Self assessment preparations: tips and advice

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Rachael Power
Community Correspondent
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Like it or not, self assessment season is creeping up on us. To get you in the mood Keytime has put together a self assessment guide featuring tips and advice from fellow practitioners.

The firm asked its accountant customers for their views ahead of tax-return season which, with the arrival of a throng of child benefit claimants forced into self assessment, is shaping up to be even busier as we head towards January 2014.

The accountants consulted were Steve Lambert of Lambert Clerical, John Robinson of Robinson Stewart & Co and Adrian Lawrence of Account Solutions York.

How do you cope with the busy season?

Because January has always been the busiest month of the year,  Lambert...

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22nd Oct 2013 12:03

January would be quite slow for us without the final self assessments to be honest but I find getting staff to ring clients shames a lot of them to bring their accounts in - also offering to pick it up can push them into sorting it out


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22nd Oct 2013 14:32

January Holiday

I always take an overseas holiday in January as most of my SA returns have been filed by the end of September. I only have 3 clients who leave it until the last minute and can live with that.  I have a strict policy of not doing late returns and any client who is late for whatever reason, is dumped. I can afford to pick and choose who I take on and don't like those who leave things until the last minute.  These people often have not set aside sufficient funds for their January POA and if they turn into insolvency cases, there is a risk I will not be paid.  The vast majority of my clients get their figures to me as soon as possible after their year end as they want to know where they stand. My busiest months are May, June and July.

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08th Jan 2014 12:52

Stress Solution is.....


Get HMRCy to bring the deadline forward to 30th November. Think it through......

When do clients do anything? Only in Sept-Nov because they are BUSY BUSY people the rest of the year, and we have to FIT IN. Full details of my reasoning are below:-


Jan  getting over Christmas, check over skiing gear

Feb skiing

Mar Spring soon, leaf through some holiday brochures

Apr yo, can walk outside again, see if that Bistro has put some tables back outside

May dig out the barbie

Jun tennis

Jul Ibitha

Aug Zakanthos




Dec yo partytime



As you can see three is a solid three month window where we have their un-divided attention, and indeed ours also.

This simple change would also mean i could enjoy Christmas, and not have to keep rushing in to the office to shuffle papers and cheer the troops on.

What's not to like?

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