Thursday, March 28, 2013

Accountant's love of excel leads to a new video game

We all know that accountants love spreadsheets, but a Canadian Chartered Accountant, Cary Walkin, has taken this passion to a new level. He has created a basic video game using only Excel spreadsheets.

The game, called Arena.XIsm is a turn-based fantasy game in which you, the hero represented by a smiley face, fight various monsters in order to level up and survive.

Mr Walkin said it took about four months to create the game which has about 2,000 possible enemies, eight tough encounters with bosses and lots of different items players can gather to boost their fighting or defensive abilities.

You can download the game from Cary Walkin’s blog. It works on PC versions of Excel, including Excel 2007 and 2013, but not on Macs (shame).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

IRS training video spoofs star trek

I hesitated to link to this here as the spoof is so bad.....

It starts:
"Space: the final frontier
These are the voyagers of the Starship Enterprise Y
Its never-ending mission is to seek out new tax forms
To explore strange new regulations
To boldly go where no government employee has gone before."
The six-minute plot that follows is simple: The Enterprise must help the planet “No-tax” that is plagued with money laundering, tax evasion using off-planet accounts and alien identity theft – all due to a “lack of tax leaders.”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) now admits it was a mistake to spend $60,000 producing the video parodying the 1960s Star Trek television series, along with a second 'Gilligan’s Island' parody. The Star Trek segment was used to open a 2010 training and leadership conference.

Criticised for wasting taxpayers money when the video became public in 2013, the IRS issued a statement that reads:
"The space parody video from 2010 is not reflective of overall IRS video efforts, which provide critical information to taxpayers and cost-effective employee training critical to running the nation's tax system. In addition, the IRS has instituted tough new standards for videos to prevent situations similar to the 2010 video."

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The next recipient of an #INABAaward is Mike Gordon

This is another (virtual) award of an INABA to an accountant who operates 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++++ 

Mike Gordon (sometimes known as 'Forensic Freddie') is a CIMA qualified forensic accountant with an all too obvious sense of humour.  It is evident to everyone who knows him and it helps rather than hinders his work.

In his own words:
My Accountancy career was boring … until I discovered Ancillary Relief. The effect was ... life changing.☺ Although sounding like an activity practiced by the oldest profession, I was relieved (excuse the double entendre!) to discover that my CIMA qualification and Irish genes seemed ideally suited to resolving issues of quantum and valuation – when seeking to deal with the equitable division of assets on divorce. 
A career as a forensic accountant beckoned. That life changing event also involved marriage to Penny Raby, divorce lawyer. We started Penny Raby & Co in 1995 in Pershore ... a beautiful Georgian town on the edge of the Cotswolds with good transport links for our local and international clients.   
More recently our Harmony House practice has been developed to deal with all aspects of relationship breakdown but our approach is very constructive and creative which leads to negotiated settlements for most matters, even in really complex cases. 
Our experiences in 18 years together in business and in love ... and a previous life in amateur dramatics have created a series of “hit” business presentations such as 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' (around Mediation), 'Help!' (around the McCartney/Mills divorce), and 'Money Money Money .. What’s Yours Worth?' (around Big Money cases). 
Each New Year also sees the rewrite of 'Men Are From Minehead .. Women Are From Weston-super-Mare' (book early to avoid disappointment!) 
So I’ve done forensic .. creative .. dramatic and everenthusiastic. But I’m sure the best is yet to come ..
Mike is also the first nominee for an INABAaward who has supplied appropriate testimonials:
"The description of Mike as an accountant belies something much more - he has an amazing drive, an unmissable personality, and brilliant ideas for inspiring excitement and regeneration, whether that's in business or personal relationships"
Andrew Horder - The Busy Fool

"Mike is without question one of the most impressive people I have met in the last 10 years because of his genuine interest in people, his intellect and his amazing creativity & ability to engage.
Balance, integrity, generosity, discretion & fun are just some of the words I would use to describe Mike. NOT YOUR EVERYDAY ACCOUNTANT!"
Warren Cass - Business Scene
"Mike, or Freddie, seems on first impressions to be something of a networking professional and a magician. But it's more than just a good sales gimmick for his accountancy business - although he's never openly said this, I genuinely believe the only reason Mike is in business is to make people happier"
Steffan Aquarone CEO Droplet
And the last word .. obviously
"Boring Accountancy may have been the passport to his true life’s work .. but it was never going to be a destination"
Penny Raby - The Wife!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

When the 'Just a Minute' subject was 'Tax'

This is an extract from the transcript of the radio programme broadcast on 9 May 1989.

Nicholas Parsons: Wendy Richard to begin, the subject Wendy, tax. 

WR: There are various forms of tax, carpet, thumb, income and road. The latter I feel is a downright liberty to motorists. Have you seen the state of the highways and byways in London at this time? It's full of pitholes and potholes. It's an absolute disgrace! As for the first one... I've forgotten what I said the first time... 


NP: Lance Percival challenged. 

LP: Well she forgot what she said, so she paused. 

NP: She did indeed yes Lance. You have 40 seconds to tell us something about tax starting now. 

LP: The other tax not mentioned so far is VAT. And come 1992 I think you will find this will change quite a considerable amount. For instance we are all set at 15 percent in this country at the moment. But in that year I mentioned earlier you will find that things like food are taxed quite... 


NP: Wendy Richard challenged. 

WR: This is supposed to be an entertaining programme! I mean it's depressing enough that we know about VAT and that. But I mean you know you er... Well can you get challenged for boring? I mean I'm not, I'm not being rude Lance but it was going on a bit! 

NP: Well I think you were being rude but it was still being very entertaining. So we'll give her an extra point because we enjoyed it didn't we. And er we, take it to heart Lance because as she says it is supposed to be an entertainment show, you don't want to put us all in the doldrums. Um, 24 seconds though for you to continue on tax starting now. 

LP: This is actually a very entertaining idea, the idea of VAT on clothes... 


NP: Richard Murdoch got in there. 

RM: Well he had two ideas. 

NP: Yes and he had two VATs as well. 

WR: A rarity! 

NP: You can't have VAT too often. Right so Richard Murdoch you got in with 21 seconds to tell us something about tax starting now. 

RM: Well up in the north country there was a man who bought a wig. And he was, asked how much it was. And they said "that's 15 pounds with tax". And he said "I don't need tacks, I'm just going to clang it on!" Um, of course that being a north country word... 


NP: So Richard Murdoch with his wig kept going until the whistle went in spite of the audience laughing so loudly. 

Before PwC, before Coopers & Lybrand, there was Cooper Brothers.....

Long before the merger of Coopers and Lybrand and Price Waterhouse created the firm we now know as PwC,  Coopers was originally called Coope...