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My Day - 13 July to 17 July

13th Jul 2015
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Friday 17 July

The shortlist for the Practice Excellence Awards was out today. For the Small Practice of the Year, I think the judges got it wrong. How dare they not even shortlist me! Honestly, it is not a big deal. Hard experience has taught me how to cope with rejections.

My sarcasm aside, I think the shortlisted practices are better than I am. Looking at their websites, they are much further ahead than I am. 

I will look all the shortlisted small practices websites in detail. There is one that is very much AVN approach, that I will not pay so much attention to. I think it lacks originality. But then I am not a potential client. Others, I think,  are worth looking at.

Whether I will look at YouTube discussing what the shortlisted applicants can teach me and attend Practice Excellence conference, remains to be seen. 

Thursday 16 July

My productivity was okay, but not good. This is because I had difficulty in sleeping yesterday. I was stressed about all the work. So rather than waste my time trying to sleep, I got up and started to work. I think, it was 2:30 am when I hit the sack.

I also downloaded TaxCalc on my home PC. I looked at the PM from the perspective of using this functionality. At the time I started using Xero PM, TaxCalc functionality on PM was limited. It has improved now. I think, it will do for PM for us. Having said that the jury is still out on this. 

There is nothing wrong with Digita, and I appreciate all the helpful feedback on Digita especially from Peter Saxton. I cannot see us using the extensive functionality it offers. It just will not happen.

TaxCalc ticks the boxes in the following ways:

·         Deadline management

·         Holding all tax and client standing data

·         Integration on Accs, personal tax and Corp Tax.

·         Engagement letters

Of course, Digita offers all the above and more. It is the more that I cannot see us using.

In terms of comparing Xero PM and TaxCalc PM one of the key downsides of Xero PM is that it is not geared for UK accountants or even accountants. Here TaxCalc wins outright. Though a major downside of TaxCalc is that it is not cloud based. They intend to offer you to put your database in the cloud. This does not include their software. So, as long as you have TaxCalc installed on a PC and you have internet access you can access all the information.

I spoke to my ex-employee. He agreed to help me out over the weekend. I need the help! 

Wednesday 15 July

I cannot wait for M to start. I am slipping without an employee. Response to my client queries is now within 48 hours instead of 3 hours. I have informed clients about the delay. I hope they will be understanding.

I had Digita demo today. My immediate reaction was it is too much for my needs. The functionality it offers may be overwhelming for us. I will think further.

Then I looked at TaxCalc, I breathed a sigh of relief. This is because it has the key functionality that I need. I think its PM is good (It is made up of client hub and Tasks). Maybe one of the options to consider is to ditch Xero Practice Manager and use TaxCalc for PM and TaxCalc final accounts.  This would then only mean Company Sec that would be outside TaxCalc.

Till I get the workload under control, I will park my decision to move to full blown integrated software.

Tuesday 14 July

M and I got a fair amount of work done today. Shame that she cannot start at an earlier date. She is back as an employee in August.

We discussed integrated software. She is okay with the existing set up. On reflection, it will be my decision. Of course, I will keep her informed.

One of the downsides of requesting client information early for tax returns is they understandably expect a completed tax return early. At the time we start chasing for information for tax returns, it was before my ex-employee handed in his notice.

Clients are chasing us for their tax returns. I am doing what I can. It is just about manageable. 

Monday 13 July

It was a hellish Monday. In the sense of work load and conflicting priorities.

My new employee and I sat through Brightpay webinar on Auto Enrolment, a subject that was alien to me until today! I will be taking action now. One of these may be switching the payroll software to BP. I will look into Moneysoft as to what extent it is helpful with the admin side of AE.

I worked all of Saturday and Sunday. This will stop when my new employee takes over some of the work from me.

I was pleased to see my new employee. From now on I will call her M. I went through some of the systems of the practice. Since she has not used Xero before, I also went through Xero with her. We reviewed and submitted 5 VAT returns.

I am positive about M joining the practice. She will be in tomorrow as well though her official start date is early August.


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Replies (7)

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By Fizzy
16th Jul 2015 21:05


I hope you're going to pay your ex-employee for his help?

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By cheekychappy
17th Jul 2015 08:34

I bet your former employee is laughing that you can't cope without him.

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By ShirleyM
17th Jul 2015 08:53

I do hope ...

... that your ex-employee has checked his current contract of employment. Some contracts prevent employees from working for a competitor, even temporarily or 'on the side'.

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By Alan Davies
17th Jul 2015 17:05


Why, when you are getting stressed about client work, are you wasting so much time looking at practice management software?  Doing client work would be better at this time.

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By FirstTab
17th Jul 2015 18:52

Agree but

Hello Alan, fair point. 

I am sure you understand as a practice owner, they are so many aspects going on in one's mind. There is client work, that does take priority. There is efficiency of the practice, employees marketing etc. 

More recently most of my time is spent on client work. There is the odd hour I look at PM side of things. I blog about these since these really bug me.



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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
17th Jul 2015 19:22

Practice Excellance
FT I can only assume there must have a been an error on you PE submission as surely you would be guaranteed to be short listed had they received it.

I hope you go to the PE day as I am going and would be keen to meet.
The only person left on my bucket list I wanted to meet was Nelson Mendala who sadly died before I met him leaving a void.

fancy dragging your ex staff in at the start of the school holidays, I bet he cannot wait to catch up.

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By FirstTab
17th Jul 2015 19:46

It would be great to meet you. I will post on my blog as regards to my attendance.

My ex employee is single. He wants to help. Also we would love to catch up since we get on very well.

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