In line with the changes made at Inland Revenue regional sites, our service to tax agents will now be managed by the Christchurch Community Compliance team.While there are no changes to the services that Inland Revenue provide to tax agents, there will be changes to the contact point and contact person.
-The term ‘Agent Account Manager’ has been replaced by ‘Account Manager, Community Compliance Officer’
-You could be assigned a new Account Manager for your face to face visits and performance monitoring-Instead of contacting your Account Manager directly, please now use the email address below for all enquiries that can’t go via normal channels (eg requesting AMBR reports) as well as any exceptional issues [snip email address]Our Community Compliance team are experienced Inland Revenue staff who will be mentored …
Please note I wish to lodge my objection at changes to my agent/account manager relationship announced by your email of 13/3/2013. I don't want to be dealing with a 'Community Compliance Officer'; after my laughter at the community bit (don’t take offence, but you’re IRD), and the "eye roll" at the Compliance Officer bit (yep, the big stick, IRD right back again), I know this is going to be a bad idea. I’m a grown-up, for twenty two years I've basically achieved 100% filing, year on year, so I don't need a compliance officer regarding my client filings, just a ‘colleague’ to smooth out the odd problem that comes along. Indeed, there's some sort of weird PR meltdown between the oxymoron of the fluffiness denoted by the community bit, then the coercive overkill of the compliance bit – good cop and bad cop within the same officer: it just doesn't work on paper, as it won't work in actuality. Perhaps as a taste of what’s to come, I note the email (13 March) announcing what are major changes in how agents/accountants interact with IRD, didn’t even have a subject line - I almost ditched it as spam until I noted the sender. And the timing of these changes are appalling, almost as if you were going for maximum inconvenience for all of us.
I can sum up my position as follows:
I am no longer to work through a single account manager, I am to send issues to a faceless email address, and I'll be contacted back, if I'm lucky, by a Community Compliance Officer: I suspect this simply means inconvenience and run around. A one on one relationship with an individual is what gets stuff done, always, especially when working with bureaucracies. I have a great relationship with my current account manager, who puts up with me, and who has always smoothed out and solved those administrative niggles that arise from time to time, including through the earthquakes. I want to carry on dealing with an individual, not a nameless, faceless email address. That never works. I can guarantee your changes are going to add to bottlenecks, not resolutions.
I'd write much more on this, but my time is needed to complete my years work by Easter; on average I’ve been putting in twelve hour days since January 28. There is one single client that I may possibly not make due to unforeseen circumstances – information required from an earthquake affected trustee (Perpetual): my account manager would normally have resolved that with an additional time extension by a quick phone call at no more waste of my time than a few minutes, but I'm now wondering by going through the new Community Compliance Officer how many hours I'll be repeating myself to how many people you've stuffed the chain of communication up with. Please leave us able to talk to individuals who know our practices and histories, which in itself cuts a lot of repeated 'explanatories' having to be attached to every correspondence. Please leave us with our account managers and the existing agent/IRD system. That is, nothing was broken, there was nothing needing to be fixed. And please, please ditch the group-think and the silly names department :)