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So, how was it for you?

How was your January, then?

Mine was the worst one I've had, but amittedly I was rather lax at chasing people throughout the year and then paid the price!

My last one last night involved me driving through the snow at 10pm for a year end meeting at their house (they'd provided the records mid January when I'd asked for them last September). They actually gave the comment at the end that they were glad they'd done the bookkeeping to a high standard and it was an easy and straightforward job for me, and I must have some other clients who were a real nightmare. They actually genuinely thought of themselves as one of my better clients, the cheek of it! 

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01st Feb 2019 10:17

We have had a few last minute dramas, but it was pretty smooth.

Looking back on my stats our busiest filing month was July, November then Jan only 3rd busiest in terms of volume which is a lagging indicator.

In terms of income it was mediocre I had 5 other months April to Jan when we billed more for self assessment returns. The total income was 12% of the annual SA income.
The peak month was November, with 18%. Our general plan it to get the bulk done before Christmas.

I billed more company work than SA in Jan (about 55% of the total income)

To this point, I am actually wondering if to ease off on the firing this year, or I will be sitting on my hands next Jan.

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01st Feb 2019 10:20

always difficult, stressful experience even when you are well organised because you are running against the clock all the time and fighting to be on top and sometimes not within your control because you are dealing with unorganized to say the least people. i don't think it's fair on accountants and i don't think one can do this after a number of years (depends on the person). of course one may say there are worse things in life but... i am sure there will be the usual voices in here who will be sarcastic and poisonous towards others for not being organised enough but god bless them.

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01st Feb 2019 10:28

Unbelievably good! We have billed so much this month, our highest by a long way, and at midday yesterday, we only had 3 left to submit. They were all done by 4pm. Massive contrast to last year!

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01st Feb 2019 10:41

I've had much worse. I spent yesterday afternoon on the phone chasing approvals, with one last minute amendments, but was still away from the office by 5pm (and in the pub for wind down by 6pm).

Also got my first night uninterrupted (by stress) sleep, though it was, unfortunately, where I crashed out on the couch, for a week.

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01st Feb 2019 10:44

Not too bad...the good clients continued to be good and the ones who usually send their info in January continued to do so, so not unexpected and it does help when the work is staggered like that.

However, for the first time, did seem to have an annoyingly high number of clients this year who gave me bits of info in August to October and most of my time seemed to be spent chasing up for the rest of it!

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01st Feb 2019 10:47

No problem - but I've fewer clients than I used to have.

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01st Feb 2019 11:02

it was a hell of day yesterday - spent between chasing people for late SA adjustments, and an unbelievable amount of filing - payrolls, CIS, autoenrolment, Companies house accounts, CT600 in addition to SA returns. its getting to the point where one cannot have control no matter how well organised.

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01st Feb 2019 11:04

Last one filed at 3pm on 31 January.

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01st Feb 2019 11:08

Easiest year by far.
Last one filed a couple of weeks ago.
Now realised that I have "Dear Johned" far too many slow/bad clients, oops.
Sitting here twiddling my thumbs, staff on a day off.
Time to book a few holidays

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01st Feb 2019 11:09

Worst tax return season for me to this year, usually finished by 4pm with a couple to go in the last week, but this week it was just non stop with the last one going in just after 10pm yesterday!

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01st Feb 2019 11:10

worst January we've had, had a number of clients who are normally done in the summer and came in late and a ridiculous amount of clients who seemingly lost the ability to provide complete records and then cant answer queries / provide further info with any sense whatsoever, all of which contributed to a massive workload

we've got it done, and are already taking steps to ensure next year is an easier ride, which may mean dumping a few clients here and there

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01st Feb 2019 11:23

I'm comforted to read other people had worse years than previously. I had the same experience - clients that are normally early hanging on to the last minute. Others that we had completed by October - November not approving the accounts until yesterday. Constant chasing didn't do any good. Didn't seem to be any reason other than the clients claimed to have been really busy. I'll be looking out for the increases in their revenue in 2018/19.

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By GW
01st Feb 2019 11:44

This year was better than I expected given we had staffing issues last summer which meant we went into autumn a long way behind where we were last year.

We did get some satisfaction when replying yesterday to a client we had been chasing for records since May and had put on our "don't worry about" list had sent us an email at 10pm on Wednesday night with her figures for the tax return, that "needed adjusting" but were sent so we could meet the deadline. After a quick look at the figures - a list of receipts and payments, it became obvious we had been sent the figures for the 2017 return with the date at the top changed. Guess what - we didn't produce a return.

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01st Feb 2019 11:47

After overindulging at Christmas I always do dry January, which ties in nicely to having a clear work head during the busiest month of the year.

The first drop of beer on 1st February (tonight!) tastes better than ever.

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01st Feb 2019 12:15

I have had a hard month some of it was my own doing as not really put in as many hours chasing in the Autumn which meant I had a busy January.

Some normally good clients came in really late, plus I had a few urgent non tax jobs come up in January which we also dealt with.

Got a fairly full Feb & March on as well which is not normally the case.

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By daniel_
01st Feb 2019 13:38

Stressful as always but the MVP of the season was definitely Adobe Sign.

Quick and easy approval of the returns made up for not sending out enough reminders to the usual culprits earlier in the year. Wouldn't have made it without e-signatures.

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By DJKL
01st Feb 2019 14:49

The earth didn't move.

