A day in the life of a tech accountant

Today is Monday

I try if possible to only respond to urgent emails over the weekend and leave the rest for Monday. Well Monday has arrived so from 8-9:30 I catch up on these emails and read newswires such as TechCitynews, Bdaily, Enterprise East London and of course Accountancy Age!
My first human contact is meeting with one of my colleagues to review and update where we are with the EIS and SEIS applications we are currently dealing with. Unfortunately HMRC are currently taking 6-8 weeks to respond to both pre-assurance and EIS1 submissions and understandably for those seeking urgent investment, this time lag can often result in an extremely anxious time.

Following this meeting, I head to Clerkenwell to meet a tech start-up prospect who was kindly recommended to me. This is one aspect of working in the tech arena that never ceases to both amaze and delight me; it separates tech from just about every other sector. Nice as it is to be referred to potential clients, the simple fact is that with other non-tech clients, I have to pro-actively request referrals. It will come as no surprise that recruitment companies for example are hardly likely to recommend a good accountant to their competitors. By contrast, in the tech start-up sector, recommendations and introductions are inherent within the start-up culture and I am continually grateful to be involved as an advisor to a growing number of companies in the start-up world). Meeting at the Workshop Clerkenwell Cafe I am truly blown away by the disruptive nature of the technology I have just seen, albeit on a Slidedeck presentation. This guy had been a highly paid and successful employee in telecommunications but felt that he needed a new challenge and with a great concept and now a great product I have high expectations.

With a meeting in Soho in an hour or so, I next swap one coffee house for another as I pop into Starbucks for a Skype call with a Slovenian tech client who needs us to assist with her Xero bookkeeping software. Skyping through smartphones whilst both of us are logged into Xero, courtesy of the iPad, we very quickly sort out the problem.

Whilst in Starbucks I respond to an email from a colleague asking a technical question relating to certain qualifying expenditure for R&D tax credits. R&D tax credits definitely fall into the category of one of those tax reliefs that is �easy when you know how�.
Hopping on a bus to Tottenham Court Road I meet up with a client and old friend who asks me to advise on some sizeable share options he has been granted and the tax implications should the company go public via an IPO. At the same time he also asks me about any start-ups I know looking for seed investment as he is particularly attracted to the tax relief on offer and is prepared to invest a fair amount into a portfolio of companies. I mention that I can introduce him to a couple of tech clients that I know are looking for seed investment and may be appropriate but not forgetting to point out that any investment is of course made entirely at his own risk.
It�s mid-afternoon and I head back to our office in Ilford to read, reply and originate yet more emails. The work day is rounded off with a Partners meeting which ends at 7pm. Luckily my journey home is only 10 minutes and I just manage some quality reading time with my 6 year old (my 4 year old long since fallen asleep by singing Frozen, continuously) before some dinner and an evening of World Cup football (oh - and a few more emails).

Steven Sandford is a Partner of DGIT Systems LLP, part of Davis Grant Limited, accountants, tax and business advisors based in East London.