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Diary of an adviser: Alan Solomons

Diary of an adviser: Alan Solomons


As a dual qualified chartered accountant and IFA, the first thing I do on a Monday morning is update my to do list. This typically has 20 to 28 items on it. Then I prioritise those items and pick about six that need to be dealt with first.

A prospective investment client from three years ago who is now the subject of an HMRC tax investigation is commenting that I did not mention reputational damage in my email of Friday. I wonder why this is such a big thing for them and I ask to see the letters from HMRC.

I have three client meetings on Thursday that I have not prepared for. I send an email to my colleagues chasing an update that is missing so I can review their work and finalise accounts and tax returns before Thursday. 

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I miss an IHT webinar I wanted to watch as there is no time for that.

Late on Monday data comes in for a large payroll. I notify my colleagues in India that it is ready for them to work on.


I get a call from Transact about funds that have at last arrived. One of my template funds is now closed for business. I am asked what I want to do.

In an email, another accountancy client says he can now proceed with his protection policies. He asks for a meeting to discuss it and we agree on Friday.

Payroll is completed by my colleagues just before lunch. I check this as there are 50 employees with various complications. Then I email the information to the client so the employees can be paid by Bacs on Friday.


I negotiate a deal with Unbiased for my renewal. It takes ages as the person I am dealing with is not a clear communicator. 

I am still wrapping up things for tomorrow’s meetings.

The letters from HMRC come through from the prospect. I now see why they are concerned about reputational damage. I chase for more information on what was submitted to HMRC, last year’s accounts and what was sent to the accountant.

I want to quote for the accounts so that we can have an ongoing relationship.


I pack papers and client records ready to go to the Harrow office, as I work from home as much as I can. The internet at home is three times faster than the office, at 200MBS.

The meetings with all three clients go well. Coincidentally, they have all been with me for 27 years. This is a sad day in some respects as two are retiring and this will be the last time we will meet. I thank the two retirees for being clients for so long.

The other client has an overdrawn director's loan account. They have taken money out of the company to save for corporation tax, but agree to put this back once they understand the adverse tax implications


Preparing for the meeting in the afternoon is my main morning task.