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Self Assessment: How do you cope with stress?

Self Assessment: How do you cope with stress?

AccountingWEB is putting together a guide to help you cope with stress during the busy Self Assessment period. How do you cope with the pressure of filing all your clients' returns by the deadline? Are there any techniques that help you get through the season in one piece? 

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09th Jan 2012 12:31

Not very helpful I'm afraid, but I prefer to avoid it

We have our clients organised, and although a few will always ignore reminders they can be counted on one hand, and I am not particularly bothered if they go to another accountant.

I make mistakes when I rush jobs, so it is in my interests, and the clients, to avoid having to rush.

If there are any problems, records missing, etc., I just pass it back to the client, and I will not submit estimated returns unless there is a genuine reason to do so.

If they get a penalty then it is because they ignored our many reminders and requests, and not because I refused to rush the job.

I don't like risk takers, and leaving it until the last minute and not allowing for potential problems such as missing records, bad weather, illness, and the 1001 other things that go wrong in life, makes them risk-takers, or inconsiderate, in my view.

 

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09th Jan 2012 12:34

I'm with shirley, staying organised and on top of clients to make sure there is no rush, failing that i find Brandy to be most helpful!!!

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09th Jan 2012 12:37

Bury head in sand

I find this is the best technique.  Also known as...  if you pretend it isn't there, maybe it will go away.  I find this enables me to concentrate on getting the work done rather than fretting :)

@Shirley - inconsiderate people make up a large chunk of the marketplace!

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09th Jan 2012 13:38

Stress Avoidance - simple overview

I do 'Stress Management' training and some of the key factors which should help are:

1. Planning your day.  It sounds trite but, more often than not, stress 'triggers' are self imposed.  We allow things to build up on us without sticking to a plan.

It is often the unexpected that destroys the plan and so you have to build in some time for the unexpected.

Allow sufficient time when travelling to visit a client or to attend a meeting to allow for punctures, traffic jams etc. and that common problem, finding somewhere to park!  No point in arriving stressed for a stressful meeting.

2. Control.  Stress is greatest for those who are not in control of their work.  You won't find Richard Branson getting stressed but his middle management may well be (Don't mention the CEO of LloydsTSB though - most unusual).

3. Take Breaks.  Stress is an accumulation of pressure.  Layers of stress build up to a breaking point. Fortunately, for most accountants, there should be an end to the pressure (May?) which will mean that true STRESS will not occur.  But if you let it build up, the sure fire way of avoiding potentially lethal STRESS is to take regular breaks.  Not just during the day.  You need to take a few days off regularly, and so do your staff.  And don't eat lunch in the office at your desk or in your car if out on the road visiting clients - get out into the fresh air and walk or do something unrelated to work.

4. Sleep.  The act of sleeping recharges our bodies (para-sympathetic nervous system) and is vital to combatting stress.  If you can't sleep, you will be even more stressed the next day and so it builds up.  I certainly don't advocate sleeping pills but going for a walk or reading last thing at night can help you feel tired.  Avoid the distractions that keep you awake and establish good techniques (non-alcohol related!!!) to help you sleep.

5. Learn to say 'no'.  This is the hardest one for accountants.  They too often say 'yes' and create problems for themselves.  Clients should understand that you have to have time to do the very best work for them and if they continually submit late, they need to be told 'no'.  It is the person in the office who always says 'yes' who will become stressed and suffer.  If  you have the choice, who do you give work to?   The person who says 'no, I'm too busy' or to the poor willing sponge who keeps saying 'yes' - she is the one who will break first, I guarantee it and then you are left with the one who always says 'no'.  We all need willing horses but don't flog them to death, particulalrly if it is you who is the willing horse.

6.  Understanding Stress.  When an actress says working on a film for 14 hours a day is stressful, it is not.  That is a hard days work or pressure.  If she did it 50 weeks a year with no breaks and little or no reward (unlikely), it would probably be STRESS.  Stress is a sign of reduced energy levels.  You have to avoid anything that uses up the remaining energy faster than normal - vigorous exercise is not advised for those who are beginning to become stressed but great to keep you healthy if not stressed.  But you need to know when you are running low on energy.

