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The Practitioner: Working in the slow lane

IT’s COMING UP to the first anniversary of the passing of my father, and I often think of a phrase he loved to use; “I’m doing nothing slowly”.

I often think of the saying, none more so than when stuck in a jam on the motorway, something I have done plenty of this past couple of weeks.

Travelling is great from a business point of view, I have seen lots of clients existing and new, and secured new work.

It’s not so good from a health point of view however. I have a habit of eating crap food while on the road, and then a take-away with her indoors on my return home.

The long hours spent in the car are great however for two things; thinking – and catching up with clients on the phone.

I especially appreciate the thinking time that driving gives me, and as I crawl slowly up and down the M6 I look across at other businessmen in their cars and wonder how many great ideas are being thought of. Some of my best ideas come whilst sat in the car…though most of them don’t seem as good the next day when back in the office, if I’m honest.

The difficulty comes when clients phone asking me to look at an email while on the road. I tend to spend a few days traveling at a time, which does make responding to such requests in a timely manner difficult.

Thanks to free wifi in most motorway service areas this is less of a problem.
I draw the line, however, at carrying out complicated stamp duty calculations at a motorway service, especially when the request comes from a solicitor who is herself getting paid to work it out.

A client of mine has recently taken on a new lease at a large retail outlet and I don’t think it’s unfair to say the solicitor didn’t have a clue how to calculate the stamp duty.

The client/solicitor/accountant relationship is certainly an interesting one.
I think the mutual feeling between the client and the accountant is that the solicitor gets paid too much and does too little too slowly, or as my dad would have said ‘doing nothing slowly’.

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from within their own practice – having left a regional firm in the heart of England

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