Monday, January 28, 2013

How to wind up an accountant...

Here's a random selection of contributions received from accountants a few years ago in response to the question:

What do clients say that winds you up?

  • "I just popped everything in this carrier bag here - I knew you could sort it all out for me."
  • "My friend's accountant says....."
  • "I need a mortgage reference - you WILL make the figures look good for me won't you?"
  • "A friend in the pub said that he's certain that...."
  • "My van was broken into and........... all of my receipts were stolen"
  • "My son has been onto the HMRC web site and......."
  • " I've already signed my tax return. Just fill in the details as usual"
  • "If I've made that much money, where's it all gone" Answer: "You've spent it, sunshine"
  • "I've checked my tax return and it's wrong...the profit figure on the accounts isn't the same as the taxable profits figure on the tax return"
  • "It shouldn't be much work" 
  • "You can't have our bank statements we have shredded them. It said on the news that the police wanted everyone to shred their bank statements to avoid ID theft"
  • "How can I have made such much profit when I've no money left in the bank"
  • "My mate in the pub knows someone whose uncle-in-law reckons that I'm being overcharged"
  • "Wow that's a lot less than I'm currently paying my accountant" (at which point you start to ask - why? What have I missed? - or doh!!) 
Any more?

Monday, January 21, 2013

New non chargeable codes for accountants timesheets

5316 Useless Meeting
5318 Trying to Sound Knowledgeable While in Meeting
5393 Covering for Incompetence of Colleague
5400 Trying to Explain things to new colleague who just doesn't get it
5482 Eating Snack
5490 Updating status on Facebook
5500 Filling Out Timesheet
5501 Inventing Timesheet Entries
5640 Miscellaneous Unproductive Complaining
6200 Using Company Resources for Personal Profit
6206 Gossiping
6207 Planning a Social Event (eg: holiday, wedding, etc.)
6211 Updating CV
6221 Pretending to Work While Boss Is Watching
6238 Miscellaneous Unproductive Fantasising
6350 Playing jokes on the New Guy/Girl
7281 Extended Visit to the Loo (at least 10 minutes)
8100 Reading online blogs
8102 Laughing while reading blogs

9106 Explaining to partner why we cannot bill all of the time on the clock
9107 Explaining to staff why we need to bill more than the time on the clock
9108 Negotiating fee with client before fee note sent out
9109 Writing covering letter/email to justify size of the fee note
9110 Responding to client's questions re the size of the fee note
9111 Preparing a tailored version of the WIP ledger to support the fee note
9112 Negotiating fee with client after fee note sent out

Any more for any more?

Monday, January 07, 2013

Brian Burke of Ashleys accountants in Hitchin wins #INABAaward

I announce the (virtual) award of INABAs to accountants who operate in such a way as to confirm my contention that ‘Boring Is Optional'.

INABA stands for 'I'm Not A Boring Accountant' - more on the awards here++++

Brian Burke was proposed for the award by Simon Chaplin, who simply pointed me at a recent Ashleys accountants' video which I then featured on this blog last week. This prompted me to get in touch with Brian. I also took a look at some of Brian's many other youtube videos containing: "Bite sized chunks [of business advice] to help you grow your business". These videos quickly confirmed that Brian has a larger than life personality and does not conform to the old stereotype. Far from it in fact.

Brian says:
"I have always taken the view that as we spend most of our weekday waking life at work we should have some fun in what we do especially as our field is considered somewhat dry and boring"
"I thus tend to spend my time devising as many off the wall marketing strategies as I can both for Clients but also for team members and am proud to say our retention levels are way above the ordinary small firm... If you like it produces that warm glow from [our long-term staff] and I must say the bedside manner especially from our tax department is second to none."
"I guess we just want to treat our people as ordinary responsible individuals (accountancy seems to attract ‘em !) so we are totally transparent as a firm figure wise …We produce a monthly one page plan which shows all our key drivers, soft drivers, goals, vision, team happiness etc and this in turn is presented by everyone in the firm even the most junior members so they understand it and appreciate what it means."
"We also reward our teams when targets are met ..over the past 5 years we have had days out to Germany, Ireland (God bless those 1p flights ), York, Bath and Cambridge as well as various local and London shows....We also try and raise a bit for Charity (the local hospice is our main recipient ) with the Ashleys Ball and an 'It’s a knock out' competition …. 
Individually we reward team members who make a client introduction with 20% of first year fee ....We have just run the Xmas advent calendar which spews out tenners and twenties plus the odd booby prize on a daily basis …you have to roll a dice and the highest number wins ..the roll off is at 8 20 am and you have to be there to win it  we begin work at 8.30  so you can see there is a method to the madness."
"I am passionate that the whole basis of success in the small firm accountancy world is to have a strong, committed and loyal team and this can only be done by constant nurturing from the leadership ...If it is not meant the team will soon realize and the whole thing can implode very quickly. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE “FINANCIAL“ REWARD EITHER....PEOPLE JUST APPRECIATE BEING APPRECIATED, and I hope that Ashleys will continue to make that one of their main goals".
"On a personal note I keep myself sane by writing and playing music (Irish folk mainly ..though I did do the lyrics for our ad ) and also am President of our local Rugby club"  
There are currently 17 of Brian's videos for Ashleys on youtube. In the first one he looks a lot more conventional than he does in the more recent ones. If you only watch that one you may wonder why I think Brian deserves an INABA.  All I will say is watch some of the others when he's not stuck behind his desk!

If you know san accountant who may qualify for an INABA, please check the (very simple) criteria here and then let me know via my website:

Thursday, January 03, 2013

For Ashleys Accountants in Hitchin #BoringIsOptional

This is a fantastic two part video from Accountants Ashleys of Hitchin.
It starts and ends with Brian Burke explaining how much he hates the 'boring' tag.
Sandwiched in the middle is a cleverly contrived rendition of Madness's 'It must be love' with new words and a look around Ashleys offices in Hitchin.
For Brian and the team at Ashleys, clearly #BoringIsOptional

Many thanks to Simon Chaplin - @SocksUpSimon - for bringing this video to my attention.

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