I am sitting here with my feet up having just filed the last of our 2010 Self Assessment Forms for clients. It is always a slightly satisfying time although marred each year despite my best attempts by clients who just will not co-operate. I chase, text, telephone, email, visit and even harrang offenders in the streets trying to get information out of them. This year I have just one, yes Matthew, you know who you are, who has flatly refused to co-operate and will now receive a £100 fine.
Still – only one is a lot better than it used to be!
I have taken on two new clients recently who have come from accountants whose service actually beggars belief. It gives me great faith that I am still doing something right when I see how some “professionals” operate. I will not go into details here but the worst of the two produced some draft accounts that were clearly missing substantial amounts of information, not least of which was their own fee, and then filed them with HMRC costing the client some £10,000 more tax than necessary.
I get very angry that accountants who drop howlers like that are never members of a good professional body so there is little that can be done to correct their stupidity. I did think of naming and shaming a few but daren’t due to obvious legal hassles that would undoubtly head my way.
All I can do is re-affirm the necessity of making sure your bookkeeper is qualified and legally able to trade (by this I mean registered under the money laundering regulations – surprising how many are not – even now) and that your accountant is qualified and insured. It might not keep you from heavy tax bills that are rightly due as the government continually turn the screws on small businesses, but at least you will know that you are being looked after properly by people who really do know what they are doing.
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I promise I will get back to normal postings next month now things are settled down. No more skin cancer ops, no more plumber upheaval, no more (for a few months) lengthy hospital appointments – just work, work, work!