles. For example, in the past suppliers had to complete a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) that would almost always automatically exclude SMEs from the tender process, as there was an expectation that suppliers should be able to handle all aspects of the project. SME capability is now fully explained on SID4GOV, making it easier for prime contractors to include SMEs as part of wider bids.

The Conference also debated the fact that some SMEs prefer to engage directly with Government departments rather than the larger vendor prime contractors. SCC and HMRC Aspire (Cap Gemini) both offered a perspective on this.

Ian Hicks, CoreFiling’s Director of Professional Service, took part in a joint presentation with Dave Henderson, SME Champion – Commercial Directorate, HMRC, and Adele Every, SME & Innovation Champion, HMRC Account, Capgemini. Entitled ‘Working in Partnership: HMRC, Capgemini and the SME community’, this session explored how HMRC has worked with Capgemini to build a supplier base from amongst the SME community in order to bring on board innovative solutions, and profiled CoreFiling as an example of successfully working together. Adele explained some of the success factors when dealing with SMEs, pointing to the need to engage with SMEs early in the bid process, helping them to recognise the long cycle times and being honest if the proposed SME innovation does not fit well within the confines of the project. Of particular interest was the need to provide SME-friendly terms, such as prompt payment, to ensure a sound relationship. Ian provided the real-life example of how CoreFiling has worked very effectively with HMRC and Capgemini, pointing out that it can be frustrating when decisions are delayed, but that ultimately a successful project can lead to a sound basis for ongoing business. In CoreFiling’s case, it led to additional projects in other sectors. Ian pointed out that Capgemini engaged with CoreFiling at an early stage in the projects and employed a ‘light touch’, which really helped promote a successful relationship.

A Home Office representative, John Fernau, offered his department’s perspective on ‘Delivering against the SME Aspiration’. He explained that some of the Government’s SME engagement targets can be challenging, particularly since the majority of the projects within his department are large-scale and only substantial suppliers are in a position to prime those projects; the challenge is persuading large vendors to work together with SME’s.

The conclusion was that the Government continues to be committed to the SME agenda, because there are distinct benefits to be derived: better value for taxpayers’ money through reduced Government spending. As SMEs prosper they create wealth and jobs, so reducing unemployment and fostering growth in the economy, thus resulting in a win-win relationship.

Detailed profit and loss tagging available in Seahorse

October was the start date for HMRC’s acceptance of filings in accordance with the new Detailed Profit and Loss (DPL) taxonomies.  The conversion of DPL financial statements to iXBRL won’t be mandatory immediately, as it applies to accounting periods ending only on or after 1st April 2014, so we may not see a deluge of filings for several months.

However, the good news is that Seahorse is there to help whenever you are ready to start filing.  The new DPL taxonomies for UK GAAP and IFRS have been incorporated into the latest release of the product, so you can begin submitting DPL statements in iXBRL right now, or at least know that Seahorse will be ready to help once you decide to start DPL filing.

HMRC have also published an informative User Guide on the DPL taxonomies which can be found at:  http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/softwaredevelopers/ct/dpl-guide.pdf

 

Detailed profit and loss tagging – get ready!

HMRC filers should be aware that Corporation Tax reporting is shortly going to change, with the additional tagging of Detailed Profit and Loss (DPL) statements.

As of October 2013, HMRC will accept submissions against the new DPL taxonomy that has recently been released. Mandatory reporting in line with DPL will, however, come into force for accounting periods ending only on or after 1st April 2014. It will be possible to tag the detailed profit and loss in either the computations or the accounts, but not both. If this happens inadvertently, the filing will still be accepted, but HMRC point out that “this may cause the return to come under further scrutiny, especially if there are inconsistencies with duplicate tagging across the accounts and computations”.

As always, CoreFiling are committed to keeping Seahorse users up to date, and we are already preparing to introduce the new DPL taxonomy into Seahorse at the earliest opportunity, so we’ll have it available for use well in advance of the due date.

Watch for more information shortly.

CoreFiling at the HMRC SME Expo

Last week CoreFiling took advantage of an invitation to attend the SME Innovation Expo 2013 in London, organised by HMRC in conjunction with Capgemini.  This high profile event gave an opportunity for small and medium IT suppliers to meet with a wide range of people from HMRC and other government departments.

