Friday, June 28, 2013

The dancing accountant (2)

Long time readers may recall that back in March 2010 I included a fun item here showing the dancing accountant perform his audition for the TV show 'So you think you can dance'.

Recently the dancing accountant posted a thank you note on the blog and provided a link to his facebook page where he is described as: Accountant. Dancer. One man flash mob.

It also notes that You can suggest songs for him to dance to and places where he can dance to them. He'll be posting a new video on his YouTube channel each week - make a request and tune in to see if he went with your suggestion!

Here are a couple of the dancing accountant's more recent videos. In the first he 'does Kylie'. The second was recorded at the Apple Store on Regent St in London:

Friday, June 21, 2013

A start up accountant goes networking for the first time

A classic example of how NOT to approach networking

Watch out for the lack of preparation, lack of practice and lack of plan (the 3 Ps of what to do before you go networking). There's a lot more here in this cringeworthy video from 'Kids in the Hall'.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Dullest employee pretending to be an accountant"

I laughed out loud when I saw that Bill Morrow had listed his first job on Linkedin as "Dullest employee pretending to be an accountant" at Virgin.

It seems Bill stuck with it, at Virgin, for 5 years - from 1985-1990.  In 2004 Bill launched and is now CEO of Angel's Den, Europe and Asia's largest Business Angel Investor Network.

Having heard Bill speak to groups of entrepreneurs and having spent a week with him on a group skiing holiday for a week I can confirm he is no longer dull. In fact I doubt he ever was!

Friday, June 14, 2013

“My name is…. And I am a tax adviser” – a shocking confession

The following appeared at the start of a two-page article in Taxation magazine (6 June 2013):

“My name is Sarah Saunders and I am a tax adviser. Clearly, I cannot be proud to admit this shameful fact; if I were appearing on television I would be portrayed in silhouette only and an actor would speak my words.
I was innocent once, but I was lured into dabbling in tax while taking my degree. How could I have known that I was involved in something immoral?
All the people I worked with seemed nice and respectable; they talked about things like “professional ethics”. I had no idea I was being inducted into a conspiracy to defraud the British People.”

Sarah then references the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee’s insinuation that tax advisers are part of “a Machiavellian evil conspiracy.”
Sarah’s article concludes:

“We need to [be able to] say: “I’m a tax adviser and I’m proud”. Perhaps we should organize some marches and wear some suitably messaged T-shirts? Mind you, if anyone asks my profession at the moment, I think I’ll claim to be something more socially acceptable; for example, a traffic warden or a walking billboard”

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

You know what they say about advertising......

"It's always said that half of one's advertising spend is wasted, but you never know which half. The problem is that my marketing colleagues never budget for both halves!"

Attributed to Chris Hix, former head of management accounting at Lever Brothers by Russell Levinson (thanks Russell).

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The next #INABAaward goes to Amy Taylor

Amy Taylor runs Taylor Accountancy in Potton, Bedfordshire.

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 +++++; 

Amy first came to my attention on twitter where she tweets as @amyaccountant and currently describes herself as:
"The Tax Efficient Angel helping entrepreneurs save money with friendly, efficient, flexible accountancy services, wherever you are in the UK"
Amy tells me that when she started her practice she focused on the Mums in Business market (Mumpreneurs) but that she finds herself being drawn to a more diverse band of entrepreneurs who choose to work from home.

I was already considering Amy for an INABA simply by reference to her tweeting style which is very different to most accountants. She tweets about the stuff going on in her professional life but rarely tweets anything overtly promotional. She clearly has a sense of humour and a passion to grow her practice.

Amy recently got in touch which prompted me to also check out her website. This echoes her twitter account and contains some lovely genuine photos and an honest summary of her approach to clients:
Because I’m passionate about numbers and saving money, I love my business. This brings out the best in me, and benefits my clients through tax savings and peace of mind. I am incredibly efficient and this is reflected in my working practices and interaction with clients. 
I’ve had a passion for planning and figures since childhood, and have maintained a great fascination for numbers and mathematical conundrums into adulthood. I use the skills and knowledge I gained during my training to become a chartered accountant every day. This, plus my ability to grasp each of my clients’ unique set of business circumstances, helps me help them save money through efficient tax planning. 
Until 2008, I worked for some of the UK’s top accountancy firms in London and the South East. However, my decision to launch my own accountancy business was based on my desire to spend more time with my children and to provide flexible accountancy services to other growing businesses.
On being advised that she had won an INABA award Amy responded:
"I love standing out from the crowd which sometimes leads to people thinking I am somewhat eccentric, but I think that helps for business anyway!!"

What does it take to be a good tax accountant?

Q:  What does it take to be a good tax accountant?
A:  Two things – grey hair and hemorrhoids. 
The grey hair makes you look distinguished and the hemorrhoids make you look concerned.

The journalist, the engineer, the lawyer and the accountant

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