7.  Infectious.  STRESS is highly infectious.  If one person in an office is stressed, it rubs off on the rest of the team.  If you work alone and get stressed, it will rub off on your family and friends and then there is no escape.  You have to look after the team or yourself for the good of your business.

These points are a gross over simplification as it is a complex problem.  I can't write any more now as this was unexpected and has interrupted my planned time managed day!!!!!! :) and I am going out for a walk.

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09th Jan 2012 13:21

STRESS RELIEF!! LOL!

The Accountants Equation:

18 Hour Days +

15 Cans of Diet Coke Per Day + 3 Lattes +

Overtime Rates +

5 Proplus an hour +

10 Estimated Returns divided by

150 tax returns for January...multiplied by

the Time Off in February = NO STRESS - Just Highs & Lows!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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09th Jan 2012 13:31

@wingco44

Thanks. That is very helpful (especially No 5) and I am going to print it out and save it for posterity to remind myself why I say 'no' to some clients :)

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DSP Financial Management
09th Jan 2012 22:25

Stress

If you let clients continually give you their records, year after year, in January, then there is no motivation for them to change their habits.  Why should they if you know that you will do it anyway?  Agree with the above, it is always the yes people that suffer from stress.

Learn from this year and make sure that it doesn't happen again.

When getting the client to sign off this year, say that you will no longer be accepting tax returns in January due to the bottlenecks and the increased risk of error.  Sell them the idea that they need to know early what their tax liability is for their own cash planning. 

Then, once this tax year is up, write to all clients on the 6 April requesting all information.  Write again two months later and follow up with a 'phone call.  Then for the remaining ones that are not done by August send a third and final reminder that you require the information on or before 31 October.   That will still leave a small number who will always leave it until January whatever you do, but inform them that you cannot guarantee timely submission and they will also incur an additional charge.  If they don't like it then tough, let them go and stress out someone else!  Sure, you may lose a client or two but they can always be replaced by better, more considerate and responsible clients who won't turn your January into a time of stress.

Impose your own deadlines, you don't have to go with HMRC's.

Manage your clients, don't let them manage you.

If you would like a copy of a templated letter to send to 'January' clients then fee free to email me: [email protected]

Jason Dormer

Seahorse (UK) Ltd - For Accountants and Bookkeepers

 

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lionofludesch
10th Jan 2012 09:12

Manage your clients, don't let them manage you.

Jason Dormer wrote:

 it is always the yes people that suffer from stress.

Impose your own deadlines, you don't have to go with HMRC's.

Manage your clients, don't let them manage you.

Well done Jason - says it all really.

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By MBK
10th Jan 2012 18:28

Or, alternatively, ....

... just work your nuts off in January (what else is there to do anyway??) knowing how nice it's going to be to look at your P&L at the end of the month and take a few days off when there's a bit more light.

Stress is a state of mind which you can control if you take the right attitude. You are far more likely to get stressed trying to change client habits than you are by just accepting human nature and getting on with it.

And I like busacrun's brandy idea - musht totter off home now!

 

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lionofludesch
10th Jan 2012 22:20

Suck it up! :)

MBK wrote:

... just work your nuts off in January (what else is there to do anyway??) knowing how nice it's going to be to look at your P&L at the end of the month and take a few days off when there's a bit more light.

Stress is a state of mind which you can control if you take the right attitude. You are far more likely to get stressed trying to change client habits than you are by just accepting human nature and getting on with it.

And I like busacrun's brandy idea - musht totter off home now!

 

 

agree with this ... 

 

do what you can to get clients to get there work in earlier ... yes

 

up the fees a little so you get paid for the overtime ... yes

 

agree with clients that next year will be differnet (ahem - joke!) - as i do, actually use MS Outlook to book a phone call for me to run through the year-end info that I am going to be reviewing & agreeing timescales to complete the work etc ... yes

 

treat the staff to a nice lunch every friday ... "premium" biscuits (haha) ... double-time for sundays ... yes

 

get arse-y with clients who pay us good money .... no!

