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Anyone else exhausted?

Didn't find your answer?

Now that the JSS is coming in, we have told clients that we are now going to charge fees for processing the claims - whereas we'd held off charging under the CJRS.  I've had arguments with two clients and lost one just over that.  Still quite a few clients who don't understand that we're not an instant expert in any of it yet.

Constant discussions with clients as to why they can't just claim anything they like now they are working from home more.  Yes the rules are unfair.  Yes they don't often reflect the way people are working now.  They I know I don't make the rules, but they're disappointed I'm not more 'flexible' in applying them.

I actually think clients were better behaved when this all kicked off.  Yes, they were scared and frustrated but they took our advice as given.  Now, they seem to want more, and their ability to empathise with the fact that we've barely been able to tread water ourselves since March seems to have evaporated.  More than a few clients telling us they're disappointed our service standards have dropped as they are waiting longer for their accounts and tax returns.

Normally this time of year, I've just had a nice holiday - recharged and ready to tackle the ramp up to January.  Not had the chance for a holiday this year, and not much point as I don't see sitting on a rainy, rocky beach in SW England with the risk of a Treasury announcement on any given day much of a break.

It seems like any time Rishi Sunak opens his mouth, we get put back two weeks in our schedule of work.  I estimate we're at least a month behind in our compliance work, and I'm already dreading January.

No question to ask really.  Just wanted to rant on a Friday.

Anyone else want to vent?

Replies (25)

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By the_drookit_dug
09th Oct 2020 13:20

Yes, utterly sick of it. There's a lot of devil in the detail - folk just read the headline announcements and run with them, and it's so tiring having to reign them in. Just as we were getting accustomed to furlough, Sunak comes out with a new hairbrained replacement scheme and we're left agonising over the detail (whatever that will turn out to be).

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Replying to the_drookit_dug:
By Truthsayer
10th Oct 2020 10:40

Rein, not reign.
Harebrained, not hairbrained.

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By Justin Bryant
09th Oct 2020 13:31

I expect all the BBL etc. fraudsters are getting a bit tired & exhausted too, given the intergalactic size of this fraud (caused by similar intergalactic incompetence)! (It was even featured on RT last night.)

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
09th Oct 2020 14:06

....RT, still more balanced in its reporting than the BBC.

When will everybody realise that it does not require additional schemes, testing or passing billions of debt onto my kids, to beat this - it just requires people as individual to adhere to the rules and crackpots like Burnham (and all local authorities) to enforce/police the rules, instead of partaking in megaphone politics. It's that simple.

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
By Wilson Philips
09th Oct 2020 16:44

Anyone else spot the irony?

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By Luke
09th Oct 2020 13:35

Yes, I'm tired of it all too.

As another poster has said, the devil is in the detail and clients just see the headlines and think they can claim x,y or z. Then it's up to us to tell them they can't. But first we have to have two weeks or more of saying we don't know, as they announce these things way before the detail is ready.

Then tonight, another Friday night grrrr., we have the pleasure of a new announcement, allegedly of local furlough. Oh joy.

Having had three holidays cancelled since March, I think I may have to plan a few days off at the end of the month and switch off emails. It is continuous and I find my efficiency is going to pot. It is not surprising there are so many threads at the moment about people struggling.

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By yelsnew
09th Oct 2020 14:15

We're not alone!!!!!

Rishi promises something, we get hammered with questions while there is no detail, details turn out to be nonsense or way more complicated than originally announced (free paid staff! long a you take on 30 or group with others!)

Toughen up, look after yourself, send invoices, remind clients how work has been done for free this year. Accept losses of ungrateful ***** and keep catching up on that backlog of work.

Good luck

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09th Oct 2020 15:53

I'm with you 100%. First off we carried CJRS - remember it was only for 3 months initially. Come end of October all my clients are to receive an "additional fees" notice. As the months moved on more and more layers have been added. With the withdrawal of NIC/Pension and the reduction of percentages. All requiring that bit extra, that extra layer in calculations. And Flexi factored in to that. As well as our added responsibility with HMRC breathing down necks ordering us "check your claims". Dream on.It would take a year.
If any of mine go for the JSS scheme it will be immediate fee increase.
And good old Rishi has come out just now with another arbitary percentage - 66%. There is no joined up thinking. Thank God I live in the very far South!
And the clients - most have been good and understanding but you remember the troublemakers trying to squeeze every penny and demading left right and centre. These are normally the ones who could survive without. And if my fish and chip shop client asks me anymore about the next SEISS grant I shall top myself. His business has NOT been affected. Seen the books.
If I had a holiday to look forward to it would help.

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By Cardigan
09th Oct 2020 17:16

Absolutely sick of it!

I think there is also a lot of "crankiness" around. Everyone is tired of it all and taking it out on the next person. I have done it myself and sent off a mildly cranky email to a client. He rang a little while later. I assumed he was annoyed with me too, but he asked if I was ok! He had just come from a meeting with his client (also an accountant) and he said that he heard accountants were tormented with all these schemes. So we are not alone.

What I find hard is expecting to know the fine detail of the scheme 10 minutes after it has been announced. We study for years to get an accounting or tax qualification but we are expected to be experts in all this new stuff as soon as it is announced.

Is it wine o'clock yet?

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Replying to Cardigan:
09th Oct 2020 17:23

On my second. Had first at 16.45

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Replying to NYB:
By Rgab1947
13th Oct 2020 10:46


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By SXGuy
10th Oct 2020 19:56

If anything covid has shown me that clients seem to think they can make up their own rules.

