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Optimise Blog https://optimiseblog.co.uk Technology, in plain English! Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:04:26 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.6 Submitting Your VAT Return from the Optimise program https://optimiseblog.co.uk/submitting-your-vat-return-from-optimise/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/submitting-your-vat-return-from-optimise/#respond Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:04:26 +0000 https://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=1166 For background information about Making Tax Digital (MTD) see our Simple Guide to Making Tax Digital for VAT.

For information on complying with Making Tax Digital (MTD) see our Optimise Users – Complying with Making Tax Digital for VAT.

Pre-requisites to submitting your VAT Returns through the Optimise program:-

(1) You need to be running Optimise program version 4.9.41 or higher.

(2) You need to have submitted your last VAT Return in the usual way for the following VAT periods:-

  • January to March 2019.
  • February to April 2019.
  • March to May 2019.

(3) Your “current” month in Optimise should be the last financial period in your next VAT quarter. I.e.

  • If your VAT Quarter runs April to June then you should be in your June period.
  • If your VAT Quarter runs May to July then you should be in your July period.
  • If your VAT Quarter runs June to August then you should be in your August period

(4) You need to have registered with HMRC to submit you VAT Returns through software and you need to have received the confirmation email from HMRC that you can now do so. For information on registering for Making Tax Digital (MTD) see our Registering for Making Tax Digital.

(5) You should have already checked the Nominal VAT Report and the Snapshot 38 (VAT Form) figures match and that there are no erroneous entries in the report.

Submitting your VAT Return

For a comprehensive guide on submitting your VAT Return, see our Walk-Through Submitting Your VAT  Return from the Optimise program.

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Registering for MTD VAT Returns https://optimiseblog.co.uk/registering-for-mtd-vat-returns/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/registering-for-mtd-vat-returns/#respond Fri, 05 Jul 2019 17:04:07 +0000 https://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=1160 For background information about Making Tax Digital (MTD) see our Simple Guide to Making Tax Digital for VAT.

For information on complying with Making Tax Digital (MTD) see our Optimise Users – Complying with Making Tax Digital for VAT.

Before you can start to submit VAT Returns through the Optimise program you need to register with HMRC to do so.

Pre-requisites to registering:-

(1) You need to be running Optimise program version 4.9.41 or higher.

(2) You need to have submitted your last VAT Return in the usual way for the following VAT periods:-

  • January to March 2019.
  • February to April 2019.
  • March to May 2019.

(3) Your “current” month in Optimise should be the last financial period in your next VAT quarter, i.e.

  • If your VAT Quarter runs April to June then you should be in your June period.
  • If your VAT Quarter runs May to July then you should be in your July period.
  • If your VAT Quarter runs June to August then you should be in your August period

Registering

You can register at HMRC’s website.

Alternatively, you can register through the Optimise program by choosing Accounts – Nominal – HMRC VAT (MTD) – from the main menu. Note: This will take you to the same web page and is no different to above.

For comprehensive help on the registration process you can download our walk-through Registration help file.

Once you have registered there is a one to two day wait for HMRC to confirm by email that you can now submit your returns through the Optimise program.

For information on submitting your VAT Return, see our Submitting Your VAT Return from the Optimise program. This also contains a link to a walk-through help file.

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Optimise Users – Complying with Making Tax Digital for VAT https://optimiseblog.co.uk/optimise-users-complying-with-making-tax-digital-for-vat/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/optimise-users-complying-with-making-tax-digital-for-vat/#respond Mon, 25 Feb 2019 17:03:43 +0000 http://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=1066

For background information about Making Tax Digital (MTD) see our simple guide to Making Tax Digital for VAT.

If you hold some or all your VAT return information within the Optimise System, we have set out below what you need to do to comply with HMRC’s new Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT legislation.

Joining the HMRC Making Tax Digital Service

You will probably have received the letter below from HMRC. DO NOT join the service yet until you have everything ready as detailed below, otherwise you will be expected to submit returns digitally straight away.

Optimise Program Approval

MTD Links to the HMRC portal have been written into the Optimise program and our software is now recognised for HMRC’s MTD service. We will be rolling out the new MTD-ready version of Optimise shortly across our userbase. As you will not need to use the new MTD program until July 2019 at the earliest, there is plenty of time to get this new version installed.

Preparation for MTD

(1) Get your VAT information right in Optimise. HMRC require you to use figures direct from your software system. You need to be using the Optimise VAT Form snapshot figures unaltered to comply with HMRC’s MTD service.

(1a) If you currently use the VAT Form snapshot to submit your VAT online using the HMRC portal then you are already well prepared. Just keep doing what you do now and let our helpdesk know when your VAT quarters run so that we can schedule you to get the new Optimise MTD-ready version.