 

november to janaury is the silly season for SA.  the pay-off is less work / more time off in feb/mar, and even april, plus a healthy bank balance.  i remember working in a big 4 & being expected for the bank financial reporting season to work 7 days if necessary, and overtime to 8pm minimum ...... it was just the way it was ....... outside of that period, we had a more relaxed life ... just the way it was. 

 

each to their own of course ...

 

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10th Jan 2012 21:46

No one is dead - its only Tax

Why be stressed?

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seawych
10th Jan 2012 22:13

Stress???

I have just finished two TRs ready to send to clients for authorising.

I have currently 61 tax returns still to file in January, as well as three 30/04/2011 YE companies year ends.

On my estimates I stll have 320 hours work to do as at today

I have decided not to worry about it!!!!!

My partner is an A+E Doctor, when she misses her deadlines people die, when I miss mine - as clients are delinquant - all they get is a small fine

I decided 10 years ago to try my best but not to get over stressed as - lets face it - it is not the end of the world!

Roll on February

 

 

 

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By KH
11th Jan 2012 09:19

Work hard now, have summer off

I agree with all the above posts .... remind clients they are late, don't fret when they get atrociously late, do your best to meet the deadlines, work like a trojan for about 4 hours a day, mediate at least three times a day (or walk the dog, bake a cake, etc, whatever turns you on!), watch great films late into the night, grab a good six to seven hours sleep, and then, if all else fails --and even when it doesn't-- head for sumptuously delicious single malt. The pay-off is simple .... if most of your clients deposit work on your back at this time of year, then come summer, it's off to the beach for a cool clear couple of months. Yeah! Right on!

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11th Jan 2012 09:57

Not that simple for me

I would end up rushing, get stressed out, make mistakes, waste more time correcting them, which would stress me out even more.

I suppose it is down to personality, and I would feel the pressure and get stressed where others may not.

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12th Jan 2012 19:09

January clients

I don't understand why people put up with it, yes January can be a great billing month if you allow clients to delay but this is billing that can be turned inton revenue much earlier on in the year if managed properly.

If you have good % of your client delivering in January then there is increased risk, it's not good for cashflow, you have Idle time in the summer then pay overtime in January.  Clients not aware of actual liability until the due date is right on them, compliance done only no time for planning, there is the cost of other work put aside, opportunity cost by only focusing on tax returns for a month (following on from the most disruptive month all year - December) - not to mention the energy sapping from these clients that have nine months to get their records in.

I would wager that a fair few number of the clients that come in in January will not have the funds to pay the amount due by 31 January purely because they have no idea of how much they have to pay and have no funds set aside for it. 

I would never bite the hand that feeds but I would rather build up a client bank of business owners who are responsible, respectful, and listen to the guidance given to them than build up a client bank of non organised last minute merchants.

BUT, as said above, each to their own.

Happy January!

Jason Dormer

Seahorse (UK) Ltd - For Accountants and bookkeepers 

 

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Tim Vane
12th Jan 2012 23:50

who wouldn't want that?

Jason Dormer wrote:

I don't understand why people put up with it, yes January can be a great billing month if you allow clients to delay but this is billing that can be turned inton revenue much earlier on in the year if managed properly.

If you have good % of your client delivering in January then there is increased risk, it's not good for cashflow, you have Idle time in the summer then pay overtime in January.  Clients not aware of actual liability until the due date is right on them, compliance done only no time for planning, there is the cost of other work put aside, opportunity cost by only focusing on tax returns for a month (following on from the most disruptive month all year - December) - not to mention the energy sapping from these clients that have nine months to get their records in.

I would wager that a fair few number of the clients that come in in January will not have the funds to pay the amount due by 31 January purely because they have no idea of how much they have to pay and have no funds set aside for it. 

