The grass really is greener on the other side

by Steve Wiltshire

I mowed my lawn last week.

Amidst all the gloom surrounding the crisis currently facing the world, how lovely it has been to see some sunshine over the last few weeks.  I love this time of year, when lighter evenings and brighter, warmer days make us feel more inclined to be out in the open air.

Looking out of the window, I decided that a good tidy up of the lawn would help my mind to feel more ordered as I look at the view from my desk, and get some fresh air in my lungs during this enforced period of working from home.

Hauling the mower at the back of the shed, I put in some fresh petrol, and tried to start the engine.

But it didn’t want to start.  After several minutes of increasingly fatigued tugging at the starter cord, the engine reluctantly came to life, spluttering unhappily.

I adjusted the wheels to their highest setting, so as not to overwork the mower as it tackled the long grass, and one of the front ones was stuck.  I eventually freed it, and began to move around the lawn, but the wheel didn’t want to stay in place, seemingly determined to keep moving back to its preferred low, ‘cricket pitch at the height of summer’ level, repeatedly sending the mower off course without notice.

And that was when it occurred to me: “Perhaps this is the year for a new mower!”

It’s the thought I have every year during the first mow of the season.  The business case is certainly there: I’ve had this trusty old mower for many years, and I’ve had good use out of it.  Yes, buying a replacement one would mean some investment, but it would make mowing the lawn so much easier.  It’d be quicker for a start – no more struggling to get it started at the beginning of the season, and it would be much more willing to move in the direction I want it to.  And I’d be much happier with the state of the lawn afterwards too.  Which would make me more content when I’m back at my desk looking out of the window.

But every year, what do I do about it?  Nothing.

Sure, I have a look online at the mowers I might buy, and perhaps even doing some price comparisons on a particular model.  But I never actually buy one.  “Well, I’m busy you see.”  “…And the lawn needs mowing now, I’ll just use the old one this time”.  “Perhaps I’ll order a new one next week…”

Then every week, I have the same fight with the starter cord, the same wrestle to make it go in the direction I want, and the same continual need to adjust the height of the front right-hand wheel so that the lawn doesn’t end up a mess at the end of the day.

You might have the same situation with your accountants.  You’ve been with them for years, and you trust them.  Sure, they might seem unhurried to get under way with your accounts and tax return once the tax year has ended, but they get going eventually.  And the job they do is fine – not great, and not exactly the way you’d like it done – but it’s fine.  And you do find yourself having to step in and make sure they’re going in the direction you want them to.  And changing to a new accountant would need you to invest lots of time and effort too, wouldn’t it?

You go through a similar thought process every year, but stick with the status quo, even though you know you’ll wish you’d moved when you find out how much tax you owe at the last minute in January… again.  After all, you did last year.

At Frost Wiltshire, we’re different.  We won’t try to sell you the idea that your accounts or tax return process is going to excite you.  But you can be assured of dealing with people who think that the process needn’t be boring.  And we certainly believe that the client experience should be hassle-free – and maybe even a little bit enjoyable.  We will agree a clear timetable with you at the outset, tell you exactly what we need from you, and aim to get your accounts and tax return sorted swiftly after the end of the tax year, so you know your liability in plenty of time and can plan for it.

I’ve ordered my new lawn mower.  Perhaps this will be the year when you make the change too.  Go on… get in touch!


Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash