How to make Self Assessment less stressful for your practice

Chris Smith, our Director of Personal Tax Compliance, has written for Sage’s blog on how accountants can make the Self Assessment tax return season less hectic and more efficient for their practices and for themselves.

‘Chris Smith says the growing use of robotic process automation (RPA) for personal tax returns is an especially exciting area for forward-thinking tax teams. It can provide greater control and access, for example, around submissions to HMRC.

“For tax advisers, RPA drastically reduces average time spent on a file, and time on repetitive tasks that are not expanding our tax knowledge,” he says.

“The result is a more efficient, less stressful January. It’s therefore worth talking to your firm’s IT team about RPA if you haven’t already.”

Smith says it is vital to know what challenges lie ahead in the Self Assessment tax return season.

“Accountants can become set in their ways,” he warns. “They may use old software and have little interest in updating. Perhaps they are scared to retrain with new tools.

“But tax software is becoming smarter. Most will have workflow, automation tools and links to HMRC, so you should use these things fully.

“You can also use these records for comparison next year, which will make future seasons less stressful too.

“If you are not open to change, the busy season will remain as hectic as ever – more so than it needs to be – and [service levels can suffer].”

Being organised in this way will help to avoid last-minute panics, which create more risk of mistakes, missed planning opportunities, or not delivering good client care, he says.’

The full blog post is available here on the Sage website.

Find out more about our services for personal tax clients here or contact us using our enquiry form.



Sam Inkersole

In 2022, Sam won the Taxation’s Rising Star award at the Taxation Awards in and was named in the Accountancy Age 35 Under 35.

Jon Wedge

While Jon’s client work focuses on the financial services sector, he also oversees the firm’s assurance service, as well as supporting the trainees following in his footsteps.


Elana joined us in 2017 as an ACA trainee, after graduating from Durham University where she had studied languages. She is now a manager in our assurance team.


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