Twas the night before Christmas and Brian went to bed,
but thoughts of his tax return went round in his head.
It was the same every Christmas, Brian couldn’t unwind.
If he couldn’t find the paperwork for HMRC on time he’d be fined.
His wife wasn’t happy with him, and she’d yell at him each day:
“How come you are always at work but we never have any money” she’d say.
Brian didn’t have the answers but he suspected it were true
that his disorganised way meant that the money didn’t accrue.
He was so tired at end of day that he didn’t want to get his laptop out,
Not invoicing customers or keeping track of payments had to be the reason. There was no doubt.
Forget board games or films, at Christmas Brian played ‘hunt the receipt’.
Pockets, the van and the shed – there was paperwork everywhere. If only he kept things neat!
His taxable profits seemed extremely overstated, but what could he do?
With no receipts to support his expenditure, he couldn’t prove it to be true.
The following evening, Brian met his mate Joseph in the pub.
Joseph was full of the joys of Christmas. Brian felt it was a snub.
With a baby on the way, and a tax return submitted in May,
Joseph was off on a weekend away (“Place looks like a stable” his missus did say).
“You want to get in touch with my accountant” Joseph said to Brian.
“Harold Sharp will get you sorted. Speak to their digital team – their lead guy is Ryan”.
Brian wasn’t sure if Joseph was exaggerating but having had another pint
he toddled off home and fell into a deep sleep for the night.
He was awakened mid-slumber to find two figures in his room.
They looked somewhat professional, not the type you’d expect to see in the gloom.
“We are the ghosts of Christmas future” the figures did say.
“We’re the digital advisory team – Joseph asked us to visit to teach you the new way.
Let us show you how to run your business smarter using Xero and Dext.
Now settle down in front of your TV, Brian – no need to look so perplexed”.
The TV screen showed Brian getting into his van and setting off all alone.
After filling up with petrol, he snapped a photo of his receipt with his phone.
“What am I doing?” he asked. “Recording your receipt” replied the ghosts.
“In the future you’ll record all your purchases in Dext” they did boast.
“You’ll never mislay a receipt and the details will be recorded in your accounting system.
Plus, get this – you’ll raise a sales invoice via the Xero app on each job completion”.
“That’s all very good” said Brian, “but how do I know who I have invoiced and who has paid?”
“It’s all on the app” said the ghosts, “check unpaid invoices, automate reminders – it’s all displayed”.
The image on the TV flickered – it showed Brian celebrating NYE in Senegal.
“This is how your New Year could look in the future Brian” said the ghosts, “Just get digital.
With digital records you will start reaping the benefits almost instantly.
Reduced admin time, record all transactions and get paid – you’ll master it brilliantly!
Not only will you become more profitable, but you will also be able to plan.
Imagine a world without unexpected tax bills and where you’re in control, young man!”
The ghosts of Christmas future disappeared and Brian drifted back off to sleep.
A smile on his face, safe in the knowledge that his future life would be sweet.
The next day Brian jumped out of bed. “The future’s looking good!” he declared to his wife.
“I’m just off to call Harold Sharp – they’re going to change my work life!”
For more information on getting digital ahead of MTD ITSA, visit our dedicated Landlord and Sole Trader webpages.