It’s Valentine’s Day ... show your accountant you love what they do!

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OK, so I have not completely loopy after the January rush and I am not expecting flowers, chocolates and wine from you all (but feel free … I won’t say no!) but what are the top things to do and not do to keep your accountant happy (be that me or someone else)? And why would you want to?

How to keep your accountant happy

1.      Get organised – keep your paperwork is some sort of order and if you really, really can’t then get help to keep it in order.  Coffee stained, crumpled receipts are no fun for anyone, plus a lot of them fade if they are left in the sun!!

2.      Read your emails – we don’t write them for fun, if we send you something then it’s for a reason, read it, digest it, ask questions.  Don’t just file it away without looking and then email us 2 months later asking the same question - you might get the same email from before pinged back to you!!

3.      Reply to your emails – If we ask for something, it’s because we need it so please reply on a timely basis, it keeps to do lists shorter and means your accountant isn’t constantly picking up and putting down your work.

4.      Listen to our advice – we actually know more than your mate down the pub (unless they are also an accountant, then they might have a valid point).  We studied (lots and hard) and have to keep up to date with changes in accounting standards and legislation (try sitting through some HMRC webinars ... paint drying is more exciting!) So basically, we do know what we are talking about even if you don’t like what we have to say.

5.      Take responsibility – it is YOUR business, not ours and at the end of the day, it is up to you to make sure you sit aside the money for your tax bill.  We do appreciate you are busy running a business (but so are we) so get help if you need it and put reminders in your diary for things – find a system that works for you!

6.      Don’t ask us to make up the numbers – they are what they are! We always ensure that you claim what you can, that you are taking advantage of the right allowances but at the end of the day if you have tripled your sales, your tax bill isn’t going to go down! Look at the bigger picture – you’ve tripled your sales ... that’s AWESOME!!

7.      Remember, you aren’t the only client – most accountants will have hundreds of clients and the work that we do is carefully planned and slotted in to ensure we are working efficiently and that deadlines for everyone are met.  So don’t say “but the deadline is ages away” when we ask for something, it may be but if we have 100 of you with the same deadline it takes planning and management to make sure you all meet that deadline!

8.      Pay on time – it goes without saying ... you don’t like it when you are paid late ... neither does your accountant!

9.      Respect the out of office – it says we are on holiday ... then don’t keep sending emails every day, they won’t get answered and definitely don’t call! Time out is important to all of us so please let us sit and relax for those few weeks of the year we don’t work.

10.  Say thank you – yes, you pay your accountant to do your accounts and tax work, but a thank you is always appreciated!! 

And why would you want to?

As with everything in life – we all remember the ones who say please, who say thank you, the stranger who held the door open when your hands were full, the person who helped you carry the pushchair up the stairs when the lift was broken.  These small things make a difference to people’s lives and help put smiles on peoples faces.

And if we have two clients who need something urgent doing out of the blue (it happens to all of us at times) who are we more likely to find the time to help ... you’ve guessed it ... the nice client who keeps us happy!!

Rachael Savage