I Am Four

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I need a big badge with that on because that’s how old my practice is this month. Yes, birthday time again and time to reflect on how far I’ve come in four years.

I looked back to this blog post and it brought it all flooding back. It seems so recent but also a long time ago in a strange way!?

The last 12 months has seen a gradual increase in client numbers - around 10 I think, after adjusting for the couple that have fallen by the wayside, the three who have been sacked and the two who left.

I haven’t been looking to grow so I’m happy with this, infact there are a few more I’m thinking of ditching.

Fee income has jumped around £15k this year which is a big plus and around £10k more than I had been anticipating earlier in the year. I don’t expect this size of increase over the next 12 months.

I’ve increased fees where appropriate and also cut fees for one client where I looked at what I was charging and thought it too high and I wasn’t really comfortable with it.

Work wise I’m working around 35-40 hours a week sometimes more, sometimes less. To be honest it often feels like more when I fit the work in and around school runs, family meal times, time off with the family. This often means late night finishes after I’ve taken the afternoon off.

I will be working longer hours over the next month to try and get ahead before the school holidays start so I can take time off for holiday, days out and playing football/cricket in the garden with the children in the school holidays.

I’m very comfortable using a hosted solution – I highly recommend Hosted Desktop UK. Another big plus is Iris Openspace which I started using properly earlier this year, it makes approval of documents much more robust. Gone are the days of using a client e-mail with ‘looks good’ as approval to submit a document (makes me shudder thinking about it).

So the year ahead? More of the same I think, don’t work too hard and keep the balance right.

Right, birthday treat?

I think I’ll go and play with my tractor. 

About Kent accountant

Man of Kent

Chartered Accountant based in Kent.

After leaving practice very soon after qualifying, swearing never to return, in 2011 I did exactly that.

Now a sole practitioner and loving it, business growing rapidly and looking forward to the future as my own boss.

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26th Jun 2015 14:11

Congratulations!!

Congratulations Kent Accountant.

It sounds like you have achieved a very enviable balance to your work/home life and it's great to hear.  I always enjoy your post and hope to see plenty more of them during your 5th year in practice.

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26th Jun 2015 15:43

Well Done and Congrats

I hope to get to where you are in the similar timescale. The work life balance thing is something I have not quite cracked as still doing too many hours or not receiving the rewards for the time i am putting in depending how you look at.

This is mainly down to the fact that most of the work I am signing up are new start ups so need a lot of input in early days, but pays benefits later. I choose to keep fees resonable early on whilst the business is builidng,in the hope the cleint stays for 10 years. I need to maybe target marketing to more established businesses.

Queue Bob Harper to hi jack blog with his " rinse them now and value pricing" cobbelrs.

Well done and keep up the blogging.

 

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26th Jun 2015 16:09

Yes please

@Highlander - I'll have a bottle of that.

@Glennzy - a lot of my clients are/were new start ups and I've found that plenty of those who took up a lot of time early on are now much more self sufficient and as a result take up less time.

Plus familiarisation with clients now means what may have been a 12 hour job in year 1, was 9 hours in year 2, 8 in year 3 and so on. Add to this that my processes are now more streamline and there are further time savings.

I'm also planning work better, requesting information in plenty of time, a quick scan review to make sure its all there and then put in the pile ready for the sausage machine so to speak.

 

 

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26th Jun 2015 16:46

HP

You and me both!

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By tom123
26th Jun 2015 21:08

Time flies when you are having fun.

I bet it doesn't seem like two minutes since you started.

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27th Jun 2015 01:05

Congratulations!
Seems like you've got it right and with the work life balance.

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29th Jun 2015 14:54

Balance

Work life balance is certainly better than it was when I had a 'proper' job. Doesn't always feel like its quite right when I'm working late at night - that's the  compromise though - take time off in the day and catch up in the evening.

Either that or do less work - not now though, too much to save for - children's university, deposits for their first homes, the list goes on...

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By rwb
29th Jun 2015 22:35

Congratulations KA...

Your blog is always a good read and, having just started my own practice, I hope I'm still around to celebrate my 4th birthday! 

Here's to many more years! :)

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30th Jun 2015 21:24

Everytime I see the title of this blog ...

I see 'I am a four', and it reminds me of something else.

It's like when you get a song in your head and you can't get away from it. I know it says 'I Am Four', but I still keep seeing my version!

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