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People!!! Seriously losing the will

Seriously fed up with dealing with imbeciles

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I ended up with a client on an indoor market a few years ago, then I was recommended to other stall holders, so I now have a few on this market. They are not my usual type of client, but have been generally fine, until now.

One client on there, 31 March partnership year end, who I have been chasing for records since May 2018!  

Had no response.  I've seen them at various points throughout the year, when every single time they ask "when does our stuff need to be in again?".  Anyway, despite requests right upto November, they texted me last week to say "books are ready for collection".  I ignored it, thinking I'll collect when I'm in that area.  Now, they are complaining to all the other stall holders "our stuff is here but he hasn't been too collect it and they are due in next week", so I'm getting messages from other clients on the market telling me that I've upset one, and asking "is everything ok"!

This particular client stands about all day gossiping, as they have nothing else to do.

Do they never stop to think, "oh maybe I should have given the books in back in May"?  "Maybe the accountant is struggling in the busiest week of the year"?  

I can't sack them as I will potentially lose the other 8, otherwise I would happily tell them I'll see them in Feb.

I don't know about anyone else, but there are clients who contact us occasionally, clients who we seldom hear from and clients who we work with closely.   Well this week, EVERY single client has been in contact, for one reason or another, mostly for nothing remotely to do with tax returns.  I've had mortgage references, forecasts required urgently, a client who I never hear a peep from has been complaining about a bank feed error from 2 years ago and asking me to look into it urgently.  Had a client who I thought had long gone, tell me in a state of panic that his company has been dissolved without him realising and his bank has been frozen.  Then I've had payroll dramas with a client.  l could go on and on.  All in the last two weeks of January!  Unbelievable .

Don't get me wrong, my clients are carefully selected and pita clients are binned more often than not.  Usually everything runs smoothly, but not this week.  

Anyone else feeling the strain?

Ps, I only had 7 tax returns left on Monday, now I've got 9 left to do. Tax returns are on track, if only every other problem under the sun hadn't landed upon me. 



Replies (20)

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By lionofludesch
23rd Jan 2019 11:11

Jeez - that's a lot of bad luck.

I completed the last return on Saturday. Just needs signing off, which'll happen this afternoon, all being well.

Still, easy for me to be blasé at my age.

Thanks (1)
By andy.partridge
23rd Jan 2019 11:15

Take that one for a coffee or something stronger in February and explain the situation. Once they've been made to feel special they'll be back in line.

Thanks (6)
By bettybobbymeggie
23rd Jan 2019 11:21

I feel your pain, but the only reason I ignore texts/emails/phone calls is usually because I am trying to annoy the client in the hope he/she will go elsewhere. Even a glib reply such as "be with you shortly" would have been sufficient. But I guess he wound you up so much that you couldn't bring yourself to respond! I know the feeling.

I have 10 left to go - incredibly all but one are WIP - the other I am doubtful about given we haven't done his 2016/17 yet, but we still have over a week so what's the rush!

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By Manchester_man
23rd Jan 2019 13:55

Thanks people. Feels better to have people to vent to.

To top it off, last year I took on a client, good monthly fee etc. She is organised, except last Jan she told me that her partner is struggling and has to submit an 'easy' tax return for the first time and could I please do it as a one off, for no extra fee. She advised that next year (this year) he would be "another paying client for you, he's just struggling this year". So, because she is quite an abrupt person, and I knew that saying no would have got her back up and I do well put of her monthly fee to be fair, I said ok.

This year and they have split up, so I took him off my list, as she asked me not to do his return if he got in touch. (strange yes).
Today, she has emailed that he is struggling and she really doesn't want to see him struggle, as it's a bad time for him and could I please do his tax return again "it won't take you long".

If I kick up a fuss, she will complain. She talks first and thinks later.

Stupid old me will end up doing it, but I will make sure she knows I'm unhappy.

I love my job generally, but this week, I wish I was a wagon driver!

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Replying to Manchester_man:
By andy.partridge
23rd Jan 2019 14:15

You do stuff for free to avoid a fuss? Great, I've got a load of subcontracting work for you. It's a bad time for me, though, y'know.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Manchester_man:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
23rd Jan 2019 15:23

I've never been asked to do work for free. Maybe it's because they know what the answer will be!

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Replying to Red Leader:
By SteveHa
23rd Jan 2019 19:21

I have one private client (I'm employed by day) who refuses to leave, and who I keep having to do for free because I have no ML supervision.

Unfortunately, his son is a mate of mine, so I'm stuck between a rock and hard place.

This year, I made a big deal of it. Hopefully, he'll get the hint.

Fortunately, it's a simple courier job.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
23rd Jan 2019 14:22

I would use it to your advantage.

When you rock up and pick up the records in Feb, just lay it on thick about how the other 7 managed to send you the files on time and only he is picking up the £100.

Id joke that if you could do time travel, you wouldn't be an accountant.

They will soon turn on him and taking the urine and not you!

