My Week: Outsourcing

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Hello folks. Overall from our Inbox perspective, it was a good week. I was surprised with the substantial reduction in client emails. I hope it continues.

My walking commute to the office was a mixed bag. Some days were bright and sunny and other days were cold. It is good to see more daylight each day. 


As you may know, we are working on responding to HMRC VAT client compliance visit information. Q has spent 10 days so far. We are nearly there now. I rather Q works on other areas.

My initial claim to our fee protection provider was a day's work. This was extended due to the fact HMRC's tax officer,  asked for further information.

I went back to the insurance provider claiming additional time. They did not accept my application for additional days. I have asked them to send me an extract of Ts&Cs that state I cannot claim additional days as a result of more work.


I am not for outsourcing work to India. In the case of HMRC client visit compliance work, I will review the option of outsourcing work to India. We have our day to day work and HMRC compliance queries really do scupper our plans. 

As a small practice, I do not have enough living breathing people to cope with the unexpected. At this time of the year, I wanted to work with Q in improving our internal process and systems. I have a feeling something else will come up next week.

Business Stationery 

Until this week, I did not get a chance to have the address changed to our current business address on the business card and brochure. Since it was a client stress-free week, I requested the branding consultant to make the changes. She has completed her part. I will place the business stationery order next week.

I hope until the end of March, the number of client email queries remain at a low level. I want to turn the practice into a gleaming well-oiled machine. It includes working on our website and restarting business blogs.


I no longer have the time to draft newsletter for clients. From March, I will be going for newsletters that will be written and all I have to do is press the button to send them out. They are not specially written for us. They are standard ones that other accountants subscribe to as well. I think they are good.


CTA studies are going okay. I wake up very early in the mornings and put in 1.5 to two hours. It is not enough. It is the best I can do. In the evenings I am just too tired. Most of my weekends are taken up with my iPad and Tolley Pdf tax manuals.

Talking about iPad, 12.9" iPad Pro with an Apple pencil turned out to be a very good investment. For the next distance learning package,  I will order the online version of the course without any papers. I have not even looked at Tolley paper files. Paper is just too messy.

And Finally 

I think from next week, with HMRC Compliance visit work out of the way and me settled into the routine of studying after xxx years, I will be a far more okay than I have been so far this year.

Hopefully, I will jump from safety to self-actualization stage of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. Remember Maslow from your pointless accountancy studies management paper? Did it improve your emotional intelligence to become a productive and a well-balanced accountant? Not me.

About FirstTab


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23rd Feb 2018 14:14

10 days to deal with a vat compliance visit queries/requests!!??!!

That is mental!

The client records must have been terrible!

I'm not surprised your insurers rejected the claim. You should have charged your client for correcting their records.

Thanks (2)
By Locutus
23rd Feb 2018 17:23

How can you estimate it would take 1 day and it takes 10? I know things sometimes take twice as long as you first think, but 10 times is a little shocking. As a rule of thumb, I would expect it to take a day or so to respond to an initial HMRC request.

Does Q know what she is doing?

I hope you don't get any follow up letters from HMRC, otherwise that will be half of her working days in March used up!

Thanks (2)
23rd Feb 2018 17:27

Please read the blog folks:

"My initial claim to our fee protection provider was a day's work. This was extended due to the fact HMRC's tax officer, asked for further information."

Thanks (0)
By Locutus
to FirstTab
23rd Feb 2018 17:46

That's a huge amount of "further information" HMRC was asking for.

But on the upside, congratulation on taking on Uber Europe as a client :-)

Thanks (2)
to FirstTab
23rd Feb 2018 17:52

Blog read.

If the information requested by the HMRC officer took 10 days - 70 hours for one of your staff to put together then it has to be a combination of:
1. Your client's records were terrible (in which case your insurer shouldn't be paying for you to correct these - your client should).

2. Your member of staff didn't know what they were doing.

3. Your member of staff was 'swinging the lead'.

Thanks (2)
By mrme89
26th Feb 2018 14:16

We had a lengthy request in my employment from the VAT people. Took nowhere near 10 days to get everything together. Our turnover is over £150m.

I think Q may have milked the situation, or they weren't entirely capable and didn't get the support they needed.

Thanks (1)
27th Feb 2018 08:06

Firstab had your firm prepared the vat returns? As surely it was not a big job to provide supporting evidence to support the returns.

10 days is a huge amount of time and I cannot think of a question to such level of work, unless the client was facing clink on some sort of VAT fraud. I cannot see how a vat inspection on a small client would ever take more than a day to sort. The Insurers look at the letters received from HMRC than value the time to respond, if you think they have not allowed enough time you should have queried it first before just crashing ahead with the work.

Who is going to pay for the work now the insurance have knocked it back. If I had been paying you to do my VAT and it takes you 10 days to get through a VAT inspection
I would be questioning the work undertaken.

Your first response can not have been up to much if it led to further queries, that resulted in a further 10 days work.

Tell me when the 12.9 inch Ipad goes on Ebay after you are sick of it as I will have that fella at a discount.

Thanks (1)