New Year’s Resolutions for All

We always talk about making New Year’s Resolutions but few of us stick with them beyond January 2. Here are ten that readers might like to ponder and share throughout the year. In every case, they should make life easier and pleasanter.

Holidays can help to give perspective so New York City (of which more next week) is probably an ideal place from which to carry out such an exercise.

  1. Make Clients Happy

In our heart of hearts, we all know that happy clients = happy us. Therefore, it makes sense to go whatever it takes to keep them happy. The easy way would be to reduce fees, but strangely, that doesn’t necessarily have the desired effect.

Providing service that is better than they expect and keeping them up to speed on progress is usually the best that we can do. That or buy them an expensive lunch/entertainment ticket.

  1. Embrace New Opportunities

This is always a good idea and never more so than when your practice is about to go through a mega merger! The chance to work for what could be the fifth largest firm in the country is certainly an exciting prospect, if one that brings with it a degree of trepidation.

Even for those with a quieter life, new challenges can be exciting and rewarding.

  1. Render Credit Controllers Unemployed

Most payment issues are self-generated. They are also a pain. Therefore, if we manage clients properly in the first place these issues can often be eased or alleviated. No more hiding from those awkward questions or presenting massive bills out of the blue in 2013.

  1. Be Rude to Cold Callers (set records for length of call/visit)

These people waste our time with no justification. Why on earth don’t we just put down the phone/shut the door immediately?

  1. Be Punctual and Timely

This fits in with some of the earlier resolutions. You know it makes sense.

  1. Try to be More Accepting of Badly Drafted Legislation

This is a personal issue. It is easy to take pops at bad tax legislation but it might be better to be more accepting? But then again ……..

  1. Find a Way to Work with HMRC Call Centres

Surely there must be a way of utilising call centres to achieve what we want? It is just that nobody has discovered it yet.

  1. Eat More Healthily

This sounds like a traditional resolution but is still worth repeating.  Addictions are rarely good and avoiding fatty and sugary things as well as booze almost always makes you feel better in the longer term.

  1. Sleep More

This can be easier said than done but if translated as avoid stress, it is an important message. If we are more relaxed, there is every chance that it will become apparent, upping performance and even profitability. Quite how one makes this happen is another matter.

  1. Improve the Golf Handicap (or Flambéing).

For you it might be the piano or praying that Arsenal/Chelsea win the league.  Finding more leisure time could be the most important message of all. Accountants can be prone to working themselves to death and it just isn’t worth it. In any event, sharing leisure activities with clients could be good for business. Sharing them with loved ones is probably good for the soul.

Have a great 2013 and do please add on your own resolutions.

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The world is overrun with blogs and tweets. While they serve a purpose, this column is something slightly different. You will not find out what the author had for breakfast or the colour of the socks he is wearing. You will not be pestered with tedious listings of every film, book, play etc that your correspondent has ever seen or his latest success or otherwise on the golf links.

What readers have come to expect from a writer who has been associated with AccountingWEB almost from its inception are objective but on occasion quite possibly opinionated articles about topics that might be of interest to accountants as people. The intention is to be simultaneously challenging, thought-provoking and entertaining.

Since the writer is a partner in the Human Capital team at BDO LLP these columns will frequently take on issues relating to taxation, business and government policy. For light entertainment, he is also London Editor of British Theatre Guide so there will be plenty of hints and tips about what to see and not to see.

He also regularly writes about technology for London Accountant and almost anything else under the sun for a variety of publications so there are always going to be odd surprises in store. Travel, art, books, theatre, sports and consumer issues are all likely to receive consideration in coming months - but so are taxation issues, thoughts on the latest technology and, inevitably, the activities of the Chancellor and HMRC.