13th June 2010
iXBRL is a game of two halves. But the score isn’t looking good at half time!
Last week’s announcement by HMRC that it will not be issuing blank paper return forms and guidance notes (forms CT600 & CT600 Guide) with the ‘Notice to deliver a Company Tax Return’ from 1 July 2010 reminded me of the critical imbalance in the provision of iXBRL software and services.
It seems that the CT600 side of the house is gaining momentum but there are worryingly few commercial solutions that handle the preparation of company accounts. (These it will be remembered have to be filed in iXBRL format after the 1 April 2011 for companies with year ends after 31 March 2010.)
A cursory glance at the number of solutions providers that have submitted their products for testing to HMRC is pitifully small and with the deadline fast approaching it seems that many are leaving the implementation to the last minute. Of course there is no compulsion for software vendors to submit to HMRC testing so there may be other solutions out there. Furthermore, small companies have the option of using HMRC’s downloadable templates to submit accounts in IXBRL. But something ‘in my waters’ tells me that the software industry has a lot of work to do between now and the end of the year if we are to avoid a last minute dash.