Can't do another Jan like this year again? | AccountingWEB

Can't do another Jan like this year again?

I was reading the comments from the Sole Practitioner's blog post It's all over, and for all of you who are happy to finally be in Feb, well done for surviving self assessment season.

It looks like there has been a huge amount of accountants:

  • Eating too much
  • Eating the wrong stuff
  • Skipping the gym
  • Not walking the dogs
  • Working very long hours
  • Putting the marketing and business development tasks to one side?

Were you one of them? What has been the personal cost to you of January this year?

What can you do differently for next year? Here are some tips we give to our clients:

  1. Plan ahead and give clients who return their self assessment tax information before the 1st October a discount. (Or raise the price for everyone else, who doesn't want to give you their information before the 1st October)
  2. Have a program of automated reminders (email and text) for clients who haven't sent you the information you require by the 1st October. 
  3. Employ a VA [virtual assistant] to help you with the chasing for outstanding tax returns - that way you and your team can focus on processing them
  4. Take on some outsourced/freelance resource, to help you process the tax returns
  5. Be prepared to be firm with your clients - particularly the one's who turn up in January with a big bag of crumpled receipts
  6. Tell your clients that the 1st December is the last date at which you can guarantee that their tax return will be filed before deadline. 

However, while you have had your head down, your competitors may have planned better this year and maintained their marketing activity during December and January. Your clients don't stop having queries and questions for you just because it is SA tax return season. 

We help our accountancy clients not just survive, but thrive in Jan. Whilst we can't promise you that we will help you triple your monthly revenue in 12 months (which we did for one of our accountancy clients), we can promise to put you back in control of running your practice - even in January. Take the first step and get in touch with us.


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I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my latest book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' was published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.

Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.

Read how we have helped one of our accountancy clients access Growth Accelerator funding to grow their turnover by nearly 50% and profits by over 200%

The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:

1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up 

2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients

3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the  lead generation by marketing to a niche

4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.

The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business. 

My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.

My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potentialventure-NowJoined up networking and How to make partner.

To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.

My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.