The Practitioner: Mid-life crisis brings succession planning to mind

APPROACHING a ‘landmark age’ in my life in a couple of weeks has made me evaluate everything. Work in particular.

I used to think that growing turnover and building a bigger practice was the be all and end all. It’s fair to say that my early goal of making £1m by the time I reach this landmark age is not going to happen. In an ideal world my thinking right now would be to sell the practice, and consult for a few key clients working two days a week, and golf two or three days a week.

I’m sure it’s all part of the normal mid-life crisis signs and I will probably get over it this time next year. But as the children grow up and home life becomes a bit less frantic it’s making me think that my work life should match.

Having said all of this, we are still pressing ahead with telemarketing appointment-making, and referrals are at an all-time high. Turnover is growing. I probably need to start to plan for a successor just in case my mid-life crisis turns out to be a permanent thing.

VAT’s the way to do it

A high percentage of our new clients are keen to sign up to the flat rate scheme for vat and this is something we push actively. In new client meetings it is surprising to hear how many business owners are unaware of the scheme. I can only assume that many accountants are unaware of it also.

Many clients of ours benefit between £3k to £6k per year by being on the scheme, as well as saving on vat return preparation fees by preparing the simpler return themselves.
I’m struggling to think of another initiative from HMRC that has been as helpful to small businesses but I look forward to more to come. I won’t hold my breath and I doubt I’ll witness anything as useful in the few years left before I sell up and ride into the sunset on my Harley Davidson…

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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