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My Week: Decisions Decisions

2nd Nov 2017
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Hola folks. We are in November already! What have I done with my time in 2017? It has been very interesting. More about it in My Year: 2017 – time and place for everything.

My week was so-so. At the same time, I am grateful to be vertical (even though challenged- damn nature!)  and healthy.

As an ageing accountant, I really appreciate life and the fact I am in a first world country where most of my problems are created and can be addressed by yours truly. Whether to buy an iPhone X is such a first world problem. I am debating on this point.

Talking Options

You already know my dream about minimal involvement in the day to day. On that note, I was thinking about staffing options. The following outlines my thoughts:

Small Practice Experience 

In addition to Q, an option I am considering is taking on a person with one year’s small practice experience. The duties of the person would be as follows:

  • Meet and greet those walking through the door and filter time wasters (not that many)
  • Produce and submit self-assessment tax returns (sole traders only)
  • Keep Google Contacts, TaxCalc and Accountancy Manager up to date
  • Chase clients for missing information
  • PA for me
  • Scan/shred post
  • Process payroll
  • Process VAT returns
  • Train clients on Xero and handle Xero queries
  • Bookkeeping (not much)
  • Other duties as and when needed

Person Spec 

I think the person would be AAT (prefer ATT) with one year's experience in practice. People skills being equally important. Work 2-3 days per week.

Remote worker

I am also considering remote worker as an option. He/she would not be an employee but a contractor. Most of the duties outlined above can be undertaken outside the office.

There is something about having people in one place in the internet age. There is the exchange of ideas and learning from each other that is more effective when all the people in the same room.


I will think further before making a decision. Q’s view is that she can cope with the workload. I think she can. The problem of living in an internet age is most us want a response and everything dealt with yesterday.

Q cannot manage with the speed of response clients are demanding. As a result, I have to get my hands dirty. It means my attention is NOT on adding value to the practice. I am doing it doing it and doing it.

Work Experience

It has been proved many times, within a few weeks of work experience in FT Practice Ltd, people end up with jobs. They are more confident in interviews. I help and support them. They are good people.

My current work experience person was offered a job. I am very pleased. Surprisingly, she wants to continue with her work experience with FT Practice Ltd up to the period she starts her new job. I think, like others, she wants to convey her thanks. She will be here for another week or so. I will find someone else and ask her to take a break before she starts her new job.

I do not know why I was happy over the week. Happiness is like a butterfly. The blasted thing flies away very fast.

Replies (2)

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By mrme89
03rd Nov 2017 18:43

An AAT or ATT qualified person with one years experience is more than likely already being exposed to accounts and / or taxation.
The duties he outlined would be a step back for them.

Have you considered an apprentice?

Thanks (1)
By Chipette
04th Nov 2017 12:20

I agree with mrme89.
You probably could find an AAT studier (L2 or 3) with 1 year experience who would be competent on the tasks you require. However would you support them in their studies and would the job description grow with them?

Curious to know what PA tasks you would expect from them?

Thanks (1)