5th April: Once An Accountant…

5th AprilToday is the fifth of April. I spent thirty years in accounting from 1977 to 2007. I could no more see that date and not shiver with significance, than I could forget my own birthday.

And I’m ready. Today is the tax year-end and I’m ready to submit this year’s tax return. I have my property rental accounts done, my accountants have done the accounts of my limited companies which pertain to this tax year and it isn’t going to take me long to add up my bank interest on my deposit accounts since banks don’t pay much of that any more.

I cannot tell you how much pleasure it gives me to be in a position to submit my year end info to my accountants over the weekend and ask if I am first past the post. You’d think they’d give me some sort of prize, wouldn’t you? But no, nothing yet. I remain hopeful.

My affairs are pretty straightforward, that’s my secret. If it costs more to administer it than it makes a profit, it’s history. That and a nice spreadsheet and Sage. There, now you know what it takes. Oh, and a little proactive enthusiasm for calculating profits and losses, making provision for tax bills and cashflow planning.

I used to give myself a deadline of 30th November to get it all to my accountants because having been one myself, I know they don’t want it all in January. How would you feel if you had to do a whole year’s work over Christmas and in one month? Grim prospect isn’t it? So do have a little consideration for the financial team and determine you will get it all together faster this year.

When you’ve done something for a living, you know how to treat the people who do it for you now. And yes, I know. I’m a girly swot. A client already levelled that accusation at me earlier in the week when I was bragging about my up-to-dateness. Fair enough, I’ll take that. I’d quite like to be wearing the Girly Swot T-shirt today.

Here’s the thing. Even when I did it by 30th November and put it off from today all the way through those eight months, it weighed on me. It was lingering on my To Do list and hanging over me like a burden. I know you know this feeling and I know how stifling it is. So why not do it now or get it done for you?

Back in the day when I was an accountant, we used to think that when a client brought us their books for the very first time it was the best decision they’d made in their business, to outsource accounting and tax so they could focus on the good stuff they love. How about you? Do you love doing your own, or is it time to get it done for you?

5th April. Imagine! This time next year it could be you.

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