Friday, December 06, 2019

Do you really need certified copies of that?

Accountants frequently ask new clients to either bring their passport into the office or to supply certified copies. It's a requirement of the anti-money laundering regulations.

An accountant told me recently that a new client recently sent him a package. On opening it the accountant found a copy of the client's passport. What else? Another one. Same as the first. And another, and another. Indeed the package simply contained almost 3 dozen photocopies of the client's passport. None had been certified by a solicitor - or anyone.

The accountant called the client to acknowledge receipt of the package and to find out why he had sent so many copies - and not had any of them certified.

The client was pleased to hear the package had arrived safely.
"But I still don't know why you asked for 35 copies."

Friday, November 29, 2019

The poetic audit report

We have audited the balance sheet
and say in our report
that cash is overstated,
the cashier being short.
The customer receivables
are very much past due,
and if there are some good ones
they are very, very few.

Inventories are outdated
and principally junk,
and the method of their pricing
is very largely bunk.
So, according to our figures
the undertaking's wrecked,
but, subject to these comments,
the balance sheet's correct.

Origin unknown. Reported on TaxLetter website

Friday, November 22, 2019

True story about an ex-accountant

True story - An accountant in his sixties sells part of his practice. He keeps a few favoured clients and stops paying his Institute subs.

He tells a friend that "My clients don't care whether I keep paying my subs etc and I don't need the pressure of prospective visits from the Practice Assurance team - or anyone else." 

The friend reminds him that he won't be able to describe himself as a Chartered Accountant any more or to give references that rely on that description.

A few weeks later the accountant meets his friend again. "I remembered what you said about references so last time I was asked for one I simply put "Ex-Chartered Accountant".

"How did your client respond?" asked the friend.

"Oh - I think he was pleased. He didn't say anything but I heard him later telling someone I was an EXcellent accountant."

Friday, November 15, 2019

This is how to ask for a raise.

A student accountant in the US wrote to his senior partner asking for an increased salary.

Dear Bo$$

In thi$ life, we all need $ome things mo$t de$perately. I think you $hould be under$tanding of the need$ of u$ $tudent$ who have given $o much $upport including $weat and $ervice to the firm.

I am $ure you will gue$$ what I mean and re$pond $oon.

Your$ $incerely,


The next day, the senior partner sent this letter of reply:

Dear NOrman,

I kNOw you have been working very hard. NOwadays, NOthing much has changed. You must have NOticed that the firm is NOt doing NOticeably well at present.

NOw the newspapers are saying the world`s leading ecoNOmists are NOt sure if the United States may go into aNOther recession. After the NOvember presidential elections things may turn bad.

I have NOthing more to add NOw. You kNOw what I mean.

Yours truly,

Friday, November 08, 2019

There's no such thing as free advice

A doctor and an accountant were seated together at a formal awards dinner.

The accountant watched bemused as the guy sitting on the other side of the doctor sought his advice about how to alleviate his back pain. The doctor gave some medical advice, then turned to the accountant and continued chatting with him. Later he confessed "I really hate it when people seek free advice from me at parties."

The accountant replied "I know exactly what you mean. It happens all the time to me too."

"How do you handle it?" asked the doctor. "It seems rude not to answer when you are asked for your advice at a social gathering."

"Simple" said the accountant. "I give a little advice and the next day I send them a £50 bill for consultancy services".

"What a great idea" said the doctor. "I think that would work for me. I must remember to try it." But by the time he got home he'd already forgotten about sending a bill to the man with the back pain.

He remembered the next morning though when he opened his post. In it was note from the accountant with a bill for £50!

This is a joke I've told many times over the years, since long before I found a version of it in the book Revenge of the Taxpayer 

Friday, November 01, 2019

Is this the best non-reference given when an accountant moves to a new job?

Many years ago I was told this was true story by John Newth, when he was Deputy Editor of Taxation magazine.

Herbert had worked for a well-known accountancy firm for some years, but had realised his career prospects there were limited. After a number of interviews with other firms he managed to secure a job offer that he was keen to accept.

He asked the firm he was leaving for a reference with the phrase 'very satisfied' in it.

The partner concerned took this as an opportunity to be very truthful. He sent out a reference that stated that Herbert had worked for the firm for X years, and that the partners were very satisfied that he was now leaving and had found another position.

Sadly I don't know what happened there after. We might expect that the job offer was rescinded and that Herbert remained at his old firm. The law of unintended consequences perhaps?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Who came came first? The accountants or the tax inspectors?

An accountant and a tax inspector were having a drink and a chat away from their respective offices.

They started discussing who was part of the more noble profession - accountants or tax inspectors. After a few drinks and various arguments they agreed the most noble profession was whichever had been around the longest.

The accountant, convinced he'd won, quoted the bible. He said:
Even before God created Adam he created an orderly universe from chaos. An orderly universe implies the involvement of accountants to monitor and keep track of developments. By definition some of the angels must have been accountants. There were no taxes, so no tax inspectors around that early in human history.
The tax inspector wasn't beaten. He listened patiently and then simply said: "Who do you think created the chaos?"

Do you really need certified copies of that?

Accountants frequently ask new clients to either bring their passport into the office or to supply certified copies. It's a requirement ...