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But how strict should I be ??

Didn't find your answer?

2 Calls this morning from prospective clients wanting SAR's completed. I wonder how AWEB brethren treat the "usual procedure" at this time of year. My gut reaction is to not accept any new instructions

My thoughts if I do

Normal AML procedure?? - must be followed

Professional clearance needed??  - I'd like it to find out the hidden facts - like is the client a PITA who doesn't pay. But is there time

HMRC authorisation ?? needed but no chance before 31st Jan  

ETC

Replies (29)

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By Wanderer
20th Jan 2021 10:44

bernard michael wrote:

2 Calls this morning from prospective clients wanting SAR's completed. I wonder how AWEB brethren treat the "usual procedure" at this time of year. My gut reaction is to not accept any new instructions

My approach, "Give us a ring in February".
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By Kevin Kavanagh
20th Jan 2021 10:46

Already had a couple. For us the answer is no but I suppose if you have spare capacity you might consider it - with the clear proviso that you can't guarantee meeting the deadline - and want payment before any filing.

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By LukeS
20th Jan 2021 10:46

I don't take on any at this time of year. Once a last-minute client, always a last-minute client.

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Replying to LukeS:
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By Paul Crowley
20th Jan 2021 10:49

Agreed
Took one on 31st Jan 3 years ago
Never had anything before 27th Jan since
Still waiting this year

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By memyself-eye
20th Jan 2021 11:09

27th?
Eeeh, you were lucky. I had one last year on 31st January - not just 2019 but 2018 as well - he 'forgot' the year before.

Bless

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Replying to memyself-eye:
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By legerman
22nd Jan 2021 14:39

memyself-eye wrote:

27th?
Eeeh, you were lucky. I had one last year on 31st January - not just 2019 but 2018 as well - he 'forgot' the year before.

Bless

Hehehe I've got a client who first year sent the info at 10.30 pm on the last date. Noticed it as I finished the last one on my list. As it was also a new Ltd Company client I didn't want to upset the applecart so got it done, albeit 15 mins past the deadline. Last year was a big improvement, I got the info at 5.30 pm!!!

This year I've made it clear that the info has to be with me by Monday or I can't guarantee it being done.

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Woolpit Gus
By nutwood
20th Jan 2021 10:57

I've only got two returns left to do - well three really, a partnership and the two partners.

I never take anything on after the end of November which will require work before the end of March as, wearing another hat, we will be lambing in February/ early March.

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Replying to nutwood:
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By tom123
20th Jan 2021 11:41

I am picturing your office being a shepherds hut a la David Cameron?

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Replying to tom123:
Woolpit Gus
By nutwood
20th Jan 2021 14:09

Sadly I work from home and the farm has no mains power or landline telephone. If it did then I would have set the office up there long ago. We used to lamb 70 ewes over a six week period but as age is creeping up on me, we're now down to 15 or so over three weeks.

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Replying to nutwood:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
22nd Jan 2021 23:10

Maybe it's time to hand over to the ram :)

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By Mr_awol
20th Jan 2021 11:35

Personally I'd be sending them away. Most years i would/could have snuck a few extra in last minute (with no guarantees) but right now im estimating it might take me a week or so after the deadline to get them all done (or i could work weekends, =which I'm not going to do - i don't mind a bit of a long day in January but you have to draw a line somewhere).

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By Truthsayer
20th Jan 2021 11:44

I never object to taking on new clients at the last minute, though I make it clear that there are no promises about when their stuff will be done, and it is very likely the deadline will be missed.

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By lesley.barnes
20th Jan 2021 11:53

Its a no from me. It isn't only the time to set them up, getting clearance etc but they are usually high maintenance - lots of queries on missing/unexplained info and just generally disorganised.

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
20th Jan 2021 12:19

Greater risk of mistakes doing last minute, rushed work.

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By Cheshire
20th Jan 2021 13:26

I dont take anyone on in January at all. I might be missing 'easy money' in some cases but honestly these days my view is there is more to life.

Once late, always late, very few of them actually change. I leaned that the hard way with a few 'lovely' clients who pushed to the brink of deadlines a few times in my early days. No more.

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By mbee1
20th Jan 2021 13:53

I'm a believer in not turning work away if we can do it although i probably would charge a premium. I'd do the Return based on the information supplied. With no chance of an HMRC authority being in place any calculation of his liability would be advised on the basis that we didn't have access and may be subject to change.

