Life is tough on the front line of accountancy. For more than five years, our intrepid correspondent has been bringing us news and views from a typical West Country practice.
Can I quote you on that?
Like most firms, we send out a standard letter to business clients before their year end reminding them to let us have their books and records as soon as they can (AFTER the period end that is - we have one client where we have to ensure that we send the letter after his year end every year, otherwise he immediately brings in 11 months of records and we have to wait for month 12!).
Most deliver what we ask for, some bring everything, often we have to ask for more later. It's a thankless task for my filing clerk who books the papers in though. She can tell if a bank statement is missing from a sequence, but if they registered for VAT during the year she won't know that the VAT book is missing! There seem therefore to be 101 reasons why we have a lot of jobs "on hold" at this time of year while we await missing items.
One client today has diligently gone through our checklist and filled everything in, ticking off the items that he has sent in. One item had us puzzled though - against the checklist section on 'stock' he has simply written "Negligent". Did he mean that? More worryingly, if he is chosen for a tax enquiry, will I have to produce this document?!