An Unreasonable Expectation…

Accounts, Management & Growth, Tax,

Over a few days last week I spent some time catching up with various members of the family that I haven’t seen for a while. The subject of work came up, and as has happened before, the person I was talking to said they felt bad that they aren’t 100% confident about their accounts and tax.

I told them that’s mad, and a wholly unreasonable expectation!


Because this is a sole trader who runs their own, growing business. They know their business and the technical aspects of it backwards, sideways and inside out. Yet they felt bad that they didn’t know ours.

Now do you see why I thought that they were mad to feel bad?

I don’t service my own car, nor do I expect any non-mechanic to do so. I don’t expect a mechanic to be able to colour and cut someone’s hair, nor do I expect our very knowledgable web-guru to do so.

As business owners we all need to know the basics of what is due to HMRC and when, ideally knowing how to manage our numbers to know where to find the key ones that show how the business is really doing.

Beyond that though, is what a good accountant should be bringing to the relationship.

Choose the right accountant and you should feel confident to ask questions you don’t know the answers to. You should be able to pick up the phone or drop an email to ask, and understand the answer that you get at the time. If you don’t recall the finer details in six months, that’s OK.

When I take my car in for work, I want to be sure that what is done is genuinely required. Beyond that though, I don’t need to know how it is done or which parts are required. I’m paying someone else to know their job, so that I can trust them to get on with it. I don’t have an unreasonable expectation that I will become an expert in mechanics as a result. 

So next time you feel bad for not being confident that you know everything about your tax position, or your business numbers, just take a breath and check that you’re being fair to yourself! If you really don’t feel confident, make the calls to find the answers and to get a good grasp of the basics. Otherwise, concentrate on the areas you need to know about, and let your accountant take the strain!

If we can help at all, please get in touch; we’re here to help, and include telephone and email support as part of our quoted fees.

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