CoreFiling was proud to be chosen to represent the SME community as one of only two companies profiled as ‘exemplars’ of effective working together with government.  During the morning plenary session we shared the platform with Skyscape for informal Q & A giving insight into how to work successfully with a government department, the impact it can have on the business and some of the challenges that SMEs face.  The role CoreFiling played in the invention and pioneering of iXBRL was also recognised during the presentations, which highlighted HMRC’s Company Tax filing project as the world’s largest, highly successful XBRL implementation.

The Keynote Speaker was Stephen Kelly, Chief Operating Officer at the Cabinet Office, who emphasised that under the Digital by Default agenda, there are excellent opportunities for SMEs to help drive efficiencies and offer cost-effective services.

Mark Hall, HMRC CIO, spoke about how HMRC is being transformed into a digital business, needing a different approach to delivering IT services.  Increasingly, this means using a new SME ecosystem that can meet the growing imperative for agility as well as a range of new products and services.  The key message was that:  “HMRC is open for business with SMEs.”

Bill Cook from Capgemini gave a talk about ‘Supporting the SME agenda within government’, which again emphasised the role that companies such as CoreFiling can now play within government IT and how this aligns with Capgemini’s role as a Solutions and Systems Integrator within the new HMRC structure.

During the afternoon, twelve SME organisations exhibited their products and services to delegates from government departments such as HMRC, Cabinet Office, DWP and Ministry of Justice.  CoreFiling and the other exemplar company, Skyscape, were on hand to discuss with other SMEs the keys to engaging successfully with government, and to market our own credentials to the visiting government departments.

This was an excellent, very well attended event.  It was heartening to see the government’s increasing commitment to the SME community.

Implications behind the end of HMRC’s ‘soft landing’

Much has been written about the end of HMRC’s ‘soft landing’, often promoting the common misconception that it just means the continuation of iXBRL tagging of accounts according to the Minimum Tagging List (MTL), rather than against the full taxonomy.

Whilst it is true that full tagging is not being mandated when the ‘soft landing’ expires at the end of March 2013, as was previously conjectured, there’s much more behind it.

Incorrect tagging is no longer an option

To quote HMRC: “… incorrect or missing tags may trigger HMRC’s risk-assessment rules – for example skewing one of our risk ratios – and this means there may be greater potential for post-submission contact from HMRC. That risk would be greater the less information from the minimum tagging list is tagged.”

The above statement dates from Mach 2011 and it is interesting to note that even at this early stage HMRC highlight the consequences of faulty tagging.  More recently (May 2012) HMRC issued a further statement declaring it would be:  “… continuing to expand the effective exploitation of XBRL, by quality assurance of XBRL tagging in a selection of returns already received and by development of the effective use of XBRL tags in risk assessment and other compliance work.”  This underlines the fact that HMRC intend to use the quality of XBRL tagging to apply greater scrutiny to a company’s accounts.

More tagging rather than less

It’s interesting to note that in the same statement HMRC also pinpoint the risks involved in minimal tagging.  The inference is that correctly applying a larger number of tags will actively help companies to avoid unwarranted scrutiny.  Completeness is the key.

How Seahorse® can help

With Seahorse you can take steps to ensure that your tagging does not put you under the spotlight.  The learning engine assists you in choosing the right tags to maintain tagging accuracy.  It presents you with tag suggestions derived from its cumulative knowledge of every tag chosen by all the professionals who have used it to tag individual concepts.  It’s been proven that these are not random suggestions, as the product has gained excellent results compared with others, and has reached up to a 99.9% pass rate at the HMRC Gateway.

Using Seahorse, you have the choice whether to apply full tagging or whether to use the Minimum Tagging List.

Whichever you choose, you can be sure that accuracy and transparency are assured.

 

What does the end of HMRC’s ‘soft landing’ really mean for filers?

When iXBRL tagging was first required for Corporation Tax filing and the ‘soft landing’ introduced to allow companies and accountancy firms to understand the new process, HMRC indicated that during the first two years they would exercise some leniency by not investigating companies solely on the basis of poor quality tagging.

