With January now upon us, Self Assessment season is in full swing and you’re likely to be talking to your clients more than usual. Here are some tips to help you make the most of these conversations.
Set a schedule
Consider what you need to discuss with your clients this month and then schedule these conversations in advance, giving yourself plenty of time to complete any follow-up actions before 31st January.
Once the conversations are in the diary, set an earlier deadline for your clients to provide you with all the data you’ll need to make the discussions as productive as possible. Aim to review this information promptly so that you can identify any gaps or anomalies in advance.
Share an agenda
Having an agenda in place can lend structure to your client conversations and help to ensure that all the important points are covered. Share the agenda with your clients in advance to let them know what you plan to cover, and to give them the chance to prepare for the conversation.
In advance of each conversation, review your client’s financial data and historical accounting information to remind yourself of their business’s position and to ensure that you’re fully prepared for any questions they might ask.
Bear in mind that Self Assessment will soon be changing, with Making Taking Tax Digital for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTD for ITSA) coming into effect in April 2024. Your conversations this month are a great opportunity to make your clients aware of this impending change.
Follow up in writing
Once you’ve spoken to each of your clients, sending a follow-up email to remind them of the agreed actions should help to ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities.
You may also wish to remind your clients of your deadline for receiving their completed information, along with the details of HMRC’s Self Assessment penalties, to encourage them to complete their tasks on time.