MIPs: Taking time off

Psyche Registered Posts: 187 ? ? ?
Hi all
My next column for Accounting Technician is about how MIPs can take a summer holiday. The easy answer is "take your laptop with you" but what if you're going someplace more exotic, like a two-week trek in the Andes or the wilds of Borneo, where there's no internet access? Anyone taken a holiday like this, and if so, how have you arranged to cover the needs of your practice whilst you were away?


  • burg
    burg Moderator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    Our practice is run by me full time and my wife part time. We have not necessarily taken a holiday where there is no internet access but we have taken a holiday where we are not contactable by clients. We are at the stage now where we have a regular subcontractor who can work in our offices should we decide to go away. We avoid having weekly payrolls (only have 3) as this enables more flexibility and do not do much VAT or bookkeeping work. Accounts and Tax work is far easier to plan and move around and we work using year ends to request work rather than deadlines so there is not often any great rush. All this helps and has been developed from those early days and the work/life balance we wanted from running our own practice.

    There are obvious times when taking holidays is far more difficult such as January but clients are aware I have a young family and with that comes wanting to spend time with them including early finishes and holidays. There are very few occasions when there is something so urgent that a client must speak to me now. Yes they may well like to speak with me at that time but it is not always necessary. With where we are at with our practice we can now pick and choose clients better and have recently started a process whereby we are grading clients based on key requirements to us which includes how organised clients are as well as how they view deadlines and how demanding they are of 'urgent' work. This then leads to a 'notice to improve' or else. Ultimately it can lead to fee increases and for more serious offenders the request to find an alternative accountant. Whilst clients and money are important we have a steady flow of new clients all the time and these worst offenders tend to take up a lot of time for little gain and spoil the system for the good clients. Having good, reasonable and understanding clients leads to the possibility of better planning work loads and less of an effect should you wish to take time off.

  • JodieR
    JodieR Registered Posts: 1,002
    Hi, I went to South Africa for nearly 3 weeks in Feb. I've got an assistant who's worked for me for 18 months now so I gave him full access to my emails and I put my sim card in an old phone so that he could respond to all calls/texts. We set up a new gmail account which we both had access to so that if anything urgent came up and the client insisted that it couldn't wait until I was back, my assistant emailed the details to this new account and I could just log into that account and deal with it. There is obviously internet access in South Africa but as many people are on 'pay as you go' contracts and the signal strength can be poor this meant that I was able to access what i needed quickly and efficiently. We also bought a PAYG sim card in SA so my assistant could text me to alert me to any emails coming in. This system did work pretty well and I will probably use it again next time I'm away.
    Also, by taking a holiday in February very few of my personal tax clients would have even known that I was away, although I appreciate that this isn't always a great time of year to go away for many other factors.
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