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Who makes the tea?

8th Apr 2011
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Thoughts of a home worker in a classic post borrowed from Phil Hendy's PAH Accounting blog.

Having recently decided to go self employed, set up and run my own accountancy firm, the first thing I had to do was organise my own home office.  It is not as easy as one may think.

One of the first things to get used to is doing everything; hence the question of ‘who makes the tea?’  I have a corporate background where there was always someone to do it for you and yes, I should take my turn, but I was always too busy and this was low down on my list of priorities.

And then you have summer holidays where we have a four-year-old running around. This causes its own problems and you can imagine trying to make phone calls or concentrate on important work. In order to get around these issues, I needed to make sure that I had my own workspace, complete with a closable door and that I always give clear instructions when I’m not to be disturbed.

So why am I telling you all this?  Well, as an accountant who deals with the SME sector, my main client base is owner managed businesses, sole traders and limited companies.  A lot of these are also home workers.  This therefore gives me an understanding of my clients’ needs and issues.

As well as blogging regularly, Phil sends out a regular newsletter and tweets as @PAHaccounting.


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John Stokdyk, AccountingWEB head of insight
By John Stokdyk
08th Apr 2011 18:57

This one spoke to me...

Thanks for letting us republish your post, Phil. As a home-worker myself, I identify with a lot of the points you raise. I've been doing it for 10 years now, and have noticed a few other behavioural issues:

In the absence of any social interaction, I find myself talking to my computer - using industrial language on some occasions. This can be slightly disconcerting for colleagues when I do turn up at our Bristol office.After wearing slippers for around 75% of my working life, I find shoes really uncomfortable when I do have to go out!People always ask me about how self-disciplined I am. With an ever-hungry website to feed, I find that the real discipline isn't so much about not bunking off, but knowing when to stop. Since I am writing this at 7pm on Friday after a nine-hour working day, I really need to keep an eye on my work-life balance.

Can members think of other tell tale signs of a home-working accountant?

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PAH Accounting Devizes Wiltshire
By Phil Hendy
09th Apr 2011 11:15

Thanks for comment

 Thanks for publishing and the comments. This was posted a couple of years ago, early on in my own business. I have had to go through some real discipline issues with myself since. In particular, turning the tele off, working in my office and not the lounge etc.

In terms of tell tale signs, I think the most obvious is the casual look. I now rarely go out in a full suit, usually trousers and shirt. It is actually appreciated by a lot of my clients (small owner managed businesses).

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