Coming up with new and relevant topics for evening talks is a challenge for the Committee. A year ago, when planning this particular evening talk, His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and Making Tax Digital (MTD) had an imminent deadline. It seemed pertinent to find a speaker who could help HACP members make sense of the changes which were likely to affect many of us, so I invited my colleague, Helen Phyall, an accountant, hypnotherapist, and trainer, to come in and enlighten us. Since this invitation, the MTD deadline has been extended again by HMRC and now sole traders and company directors who are not VAT registered, are not being forced to switch to digital accounting software until 2025. Helen and I agreed to alter the focus of the talk to business planning and taxation more generally.

Helen is a vibrant and energetic trainer and encouraged us to see ourselves as business owners primarily and focus on business planning and making a profit, often something counsellors and therapists can feel uncomfortable doing. Helen introduced her catchphrase of “Doing Well, by Doing Good” which acknowledges that we are in this profession to provide a service to our clients, but also need to make profit to pay our bills and finance our lifestyle. Helen explored budgeting, cashflow and understanding our clients needs, so that we can keep an eye on where clients come from and focus our marketing accordingly. She talked about the different types of business set ups, tax brackets and the rule for deductions being that expenses were “wholly and exclusively for the purpose of trade”. Helen also spoke about the different digital accountancy software packages which are available, the costs involved and her experiences of using them. Feedback from those in the room was very positive and several attendees were grateful to Helen for making her presentation fun and enjoyable. Not an easy task for such a serious topic. Thank you Helen for in her own words ‘”Making Tax Delightful”.

Julie May