I don’t recall ever seeing a cobbler’s children running around without shoes. But I understand the old adage. Their father was typically too busy fixing his customer’s shoes such that his children had to go barefoot.

Perhaps it is for similar reasons that many accountants leave their own annual accounts and tax returns to the last minute. I applaud those who get such things out of the way earlier in the year, but I believe they are in a minority.

I wonder if there is any correlation between those accountants who leave their own tax affairs to the last minute and those who are still doing loads of clients’ tax returns in January? I wonder if those accountants who sort out their own affairs early are also better placed to encourage clients to do so too?

I know I’m not in practice any more but I despair at how many otherwise professional, competent and experienced accountants still suffer each January. They blame their clients who apparently ignore their accountant’s advice and encouragement to provide all necessary information earlier in the year. Maybe there some clients who will always be like this – regardless of the penalties their accountants impose and unmoved by the incentives to be better organised. But why do so many accountants still have so many problematic clients?

I’m curious. Do you take your own advice? Are your own tax filings sorted yet for the last tax year? And, if so, do you still have loads of clients who tax affairs need sorting? Or not?