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.
Streetcar named desire?
No, not the Tennessee Williams play, I was thinking of the new Streetcar for Business idea.
I thought this was confined to London but I see it now covers a lot of the UK. If I need to get the train to Bristol, for example, there are loads of cars dotted round the city that I can book and drive for under £5 an hour, which is a real bargain compared with the cost and hassle of taxis. Quite a few are based in major car parks, so you can effectively get free city centre parking for that price, which is a bargain in places like Bristol!( I should know, my wife recently racked up £16 from a heavy duty shopping session in the new Cabot Circus shopping mall - I haven't dared look at the credit card statement yet!)
What's the point? If you want to do your bit for the environment then you need to consider public transport as an option, particularly the train for longer journeys. You also get to do some work while you travel so it's good value too. But what happens at the other end when the train drops you in some derelict part of the town you are visiting? Something like Streetcar is a great way to combine efficient, green travel with the convenience of a car for the last part of your journey, especially if that enables you to visit a number of places in the same town.
Client relationships are best cemented by regular face to face meetings, and often it's good to have those on the client's own premises where you can get a feel for the real issues they are facing. In my experience, clients often open up far more when they are relaxed in their own office or workplace. If travelling to and from your clients is an obstacle, perhaps because like mine they are spread out over quite a wide area, maybe a train/Streetcar combination could be the answer.