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Recipe for a perfect taxathon

26th Jun 2018
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Group of young people running marathon

We may have only just welcomed summer but small practice owner Susan Rahman is already thinking about self assessment season. In what she is calling a 'taxathon', Rahman has set herself a race to finish and submit all her clients' tax returns by the 24th December 2018 - and hopefully get paid! 

My definition of a taxathon is a race to finish and submit (and maybe to get paid) all my clients' tax returns by the 24 December 2018.


  • Clients: 393
  • Limited companies: 151
  • Sole Traders: 34
  • Personal tax returns: 220
  • Total staff: 6 (4 Accountants 2 Administrators)
  • Out source team: 4


Step 1 Work out exactly how many tax returns we have to complete

Step 2 Work out the number of accounts to be prepared in order to prepare the personal tax returns for submission

Step 3 Calculate the number of working days to the 24 December 2018

Step 4 Ask staff for their holiday plans

Step 5 Calculate the actual number of staff working days and build in a few days for illness and family emergencies

Step 6 Allocate the accounts and tax returns to staff

Step 7 Allocate the accounts and tax returns to the month in which the accounts are to be prepared

Step 8 Sit back and relax, because all your tax returns will be done and dusted (and hopefully paid for) by the 24th December 2018

How exciting! This is easier said than done. We use three pieces of software in our business: one for the bookkeeping, accounts company tax returns and personal tax returns; one for our own bookkeeping an accounts; and the third is the practice management software Onkho. All of this software is cloud-based, which we think the only way to move forward.

All three pieces of software show different figures for the number of tax returns to be prepared. My tax software claims that I have 450 personal tax returns to prepare. I don't think so - if that was the case then my bank balance would not need to talk to me so much!

My practice management software tells me I have 223 to prepare.

Which is correct? I am tearing my hair out.

Not quite the finish line we are aiming for.

What strikes me about this challenge is that when training for a marathon you train every day and build stamina to make sure that you achieve your goal. However, with this taxathon I have to get it right from the very start, so this step is the training stage, if you like.

Careful planning means that I will achieve my goal and get over the finish line on the 24th December. 

It's never too early to start thinking about self assessment season. Every month Susan will update us with her current stats. You've read Susan's recipe for taxathon - are you up for the challenge?

Replies (2)

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By eloisebalmer
27th Jun 2018 21:19

Where can I find Susan's diary "growing pains" ?

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Emanur Rahman CEO at ONKHO
By emanur
22nd Jul 2018 00:20

The #taxathon will be serialised here at Accounting Web. Next installment due any day now so check back.

As for her "secret diary" I'm still trying to convince her to publish it to the onkho blog at Maybe you can give her a nudge!

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