How has the SA season been treating you?

Has it been a busy January?

Didn't find your answer?

Morning everyone,

Just checking in to see how you are all doing and if you’re keeping your heads above water in this busy time. Have you got back into the swing of things or are you still in a Christmas slump?

I’m intrigued to know what your techniques and strategies are whilst you work through the stress of tax returns? Are you trying to get outside, sleeping as much as you can and turning off your phone in the evenings or are you drowning in coffee, living in your office and staying up way too late. 

I know as much as I would like to be the first one it never happens. I hope that your strategies work well for you and that it’s getting you through January. Good luck and keep powering on!!

Replies (16)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
12th Jan 2024 11:33

Well unless you deliberately plan to make Jan busy, its just another month.

Planning started years ago by systematically firing rubbish awkward clients who show up late and demand you drop your planned work for them.

Any of my half a dozen stragglers who comes in now will be paying £100. I imagine a couple will have filed their own and not told me, and some will shrug and say "its only £100"

Thanks (4)
By Open all hours
12th Jan 2024 11:48

16 to go and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be done by next Thursday. That’ll make 340 or so in total.
Sacked 2 this week or maybe they sacked us, don’t know as they don’t respond to anything.

4 returns each with 4 figure refunds due have been with clients since November. No cost of living crisis here apparently.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Open all hours:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
12th Jan 2024 12:03

We are similar. 316 filed, 21 out for sig (and the deadline usually does the chasing for us on those) 20 odd not worked on or part we said we will do (all really simple ones, really 5 days work max) and half a dozen fine payers/dont cares. And we could have done some of those this week but I want to dangle their feet over the fire a bit as they are all stragglers and probably wont call them until w/c 22nd to get the sweat rising their side.

Thanks (1)
By Tom+Cross
12th Jan 2024 12:29

There are some real 'odd-balls' out there, who seem to think that you've nothing else to do, but wait for them to trot through the door, half-way through January! Always the arrogant type goose, who you wish you'd eaten on Christmas day. Full of self-importance, who obviously doesn't get out much.
I'll get through it all, I'm sure. Three largish Vat returns, including book-keeping, plus the usual payroll at the end of the month.
From next Monday, I'll work Saturdays and Sundays simply because a holiday in the Canary Islands beckons on 3rd February.
And then, quite frankly, they can ..........................

Thanks (4)
Replying to Tom+Cross:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
12th Jan 2024 13:00

"There are some real 'odd-balls' out there, who seem to think that you've nothing else to do, but wait for them to trot through the door, half-way through January!"

@ Tom, so do you tolerate that? or do you chuckle and say "should get done by end of Feb". Set your boundaries.

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By WinterDragon
12th Jan 2024 12:56

I've had this wicked cold or maybe coronavirus that's completely knocked 2 bells out of me. I've still been pushing through (albeit with reduced hours) by the sole virtue of enjoying answering phone calls by responding to people asking "how are you?" by just shouting "TERRIBLE THANKS, HOW ARE YOU?"

Thanks (3)
By Tornado
12th Jan 2024 13:49

I have just grabbed a few minutes to make this post and, Oh hold on ............"you will find the records in a paper bag behind the toilet door. It was the only place available". Where was I, yes it is a bit busy but, sorry ..................." who has just turned up at the door, are you sure they are a client, OK put the paper bag with the records in on the 'To Do' shelf, if you can find any room". As I was saying, we are doing OK and ............. who just put the lights out? Oh no not ANOTHER power cut, probably a cow has knocked over one of the power lines in field. Good job we have battery back up but that only gives us time to shut the computer system down. It could be days before the power comes back on again in these rural areas. Just need to shut down and fire up the laptop.

Back again on the laptop and wondering what to do. There are still a few things that can ......................."What, your battery back up did not work and you think there may be corrupted Data. We will have to wait for the power to come back on to see". I am still confident that we can get everything done on time and ............................................ " What, Mr Jones seems to have been receiving a Private Pension for years that he did not tell us about and it does not show up in the Tax Software API or any of the HMRC records. How can that be, HMRC know everything. No point in phoning HMRC for information of course, they clearly do not have it in their system and we don't want to wait over an hour on the phone to be told that. Get back to Mr Jones and see if he can obtain historical information from the Pension Provider"

Power on now and back to the desktop computer. Not much corrupted data on the other computer fortunately, but we were lucky. Note to self, check that battery back-ups are working correctly.

Yes a bit busy but we can do this ............................. "You cannot be serious, HMRC have just inexplicably cancelled our Agent Access and we can no longer submit Tax Returns!"

Thanks (2)
By David Ex
12th Jan 2024 13:53

Molly Macfarlane wrote:

How has the SA season been treating you?

For most, I imagine, like a baby treats a nappy.

Thanks (3)
By WhiteRose
12th Jan 2024 14:31

Much the same as usual.
Had a reality check this morning though when I was going through a client's accounts with him and he suddenly said 'oh so that's what the brackets mean, I've always wondered!'

Thanks (3)
Replying to WhiteRose:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
16th Jan 2024 22:14

Next year print the negatives in red with Accounting formatting - that'll really confuse him!

Thanks (0)
12th Jan 2024 16:51

Everything is under control still 50 returns to be submited but 10 of those are out for approval I reckon 8 of those on the list will just not turn up for various reasons and we have another 22 jobs in progress I expect the remaining 10 to turn up at some point! Mostly small stuff that can be turned over fairly quickly apart from our largest client who does insist on waiting till January. But all of this was expected and can be dealt with including the 4 new clients taken on this month - I did turn way another 4 potential clients as I did not like their attitude.

Thanks (0)
12th Jan 2024 18:02

30 of 300 returns to do. All but 6 are just that one piece of information away from being done!

So no real issues for us this year despite having far fewer staff hours available so I am happy with that.

I recommend ditching the usual suspects. We have let so many go over the last 3 years and haven't looked back.

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By 356B
12th Jan 2024 19:51

If you've got time to waste on AW, just get them done!

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By Cylhia66
13th Jan 2024 08:58

I expected a dreadfull January as it's always the case. But it turns out it's not the case. Next week I have my traditional January holiday. Normally I have to wake up very early during that holiday to get as much work done as possible by lunchtime. It seems this year my holiday will be somewhat more relax. Happy with that.

What probably helped was:
-telling my clients there would be an addtional fee for those who send me the information I need after December 1st (something I learnt on this forum - thanks)
-refusing to onboard anyone who approached me after December 1st
-having got rid of annoying clients over time

Thanks (1)
By lionofludesch
13th Jan 2024 11:54

Most folk on here have got it sorted.

Getting fed up of annoying timewasters was certainly a driver for me.

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By spilly
14th Jan 2024 09:55

It’s not the tax returns that are proving to be a pain this year (although there is still time on that), but a few clients seem to have spent Christmas mulling over things and now have decided they urgently need to have in-depth discussions about it all.
Oh, and the client who has inexplicably started a new business in a market they don’t know or understand, and is asking an awful lot of very basic questions. They may be an early contender for this year’s PITA cull.

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