I would never bite the hand that feeds but I would rather build up a client bank of business owners who are responsible, respectful, and listen to the guidance given to them than build up a client bank of non organised last minute merchants.

BUT, as said above, each to their own.

Happy January!

Jason Dormer

Seahorse (UK) Ltd - For Accountants and bookkeepers 

 

 

every aweb practice accountant would, i'm sure, love their clients to be nicely spread out across the year ... all sticking to the months they agreed to provide records ... all paying their bills on time ... etc.  real life isnt always like that ... and some of the comments i read about accountants telling clients to buzz off .... refusing to file their TRs if info comes in after xmas ... etc ... sounds like mostly bravado to me. 

 

its up to every accountant to sift out the clients they dont want, but i think most smaller practices, from those i speak to, are super busy in January, and there will always be a challenge to get clients to come in earlier in the year.  i'm getting better at it, but am a sucker for the sob stories i hear LOL.  

 

my take has alwasy been ... if you think being too busy is tough ... try being quiet .... wsshs .... tumbleweed .... LOL

 

 

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By Lilac1
12th Jan 2012 22:15

I think I enjoy the adrenline rush of doing tax returns til late at night and coming in on the weekends to do tax returns and getting peed off with having to work 24/7!  But the feeling in February when its all done is fantastic. Then again, I'm on maternity leave and not involved in all that mad rush at the moment so I guess I'm feeling nostalgic!

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13th Jan 2012 09:35

January

Lancsboy

I hear what you say but being quiet doesn't have to mean being unprofitable.

To me, running a business is not about being busy or quiet it's about being profitable and having happy, satisifed clients.

I am more than happy having quiet times if the money is still coming and the profit is there, much rather that than be a busy fool for two solid months and not making the profit required.

Being busy and making money do not go hand in hand.

Appreciate that profit isn't always the driver for many accountants though.

Jason

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DJKL
13th Jan 2012 20:17

busy = profitable (usually)

jason, 

 

i am a businessman first and an accountant second.  my point above is that some accountants moan about being busy when in fact they should embrace it.  why do you think that being busy for 2 solid months makes someone a busy fool?  all things being equal, being busy is a good thing - it means more fee income and profits.  thats what i'm in business to do - make money.  

 

i'll try to spread the work out during the year as best i can ... but i am geared up to expect 1st nov to 31 jan to be our busiest 3 months.  all our companies & personal clietns with >£1k fee, are on 6 month pay-in-advance payment plans anyway so it makes no odds to me cashflow-wise when we do the work.  

 

sometimes i wonder ... most businesses have busier times than others ... whats the big deal? do your best to manage it .... and accept that there are ups and down in workflow.

 

PS  profit is the main driver for me, i can assure you!  LOL

 

Jason Dormer wrote:

Lancsboy

I hear what you say but being quiet doesn't have to mean being unprofitable.

To me, running a business is not about being busy or quiet it's about being profitable and having happy, satisifed clients.

I am more than happy having quiet times if the money is still coming and the profit is there, much rather that than be a busy fool for two solid months and not making the profit required.

Being busy and making money do not go hand in hand.

Appreciate that profit isn't always the driver for many accountants though.

Jason

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By zxcvb
13th Jan 2012 10:39

I add to my stress!

I am in pantomime.  I have dress rehearsals on 29th & 30th Jan and our opening night is 2nd Feb. 

I too enjoy the adrenaline rush of having so much to do and then enjoy the feeling when it is all over in February.

 

I think I'd be disappointed if all clients were on time.  Although I did say my first "no" to a client that called me last night to arrange to drop their books in :)  

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15th Jan 2012 15:30

January clients

@Lancsboy - I don't think that being busy for two months makes someone a busy fool but I do think that being busy with tax returns for disorganised clients has the potential to.

Not all, but a lot of January clients will not hand over all the records at the first attempt, take no account of unanticpiated events (sickness/adverse weather etc), will not answer queries promptly, won't have the cash to pay the tax bill (which will usually come first before the accountants bill), will expect and demand timely submission despite all of the above, and generally pose a greater risk to the firm than clients who get them in on good time.

