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An Accountant's Lament

When you’re a child of say four or five,
Longing to grow up and be really alive,
You think about what you might do with your life –
“I’ll be a teacher” – “A fireman” – “A wife” –

“I’ll be a doctor” – “And I’ll be a nurse” –
“I’ll be a bad man” – “And I’ll be much worse”.
But tell me, has anyone heard a child say,
“I want to be an accountant one day”?

To sit in an office and struggle with numbers,
To be on the end of a client’s endless grumbles,
They simply don’t see why they MUST pay that VAT –
“My mate down the pub says he doesn’t pay that!”

Ticking and bashing through audits and recs,
Removing the claim for a client’s new specs,
Scrolling through spreadsheets till you’re fit to scream -
A set of correct books?  That’s just in a dream!

To have to keep patience with HMRC
When they bring in new rules that then change endlessly,
When they don’t answer letters and as for the phone –
“Forget it accountants, no, you’re on your own!”

Still, mustn’t complain, I could do a lot worse
(Like trying to write more of this awful verse!)
But I’m sure I’ll never hear my nephews say,
“I want to be an accountant one day”.

With thanks to accountant Emily Coltman, Director of Accounts in English Ltd for this poem which I think reveals rather a lot about her life!
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