THE EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM
It’s a common problem for accountants, that some clients don’t get their paperwork in on time – or
at least sometimes, it can be last minute. This is not good for either the accountant or the client.
The accountant may be swamped with work at certain times of year. If enough clients bring
paperwork in late, the accountant will rush to get the job done and there is the possibility that
mistakes might be made. There won’t be time to look at the accounts carefully and see what
opportunities there are for tax planning or make changes to the business to improve it.
The client will also be stressed because they don’t know whether their paperwork will be processed
on time, they don’t know what their tax bill is going to be, they may not know whether they have
enough money to pay it and they may risk penalties if it gets submitted late.
At JDH, we provide each client with a personalised calendar and a set time to bring their paperwork
in. This ensures that the work load is spread over the year. This means that we can give each client
the right amount of attention to their business needs. We can look at tax planning, business growth,
provide tips and ideas for improving the business. The client has plenty of time to know what the tax
bill will be and knows the tax return will be submitted on time.
To illustrate the above, I would like to relate a case study of a business we were accountants for. This
business was very healthy and robust. The owners were husband and wife and they worked from
home. They had some overheads but made a very healthy profit and cash flow was good. When their
financial year ended, we tried to get the paperwork in, to be able to prepare their accounts. Despite
repeated requests, we didn’t get the paperwork until about 8 months later and had very little time to
prepare the accounts. At that point, they went on an extended luxury holiday and didn’t get back until
a few days before their tax bill was due. When we presented their tax bill to them, they couldn’t pay
it because they had just spent all their money on their holiday. They owed HMRC £10,000. The
business ceased trading.
Please co-operate with your accountant – they want the best for you and your business. If you find your accountant is always last minute and it’s not your fault, please contact us for an appointment to see how we can help you. 01443 740800 / 01443 858119.