Friday, June 29, 2007

Why is accountancy like mountain climbing?

Once you finish the job and get to the top, you still can't really see anything.

[This 'joke' was created by a couple of Accountancy Age journalists who recently spent the weekend climbing mountains and then musing about the similarities and differences between accountancy and mountain climbing. The big difference they identified? "Some would say that accountancy is a slightly dry subject. Whatever else you could say about the weekend's weather, the word 'dry' never came into it."]

Monday, June 25, 2007

Stranger than fiction

This one's not a joke but it must rank as a fun - A recent film about a tax auditor starring Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. What a bizarre concept!

In the film Will Ferrell plays Harold Crick, a tax auditor who lives an excruciatingly well-planned life. He wakes one day to hear a woman's voice narrating his life and, in one disturbing scene, predicting his death. Crick sets out to find out whether he's mad but ends up on a trail that leads him to writer Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) - who, as chance would have it, is writing a book in narrative style about the life of Harold Crick, a tax auditor who lives an excruciatingly well-planned life. With his life in her hands, so to speak, their relationship takes a peculiar twist when Harold learns Eiffel's novel is not to have a happy ending.

Ok - maybe not fun!

In an earlier post last year I listed a number of other films that featured accountants as main characters. Have a guess as to how many are on the list before you check back to see. Please add any others of which you are aware by way of comments. Thanks.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Arctic limericks

AccountingWEB recently ran a limerick competition with reference to the case of Jones v Garnett - otherwise known as Arctic Systems Limited - which was finally heard by the House of Lords earlier this month. Geoff Jones and his wife Diana's financial arrangements have been attacked by HMRC under the settlements legislation. Most commentators take a different view to HMRC.

My favourite limerick was one of the runners up according to the AccountingWEB judges:

In the House of Lords one June day
Geoff Jones was having his say
“Being taxed on Di’s share
Is distinctly unfair
When the law is decidedly grey!”

Well done to Jo Stimpson - You woz robbed!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Taxman's typos

As the late great(?) Cyril Fletcher would say on 'That's Life' - I am indebted to Jane Moore, editor of the ICAEW's Taxline magazine which recently contained the following:

Supplied by Alan Carter who received this from an HMRC large processing office about his client's tax code:
"I refer to your letter of 30 April 2007. Please accept my apology for any incontinence caused. Your client's tax code has now been amended...."

Jane also mentioned another gem sent to her by Alan Sacks. He said that HMRC had written to confirm that a client's DOM1 form had been sent to HMRC’s Residency section for consideration of his 'dummy file position'.

I'd welcome further such examples as comments on this blog item.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Work work work

A taxi driver, a taxidermist and a tax adviser were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.

The taxi driver said he enjoyed spending time with his wife, and although he sometimes lost his way he was driving towards them having a loving and enduring relationship.

The taxidermist said he enjoyed spending time with his mistress, because of he could tell her what he was going to do and then do to her what he did to his 'clients' albeit in a more pleasurable way.

The tax adviser said, "I'm a bit different as I tell my mistress that I must spend time with my wife and I tell my wife I want to spend time with my mistress." The taxi driver and the taxidermist were astonished. "How does that work then?" one of them asked. The tax adviser replied "It's great. Because I have a wife and a mistress, they each assume I'm spending time with the other woman. That means I can go to the office and get some work done."

Monday, June 04, 2007

How accountants do it...

Accountants do it by the book.
Accountants do it within budget.
Accountants do it to the bottom line.
Accountants do it with double entries.
Accountants do it between spreadsheets.
Accountants are Certified to do it in Public.
Accountants do it without losing their balance.

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 ...