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Plumber’s taps

Plumber’s taps

They say that a plumber’s taps are always dripping. That’s because what he does for a living gets left behind when he stops work, and fixing a dripping tap is the last thing he’ll want to do.

I thought of that when I got three different communications this week reminding me I hadn’t done something important for my company. OK, so we can all forget to do things – except I’m basically a Project Manager by trade. Organising things so they don’t get forgotten is what I do. For example, even in the current gig (let’s just say if you wanted to represent it as a painting, you’d need Edvard Munch to do it justice) I manage to keep five work streams running and not dropping things.

So, I was more than a little irritated to have to do company work at home after a ten hour day.

First was Companies House. I got a letter a month ago saying I had not filed my annual return. No worries, I did it that very weekend. Online filing is really dead simple, most of the information is already filled in after all. And I know where I filed the magic numbers to let me log in so it only took 40 minutes to find them. Job done. Today I get another letter: file or we strike off the company. Say what? Cue frantic digging around and no sign of £15 going from the company bank account. Check the email history. Seems I signed up for PROOF (whatever that is) but no confirmation of filing a return. Hmmm… So I do it all again – pausing only to ponder just why I have to fill in “None” in a box about share restrictions when I’m the only shareholder – and this time I get all the confirmations. Phew.

Which rather begs the question though; just what the hell did I do last time round? I didn’t get any error messages, it all seemed to go as planned but clearly I missed a step somewhere. Most odd…

Next one was a VAT return. Second time I’d done one of them on line. Only took 20 minutes to find the log in details this time and once I fathomed my way through the mysteries of the Government Gateway login process I was away. No problems at all.

Then I had to do a form for the accountant. Only six months overdue on that one. And one reminder, saying this is the last reminder I’ll get. Charming, I thought, I pay your wages mate. Anyway a matter of moments to fill in the form. Didn’t even have to hunt for the log in details, I can remember my email address and company number almost every time. Although since 99% of what I just filled in is either in my company details or my accounts, why can’t the accountant look it up for himself and fill it in for me?

OK, so two hours after getting home and it’s all done. It’s time for a large vodka and tonic and collapse in front of something mindless on the telly (there’s plenty of choice, sadly). Bliss…

Oh bugger, haven’t done the blog yet. What the hell am I going to write about this week?

Alan Watts can found at LinkedIn.
© 2010 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

Image: ich liebe das leben wasserhahn by loop_oh

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