Member Since: 19th May 2011
Jennifer Adams is Consulting Editor of AccountingWEB and is a professional business author specialising in corporate governance and taxation. She runs her own accounting and consultancy business with offices based in Surrey and Dorset.
17th Nov 2019
It depends what you mean by "taking time for yourself". You dont have to take a holiday to take time off.
I havent taken a set-number-of-days-holiday in years but I have set myself a rule that I'm out of the office at least once a week and (apart from looking at Accweb to catch up on what is happening etc) I have Sunday off (unless Tom is pushing for an article!).
I also see most clients outside of the office at a very nice relaxing hotel up the road for a cappuchino and fattening cake.
Attending networking events is time off.. it can be fun if you choose the group carefully.
Being self employed means that you can go to events that other people who work 9-5 cant.. a day out to Accountex for example (3 hours train doing nothing except looking at the countryside as you travel). This Weds I'm off to a landlords event being given by the local Council to include a buffet on taxpayers money - nothing to do with tax.
Until a month ago I didnt have a smart phone - I do now but the email facility is permanently switched off. If clients want me their emails have to wait until I'm back in the office. I put on Google's automated email response.
... but then I live in the heart of Dorset and my "time off" is looking at the view of the hills whenever I look up from my desk.
17th Nov 2019
This is what caught my eye...
"They can sell-up now and even stick around for two-to-three years and credit their capital account with, say, £0.5m and when they retire they can have that £500,000,” advised Gilchrist. "... what a great idea!! I'm sure someone would love to pay that for my business...in your dreams! The multiple for selling is 1: 1 remember
My father worked in his practice until he died at aged 84 years - he needed to.. it was his pension as it is mine.
Desert Orchid has the right idea.
Re Off payroll working... most general practitioners can weather the storm as they only have a few of these (as I do) .I have to say that I think MTD for income will be more of a reason for many small one man band practices for reduce/sell/hand over clients.
Looking for a block of clients is a long drawn out process. I started looking about 3 years ago and sourced 4 with due diligence etc before finding one that I was comfortable with.
But if anyone is thinking of selling you cant do wrong than speak to Nicola Hinks of Draper Hinks - she knows everything there is to know about selling and buying of accountants practices.
and no... Tom you cant have my business ):... post code GU21...
27th Oct 2019
Can I ask a basic innocent question... who is their right minds would become an auditor?
I would suggest that anyone who is on the road to qualification keep well away.
Boring job anyway.
27th Oct 2019
The main problem is the mortgage.Lenders just dont like individual owners becoming companies as well as the points 'ireallyshouldknowthis' makes. I've done calculations for some of my clients and its just not worth it unless the taxpayer doesnt have a mortgage on the properties. Even then they really need to be 'professional landlords' (ie > 4 properties)
This 'brilliant' idea of George Osborne's has caused a lot of damage in the landlord world... in that many have sold up.
86% of landlords are sole landlords in it for their pension - now they are going as the grief is not worth it.
I have a cllient who is a letting agent - he says he has a number of tenants on his books waiting but there are no landlords. And if they are out there many are now HMO's.
26th Oct 2019
Kevinringer - re dividend waivers - you are absolutely right - since this article was written 4 years ago they have now been deemed a 'reserved legal activity' and as such you have to get a solicitor involved at, as you say... the cost..
Alphabet shares are still perfectly acceptable and do-able without getting a solicitor involved. Its not a difficult process.
Always look at the articles of assoc 1st to check that they are permitted. If not then amend. The Model Articles need amending as the article states.
13th Sep 2019
Can I just give my 'twopennyworth'? Showing my age here!!
I have a client for whom this has been very distressing.
Two separate agencies told her that she couldnt work unless she set up a limited company.
It wasnt until I came along at the end of the year that I saw one of these 'loans' on her payslips.
It has been hell trying to get HMRC to agree to the 'offer' (or rather they told us what to put on the 'offer' declaration.
Once I worked out what it was all about I wrote = no reply. 3 phone calls chasing. They changed the rules and we had to apply online.
Months went by. Client left to work abroad and came back... still months went by.
A year in all. She couldnt pay as she didnt have a reference number specific to the 'loan dept'
All over now and she's paid. She didnt know what she was getting into.
When I queried why it had taken so long I was told that all the depts energies were targeted at the companies but it was the employee who would be picking up the tab.
13th Aug 2019
You have to draw a line between giving a service and sticking strictly to the 'office hours' rules. If a client wanted to just have advice in office hours then there are many other accs they could go to. I do the same as Vallery Lee - I work on a Sat am because that means I dont feel so guilty at taking a day (or 2!) off in the week which is the joy of working for yourself also many clients are Sat workers. However, I do draw a line on Sundays.
As I've said under previous similar comments - it's the 'I need the accs for my (re)mortgage as in yesterday' clients who really get to me or the client who recently phoned every day for 4 days wanting his accounts - jumping the queue of those other clients who had dutifully sent their accs in ontime as he wanted to apply for a US grant.
Have a look at this article and see whether you can take on board any of the suggestions:
Practical tactics for dealing with difficult clients-
2nd Aug 2019
V glad no penalties for 1st non/late submission. A client of mine got himself in a state because he sent his June 2019 return via the 'old' HMRC page and thought he's be penalised.
31st Jul 2019
One of the most valuable tips I learnt from Accweb was to ditch the clients who cause you grief .
The test being that if they ring you, you see their name and think... oh no..not him! = get rid of them.
You also need to decide on the type of client you want to have.
If you want a peaceful (although not particularly lucrative life) then go for the subbies (get the refund into your client account so you know you will be paid).
Dont give free advice
Read indomitable's comment and follow it to the letter.
Get out more... thats not being unkind but go to networking events but not only to network.
£75K is a dream for us South West in the country types.
31st Jul 2019
My 'list of things to be done next month' includes 4 VAT returns, invoicing, submitting signed accounts, ringing HMRC asking why they havent loaded my VAT clients onto my new ASA as yet although I did the necessary 10 days ago, ringing HMRC asking why they have taken a year to finalise a "loan account "problem although I've done everything for them, incorporating 2 companies, proof reading 4 texts, writing 2 articles for Accweb, planning a guide to Landlord expenses for Tax Insider.
Question... what's a holiday?