Generally, most clients that come to us in January are relatively straightforward cases.

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By bernard michael
21st Jan 2021 09:37

Thanks everyone. I'm seeing one tomorrow and it will depend what work needs doing. If it's a carrier bag job the answer is NO

The other one I've turned down.

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By bernard michael
22nd Jan 2021 09:26

I weakened and interviewed one new prospect this morning. What a tale. Apparently the previous accountant waited until last week to tell the client that he didn't want to do returns any more and sent his paperwork back. The client was employed for the whole of the 2019-20 year until 20/02/20 and presented me a P45. The return will be simple. In the prior 2 years he was self employed hence the requirement to do returns
Apparently the old accountant has dumped approximately 25 other clients at the same time

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Replying to bernard michael:
Kitten
By Hazel Accounts
22nd Jan 2021 10:41

bernard michael wrote:

Apparently the old accountant has dumped approximately 25 other clients at the same time

That's so unprofessional!

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Replying to Hazel Accounts:
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By bernard michael
22nd Jan 2021 11:05

Hazel Accounts wrote:

bernard michael wrote:

Apparently the old accountant has dumped approximately 25 other clients at the same time

That's so unprofessional!

Worse. this morning's prospect knows some of them. The phone's might go off the hook

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By New To Accountancy
22nd Jan 2021 15:22

My old boss used to do this, dump clients whenever he wanted and he would say he was retiring all the time.
I left this employment about 1.5 years ago and recently had a client asking me if I had finally corrected his return, I apologised to him and explained there must be some confusion as I've never completed a return for him, his answer:

'your boss told me the reason my return was wrong because you did it and he passed you my stuff, but as you now work from home he'd already phoned you a few times to discuss it but he'll sort it for me, he said he'd do it himself but...... he's retired'

I asked the client to put what was said into an email, but he wouldn't unfortunately. He looked very confused when I said I left 16 months ago.

I met this client getting a parking ticket before going shopping. What are the chances of that! My old boss thought there's no way the client or me, would ever find out his lies, but we both went to the same place, same time and needed a parking ticket at the same time - 30 miles away from where we live. I showed the client the last phone call from my boss in 2019 too just to add another shock factor. I wish I'd have been a fly on the wall when the client walked into the office.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
22nd Jan 2021 09:36

Its a no from me. Only prospects I would speak to in January would be new business clients not self assessment.

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By johnt27
22nd Jan 2021 09:40

My approach - add a zero onto the end of your normal fee quote for this kind of work. If they accept, yes, it's going to be a pain but at least you're getting danger money. If they don't accept - happy days.

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By sallyrichardson
22nd Jan 2021 10:00

Not everyone at this time of year is a PITA client with repeated late behaviour. Take each case on it's own merits.
I had someone who was trying to do their first return on the HMRC portal but it was showing errors and wouldn't submit and the helpdesk was no help. 80 year old grandmother trying to do her grandson's first return with him. Very minimal earnings.
In these times I think we need to look out for each other.
All normal AML etc will be adhered to, but I'm helping them.

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By Marlinman
22nd Jan 2021 10:25

A big no from me. Those who leave things this late are not the sort of clients I want. I'm normally on holiday anyway in January.

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Kitten
By Hazel Accounts
22nd Jan 2021 11:05

Depends how they arrive - random phone calls etc I probably wouldn't touch but if they arrive via an existing client recommendation bit trickier and would probably take them with provisio no guarantee can file on time.

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By JD
22nd Jan 2021 11:42

Price, payment up front and engagement conditional on a long term instruction tends to sorts out which ones are more serious.

Last return (out of 300) went out the door on the 19th - so furlough payments and chasing the remaining returns still with clients back in again, seems to be the order of the day.

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By bernard michael
22nd Jan 2021 14:56

Brilliant idea.

We increase the clients fees by say £300 and pay HMRC £100 ourselves.

Client thinks were're wonderful, both HMRC and us are happy

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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
22nd Jan 2021 17:16

This is one of those hardy perennials, though this year we though that some people on furlough and SEISS grants might have used some of their down time to catch up on their admin.

It seems not. Interesting mix of answers, as there were back in 2018 when Richard Hattersley rounded-up community thinking on the topic:
https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/practice/general-practice/sa-season-are-...

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