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My Year: 2017

25th Dec 2017
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Hello folks. It is that time of the year when I review My Week blogs to try to make an assessment of 2017 and think about the coming 2018. 

I have outlined below month by month highlights of 2017. The year has just flown. 


2017 introduced itself with challenges of fee bank clients integration in our practice. Fee bank was purchased in November 2016. It was combined with usual stressful tax returns season. 

It proved to be a difficult month. All my time was taken up on the day to day work. It was not what I wanted, but there was no other real option. 


Stressful tax returns season was over. On 1 February at 7:30am I viewed what today is FT Store. On entering the premises, I was sold. The agent did not have to work his magic on me. The premises were unoccupied for over a year. I saw the potential. 

I made the offer and after an emotional roller coaster, my offer was accepted. 


Due diligence on FT Store took up a substantial amount of my time. It meant, I took my eye off FT Practice development work. Our local Google page ranking took a massive adverse hit. 


My change of use application on FT Store was dragging on. The local Council was slow in making their decision. 

I appointed an architect /project manager and a branding consultant to support the renovation works in FT Store. 


After my offer in February and a stressful purchasing process. on 10 May yours truly became a legal owner and the key holder of FT Store. 

FT Store continued to take up my time away from core work. Client service was adversely affected. 


I had sleepless nights on the rising costs of renovation works in FT Store and the fact the ventilation was not given consideration by the architect. 

Also, I had problems in getting broadband installed by the planned move-in date. 


The move to FT Store took up most of my time. From Monday 17 July, we started operating from FT Store. Even after the move, we did not have broadband. 


I decided to pursue CTA exams. On reflection, it was a good decision since it will have a positive impact on the practices bottom line and also boost my confidence on taxation matters. 

My plan of study:

  • Taxation of Individuals – May 2018 sitting
  • Taxation of Owner Managed Businesses – November 2018 sitting
  • Application and Interaction  – November 2018 sitting
  • Awareness Modules  (One paper): May 2019It covers in ONE paper:
    • Taxation of Unincorporated Businesses
    • Inheritance Tax, Trusts & Estates
    • Corporation Tax
  • Law and Professional Ethics computer based. After May 2019 exam. Can be done anytime.


Took on an intern with high IQ. The size of the practice meant we could not retain her. Also, she decided to move on to another sector. 


Q was on leave for a month. Thankfully, I was able to cope. 


30% of fee bank purchase client lost as a result of:

  • Sacked – Fees and time did not match
  • Close business
  • No reasons were given

I do NOT think I will go the purchase fee bank route again. Organic growth, though slower, is the way to go. 


We reached a fee bank that meets all the expenses and provides me an okayish income that I can live on. The question I was pondering on is how to stop being a busy fool and what I should do with existing clients who are not viable.

Moving Forward

In 2017, I did not miss a single My Week. On reflection, quality is better than quantity. It means, in 2018 there may be times, they will not be My Week post. Though, blogging helps me think, let's see how it goes. 

Reflection 2017 and 2018 Objectives

2017 was a historic year for FT Practice Ltd. It acquired its own well fitted out premises and yours truly is finally addressing a key taxation skills gap in the practice. 

As we enter 2018, I am positive about the year. I do not think, it will be as challenging as 2017. The key theme of 2018 will be very much needed stability. We are now sorted. There is no need to make software and staff changes. 

My key objectives for 2018 are:

  1. Pass CIOT exams in May and November
  2. Regain our local google ranking in line with our marketing strategy
  3. Improve internal systems
  4. Yours truly - spend time on business development. 
  5. Growth - client type is the right fit for the practice. 

How was your 2017 from a business perspective? What are your business objectives for 2018?


Replies (3)

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By dbowleracca
29th Dec 2017 22:50

2017 was another record year for us, but growth does bring its challenges, so although I’m really pleased with the results I have to say that i look forward to the time when we have reached all our targets and we can take it steady!

We aim to grow by another 10-15% a year for the next 5 years too, which is going to take some doing but I think is achievable. But then after that, I think we’ll grow through referrals, passive marketing (website/newsletters) and acquisition of suitable practices.

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 brings for you FT, hopefully it is a good year. My advice would be to focus on what you do best, and try not to get distracted with every new idea/software program etc that comes along....

Out of interest FT, who did you acquire your fees through?

Thanks (1)
By FirstTab
31st Dec 2017 17:13

Good to know about your progress dbowleracca I know you have an established practice.

I acquired a small fee bank from someone who had put an advert on Any Answers. A broker was not involved.

Thanks (0)
By chatman
05th Jan 2018 10:28

Good luck with the CTA, FT. Let us know how you get on.

Thanks (0)