The Elephant in the Room
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room and that would be how this small accounting firm is set up. I am a sole trader firm, which of course can worry people. After all, do I have the time to dedicate to do your work? What happens if I go on holiday? Get sick? Get really busy? These are all valid concerns, so let’s take each one.
A sole trader:
Can I really do it all? Well, I don’t do everything myself as I do have people I call upon to work on sections of the business. Payroll at the moment always goes to a specialist as I can’t know everything to do with tax and accounts as well as payroll, and some things are better off in the hands of a specialist that all they do is payroll. It’s the same with some aspects of bookkeeping. I may set it all up, but then I hand it over to a local bookkeeper to get to a certain stage of the tax return. It always gets reviewed by me before it goes to you and as your final numbers.
From May 2022, we should have on board a lovely practice admin person so you may have her contacting you to chase for documents needed, reminders as well as trying to keep be on the straight & narrow. The add diet coke on my desk helps. If you want to say “hello” to her or ask an admin question, then her name is Sharon and can be contacted on [email protected] . I have promised that whe won’t have to deal with any nitty gritty bookkeeping, accounting or tax issues. After all, who wants to do that !! 🙂
A lot of time and investment has been made in developing systems so we don’t drop the ball. During normal office hours, if I am unavailable on the phone then there is an answering service that can easily take a message for you as well as book an appointment for a return call in the diary if you can’t find the link on the website. Checklists are in use to ensure that we don’t miss anything, from being set up as a client through to the sign off in the accounts of tax. There are times when systems will break, especially in January for some reason, and some admin catch up happens in February, but these systems are pretty robust and truly followed. I even have a client portal for documents to be loaded to if you’d rather not email things.
Our busy time:
December and January are nightmare months for self-assessment tax return, which is why we ask for your information at the latest the end of September to ensure that we can get everything filed at the end of the year. This gives you six months to complete your bookkeeping records as well as the 12 months of the tax year. Of course, the earlier you get your information to us, then the earlier we can file your return and then you know how much you need to pay or even get a tax refund. Certain parts of the bookkeeping being locally outsourced, certainly helps spread the load where appropriate.
What happens if I take a holiday or go away on one of my planning weekends? Scheduled time out of the business is easily accommodated, and all accountants have to take breaks at some stage (often in February). Just keep an eye on my email signature or my online diary. Depending on the type of break away, I still may be able to respond to email queries.
Then we come to sickness. Well, it’s not something that can be planned in, so the odd day of sickness can’t be helped. However, if there is long-term sick we do have an alternate that can take over and do the work needed. This is a requirement by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales so you don’t feel stuck and you have no idea where to go.
How we work:
There is a knowledge bank set up to answer questions about HMRC & what can be done on the digital tax accounts, general advice, and there is a section on how we work. It covers the onboarding process ( click on here ) and also the self assessment tax return process we work through with clients ( Click here ). More will be added to do with company account, VAT, payroll, Xero support and the dreaded making tax difficult digital (the starting point is here ) .
The clients I work with love the personal touch from somebody that truly understands what it takes to be a performer, run a theatre school and work behind the scenes in the business full of show, and choose to come to me because of these not in spite of them. So if that is you, excellent, and I really hope we can speak soon. My number? Oh yes : 01344 669084 or you can book an appointment in the diary here >>> https://calendly.com/performanceaccountancy