Start here! Your first 7 steps on the road to a more enjoyable January
As preparations for January begin for many UK accountants, BTCSoftware brings you 77 steps to a more enjoyable Self-Assessment season.
(Yes, a huge 77 steps! But don’t worry, we’ll be breaking it down over the coming 10 weeks so you can follow along in manageable portions)
This week, we’re kicking off the journey with some ideas to help you get ahead with your plan of attack.
1 – Draft up your email templates
It might seem a little early to start preparing emails, but this is one of those tasks that’s worth getting out of the way soon.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see major changes between now and January 31st (notwithstanding a potential repeat of this year’s extended deadline!) so set aside a couple of hours this week to draft up your email templates.
When client emails are flooding your inbox with similar queries and you have a ‘to chase’ list as long as War and Peace, you’ll be glad to have a repository of pre-written emails ready to go!
2 – Set your rewards
We’ve shared this tip before and it bears repeating; rewards are motivating.
You could book a break for early February as your big “good job” to yourself so you have the treat to look forward to after a busy month.
Or go all in and embrace your inner five year old by creating a reward chart with different treats according to your schedule and workload. Give yourself those gold stars!
3 – Run your reports
Now’s the time to think ahead, so make use of your software’s report and export features to identify overdue paperwork and missing information.
Exporting your due date reminders can also give you a chance to get ahead of those last-moment panics.
Avoiding nasty surprises is always a win!
4 – Check in with your troublemakers
You know the clients who make things harder than they should be. Tackle them well ahead of time and set your rules - then hope that they listen!
Your time is valuable (both working hours and free time) so set your penalties to reflect that attitude and stand your ground when it comes to enforcing additional fees.
5 – Check your tech
We’ll be sharing more steps on this topic next week to get into the details of tech stacks and practice software.
September traditionally kicks off software season, so use the rest of August to take notes on how your current tech works for you.
Keep a jotter by your desk specifically for this task and make a note every time you think “I wish this was easier!”
This method makes it easy to create a map of the gaps and pains in your current set-up over a couple of weeks, giving you a great wish list as you begin to consider alternative options (we’d love to show you ours!).
6 – Create your links directory
A simple spreadsheet pinned to your recent files tab will go a long way with this part of your prep. Start collecting useful links that you come across and save them as you work.
It will mean that when you’re up against it you’ll have easy access to all of those helpful resources. Just copy and paste them into your conversations as needed – no need to hunt through Google to find that one useful link you saw three months ago!
7 – And create your FAQ directory too!
Much the same idea as step 6, but this time you’re doing it with those questions that you know will crop up many (many!) times.
We'd love to hear from you if you're ready to have a more enjoyable Self-Assessment season!
Get in touch on 0345 241 5030 or drop our New Business team a demo request so you can see for yourself.