Friday, February 24, 2017

Bob Newhart's quotes about accounting

American funny man Bob Newhart originally trained to be an accountant.

He explains that when attempting reconciliations he reckoned that:
"as long as you got within two or three bucks of it, you were all right. But that didn’t catch on … At the end of the day I had to balance the petty cash with the slips—every time you give out money you had to get a slip. It had to balance. Well, I’d be there for three or four hours tying to figure out where the last dollar or dime went to. So finally I’d just take it out of my pocket and I’d put it in. If there were two dollars leftover, I’d take it out … And they told me you can’t do that. You gotta find it. I said, “you’re paying me five dollars an hour to find two cents—it doesn’t make sense.” So I wasn’t a very good accountant."
His 1988 biography quotes Newhart as saying that if he hadn’t taken a gamble with comedy he would still be an accountant:
“Keep in mind, when I started in the late fifties, I didn’t say to myself, ‘Oh, here’s a great void to fill—I’ll be a balding ex-accountant who specializes in low-key humor.’ That’s simply what I was and that’s the direction my mind always went in, so it was natural for me to be that way.” 
Other accountancy related quotes attributable to Bob include:
I worked in accounting for two and a half years, realized that wasn't what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, and decided I was just going to give comedy a try. 
Probably the best advice I ever got in my life was from the head of the accounting department, Mr. Hutchinson, I believe at the Glidden Company in Chicago, and he told me, 'You really aren't cut out for accounting. 
I've been told to speed up my delivery when I perform. But if I lose the stammer, I'm just another slightly amusing accountant. 
The truth is, I look like an accountant, which was my trouble. I looked the part of an accountant, so I’d get hired as an accountant even though I got my degree in management.”

Friday, February 17, 2017

Accounting films #MakeAfilmAccounting

Following the hashtag #MakeAfilmAccounting on twitter revealed the following fun suggestions:

A long time ago in an accountant’s office far, far away…was the movie: The Annual Return of the Jedi
@sageuk

Mad Tax
@Muffhouse

The classic accounting tale of a man falsely imprisoned – The Accountant of Monte Cristo
@sageuk

 Up close and personal tax
@mrjoemcfadden

The Shawshank Tax Redemption
@sageuk

 In a world where everyone is an accountant, you should watch the 50's tax classic, Rebel Without a Clause
@sageuk

Vatman returns
@bookmarklee

 Love Actuarilly
@sageuk

 Saving Mr Bankrupt
 @EarlGreyDecaf

The Accountant of Monte Cristo
@sageNAmerica

Tax Driver
@sageNAmerica

Raiders of the profit and loss ark
@sageNAmerica

Cashablanca
@sageNAmerica

Friday, February 10, 2017

Daft letters to the taxman

The following extracts from letters received by the taxman were first published in Taxation magazine in 1958*
"I received your income tax form, but had to go into hospital an hour afterwards"
"I have not been living with my husband for several years, and have much pleasure in enclosing his last will and testament"
"Please correct this assessment. I have not worked for the past 3 months, as I have broken my leg. Hoping you will do the same."
"My husband is in HM Forces. I have no children. Trusting it will have your attention."
"Please send me a claim form, as I have had a baby. I had one before, but it got dirty and I burnt it."
"My husband died on 3 November. is there any post-war credit due, as I understand that a person has to die before receiving any benefit?"
"I cannot pay the full amount at the moment as my husband is in hospital. As soon as I can I will send you the remains."
"I have to inform you that my mother in law passed away after receiving your form on 22 November. Thanking you."
"Thank you for explaining my income tax liability. You have done it so clearly that I almost understand it."
*These extracts from letters were apparently referenced in a speech given by a retired Inspector of Taxes, Mr AEA Elston, while reminiscing at a meeting of the Oldham Rotary Club, and reported in the Oldham Evening Chronicle. The 1958 report in Taxation magazine was republished in December 1996.

Who Says Accountants Are Boring? Not WithumSmith+Brown


Friday, February 03, 2017

Crazy business expense claims

HMRC has published a list of what they claim to be the most outlandish expenses that customers tried to offset against business profits:
  1. Holiday flights to the Caribbean
  2. Luxury watches as Christmas gifts for staff - from a company with no employees
  3. International flights for dental treatment ahead of business meetings
  4. Pet food for a Shih Tzu ‘guard dog’
  5. Armani jeans as protective clothing for painter and decorator
  6. Cost of regular Friday night ‘bonding sessions’ - running into thousands of pounds.
  7. Underwear - for personal use
  8. A garden shed for private use - plus the costs of the space it takes up in the garden
  9. Betting slips
  10. Caravan rental for the Easter weekend.