Having said that slightly more fraught as had one group of partnerships who took forever to get me their closing stock figures so instead of getting them in during December or earlier, as previous years, I only got the accounts nailed at the end of January and then had 14 returns arising from said accounts.

On the plus side , yet again, all lodged, nobody left behind.

And apart from inhouse tax work for my different employers that is now last SA session for me, with MTD coming I am bowing out from offering client services as a practice, should all be wound down before my current MLR registration expires in October.

The weekends will officially now be my own , no more meetings between 7.00-10.00 p.m, by April all vat work will be as an employee, where I fully control the process, and all records for the three employments I will now have will be held and controlled at my main employer as I have agreed with them that the two former clients will now also be my employers and I can retain all their records in my office at work.

So gradually my study at home will become empty, all the files will get moved, the former clients records will be stored in boxes in a storeroom at work (have to consider P11D issues re all this) and in x years they will all be shredded.

And what will I do with the spare time, well come April the garden landscaping will resume, railway sleepers will get fitted to build a low maintenance garden, chainsaw coming back from Sweden in April to get going and hopefully a pleasant summer spending up to three days a week out in the garden.

To fill the rainy days (well it is Scotland) I have the restoration of my Scimitar SS1 , body panels are off awaiting spraying and electrics to be sorted to look forward to and in case I get really, really bored I have been building up a reasonably large stock of vintage model trains and Meccano which will occupy me repairing and reselling it from my soon to be cleared study.

Now just need to get rid of the kids.

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to DJKL
01st Feb 2019 15:46

And as your general knowledge becomes more outdated, we'll miss your contributions more :(

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By DJKL
to SteLacca
01st Feb 2019 16:16

It all goes very quickly, as I know from experience.
When I left FT practice in 1999 ,to take up my current role, I just did that role, all my tax knowledge became mainly focussed on property, e.g I missed the advent of IR35 so when I later started the additional P/T practice I refused to touch contractors, I did not feel merely reading was sufficient to offer a decent service.

After a couple of years away from F/T practice I noticed I was getting a bit out of my depth, missing things, so I started reading more, Taxation Magazine and then Accounting Web, plus other CPD, especially after we stopped having an external audit and I did not have an external firm to keep me right, though we still retain an external larger firm that lets me bounce things through them.

I still sit and read Bloomsbury publications via ICPA every so often but have great difficulty motivating myself with company accounting though I have at least read FRS105 and FRS 102.

I will still need to keep a bit up to date re the three employments, Property Group, Commercial Property Agents and Retail, but these play to my strengths.

From 1990 to 1994 I was the FC/FD for a company with ten retail clothing stores in Scotland, returning to practice after four years in that environment, and I have been involved in property part time since 1997 and full time since 1999, so carry a fair bit of industry knowledge, hence why the roles I am taking on-they hopefully play to my strengths and disguise my weaknesses.

So I will not abandon A Web but will start to know less and less about certain areas, I may even do some business finance consultancy if opportunities arise as I have done a lot of that work over the years re raising funding for my employers, but in every case I am now doing everything as an employee-less stress re making mistakes.

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01st Feb 2019 15:13

January?

I though we had until the end of February....

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By marks
03rd Feb 2019 00:15

Although our last one was filed later this year (10pm rather than 7pm on 31st) it seemed to be a less stressed tax season that last year. Reasons for this are probably

1. Now have 4 staff rather than 3.
2. Chased clients monthly from about September onwards (this year going to chase them monthly from April onwards).
3. Submitted less returns this year. Think we submitted about 180 compared to about 200 last year.

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03rd Feb 2019 00:56

Nightmarish!
During final 5 days or so prepared excel spreadsheet entitled "Worst Clients" (habitual ones) for the first time. I am sick to my back teeth of the same culprits every year!
Will attack them in April this year for a change.

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By DJKL
to penelope pitstop
05th Feb 2019 10:33

As some day it may happen
That a victim must be found
I've got a little list
I've got a little list
Of client offenders
Who might well be underground
And never would be missed
They never would be missed"

There's retailers corporeal
People of that sort

Offshorers who retire to spend
The minute they get caught

Clients who don't believe in tax
Lunatics who do

All people who host tupperware
To earn a bob or two

And clients who doubt your interpretation they insist
I don't think they'd be missed
I'm sure they'd not be missed

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05th Feb 2019 10:05

Mr Hankey wrote:
My last one last night involved me driving through the snow at 10pm for a year end meeting at their house (they'd provided the records mid January when I'd asked for them last September).

Surely a home visit at 10 pm is worth more than £100 in fees. If it needed a face-to-face meeting (why, BTW?), I'd have said that I could meet them that night for a £300 additional fee or they could come and see me next week and merely pay £100 extra to HMRC. Of course, if you got an extra fee for that snowy drive, then congratulations!
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By mkowl
05th Feb 2019 10:21

It was actually the culmination of 5 incredibly tough months at my small practice. The real life factors for staff were totally out the ordinary. The work load not just tax exceptional. I got up Friday morning felt awful, returned to bed and got up mid way through Saturday.

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05th Feb 2019 12:52

Tough month.Flu,snow etc.We need to get better organised Got through it with a lot of overtime paid

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05th Feb 2019 17:01

Better than last year.

Last year last one filed 9:00pm 31 Jan
This year last one filed 7:00pm 30 Jan

Result!

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to Beach Accountancy
05th Feb 2019 17:21

Can you only file when the clock's chiming ?

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