(1b) If you don’t currently use the VAT Form snapshot but are basing your VAT Return on the Optimise Nominal VAT Report then you need to check the new VAT Form snapshot to ensure it shows the same figures you have submitted for previously submitted VAT returns. If VAT Form figures do not match the Nominal VAT Report, contact our helpdesk as it is likely that there is simply some configuration of your system required. Again, just keep doing what you do now and let our helpdesk know when your VAT quarters run so that we can schedule you to get the new Optimise MTD-ready version.

(1c) If you currently use some information in the Optimise program but work out your final VAT Return “off-system”, for example in a spreadsheet, then you have some work to do. All your VAT information needs to be posted into the Optimise program in order to comply. If you contact our helpdesk, we can assess your current processes to determine what you have to do to comply and whether you might require either some training or a different version of Optimise. For example if you pay VAT on a cash accounting basis and you are not using the cash accounting version of the Optimise software. Alternatively, you could keep doing what you do now but use an approved MTD “bridging software” to submit your VAT return information from a spreadsheet. This option may not be available long-term but may be the best option if you are unable to make the necessary process adjustments quickly.

(2) Get the new (MTD-ready) Optimise version. We will be contacting you when the production version is ready. We will be providing help information on the MTD elements of the Optimise program. Important note: this version requires a minimum of SQL Server version 2012 for on-premise databases (Microsoft Azure cloud server is compatible). If running on an older version of SQL Server, contact our helpdesk for options.

(3) Check how MTD-ready your system is by running the Optimise VAT Checklist snapshot (Id 204).

(4) Join the HMRC Making Tax Digital Service. The Optimise MTD program will have a link to the HMRC website to do this. Important Note: Do not join the service until the end of your first VAT quarter that starts after 1st April. If your VAT quarter runs April-June then you do not need to join the service until July. If May-July then August. If June-August then September.  If you join before these dates then you will no longer be able to submit your VAT return by hand on the HMRC portal so make sure you have completed (1) and (2) above before joining.

To find out more about Optimise visit our website.

 

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A Simple Guide to Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT https://optimiseblog.co.uk/a-simple-guide-to-making-tax-digital-mtd-for-vat/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/a-simple-guide-to-making-tax-digital-mtd-for-vat/#respond Mon, 25 Feb 2019 09:34:43 +0000 http://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=1116  

Given the questions many people have surrounding this we thought we should explain how it affects you and what you need to do about it.

Does it affect my business?

It affects all VAT Registered UK businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000.

What exactly is it?

HMRC require VAT data to be digitally linked “end-to-end” which means that, once data has been entered into software used to keep and maintain digital records, any further transfer or modification of that data must be done using digital links (data cannot be rekeyed or manually cut and pasted) including submission of VAT returns electronically to HMRC.

Up to now, at each VAT quarter, you would normally calculate your VAT liability (or refund), log in to the HMRC VAT portal and key in your calculated figures into the 9 boxes required. The government want you to submit the figures directly via an Application Programming Interface (API) from your software system to their portal. They will only allow information to be sent from approved software systems.

When does it start?

July 2019 at the earliest. So don’t panic, there’s still plenty of time! You will not need to start sending information digitally until the end of the first VAT quarter that starts after 1st April 2019. That means the earliest will be July 2019 if your VAT quarter is April-June. If your VAT quarter is May-July then it will be August 2019 and if your VAT quarter is June-August then it will be September 2019. So, whilst the deadline seems close by, you still have at least 5 months from now to be ready.

If your company is part of a VAT group (if you fill in one VAT return covering more than one trading company), there is an option to defer by 6 months for MTD.

Do I need any special software?

You have two options:-

(1) Use a software system approved for MTD. This is the best option and the option preferred by HMRC.

If you don’t currently use a software system to calculate your VAT figures then you should start using one as soon as possible so that you can get used to the system before July. You need to ask your software provider if they plan on making the software compatible with MTD by July.

If you do use a software system to calculate some of your VAT figures but carry out some calculations “off-system” then you should bring your “off-system” calculations into your software system as soon as possible so that all VAT information is inside your software system (“digital”).

(2) Use “bridging” software (spreadsheet that incorporates MTD APIs). This option bridges the gap between digital systems that are unable to connect directly to HMRC and HMRC’s systems.

If you currently use a spreadsheet to calculate your VAT or your current accounting software provider does not link directly to HMRC (but can export VAT return information to CSV file) or you use an array of different software systems to calculate your VAT, you can use bridging software to send your VAT return information to HMRC.

Some bridging solutions are Excel plugins that can connect to HMRC’s systems. But most are simple software systems that allow CSV files to be imported.

What if my systems are not fully digital by July?

HMRC are relaxing the rules regarding digital linking to transaction records end-to-end until March 2020 (known as the “soft-landing” period) to help businesses get up to speed. You will require bridging software to submit VAT returns however you will be able to link any spreadsheet to bridging software for the first year. Alternatively, your accountant may offer a VAT return submission service if they have purchased bridging software.

To ensure you don’t miss any other important MTD notifications we recommend you subscribe to this blog (see option to the right).