However, it can be inferred from this statement that when the ‘soft landing’ does finally expire at the end of March 2013 there will be a tightening of the reporting regime with greater scrutiny and analysis of the tagging.

The need for accuracy and transparency

So, although tagging according to the Minimum Tagging List continues, contrary to what some had predicted, the main result of the expiry of the ‘soft landing’ transitional period will be the need to refocus on the accuracy of the tagging to avoid unnecessary HMRC investigations.

HMRC will expect companies to be transparent in their tax assessment; low quality or limited tagging could be taken as showing a lack of transparency.  After March 2013 it can be assumed that HMRC’s risk assessment procedures will be actively looking for anomalies that point towards potential issues.

What are the risks involved in incorrect tagging?

We expect HMRC to use exception-based reporting to identify companies that have ratios well outside the norms for their peer group.  If a company is applying incorrect tags to its financials, it is likely to come under the HMRC spotlight in the future.

Minimise the risks with Seahorse®

Using Seahorse companies can mitigate these risks and choose to tag according to the MTL or the full taxonomy.  Seahorse makes it easy and the learning engine simplifies the task of choosing the right tag.  Speed of tagging and accuracy are the watchwords.  We’ve recently seen figures from HMRC reporting that Seahorse reached a 99.9% pass rate at the Gateway, illustrating the accuracy of Seahorse tagging.

With Seahorse you and your clients are in very safe hands.

Year two tagging – how fast can you go?

We again return to the subject of year two tagging.    We’ve talked in the past about how Seahorse can re-apply the tagging decisions already selected and confirmed in previous years’ tables and text.  The issue today is speed of tagging –  making the process as fast and painless as possible.

Seahorse has extended the ‘roll-forward’ process still further to make tagging even faster.

Both comments and footnotes can now be carried forward and reapplied in a similar way, simplifying the task further.  Comments are transferred without the need for any user input, and footnotes can be confirmed in the same way as other tags.

Accelerating the process still further, there’s now an automatic confirmation option.  So, where there are exact matches between table rows and columns in both previous and current documents, Seahorse can reapply the tags automatically without the need for manual intervention.

Just in case you were wondering, discretionary use of this facility is available, so you still retain full control over whether or not to deploy automatic confirmation of identical data.  However, we think that many users are likely to opt for this extra time saving measure.

How long will it take to tag your year two accounts?

Did you file early to avoid the April 2011 iXBRL filing deadline?

Perhaps you successfully circumvented the original HMRC iXBRL filing mandate by submitting last year’s Corporation Tax returns early to avoid the April deadline.  If so, converting your accounts documents to iXBRL must now be on the agenda.  What are the options? Well, if you’ve a number of accounts that you are already producing in Word or Excel, why change your process?  Take a look at the advantages of Seahorse.

First of all, there’s help in choosing the appropriate iXBRL tags. Seahorse automatically tags the tables in your Word or Excel document and proposes the most appropriate tag to use.  Its intelligent tagging engine harnesses the accumulated learning from all the filings put through the Seahorse system, so its suggestions continue to become more and more refined over time.  There’s no need to trawl through the underlying taxonomy to find the tag you need.

If you have a number of accounts to tag within the same group company you can re-use your initial tagging decisions to swiftly create iXBRL documents for additional sets of accounts.

And if you have a formal review and sign-off process for your accounts, Seahorse lets you easily create a spreadsheet that automatically captures all the tagging decisions made and allows comments to be inserted, for example to explain why particular concepts have not been tagged.

Finally, Seahorse is provided over the internet, so you can use it straight from your browser, avoiding the expense of new infrastructure or purchasing a full-blown accounts preparation package and, because the whole process remains under your control, you don’t have to risk sending your data to third parties.

Seahorse remains one of the very few solutions to have experienced no problems passing the HMRC gateway first time.  Why? Because not only does it incorporate validation against the Joint Filing Common Validation Checks imposed by HMRC and Companies House, but the underlying XBRL and iXBRL is fully verified during the Seahorse conversion process.

Seahorse takes away the pain of iXBRL conversion of Word and Excel accounts.

What could be simpler?