As you may be aware, HMRC have recently decided that small businesses have to join large businesses in filing their VAT returns online.

Which, in theory, makes things easier for both the small business and HMRC, and speeds up the process of paying your VAT bill, which HMRC are understandably keen on.

It also, considering that you need a program by which to submit your VAT online, has led to a boost for the companies that sell these programs (we’ve all seen the adverts on TV starring Sanjeev Bhaskar), and has led to a collective increase in the stress levels of small company finance teams across the country.

If, like us (or Anne, to be really specific) you have previously relied upon spread sheets for your accounts, this means that you have had to learn a whole new program with which to produce company accounts.

Considering that this hit us (metaphorically) between VAT sessions, Anne has been juggling both learning a new system as well as maintaining the spread sheets that she was using previously.

It’s been a stressful few months is what I’m getting at.

But hey, it was meant to make lives easier… which it does, once you’ve learned the system, input all the data, managed to persuade your system to link to the HMRC servers and then gone through all of the security questions.

I’m assured by Anne that connecting to the server was still marginally quicker than getting through to speak to an actual human being on the phone at HMRC.

Anyway, you upload your data online, you answer the six million security questions, you hit the little button to submit everything and then you pay your VAT bill.

And then Anne goes to relax with a G&T in hand and think about things much more fun than the accounts.