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My Week: 31 March Year Ends

4th May 2018
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Hello folks. It was a tough week. Both on the work and studies front, I neglected my humble abode due to studying the last few days before the exam. The current cleanliness status of my home can only be described as a tip. It will be sorted over this long weekend – happiness is a wet J cloth. 

Annual Accounts

There was also the added stress of clients demanding their accounts. It is one of the downsides of having over 90% of clients with 31 March year end.

You see, as a small practice, we do not have the resources to produce ten sets of accounts in a week, with other work-related demands also going in the background.

They are positives to having the same year-end date for the majority of clients. These come through economies of scale. For example, mass mail out and the deadlines are unlikely to be missed. There is just one key date to remember – 31 December.

HMRC Inspections

Just one HMRC inspection means less time for practice development and growth. The last investigation just ate up our time. The current one, on a different client, has a broader scope. I do not think it will be easy.

As the practices ages,  HMRC inspections are inevitable. On reflection, it is important in the planning to allow X days for inspections. Though, there is no way to determine X. I will go by what history tells me. So far this year it is 21 days. It does not include the current one.

More and more I am thinking to get outside help for inspections. Though they would not know client’s history. It would mean, my time may still be taken up on an area of work that does not add value to the practice.

Further, my experience has proved it is impossible to get a claim from fee protection that reflects the time spent. I may not be able to get the full claim from the insurance provider to use an outsider. I am likely to change my insurance provider next renewal date.

CIOT

Thank you Locutus, chatman and  Red Leader for responding to my earlier blog. I thought the points made were fair. Here is my reason for studying CIOT.

As you know, I am studying Taxation of individuals Advisory paper. Most of the material that I have read is relevant to a small practice. It is about applying tax knowledge in the context of advising clients. It is bang on pertinent to my small practice.

As far I know, ATT is more a technical tax qualification and NOT an advisory tax qualification. It is not so much the qualification, but the essential skills gained.

You also have to bear in mind; I was not from a practice/tax background. That meant to update my outdated tax knowledge is vital for me to provide advice to clients.

Further, after my current paper, I am moving to Owner Managed Businesses Advisory paper, that is even more relevant to a small practice without a tax specialist.

It is very very difficult to find the time. For me, it NEEDS to be done. My studies revealed that I am weak on my tax knowledge and understanding.

And Finally

I do not think; I will be able to blog on a weekly basis. I will blog when I can.

Replies (8)

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By Matrix
07th May 2018 21:06

Do you mind me asking who you use for fee protection cover? Sorry you didn't manage to recover all your time.

Good luck with the studies.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By FirstTab
07th May 2018 22:23

PFP

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By dbowleracca
08th May 2018 22:31

I’m not sure what work you are doing on these enquiries, but 21 days seems absolutely crazy.

We have never had a problem recovering all of our costs from our insurers, and have used PFP in the past and been happy with them, so maybe they expected the work to take much less time.

I would strongly recommend getting some outside help with the enquiries and shadowing the person who does it, and that will enable you to pick up tips for how to handle future enquiries yourself.

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Replying to dbowleracca:
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By FirstTab
08th May 2018 23:33

You or anyone else outside my practice do not know the extent of work involved. You are not in a position to comment on the time we spent on the enquiry.

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Replying to dbowleracca:
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By FirstTab
09th May 2018 07:22

duplicate delete

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By dbowleracca
10th May 2018 22:23

I appreciate what you are saying FT and this wasn’t meant to be taken in a negative way, I just feel that 21 days for an outcome of no adjustments (if I recall correctly from previous posts) is a very long time. At a modest £50 an hour for 8 hour days, that’s over £8,000

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By FirstTab
11th May 2018 06:54

We had a good outcome because we spent the time justifying to the inspector why we were correct. Further the scope of inspection was extended to statutory accounts.

My experience with inspections has proved they want a result - more tax from the client. In the case in question, she could not go any further due to the time we spent proving there were no further taxes due.

It concerns me when other comment on time spent, when they have no idea on the scope of work and what was needed to get a good result for the client.

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Replying to dbowleracca:
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By FirstTab
11th May 2018 06:55

Duplicate please delete.

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