Much of the activity undertaken by professional practices is driven by the need to meet filing deadlines. In the trade we call this compliance work. Whilst this is a useful service to the business community, it will always be seen as an activity that is required by the powers that be, rather than something that improves bottom line profits or the take home pay of individuals.
Unfortunately, firms who rely solely on compliance work are likely to be tarred by the same brush, we will be seen as a cost centre, not as a valuable advisor.
The end of the annual self-assessment filing season provides an opportunity to take a deep breath and consider your options for the future, and this year there is a lot to consider.
Discounting the political manoeuvres the other side of the Atlantic, clients will be concerned by the potential for economic fallout posed by Brexit and the uncertainty of the Making Tax Digital proposals – will we ever see legislation on this topic?
Should we, therefore, take some time out and consider our options?
What about giving some time to your A list clients and asking them what their concerns are for 2017 and beyond? Make it clear that you are “off the clock” and listen and record what they say.
Very often we are drawn to imposing third party advice to clients, that we think will be useful, but may only create confusion and resentment the other side of the table. Proactivity is surely addressing presented concerns, not presuming unrequired solutions?
Time to step off the treadmill. Time to consider how to spend more time seeking out and addressing real problems; where the opportunity to provide appreciated and valued advice is to be found.