Further reading.. See HMRC’s website.

To find out more about Optimise visit our website.

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Making customer searches better https://optimiseblog.co.uk/making-customer-searches-better/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/making-customer-searches-better/#respond Sat, 13 Oct 2018 18:41:48 +0000 http://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=182 In response to your suggestions, we have created a new customer review program that saves you having to re-enter search criteria when enquiring on more than one customer. This is particularly useful when you are not sure which one of several similar customers you need to enquire on.

To access this program, from the main menu go to Accounts – Customer – Reports and choose Customer Review. After entering your criteria, a full screen of matches is shown with the option to drill in to the normal enquiry screen for a customer. After closing a customer’s screen the list remains for you to choose another customer or close.

To drill into a customer, either . . .

  • use the up/down arrow keys to highlight the customer then press RETURN (or ENTER),
  • OR double-click the customer,
  • OR click on the customer then choose the DRILL option.

This is available free from version 3.12.0 onwards.

To find out more about Optimise visit our website.

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Choose your colour… https://optimiseblog.co.uk/choose-your-colour/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/choose-your-colour/#respond Sun, 03 Jun 2018 16:06:17 +0000 http://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=816 Add some colour to Optimise. As an alternative to light grey, you can now change the background colour throughout the system on all programs to a different colour.

This is especially useful if you have more than one database. Each database can be set up with a different colour so that, at a glance, you know which database you are using.

To change the colour (this affects all users not just you), you need access to the Company Edit program on Nominal Utilities. In here, there are two buttons – Next Colour and Previous Colour – which allow you to preview each colour (around 16 colours to pick from). When you find a colour you like, choose OK to save your choice.

Available from version 4.1.23.

To find out more about Optimise visit our website.

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Re-Open a Sales Order https://optimiseblog.co.uk/re-open-a-sales-order/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/re-open-a-sales-order/#respond Thu, 03 May 2018 16:08:35 +0000 http://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=820 Sometimes it would be nice to be able to add extra lines to a sales order that has been invoiced and on history?

Well, now you can. A new option “Re-Open” is now available in the Customer History screen to bring a sales order back to being a live order once again.

You can’t change lines that have been invoiced already – these show as “Completed” – but you can add more lines to the order.

Available from version 4.1.66.

To find out more about Optimise visit our website.

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Grab more data out of Optimise with Snapshots https://optimiseblog.co.uk/grab-more-data-out-of-optimise-with-snapshots/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/grab-more-data-out-of-optimise-with-snapshots/#respond Sat, 03 Feb 2018 16:38:40 +0000 http://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=811 Want to get data out of the system easily or looking for a quick report? The new Snapshots program might be the answer. Snapshots are data snippets that are exported from the database into an Excel spreadsheet.

Take a look at the snapshots that are available. Some may not be relevant to you but you may find some gems. Keep checking back, especially after getting a new software release, as the list of snapshots is growing fast.

Snapshots are categorised by module – Sales, Stock, etc. – with each having a brief description. The list of snapshots available to a user depends on their access privileges.

The Snapshots program is on the main menu. After selecting the snapshot to run, you are asked for criteria to run the report for. There is an option to pick the columns you wish to include in the snapshot (columns picked are saved per user allowing different combinations for different users). Clicking Create Spreadsheet gets the data and creates the spreadsheet.

If you have a requirement to analyse something that is not already catered for it is worth considering getting us to write it for you as a snapshot. Most snapshots are quick and inexpensive to write and, once written, are yours forever.

Requires Microsoft Excel (any version). Available from version 4.1.22.

To find out more about Optimise visit our website.

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Christmas Opening Hours https://optimiseblog.co.uk/christmas-opening-hours-3/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/christmas-opening-hours-3/#respond Tue, 20 Dec 2016 13:24:55 +0000 http://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=1048 Christmas Image Snow

Merry Christmas from all the team at Optimise.

Our helpdesk is open over the Christmas period as follows:

23rd December: Emergency Service*
24th to 28th December: CLOSED
29th to 31st December: Emergency Service*
1st to 4th January: CLOSED
5th January Onwards: Open as usual

* During Emergency Service days, log a support ticket by emailing the following addresses:

For SOFTWARE support: software@optimisesupport.co.uk
For WEBSITE support: web@optimisesupport.co.uk

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your valued custom.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a very successful 2017.

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Optimise at the January Furniture Show https://optimiseblog.co.uk/optimise-at-the-january-furniture-show/ https://optimiseblog.co.uk/optimise-at-the-january-furniture-show/#respond Wed, 09 Dec 2015 12:49:16 +0000 http://optimiseblog.co.uk/?p=1010 January Furniture ShowWe are delighted to announce that we are exhibiting at the January Furniture Show at the NEC on the 24th to 27th of January 2016.

Come and visit our stand and meet the team – Hall 1 Stand A1.

For show information see www.januaryfurnitureshow.com

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