All of this can add greatly to the stress levels in January for the practioner who allows themselves to be put in this position by their clients, which is the topic of this thread.

This stress can, and does, leave many accountants in a very vulnerable mental position each and every January, yet they make no or little attempt to alleviate the situation the following year.

Your stancer clearly works for you, and many others will share your views, but those that let the last minute clients affect them and ramp up their stress levels need to do something about it, as whilst profit is a driver - the wellbeing of the accountant is the one thing that should always come first.

These are not my reasons for client management though, mine are that I prefer a constant workflow to peaks and troughs, I prefer well organised clients, and I prefer our clients to have plenty of time to budget for their tax liabilities rather than a matter of weeks, at a time when virtually everyone is not cash rich.

For the simple low salary/balance dividends and a bit of interest then it's slightly different in that you can bang them out all day long, generally no tax to pay for the client, and minimal information, explanations needed from the client.

For what it's worth I still have about 10 to do!

 

 

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Smokoe Joe
16th Jan 2012 22:43

depends on your clients

jason,  

 

i can;t really disagree with much of that.  what accountant with personal tax clients wouldn't want a nice spread of clients through the year - we all would. I certainly do, i i've done well this year ... but Nov to Jan have been busy ... and i for one am very grateful for that.  in our second year of accounts, we will post £200k of income, after £100k in year 1.  the clients that come in janaury need to be coaxed / educated / coerced / bribed / persuaded to come in earlier ... i'm happy to do that.

 

i suppose my point is three-fold: 

 

1.  many practitioners seem to complain about their fees, profits etc.  january is a great month for billing, IF you are prepared to put the graft in - which I am.  i think some accountants don't have the luxury of turning work away, and should be glad to be busy!  you can put your feet up in feb-apr, but nov-jan are working months. 

 

2.  some accountants IMO need to toughen up  ... stress?  ...  vulnerable mental position? ... hmmm.  we are professionals dealing with clients that need to be 'managed' - i can appreciate that some individuals don't respond well to pressure ... but many professionals have periods where the pressure is on.  you cope with it, and be firm and professional when dealing with latecomers - if you have the capacity, fine, if not, tell the client so.  

 

3.  the quality of informaition i am receiving is top-notch ... because earlier in the year I have trained clients on using our tools and templates, and what my expectations are.  a typical £1k fee for us should take half a day of the AAT's time, an hour of mine, and an hour on the phone to run through the work.  client-training is essential to ensure that you don't receive crap records & info.  funnily enough, i received 19 sets of records today, as i had told clients that today was the last day i would accept work for 31/1 filing.  15 of the these were excellent, using the templates i gave them.  the others will feel my sharp tongue!

 

we will bill £40k in jan, and work hard to churn it all out.  i've been surprised at some aweb peeps, some of whom i have met, in terms of capacity for hard work. there is serious money to be earned in serving small clients if you select the right ones, charge the right fees, and work hard to turn over a decent volume.  

 

having said that, i have fired 2 clients so far this month who felt that responding in jan to my request for info in october, is OK.  truth be told, they were fired because i dont like them tho .... i did say i was a sucker for an apology and a sob story .. but I'm no mug!

 

Jason Dormer wrote:

@Lancsboy - I don't think that being busy for two months makes someone a busy fool but I do think that being busy with tax returns for disorganised clients has the potential to.

Not all, but a lot of January clients will not hand over all the records at the first attempt, take no account of unanticpiated events (sickness/adverse weather etc), will not answer queries promptly, won't have the cash to pay the tax bill (which will usually come first before the accountants bill), will expect and demand timely submission despite all of the above, and generally pose a greater risk to the firm than clients who get them in on good time.

All of this can add greatly to the stress levels in January for the practioner who allows themselves to be put in this position by their clients, which is the topic of this thread.

This stress can, and does, leave many accountants in a very vulnerable mental position each and every January, yet they make no or little attempt to alleviate the situation the following year.

