Friday, July 31, 2015

An accountant who knows nothing about their client

Rapper star 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, called his accountant to Court in the US to testify
about his finances. But she knew little more about them than he did.

Jackson has already filed for bankruptcy after a jury awarded a $5million penalty against him after deciding he violated a woman's privacy by posting her private sex-tape video online.

A further penalty was in prospect and the amount would depend on Jackson's net worth. He called his accountant to give evidence to support claims his net assets came to less than $5m. Other estimates suggest a figure well over $100m.

The Californian accountant, who, it transpired has never actually met or spoken with her famous client, is employed by his business managers.  She didn't cope well on the stand and said that she doesn't know:
  • who bought the rights when 50 Cent recently sold some of his music catalog for $3 million. 
  • whether the $29 million that 50 Cent loaned to various businesses is recoverable. 
  • how much money he makes from executive-producing the TV show 'Power'. 
  • how many drivers he has on his payroll.
  • how any value could be attributed to new partnerships between his headphone company and Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Intel and Reebok because they could “go nowhere and make no money,” 
  • how much money he made from a recent underwear-endorsement deal. 
  • that he had recently listed his 21-bedroom Connecticut mansion online for $11 million.
  • how much money 50 Cent makes from music royalties on the $38 millions worth of records he has sold.
You'd have thought she might have anticipated such questions and checked out the information beforehand. If only to retain some professional credibility. As it is she was a laughing stock.

Friday, July 24, 2015

How to get past HMRC 's automated phone system

The following appeared on the letters page of The Daily Telegraph on 10th July:
Taxing menu
SIR – I telephoned HMRC about a tax query. I was asked the usual questions by a robot voice and was eventually told to hold and someone would be with me shortly. After 47 minutes waiting, listening to the most awful music, I hung up and tried again.
This time my replies to the robot voice were “lamb vindaloo” and “sweet and sour pork”. To the question: “Are you making an inquiry about your own tax?” I responded: “Walls Cornetto.”
I was put through and spoke to a human adviser within two minutes.
M J AnnettHorley, Surrey
Many thanks to Rebecca Cave, for bringing it to my attention.

Friday, July 10, 2015

What's one plus one?

In a test to establish who was the most worthy to act as his accountant, an entrepreneur asked four candidates for their answer to an easy question: "What's one plus one?"

The first accountant rushed to give the answer "2" and was eliminated.

The second accountant tried to be clever by offering a mathematical approach and was also dismissed. The entrepreneur wasn't interested in hearing about number bases and that "In binary 1+1 = 10 which looks like a ten".

The next accountant tried a different approach and replied by asking the entrepreneur a question. "Are you buying or selling?" He then explained that if he was buying, the answer was 2. If he was selling it was one, one - ie: eleven.

The entrepreneur was impressed but decided to give the last applicant a chance. He was sure would win over the entrepreneur. He went over to the windows and drew the curtains. He then went over to the door, locked and tested it, and went right up to the entrepreneur. Looking him squarely in the eye he said: "What would you like it to be?"

He was hired.

Friday, July 03, 2015

How do you know if you're part of a medium sized firm?

A small firm is one where everyone knows everyone.

A large firm is one where no one knows everyone.

A medium sized firm is one where there is always someone who knows everyone.

Thanks to David Lewis of Camrose Consulting for that one.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five banker related acronyms for the 21st century

DEBITs - Desperate Executives Broken by Insider Trading

NERO - Naughty Executives' Regulatory Organisation

NABRO - Not Another Bloody Regulatory Organisation

MUMPIES - Middle-aged Upwardly Mobile Professionals

OPULANT - OverPaid UnderutiLised And Not Trying

BERNIEs - Banker Earning Ridiculous Notes In Eternity



Friday, June 12, 2015

Top ten tax teases and musings

  1. Why is simplification such a long word?
  2. A tax conscience is that small inner voice that tells you that the Special Civil Investigation Office will be writing to you.
  3. If taxes are the answer, what was the question?
  4. Why is it that HMRC can make 'mistakes' but taxpayers are always negligent?
  5. Haggis and tax laws are both the the result of bloody processes; the end result is a mystery and you wouldn't want to watch either being made.
  6. Is it true that HMRC's computer believes that the generation of names for random audit is too important to be left to chance?
  7. If you fill in your tax return before breakfast then nothing worse can happen to you all day.
  8. Due to taxation, politicians find it increasingly difficult to reconcile their net incomes with their gross habits.
  9. Is the Eiffel Tower a warning as to what will happen to Canary Wharf after taxes?
  10. Has the self assessment system resulted in the United Kingdom becoming a land of untold wealth? 
Please share more of the same.....