Sunday, December 31, 2006

The "Nobody Cares" Manifesto For Accountants

With thanks to Dennis Howlett:

* It's important to remember debits are on the left and credits on the right - nobody cares. Probably because the system was invented in 1494 and hasn't changed since.

* We work hard to earn letters behind our names - nobody cares. Importance isn't derived from academic achievement but what you do for others.

* ROI is an important concept - nobody cares. ROI calculations are something you do when you really don't want to help your client but to demonstrate to him/her how important you are. For which read 2.

* It's important to keep good records - nobody cares. Clients aren't in business to be administrators. If you can't figure out how to help clients then expect to be outsourced. Probably the day after tomorrow.

* A tidy office implies a tidy mind - nobody cares. A tidy mind is often compartmentalised to the point of tunnel vision. You don't see tidy at the edge of innovation. Which is where you should be when your clients come up with great ideas.

* Professionals should always wear top quality suits - nobody cares. How you look may be important if your name's Anina but it sure as heck doesn't matter when you're traipsing around a pig farm. You do that occasionally don't you?

* Your professional status among the community demonstrates integrity - nobody believes you. Professional status is over-rated. Those schmuks from KPMG in court on fraud charges sorted that one out once and for all.

* Adding value is the most important thing you have to do - nobody believes you. Clients can read a 1,000 websites and see that same vacuuous statement. Stuff your website with client stories, preferably written by clients and not some PR outfit.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Vocational Guidance Counsellor Sketch

This is the classic Monty Python sketch about a Mr Anchovy who wanted career guidance.

Mr Anchovy was a chartered accountant who wanted to be a lion tamer but was recommended instead to stick with accountancy.

Why? Well – and I quote - because he was an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful.

And, concluded the report, whereas in most professions these would be considerable drawbacks, in chartered accountancy they are a positive boon.


This sketch was first broadcast on 21 Decemeber 1969 as part of episode 10 of the first series of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Michael Palin played Mr Anchovy and John Cleese was the Vocational Guidance Counsellor.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Parrots in the office

An accountant goes into a pet shop to buy a parrot.
The shop owner shows him three identical parrots on a perch and says, "The parrot on the left costs £500."

"Why does that parrot cost so much?" asks the accountant.
"Well," replies the owner, "it knows how to do complex audits."

"How much does the middle parrot cost?" asks the accountant.
"That one costs £1,000 because it can do everything the first one can do plus it knows how to prepare financial forecasts".

The startled accountant asks about the third parrot, to be told it costs £4,000. Needless to say, this begs the question, "What can it do?"
To which the owner replies "To be honest, I've never seen him do a darn thing, but the other two say he's their Senior Partner."