Client last week rang, thought he didn't need to have his accounts done because he hadn't worked since March. Explained SA is based in income from last April till the day he stopped working, wouldn't accept it, said but I have no money. Do I need to pay you as well? To which I replied, I don't work for free.

He then said, but I've got a full time employment now, to which I said great I'll have the p60 next year also, to which he said, I don't get any of what your telling me to do, I don't have any money,to which I said, this isn't me telling you what I want, this is me explaining what hmrc expect from you. Give me a call in a few months when you have some money, and left it there.

I apreciate everyone's situation, but I am not a charity, and I'm suffering financially just as much as they are.

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Replying to SXGuy:
10th Oct 2020 20:15

We all have those we could throttle. But by and large it’s is mitigated by the “grateful client” who is usually worse off financially than the moaner.

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By Ian McTernan CTA
13th Oct 2020 12:20

Not exhausted. Not stressed. But then I decided years ago what work/life balance I wanted and managed to get my 2/3 rounds of golf a week in during the warm weather (once lockdown eased to open the courses). Too cold for golf now...

Take this opportunity to look hard at what you really want out of life- is it 100 hour weeks, stress, heart attack and an early death (with lovely house, car, holidays abroad etc which you don't really have time to enjoy) or is it time to rebalance and live in a reasonable house have a reasonable car work a few hours a day (mid- dec to end Jan excepted) and be a lot less stressed out.

If you are running a practice or a sole practitioner then it's entirely on you as to how much exhaustion and/or stress you are feeling.

Tax rules change all the time and these schemes haven't really been all that hard to deal with - use emails to inform those affected, follow up with a quick call explaining it or explaining why they are excluded, use spreadsheets for calculations.

It's a lot easier to handle if you haven't tried to grab every fee going and piled them high and sold it cheap. It also helps if you know all your clients.

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Replying to Ian McTernan CTA:
paddle steamer
13th Oct 2020 15:11

Agreed- it is all down to one's value systems(By this I do not mean to do with fee pricing ) It is all to do with what is really precious to one's life.

My father pointed out to me many years ago that acquiring money and wealth was all well and good but that the most precious thing in life is time, for every year that has passed, and as I have got older ,I have more and more appreciated what he said.

Money is merely a tool that hopefully , at some juncture, buys one more spare time, so if you get to the point where you can put your feet up without worrying about money do so- my father retired aged 55, selling his legal practice, and then had thirty years of choosing what he wanted to do and when he wanted to do it.

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By kevinringer
13th Oct 2020 13:15

I've been working 7 days a week for a while now and expect to continue right the way through to February. I've had a handful of days off since this kicked off. I usually start ramping up (where have I heard that before?) the hours at this time of year anyway right the way through to 31 January. But usually I will have only been working 5 days a week over the summer and will have had a few weeks holiday so feel refreshed and able to tackle the winter. This year is as if we've been in a perpetual January since March. I took a week off in February. Like the OP, every time Rishi announces something I know I've got to find another few weeks somewhere to service whatever is announced. I've had countless calls and emails about SEISS3+4, and JSS, even though none have started. I can't see me getting everything done by 31 January even if there are no more announcements. It's a real struggle, and that's assuming I don't catch it.

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By Alex_T
13th Oct 2020 14:12

In a word, YES! Really starting to struggle now. Time for a career change??

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Replying to Alex_T:
By Constantly Confused
13th Oct 2020 14:50


In a word, YES! Really starting to struggle now. Time for a career change??

I told it I hate making things and got told I was ideal for manufacturing...

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Replying to Constantly Confused:
By stepurhan
13th Oct 2020 14:58

I got told to try becoming an actor, which is taking the p**s a bit in the current situation.

Pay is "variable" apparently.

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Replying to stepurhan:
13th Oct 2020 15:04

You would have no trouble then making sure the calculations were correct then - on NIL pay

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Replying to stepurhan:
By kevinringer
13th Oct 2020 16:49

I got told to become an actor too. They know us accountants well: we make it up and are convincing. There maybe enough of us to form an acting company, I mean an accountancy practice.

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Replying to kevinringer:
paddle steamer
14th Oct 2020 10:38

All the World's a stage so here is the first piece specially written for this new, original, dramatic society, this company of players- a monologue speech to commemorate that no audit has ever been performed without someone on the team eating crisps :(usually cheese and onion)

What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Stepurhan? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to audit, we are enow
To do our profit and loss; and if to post,
The fewer men, the greater apportionment shall be.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one person more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for goodwill,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my costs;
It yearns me not if others my calculator use;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet fees,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a person from ICAEW.
God's peace! I would not lose so great a fee
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Stepurhan, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this audit,
Let him depart; his timesheet shall be made,
And vat returns instead into his tray;
We would not audit in that person’s company
That fears his fellowship to audit with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crisps.
He that pops out for lunch, and comes safe back,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crisps.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say "To-morrow is Crisps."
Then will he open his packet and show his ridges,
And say "These McCoys I had on Crisp’s day."
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feast he ate that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
DJKL, Lion of Ludesch and Tax Dragon ,
Kevin and Confused, Memyself-eye and McTernan
Be in their flowing posts freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his apprentice;
And Crisps, Crispy shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that spreadsheets here with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlepeople in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their Cerificates cheap whiles any speaks
That audited with us upon Saint Crisps day.

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Replying to DJKL:
By HeatherSimpson
13th Oct 2020 19:40

Play on!

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Replying to DJKL:
By stepurhan
14th Oct 2020 10:03

If new regulations be the food of accountants, legislate on, that we may have surfeit of it and all quit to become actors.

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Replying to Constantly Confused:
By Luke
13th Oct 2020 16:27

Same here!

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