To some extent, the software used by accountancy practitioners to prepare and file accounts and tax returns takes care of the practical compliance associated with those tasks. For example, ensuring that accounts are filed in the required format with annual tax returns.
As and when Companies House reveals the filing changes required to meet the new obligations to file more detailed profit and loss figures, no doubt the software developers will quickly accommodate these changes in the code.
Even the complexities occasioned by the Anti Money Laundering regulations, and the rigorous enforcement of professionals‘ responsibilities in this area, are now being ring-fenced into basic accounts production and tax software packages.
Whilst this AI involvement in compliance is to be welcomed, the amount of time that practitioners need to spend policing compliance systems is growing.
And this involvement comes at a cost.
It is likely that this requirement to comply with ever increasing regulation in matters usually dealt with by firms will surely increase as new rules and regulations are introduced to monitor ever increasing complexity.
Passing these costs onto clients by increasing fees is unlikely to be a solution with legs. Clients already see their obligation to comply with tax and accounting rules as a ‘grudge’ purchase.
As always, times change, and the firms that deal effectively with these compliance costs will be the ones that flourish. Certainly, this is not a time for practitioners or their clients to be ill-informed.
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