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.
It's not looking good!
Last year we were celebrating having a record number of tax returns filed by Christmas, and we enjoyed a relatively smooth January. I don't think anyone worked much overtime, I certainly didn't have to work weekends in January 2012.
This year it's a very different picture. The tax team all have some 50-60 returns each left to complete by 31 January 2013, and there's no immediate sign of any of the outstanding information arriving any time soon.
Thankfully there are no big sets of accounts left to be prepared, but we'll still be pushed to the limit after Christmas.
Is this a sign that the recession is beginning to bite? Have clients decided to delay having their tax returns prepared in order to delay paying our fee perhaps? Or is it the opposite, they are all so busy that they haven't had time to deal with their tax?
Whatever the reason, we're all bracing ourselves for long days and weeks in January!