An accountant I was chatting with recently made this astonishing admission. I have to admit I was surprised by his honesty and self awareness.
Most accountants blame their clients for ignoring requests to produce their papers in good time to avoid a last minute rush before the 31 January filing deadline for personal tax returns. My friend acknowledged that with him it’s as much a question of priorities. Even if clients do supply their papers in good time he focuses his attention on meeting earlier deadline such as 31 December for 31 March company accounts and, before that, 30 September for 31 December company accounts. I’ll bet his personal tax return clients wouldn’t want to hear this.
He told me that he incentivises clients to provide all their papers before the end of October each year. He doesn’t always have time to check that the papers are complete and sometimes has to ask for missing details when completing their returns in December and January.
I suspect that my friend is not alone. What do you think and what lessons can we draw from this situation?