Quickbooks vs Excel – what will be best for MTD?



Making Tax Digital is nearly on us! If your business isn’t ready yet, then there are certain steps you will need to consider. Why not check out our MTD blog here. Working out how you are going to report to HMRC each quarter is a very important decision, as it will all need to be electronic. Yes, you can use an Excel spreadsheet, but that comes with a few issues. Cloud-based software such as Quickbooks is a much better idea. Here are some reasons why you should switch now, and not wait until the deadline!


  • When it comes to submitting your VAT returns, it will be much more streamlined if you are using the right software. Everything is ready for you, and you can just submit the returns. Using a spreadsheet is more time consuming and fiddly, as you will need to use bridging software that will allow your spreadsheet to ‘talk’ with HMRC. Using a spreadsheet also means that there will be no manual intervention allowed after the transaction has been entered.

  • Financial penalties WILL apply! Don’t get your VAT returns done when you are supposed to? HMRC will fine you! The first time you file late, it is a 5% fine. This keeps rising by 5% for every occurrence in a 12 month period. Why pay out for fines when you don’t need to.

  • With an accounting system like Quickbooks, you can easily work on your accounting on the go using a tablet or a smartphone. 5 minutes spare when out and about? As Quickbooks is linked to your bank account, you can reconcile payments all from your phone! Using an Excel spreadsheet means that you need to set aside time and add things manually.

  • It is so much easier for you, as well as your bookkeeper and/or accountant to keep you fully up to date when you use Quickbooks. It will be much more efficient than your bookkeeper trying to interpret that Excel spreadsheet you have created, and to fix any potential errors!

  • Cloud accounting software is developed by those who understand bookkeeping and accounting, and is kept fully up to date and compliant. With Excel you have to design your own process. There is always the potential that you have made errors in your formulas, leaving you open to inaccurate reporting.

  • Quickbooks can also quickly and easily generate some very useful reports for you. Things like profit and loss statements, cashflow statements, outstanding onvoices etc, which can really help with your financial decision making. If you use Excel, you’d have to generate these reports, and many others, by hand.

  • Save yourself some time. With Quickbooks, you can easily send all your clients their invoices electronically. Why duplicate work for yourself by creating the invoices manually and sending them, as well as then using Excel to keep a record of invoices raised, received and resolved?

If you would like some help with switching from using a spreadsheet to cloud-based software, then why not speak to Mark at Choice Bookkeeping? Mark and the team at Choice Bookkeeping are on hand to help with all your bookkeeping needs.  As an affordable alternative to an expensive accountant, speak to Choice Bookkeeping for a free consultation to see how they can assist you and your business be ready for Making Tax Digital.  With offices in Usk and Pembrokeshire, they cover all of South and West Wales and the surrounding areas. With a recently released app for Apple and Android devices that includes a receipt collator, mileage tracker, and much more, Choice Bookkeeping will help your business ensure you are ready for the upcoming tax changes.