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.
Write or phone?
To write or to phone? We apparently have some trouble getting hold of a number of clients, which is causing problems as the 31 January tax return filing deadline approaches. They don't respond to letters or emails and never answer the phone. Except that they always seem to answer when I call their mobile phones!
I'm sure my team isn't just going through the motions, but I sometimes wonder how hard we are trying to contact some of these people. Maybe my tax team is just not switched on to the mobile generation. The reality is that most people these days seem to live on their mobile phone, they carry them with them at all times, so it's the obvious way to get hold of them. The mobile phone generation isn't going to send us a letter, and probably doesn't take much notice of letters they receive either. I toyed with the idea of using text messages to send reminder to clients last year but never pursued it. I reckon it's definitely worth a small trial to see if we get a better response. A quick Google search turned up www.e-txt.com where for just £14 I can get 200 pre-paid texts that we can send like emails. They even have a free Outlook 2007 plug-in so we can send text messages from Outlook rather than having to use a separate program. Must look into this and give it a go. * * * Latest news on my Tax Credits appeal: my assistant refuses to let this case rest now, so he phoned them again and has a name and direct dial number for the case worker. The appeal has been logged and they are committed to responding within 14 days. Debt recovery have given us until the end of the month to sort it out.