Thursday, August 29, 2013

Using cats as an analogy - which is most realistic?

Four men were bragging about how smart their cats were.

The first man was an Engineer, the second was an Accountant, the third
was a Chemist and the fourth man was a Civil servant.

To show off, the Engineer called his cat, "T-square, do your stuff."

T-square pranced over to the desk, took out some paper and pen and promptly drew a circle, a square, and a triangle. Everyone agreed that was pretty smart.

But the Accountant said his cat could do better.

He called his cat and said, "Spreadsheet, do your stuff."

Spreadsheet went out to the kitchen and returned with a dozen biscuits. He divided them into 4 equal piles of 3 biscuits. Everyone agreed that was good.

But the Chemist said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said "Measure, do your stuff."

Measure got up, walked to the fridge, took out a litre of milk, got a glass from the cupboard and poured exactly 80 millilitres without spilling a drop into the glass.

Everyone agreed that was pretty good.

Then the three men turned to the Civil Servant and said, "What can your cat do?"

The Civil Servant called his cat and said "Coffee Break, do your stuff."

Coffee Break jumped to his feet, ate the biscuits, drank the milk, pooped on the paper, screwed the other three cats, claimed he injured his back while doing so, made a health and safety report and went home for the rest of the day on sick leave!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Spare a thought for your accountant

Spare a thought for your accountant
He’s trying to do his best
To earn a decent living
Just like all the rest

Doing all that double entry’s
Not as easy as it looks
It takes years and years of practice
To cook a set of books

But when the debits and the credits
Don’t add up quite as they should
Staring at the door or window
Doesn’t do a lot of good

It’s said two things are sure in life
Death and taxes are the pair
But one more fact is certain
Your accountant’s thinning hair!

The tax rules alter constantly
He struggles to keep pace
Tax, NI and VAT
Etch deep lines in his face

And even when the job is done
The client may not pay
So your accountant’ll keep a’counting

Until retirement day

Written by chartered accountant David Marston in 1998 and passed on to me recently when it turned up out of the blue.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Accountants are not just bean counters, or pea counters. And we can spell!

This was on the Telegraph's website this week:

   photo Screenshot2013-08-14at193806_zps707bd849.pngAt least they only omitted a 'C' in their spelling of Accountant in the headline. I once omitted the 'O'. And why have they used a picture of green garden peas rather than beans?

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Professional skepticism

In June 2007 the Zootopia Theatre Company presented the New York premiere of Professional Skepticism by James Rasheed.

The following description is from the show's press release: "The play centers on four auditors at a Big Five CPA firm in Charleston, South Carolina, and their daily struggle to survive while swimming with sharks. An audit scandal threatens to change these characters into headline-making personalities."

Written before scandals enveloped Enron, Worldcom and Arthur Anderson, the play has apparently assumed new stature in light of these events. Critics applauded the play's sharp, funny dialogue and how it presents quantitative issues with such clarity that even mathematically-challenged audience members can feel as smart as the sharpest pinstripe CPA.

If you want to know more - here's a full review of Professional Skepticism.

The Audit Wheel of Fortune

With all due credit to Liam Higgins Saunders (who is 'Colin') at Accountancy Age's Taking Stock where this cartoon originally appeared.

Monday, August 05, 2013

An #INABAaward goes to Super Accountant Annette Ferguson

I first encountered Annette on twitter. I checked out her website, read some of her blog posts, listened to her podcasts and watched some of her videos. Even before speaking with her I was pretty certain that she deserved this (virtual) award of an INABA.

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

Annette is another stand out accountant who evidently operates in such a way as to confirm my contention that ‘Boring Is Optional'.

Annette's practice, Super Accountant, is focused on entrepreneurs and new business owners 'who want to be super successful'. She does very little of the day to day bookkeeping or accounting for her clients. This compliance work is instead undertaken by her staff. Annette's focus is much more on being the main client interface and helping them understand the numbers and how to grow their businesses.

Annette's podcasts and videos are as much for her existing clients as for new ones. Existing clients are able to listen to her advice at a time of their choosing. Annette also 'sees' many of her clients online via skype video chats. She gets a real buzz from helping clients to grow their businesses and this is apparent from her online activity as well as when you speak with her 1-2-1.

The client testimonials on Annette's website are quite compelling.  For example, one of them notes that she is particularly pro-active which is:
 so unusual in a world of ‘same-old, same-old, grey as grey accountants'.
Beyond this, she told me:
Helping clients to grow their business is a lot more interesting than simply churning out their annual accounts.  The compliance work is a necessity of course but clients could go to any old accountant for that. My clients know that I want them to see me as part of their team and to run their ideas past me. They also know that I share everything I learn with my clients. 
I would hate anyone to think that I fitted the stereotype of a boring accountant. I also think my branding helps me to stand out initially, but it's they way I deal with clients that really counts.
If you think you deserve an INABA or you know an accountant who meets the criteria please let me know.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Song of a Lovesick Accountant

How account your loss of interest?
How to analyse your manner strange?
Tell me truly of my errors:
Narrate the reasons for this change. Your company and loving presence
I value over all else on earth.
If some goodwill can now be shown
I venture we’ll see love’s rebirth. Reconciliation swift I now am seeking:
This current impasse leaves me tense.
Do not discount my urgent pleading:
Do not keep me in suspense.

Dennis Flynn

The journalist, the engineer, the lawyer and the accountant

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