... but it is appreciated by my team.
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 the calm after the (tax return) storm. Amazing how it all just stops at midnight on 31st January!
The tax team are very quiet - in fact half of them are either taking time off or the 'flu has caught up with them and they're off sick! Those that ARE in have very tidy desks!!
Maybe it's because 31 January is a Monday this year, but it seems to have been a lot calmer here today. Of course, we had the usual late arrivals but we were up together enough that they didn't phase us this year.
I suppose it's a bit late in the day to be questioning how we submit Tax Returns, but one of our new tax team members has mentioned that in his previous practice (a large firm) they always filed full tax computations with their Returns.
We seem to be eating up piles of late tax returns at the moment, so with a bit of co-operation from clients we should be on track to get everything filed by this time next week.
As expected, I am spending quite a bit of time on the road this week, calling on clients to collect that last piece of data for their 2010 tax return, or to go through the return and get it signed.
There's a quiet, unspoken confidence among the tax team at the moment. They assure me that everything is under control, and they are certainly putting in the hours.
We're in trouble with our professional fees insurers. Well, not really in trouble but I sense they are worried about this year's renewal. Why? Because we simply haven't made any claims in the last 12 months, and I think from my office not even in the last 24 months.
Seen the latest copy of Accountancy magazine? A rather amateur Photoshopped picture of a wedding cake topped with two men in suits to advertise the lead article on partnerships.
So like many practices we still have quite a proportion of our annual tax return quota in progress to some degree or other, and a small but worrying number not yet started.