Tax practitioners go back to the grindstone

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Rachael Power
Community Correspondent
Sift Media
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Life after self assessment for most accountants appears to be dominated with catch-ups and recovery after the rigours of tax season.

Accountants have been letting us know what life is like in the aftermath of the SA deadline and what they plan to do differently next year in our online survey.

In the first week of polling, eight out of 10 respondents were ‘hardcore’ accountants who were back in the office and carrying on business as usual.

But maybe that figure is so high because everyone else has switched off their computers and put their feet up.

In fact, 15% said they were dusting off their skiis and headed for the nearest piste; others were taking different kinds of holiday, including one trip as far as Australia.

Around 10%...

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08th Feb 2013 11:45

Life after SA

I have to say that having completed all the returns by the 28th January [apart from a very new client who came in on the afternoon of the 31st and I had the time]  I have to admit that the addrenalin was still flowing and was very hard to switch off. Would there ever be a time when HMRC relents and make the tax filing date the 31st March so that we could have a decent Christmas and New Year as we used to have?  

The days following allowed me to catch up with all those boring admin tasks I promised myself"after the rush". These included improving the bookkeeping spreadsheets that I'm slowly getting my shoebox clients to adopt which save us a lot of time. It also impairs a little the client  as he/she has a bit more knowledge of where ther're going instead of waiting until the year end to find out what dividends can be drawn - or tax due.

More later

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By rmunday
to Ruddles
12th Feb 2013 11:46

Life after SA

Change the filing date to 31st March? No, I'm quite happy keeping it to 31st January.

After all the best ski-ing is in February and early March :-)

(On a more serious note - the new penalty regime seems to be concentrating clients minds more than the old paltry £100 fine which everyone seemed to be increasingly  treating as just another expense of business!!)

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08th Feb 2013 13:47

Work Flow

I'm trying to get my Clients to do a monthly paperwork drop, so I can keep up to date and not leave everything until the last week of January. I provide special stationery to achieve that, and am considering a financial incentive also, because I think those costs would allow more of a Client base and thus be self-financing. Of course human nature being what it is ...... !  

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08th Feb 2013 15:21

Pendle Beer Festival

This January was particularly busy, but what got me through was knowing that the local real ale beer festival commenced on the Thursday evening (31st Jan).  Perfect timing and what an enjoyable evening!  Can't thank Camra and the local district council enough.

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08th Feb 2013 15:51

Pendle Beer Festival

Fog and mist over Pendle?

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By derdle
12th Feb 2013 12:11

31st March deadline?

A deadline of 31st March would spoil the start of the new Formula 1 season!

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12th Feb 2013 12:37

Sign of the Times?

Januarys have been getting better over the years, but this year it was back to being a bit of a nightmare.  I blame the recession.

No matter how hard we tried we couldn't get some clients to bring in their books until the last minute.  Obvioulsy they were waiting until they really needed to pay an accountancy fee.

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By Jimess
12th Feb 2013 13:33

Similar experience as John Di Mambro

Clients have really dragged their heels this last year. Apart from a few clients who are not on payments on account not wanting to pay the fees until they have to, I think anyone in business generally is having to work much harder to earn their living.  Certainly in a lot of cases this year the client's excuses for delays in getting hold of client records have mainly been that they have been so immersed in keeping their business running and keeping their customers happy that everything else has just been shelved until absolutely necessary. 

I got off to a bit of a late start myself this season due to being taken poorly in October and things did get pretty squeezed because of the time I needed to recover and attend ongoing medical appointments and the delays in getting client records in.  

What I would like to do differently this year is to try and achieve an even spread of the tax return based work from April forwards.  I was just about on my knees by the end of January, and still not feeling much better, but having achieved what we did in the circumstances was pretty remarkable.

The jury is still out as to whether I want to go through another tax return season next year, but I think that is just tiredness talking.  Hopefully a week off and some quality time with friends and family will soon get me back on top form again.  The recession bit pretty deep in 2012 and from all the doom and gloom accounts, it does not seem that 2013 will be much better so I am not complaining that I had a lot of work to do in January, just glad that we have work to do.

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