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By gainsborough
23rd Jan 2019 14:41

....and when you do the return in Feb presumably you can charge for it this they've split up what you bill him has nothing to do with her?

I was on track with my tax returns but have now got two who left half their information with me 3 weeks ago and then disappeared on holiday before giving me the rest - yay!

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By SXGuy
23rd Jan 2019 15:16

Mine today, been chasing someone all of last year to get their tax return done, finally got in contact 4 weeks ago and need to catch up on 2 years SA. Just a small rental income so nothing major.

Got everything done, asked her to sign off, no response, until 2 weeks later asking for tyo and sa302 for her solicitor, spent an hour exchanging emails about how I can not provide tyo unless she signs the accounts off, with her arguing her solicitor says I can. Finally take the hint and says will get back to me.

Fast forward to today when I'm still waiting on accounts to be signed off when I get an email asking if I can accept some last minute receipts she had forgotten about.

Sure, but expect another 100 quid fine on top of the 1200 you already have waiting.

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
23rd Jan 2019 15:36

I have had a bad January also. I was behind as needed some personal time before Christmas so expected to be up against this month but had previously good clients lose their minds this month.

One client who has e signed his return previously now doesn't like e signing so wanted to sign them and return hard copy
His printer broke so then had to come in collect copies, wouldn't sign them when he was hear as he wanted to take them away to read through them etc.

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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
23rd Jan 2019 16:53

At the start of the month I was quietly confident, however 6 sets of mgmts for my 3rd biggest client, review & heavily correct another 8 (client prepared) for my 1st biggest client have landed in my desk last week out of the blue. Now we’re majorly behind on SAs; 1.25 of the 1.5 staff on them are now on mgmts!

I think we’re awaiting info for 6, awaiting signatures on 4, don’t know if we need to do them for another 3 who we can’t get in touch with (new directors / new clients). I gave the standing order today for a chasing call every other day, chasing email on the others.

One that keeps promising me an e-signature (I mean, jeez, how hard is it?!) is also promising to sign a CT600 which affects CT for 4 companies (consortium relief) due 32 Jan.

To think, I was relaxed 2 weeks ago.

Thanks (0)
Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
By lionofludesch
23rd Jan 2019 17:04

Still, on the positive side, plenty of time to post on here.


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Replying to lionofludesch:
By andy.partridge
23rd Jan 2019 17:14

Highly skilled multi-tasker, maybe?

I tend to click on to AWeb to give myself a bit of thinking time, hence the thoughtless posts.

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By SteveHa
23rd Jan 2019 19:26

I don't know about anyone else, but there are clients who contact us occasionally, clients who we seldom hear from and clients who we work with closely. Well this week, EVERY single client has been in contact, for one reason or another, mostly for nothing remotely to do with tax returns.

Don't I know it. Not to mention those who come in in connection with their Returns. Had one today. She arrived at 16:00 and stayed 3/4 hour chatting away.

3/4 hour to sign one Return and two cheques (one HMRC and one fees). I almost lost the will to live myself.

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By suepg
25th Jan 2019 10:10

I do jobs for free and at a discounted rate for friends - I am staggered as to how many of the late arrivals are precisely these people! I am going to follow the advice given above and take these people for a coffee and explain the predicament in January

I have 12 left to submit, of which 7 are just awaiting approval and the rest are in progress. I will be working all weekend, however!!

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By ChrisKH
25th Jan 2019 10:26

Used to do family accounts, tax planning and returns years ago, then the brother-in-law complained about his tax bill aggressively (you know; you prepare the accounts, it must be your fault, etc.) and failed to say thank you at any point. So I politely declined, because of failing health (I feel a lot better now!) and recommended a friend in practice. He got the point when his first annual £1,400 fee came in.

Thanks (3)
Replying to ChrisKH:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
25th Jan 2019 11:29

I feel strangely happy reading your post. I think if it happened to me, they'd get the dead eye Sopranos stare from me.

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Replying to Red Leader:
Tony s
By Tony S
26th Jan 2019 11:24

That's family for you ;)

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By Pam Moreland
25th Jan 2019 13:50

I think we have to take a deep breath, pour a gin and put it down to human nature. Everyone leaves everything to the last minute these days and technology has probably made this worse as mobiles, ipads and e mail means that an instant reply is expected and they are the only person in the world you have to deal with.
I only have 7 returns to finish (95%) complete and one which hasn't come in yet but I know that next week I shall have a raft of people asking what to pay and how (even though they have been told a million times before) as well as the usual who never have any money to pay, chasing those who can't be bothered to approve their returns (and we do most of these electronically) as well as those who have suddenly 'discovered' a load more receipts they 'forgot' to give me.
I work a queue system in January. Returns are done in the order they are received and I don't care how important they are, they don't jump the queue. Oh and I charge them more for having to be chased for everything several times.
I also pin a picture on my wall of where I am going for my next holiday as the January overtime pays for that. Now that (and the gin and chocolate)is what will hopefully keep me sane until 1 February!
PS I am retiring in 5 years to so I can see an end in sight!

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