Friday, August 31, 2012

Cute kitten accountant photo


What do you think his/her name is?

(With due credit to @YourAAT for bringing this to my attention via twitter)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What do De Niro, Hoffman, Mr Bean and James Bond have in common with accountants?

Back in 1997 KPMG announced that they were experimenting with product placement of the firm's name in a series of films some of which were to feature the above named stars and characters. (I explained my own consequential walk-on part on Newsnight in a previous post on this blog).

I have just traced a detailed article about the experiment, published in the June/July 1997 issue of CA magazine.

Here are some of the highlights:
It's all part of a product placement plan that will see KPMG's name slotted into 18 movies destined for international release over the next couple of years.
In addition to paying for an appearance on the big screen, KPMG offers movie production companies its offices in 147 countries as locations for shooting. 
KPMG hopes that going to the movies will increase public awareness of its services, boost staff morale and present the company as a hip place to work. "It's a worldwide branding thing with a recruitment spin-off. People are attracted to you when you are in movies with James Bond, Mr Bean and Robert De Niro"

The first movie to feature KPMG will be Shooting Fish, starring Kate Beckinsale, Stuart Townsend and Dan Futterman. In the movie KPMG receives 12 seconds’ worth of promotion as a sponsor of a horse race called the KPMG Challenge Cup.  
In a romantic comedy called The Sea Change, Sean Chapman plays a handsome, dashing and funny KPMG accountant named Rupert Granger. As the lead character he will be a top financial wheeler-dealer working for a very respectable City company which happens to be KPMG. Filming includes KPMG's Salisbury Square offices in London where Rupert's office has a KPMG wall planner, mugs and several other items among the usual office paraphernalia. 
In Wag the Dog, Dustin Hoffman will hand a KPMG coffee mug to Robert De Niro.
A KPMG mug will also appear in a Mr. Bean film.  
The James Bond movie will see KPMG advertised on an airport billboard.  
Various KPMG corporate gifts will feature in The Gingerbread Man, John Grisham’s first-ever screen play, starring Kenneth Branagh and Daryl Hannah.  
KPMG is flexible about the types of films it wants to appear in — to a point. “For example, we wouldn’t place the company in the next Pulp Fiction. We’re not interested in triple-X or hard-core sex films. We also don’t want to be associated with excessive violence. But we’re living in the real world, so swearing is okay when it is in context.”

Friday, August 24, 2012

Accountants make the numbers easy


This photo was submitted by Aron Kleiman as his entry in a recent competition for ICAEW Students: "What accountancy and business looks like to you".

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Matching speakers' names to their areas of exertise

Wouldn't it be good to match the subjects at tax conferences with the names of the speakers?

John Newth suggested the following in Taxation back in 2004:
  • Modern tax legislation - Tablets of Stone - Mr Justice Moses
  • A fishy business at HMRC - John Whiting 
  • SDLT and trust legislation - an attack on the public - Patrick Cannon and Malcolm Gunn 
  • The Budget - or a nursery rhyme? - Andrew Hubbard 
  • The US Presidential election and tax - Mike (Harry) Truman
I would add:
  • Do  we need a General Anti-Abuse Rule? - G. AARonson QC 
[John Newth has got in touch to offer me some more recent suggestions along the same lines. I have edited this post to include them below]

  • NIC – A likely target- by Peter Arrowsmith
  • The sanctity of the Upper Tax Tribunal by – Colin Bishopp
  • Irish Tax Justice – by Richard Murphy
  • A few drinks in the Arctic – by Fran Lagerberg
  • Things are not Black and White – by Jonathan Schwarz
  • VAT is like a rabbit – by Neil Warren
  • Tax is not ageing – by Ian Young
  • Batting for IHT reliefs- by Matthew Hutton
  • Avoiding tax potholes- by Rebecca Cave
  • The twists of tax law – by Sir Stephen Oliver QC
  • The Socialist tax Agenda – by Ed Balls
Further suggestions welcome...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Misquoting the famous re boredom and accountancy

In an effort to show how wrong are those who think accountants are boring, I've misquoted some famous people below - swapping 'accountancy' or 'accountant' as a replacement for the word boredom:
"Your true traveller finds accountancy rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom. He accepts his accountant, when he comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure."
- Aldous Huxley
And a little more worryingly, this one from Danish American actor and poet, Viggo Mortensen:
"There's no excuse to be an accountant. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. Depressed, yes. Crazy, yes. But there's no excuse for accountants ever." 
And, in a similar vein, this one from Dustin Hoffman:
"There's a rebirth that goes on with us continuously as human beings. I don't understand, personally, how you can be an accountant. I can understand how you can be depressed, but I just don't understand accountants."
Clearly the words are not synonymous.
Any more for any more?

Friday, August 03, 2012

An accountant learns the truth about game theory

There was an expert accountant who was well versed in game theory. He heard that his intelligent niece, who was five years old, always took a 50p piece, when a choice between a 50p piece and a pound coin was offered to her.

He went to see his niece and offered her just such a choice. She took the 50p and said
"Thank you Uncle".
The accountant tried to explain to his niece
"You must understand, a pound coin is twice as valuable as a 50p piece, so you should always choose the pound coin."
The niece replied
"Uncle, but then people will not offer me any money."