‘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”

Countdown to the end of HMRC’s ‘soft landing’

Here is the first of a series of articles discussing the ramifications of the end of HMRC’s transitional ‘soft landing’ period.

Since April 2011 it has been mandatory to convert all UK Corporation Tax accounts data into the iXBRL (inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language) format prior to filing with HMRC.

Why was iXBRL introduced?

In common with many other taxation, banking and government regulatory bodies throughout the world, HMRC needed to take steps to tighten their monitoring of the financial affairs of the UK corporate world.  Given this imperative, HMRC recognised the value of introducing XBRL technology to streamline that process, to simplify financial investigation and analysis, and allow anomalies in financial reports to be highlighted more easily.

Why did HMRC introduce the ‘soft landing’?

As the move to iXBRL represented a radical change in the filing process, HMRC sought to make its new reporting regime more acceptable by introducing a two year transitional period, known as the ‘soft landing’.  This was designed to give companies, and the software vendors that service them, maximum opportunity to prepare for the changes.  However, this interim period expires at the end of March 2013.

Exactly what is the ‘soft landing’?

There are misunderstandings about what the ‘soft landing’ means for filers.   It was introduced as an interim step to allow companies to become familiar with the iXBRL tagging process.  HMRC’s main provision was that in the two years following the introduction of the iXBRL mandate they would not investigate organisations solely on the basis of poor quality tagging.

‘Soft landing’ versus the Minimum Tagging List

There has been much confusion about the ‘soft landing’ and its relationship to the Minimum Tagging List (MTL).

First of all, let’s look at the MTL.  Be aware that there are three levels at which iXBRL tagging can be applied:

  1. Tagging a minimum number of concepts:  there are 13 obligatory concepts that, if tagged correctly, will allow the filed accounts to pass the HMRC gateway.
  2. Tagging according to the Minimum Tagging List:  this contains around 1,300 tags available for use, though most companies will on average use around 100 different tags.
  3. Full tagging:  this offers the user up to 5,000 tags from which to choose.

Although HMRC recently announced that it will not be removing the MTL in favour of full tagging in 2013, as was originally expected to happen, the ‘soft landing’ itself will terminate at the end of March 2013.

How does this affect Seahorse®?

Seahorse, CoreFiling’s iXBRL accounts conversion system, covers all the options – and opportunities – that will arise, when the ‘soft landing’ ends.   From the starting point in April 2011, the product was fully ready for use, and over the past two years it has progressively been enhanced to give greater usability, time-savings and improvements to the accuracy of the tags being applied.  Unlike some competitive products, Seahorse has from the outset offered the opportunity to tag according to the MTL or to use the full UK GAAP and IFRS taxonomies, so users need have absolutely no cause for concern about the future.

Avoid an uncertain future by using Seahorse to tag your 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?

Seahorse speeds up year 2 HMRC filing

 

With the starting month for year 2 iXBRL filing rapidly approaching, Seahorse can help you dramatically reduce the time taken to tag this years’ accounts. If you’ve already been converting documents to iXBRL using Seahorse, you can now migrate the tags from your existing accounts to the next year’s accounts, without losing any of your original tagging decisions. Seahorse will still auto-tag any remaining items not contained in the earlier document. The migrated items should already be correct from the previous year’s filing, so very few changes should be required. As a result, the review process will be shorter and the whole year 2 tagging procedure will take significantly less time now that you don’t have to start again from scratch.

As an added bonus, you can also re-use your tagging decisions to speed up the tagging of accounts for several different companies within the same corporate group.

 

Seahorse iXBRL tagging of Excel accounts released

As promised in early September, the new version of Seahorse has just been released, providing full conversion of Microsoft Excel accounts to iXBRL format, ready for HMRC Corporation Tax filing.

There’s no need to change the way you currently work. Just take your Excel accounts document and let Seahorse apply the appropriate iXBRL tags. The process replicates the same automatic tagging approach that has been so successful in the conversion of Word accounts. It also features the same ‘round-tripping’ functionality that allows you to make changes to your accounts outside Seahorse and then re-import the Excel document back into Seahorse without losing any pre-existing tags.

A fully validated iXBRL document emerges, ready for submission to HMRC as part of your CT filing.

So, don’t change your existing process. Let Seahorse simplify and streamline your tagging of Excel documents.

License Seahorse through our partners.

Seahorse iXBRL Excel conversion – a sneak preview

It’s official – Seahorse can now help you tag your Excel based accounts. The beta version of our fast, accurate Seahorse iXBRL conversion tool is now available for demonstration.

The final production version will be available later in September. The beta version shows how accounts documents created in Excel can be uploaded to Seahorse and tags applied in a similar manner to the auto-tagging of Word accounts. If you’re an existing user of the Word version of Seahorse you’ll find the workflow very familiar, including the same intelligent tag suggestion process designed to speed you through tag selection.

So, if you’re currently using Excel to create your accounts and have no wish to change your process in order to comply with HMRC’s mandate for the filing of Corporation Tax accounts in iXBRL, look no further. Seahorse provides the perfect solution for Excel users, so get in touch with one of our Seahorse partners today!