December and January is typically a busy time of year for accountants. To a degree this is understandable. The self assessment filing deadline is 31st January. But the question is, is it acceptable for an accountant to run his or her business this way? Don’t their clients deserve better?
If your accounts and tax return are being prepared in January for the 31st January deadline, that means the year end is at least 10 months past and can be up to 21 months past. That means that these accountants are working on data that can be up to 33 months old. Think how many tax planning opportunities may have been missed in that time. And don’t think that its only the small high street guys who are like this. The “busy January” phenomenon is equally prevalent in big contractor accountants.
The fact is accountants are busy in Decmber and January because they choose to be. As long as businesses are allowed to procrastinate, they will. But what good does this procrastination serve? Very little. At BroomeAffinity, we work on the basis that our clients should have No Tax Surprises. We can’t very well make good on this commitment if we are advising of a significant tax bill a fortnight before its due. That, and the fact that it’s too late to do anything about reducing this tax bill, means that this is a foolhardy way to deal with clients.
Its an undeniable truth that if your accountant lets you wait until January to provide your accounts to them, or worse still, sits your books on a shelf until January, then they are failing you. Wouldn’t it be better if your accountant was working on your accounts in real time, or at the very least, last month’s figures and identifying and exploiting tax planning opportunities which can be implemented in your business right now? To the savvy contractor the answer is obvious..
So, to the accountants busy working to meet self-imposed deadlines that have nothing to do with their clients, a warning: If you don't talk to your clients, someone else will The BroomeAffinity team are available to speak to clients - both existing and prospective - throughout December and January. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01324 464510 if you have something you’d like to discuss.