iXBRL filing might add hours to the workload of accountants

Online accountants could find that it takes them up to eight hours longer to file corporate tax returns in iXBRL format.

A recent webinar by the IT Faculty of the ICAEW and accounting software suppliers Thomson Reuters discovered that 33% of accountants estimate that iXBRL will add between two and eight hours to the filing process. Almost 50% expect the process will add between 10 minutes and two hours.

Although the new technology will cause an additional workload, only 5% of accountants have taken on additional employees to help with the preparation and review of future corporate tax filings.

Tom Walsh, the senior vice president and MD of Thomson Reuters tax and accounting business, said the study provides the first, in-depth insights into the extra work time needed to comply with iXBRL filing. There will be a significant impact on existing workloads especially as many companies cannot afford to recruit additional staff members.

A lot of accountants are still undecided as to which software to use for their corporate tax returns filing. More than 50% of filings take place between December and March, 33% of accountants are waiting until the final moment before making their decision.

Of those accountants who have already filed in iXBRL format, two thirds said the transition was difficult.

As from April this year, HMRC requires that all corporate tax returns be filed in iXBRL format.

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