Brown envelope syndrome, and its modern equivalent.

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EXTRACTED FROM THE DIARY OF “SO MUCH MORE THAN AN ACCOUNTANT”


I

was reminded recently of a client suffering from classical “brown envelope syndrome”. The client was actually a pub client but unbeknown to us, also had a construction company. This was at the time that the CIS monthly reporting system had been introduced, and was now into the first year of fines.

Our client handed us 60 envelopes, which he had received over a twelve month period, and of which only the first three had been opened. He apparently couldn’t deal with opening the remainder, but simply gathered them together in a drawer.

I’m sure the psychologists can explain it better than me, but not engaging with their affairs also extends to their accounting in many instances. We have many clients, for whom we still prepare their work on our desktop software. From April 2019 this system will not meet the needs of Making tax Digital, and we are in the process of migrating relevant clients to cloud based software.  These clients send us their paperwork and we process it behind “closed doors”. Using cloud accounting allows a client to engage with their accounting just as we do. This does not however mean they will, and we should expect this with some of our clients.

Fortunately, as Xero Silver partners, we have access to one of their products which allows us to process the clients work as before, but does not allow the client to do likewise. It does however allow the client to view their accounts if they so choose. This is a more cost effective solution and may well be attractive to future clients also, extending our ability to service clients in the way they would be happiest with.

To discuss any issues this may raise please call Barry on 07899 947578 or the office on 01427 679175

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