Friday, May 29, 2015

Sharing out the post in the taxman's office

This take dates back to the days of the Inland Revenue when there were local offices headed by a District Inspector (DI). One such DI went for a drink with his assistant to mark the DI's imminent retirement.

The Assistant DI took the opportunity to ask his boss something that had been troubling him:
"I must ask you a question. It's always puzzled me how you were able to so often leave the office to play golf at 3 o'clock each day. In the mornings you always divided the incoming post into three piles. You and I took equal sized piles of post and left the third one for the next day. Even though you seemed to distribute the post randomly as between us, your desk was always clear at 3 o'clock whereas I often had to stay until 5 or 6 o'clock to clear all my post. How did you manage it?"

The District Inspector replied:
"Simple. When it got to 3 o'clock each day I put any answered post back on the pile that we'd left for the next day!"

Thanks to Richard Mannion who related this tale to me a while back. Not sure if he said it was a true story or a joke!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Opening post for a client....

One accountant I know had a client who never opened any official looking envelopes. The accountant had to do this when he visited each month. And he then told the client what action needed to be taken in each case.

In an effort to get the client to open letters from the accountant himself he started sending them in distinctive grey coloured envelopes. However the client rarely opening these either. On one occasion the accountant wrote: "I'm writing this letter knowing that I'll be the one to open it when I come to visit you next month."

On another occaison the accountant sent his bill in a pretty coloured envelope. The accompanying letter started: "I hope you like the envelope. I used it in the hope that you'll have opened it without realising it was from me!"

Monday, May 18, 2015

10 ways you know you're an accountant

You know you're an accountant when.....
.....Friends always ask YOU to divide the restaurant bill and the tip.
.....When you tip the waitress you wonder who the troncmaster is.
.....You are always expected to be the one controlling the fund for office sweepstakes, lottery and fantasy football syndicates.
.....Strangers sidle up to you at parties and ask "How do I pay less tax?"
.....You can repeat all the HMRC 'on hold' messages word perfectly.
.....You have THAT poster on your wall: "I used to be an accountant, until I discovered Smirnoff." .....When you pop into an independent retail outlet you wonder how much profit they make.
.....You refuse to buy certain products retail because you know how big the sales margin is.
.....You have quoted certain tax cases (eg: Mallalieu v Drummond) so often you know how to spell the obscure names involved.
.....You count an unnumbered list like this one to see whether it really contains 10 items. (It does now!)

This list was inspired by a similar piece on

The journalist, the engineer, the lawyer and the accountant

A businessman was interviewing applicants for the position of Divisional Manager. He devised a simple test to select the most suitable perso...