Happy New Year? For many accountancy firms, this time of year sparks the beginning of the busiest time of year.

The January 31st deadline is looming and once again your clients are suddenly realising that they have to pay tax and that they really ought to get their accounts in place so you can tell them how much they owe.

Every year this happens and the only way to break this is through education and constant reminders and nudges to get the right records, receipts, documents, and information over to you, the accountant.

This probably comes down to Parkinson’s Law:

Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.

“A whole year to complete a tax return? I have ages!” they must think.

Clients might keep their accounts up-to-date throughout the year, or they may just send you everything in one go and rely on you to do the rest.

So how can you have a more peaceful January in 2020?

Scare your clients with tales of fines?

Encouraging your clients to get their accounts in order earlier and keep them as up-to-date as much as possible all year round is an easy solution, but it might seem like a tough one to manage.

Even when you explain the possible danger of a late submission or payment, it can seem like it won’t happen to them.

The client could face:

  • Penalties for late filing.
  • Penalties for late payment.
  • Penalties for failing to notify liability to pay tax.

You could explain this and hope that the threat of fines is enough. Continue reading...