Your stancer clearly works for you, and many others will share your views, but those that let the last minute clients affect them and ramp up their stress levels need to do something about it, as whilst profit is a driver - the wellbeing of the accountant is the one thing that should always come first.

These are not my reasons for client management though, mine are that I prefer a constant workflow to peaks and troughs, I prefer well organised clients, and I prefer our clients to have plenty of time to budget for their tax liabilities rather than a matter of weeks, at a time when virtually everyone is not cash rich.

For the simple low salary/balance dividends and a bit of interest then it's slightly different in that you can bang them out all day long, generally no tax to pay for the client, and minimal information, explanations needed from the client.

For what it's worth I still have about 10 to do!

 

 

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15th Jan 2012 17:29

@Jason

I have to agree with you, and I try to run my practice as you do yours, but each to our own. The clients that finally appear in January are usually the most inconsiderate clients, with the least reliable records, and overall, less profitable.

I have been taking new clients each January, thinking we could get them better organised for the following year, but on the whole it hasn't been successful and they rarely get any better. I don't even want to take in late returns at a higher fee, because it's sending the wrong message, in my opinion. It sends the message that you will bend over backwards to get them out of the hole they have dug, and you will continue to make up for their shortcomings!

So ... it's not for me ... but then I do tend to get stressed, and as I dislike it myself, I wouldn't expect my employee to suffer it either.

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17th Jan 2012 07:14

Just goes to show ...

... we are all different, and I think that is a good thing.

I don't like the 'last minute' merchants, but I am very happy that other accountants thrive on it and take these clients on. I am not so hard hearted that I want them to go unrepresented.

I don't think being unwilling/unable to cope with pressure and stress means I have to 'toughen up' . I also thrived on 'the challenge' many years ago, but I now see the futility of it all and there is no good reason to tolerate it, except money, and I prefer less stress ... even if it means less money.

Each to our own. What is good for one isn't necessarily good for another.

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17th Jan 2012 08:11

So what?

If a client wants to submit data in january is a £100 penalty such a big deal?

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17th Jan 2012 14:14

@Lancsboy

I cant disagree with much of that either!  Though will add an alternative point of view to your three points:

 

1.  EVERY month should be a great month for billing, not just January. Feb to April included. I'd prefer to be busy and profitable every month, there would be no question of taking the foot off the pedal from Feb to April.

2. Many accountants are not good at managing clients and as a result get walked all over by them.  This results in stress and January is a peak time for it.  It's ok for the larger firms but the one man / woman bands can find themselves under immense prerssure every January.

3. You have clearly trained your clients well to use your system, I would have thought that that would be easier than training them to get their records in on good time.  By your own admission your threat of your own deadline has worked wonders!  For sole trade records, a charge of £1,000.00 would seem to warrant possibilities of incorporation, then you would have a more even spread anyway. 

None of the above is criticism, you have obviously built up a good client base in a short time with a healthy turnover and clients using your system, so hats off to you anyway.

 

 

 

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chatman
19th Jan 2012 00:27

treat them mean treat them keen LOL

no offence taken!  

 

i didnt say that janaury is the only good month for billing tho.  2/3 of our clients are personal tax, so we are more tied to the 6/4 to 31/1 run.  i dont agree that every month should be equally busy - i'm more than happy to have quieter/busier periods - just a difference in preferences.  as long as my staff have enough work thats fine.  

 

i think if 1-man bands lack the confidence / client management skills, then, sorry, but i do think that is an issue that the acct need to address i.e. tell your clients what you will accept - then enforce it.  many accountants have poor client-attraction skills (marketing?) & so are too reluctant to fire a wayward client.  i dont have that problem! LOL

 

client training is about getting them to use our models, as well as timing of submission.  i have picked up probably £30-35k in nov/dec of new clients - hence why we are busy.  they will go through our "education" process in terms of when records need to be submitted, but that will benefit us next year, not this year.  i have a full and frank discussion with them on day 1 about how we work & what I expect of them ... in return, of course, for them receiving our expertise & service levels.  no doubt a few will stick to their old ways - thats why i take money upfront so that i can fire them if they dont play ball despite our initial "discussion".  i know that might sound cocky, but i position us as the "go to" firm for our niche, and price it accordingly, and also treat clients as adults that we have a 2-way relationship with.  any nonsense ... 1 warning ... do it again ... off you go.  

