Yorkshire based professional services firm Shenward, has gone above and beyond to make the transition to MTD easier for clients and employees by partnering with software provider Dext.

The 30-year-old multidisciplinary practice, has invested in Dext Prepare, allowing for important accounting documents to be stored and processed easily and safely.

After piloting Dext to a handful of existing clients and employees in March and witnessing the benefits, Shenward has now rolled the software out as a solution to clients and employees across the Leeds and Cleckheaton offices.

Dext works to speed up the data entry process by capturing and uploading bills, receipts and invoices from mobile devices or computers in an accurate and secure way.

As an automatic extraction, it takes the relevant information from devices and presents it on an accessible dashboard that can connect to accounting software.

This in effect takes the burden from clients of collecting, sending and storing relevant documentation, making the transition to digital accounting easier.

With MTD becoming compulsory for all VAT registered businesses from April, this simplified process will make it straightforward for clients to capture evidential documentation such as receipts and upload them to the dashboard for the team at Shenward to access with ease.

Sherad Dewedi, managing partner of Shenward, said: “We are always working to improve our processes in line with our digital transformation strategy.

“When we came across Dext, we knew it was something we had to try, and after a trial run with a handful of our clients, we were blown away by the ease of use.

“It frees up a lot of time and automatic processes mean our clients can now send all documentation across to us in a matter of seconds, some of which is completely automatic.”

Shenward has actively been working on their digital transformation since 2018 and has since introduced multiple technologies and software into their ways of working. This includes the development of their own app, KashFlow, which was built with simplicity in mind aiming to make accounting simple.

Sherad states that underpinning this digital transformation is the desire to make accounting quicker and easier for businesses at a time when they are having to become digitalised in line with the government's Make Tax Digital initiative.

“We have found that many business owners have certain levels of trepidation when it comes to using digital platforms for accounting needs. This is why we have such a rigorous approval process when deciding on what to implement,” he said.

“Security is a strong concern for clients new to online accounting software, and so we worked to find systems that were simple to use but did not compromise on high security.

“Dext has guaranteed compliance with HMRC and safely stores users documents for a minimum 10 years, meaning the storage of endless receipts is no longer necessary for Shenward clients.”

Shenward is also thinking about more than their clients when implementing new technology into their practice, looking at the bigger picture within the industry.

Sherad commented: “It’s no secret that data entry is a monotonous task for accounting teams, and technology like Dext has drastically reduced the time our team is spending on data entry or chasing clients for documents, freeing up their time to be spent on tasks that more positively impact our clients, and feel more rewarding for the team.

“I’ve also found that newly qualified accountants are seeing digital accounting practices as standard in the industry, and we owe it not only to our current team but our future recruits to be at the forefront of contemporary accounting practices, and continue to work to find the right solutions for both our clients and team everyday.”