 

PS  our clients are not sole traders - incorporation is not an option for 99%, for a variety of reasons (i service a specific type of personal tax client mainly).  

 

fascinating thread everyone ...thanks

Jason Dormer wrote:

I cant disagree with much of that either!  Though will add an alternative point of view to your three points:

 

1.  EVERY month should be a great month for billing, not just January. Feb to April included. I'd prefer to be busy and profitable every month, there would be no question of taking the foot off the pedal from Feb to April.

2. Many accountants are not good at managing clients and as a result get walked all over by them.  This results in stress and January is a peak time for it.  It's ok for the larger firms but the one man / woman bands can find themselves under immense prerssure every January.

3. You have clearly trained your clients well to use your system, I would have thought that that would be easier than training them to get their records in on good time.  By your own admission your threat of your own deadline has worked wonders!  For sole trade records, a charge of £1,000.00 would seem to warrant possibilities of incorporation, then you would have a more even spread anyway. 

None of the above is criticism, you have obviously built up a good client base in a short time with a healthy turnover and clients using your system, so hats off to you anyway.

 

 

 

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19th Jan 2012 11:17

Keep calm

I just keep calm - because we had a very busy December with so many March company year ends, this has also impinged on January.

We impose deadlines of October for books & records, but this is merely a 'cover your back' deadline, we work our butts off in January.

You usually find it is one man bands or very small practices that can say no to clients because it will be one or two. For us, we would be turning away a lot of business if we said we couldn't do it.

Just one question though - why shouldn't customer service also apply to accountants? If you turn up at a restaurant 10 minutes before closing you would be most upset if they turned you away.

 

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19th Jan 2012 12:36

March company year ends

"I just keep calm - because we had a very busy December with so many March company year ends, this has also impinged on January."

I think that has helped accountants. Previously I had a lot of late information from clients for companies and individuals with 31 January deadlines but now company clients tend to produce their information earlier.

"Just one question though - why shouldn't customer service also apply to accountants? If you turn up at a restaurant 10 minutes before closing you would be most upset if they turned you away."pe.You must go to different restaurants than me. Most restaurants have a last orders policy and I don't know of any restaurant that would take your order 10 minutes before closing time - except MacDonalds and their tyo

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20th Jan 2012 08:43

Other way round for me

I would be extremely embarrassed if the restaurant 'closed' 10 minutes after taking my order.

I would much prefer them to be straight and inform me of the fact before taking my order, and I would be deeply embarrassed if I was the reason the staff had to stay late. Also, I would feel obliged to rush the meal, so I wouldn't enjoy it anyway.

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20th Jan 2012 09:41

Different situation

I am not a fan of going out drinking and then going to a restaurant but about 40 years ago two friends of mine and me went to a chinese restaurant after we'd been drinking. It wasn't too near closing time and we gave our orders. My friends received their orders and started eating but after a short while they both said they didn't like what they had ordered and asked me if I wanted theirs. I said yes and they piled their food onto my plate. I continued eating the massive pile of food as the waiters ostentatiously put chairs on the tables, put their coats and stood around the exit. 

In the situation Colin is talking about above I wouldn't expect a restaurant to take Shirley's order and then close. I am sure that the staff would point out to Shirley when she entered the restaurant that she is too late.

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20th Jan 2012 10:27

This job is all about March and April .....

can't think of another one where you get to soft peddle for 2 months every year! Very seriously, it would not appeal to me half as much if every month was uniformly busy ... might as well go and get a proper job. Must admit that I have never really suffered from stress though ... I sleep 8 hours every night like a baby!!

 

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