Friday, September 29, 2017

"Taxation isn't about what you need"

In January 1986 the political comedy " Yes Prime Minister" featured an episode "The Smokescreen" in which The Prime Minister, Jim Hacker, favours abolishing smoking through heavy taxation but he runs into strong opposition from the tobacco lobby and the Treasury department.

The following exchange between the PM and his permanent secretary, Sir Humphrey, seemed especially worthy of reference:

Sir Humphrey: Taxation isn't about what you need.
Jim Hacker: Oh, what is it about?
Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, the Treasury doesn't work out what they need to spend and then think how to raise the money.
Jim Hacker: What does it do?
Sir Humphrey: They pitch for as much as they think they can get away with and then think what to spend it on.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Parkinson's law for accountants and auditors

The law of triviality:

The time spent in discussing any item in the accounts will be in inverse proportion to its size.

According to Peter Vaines and Roger Nuttall in their book "The Bottom Line"

Friday, September 15, 2017

The accountant and the bikers

An accountant is quietly sitting in a pub sipping a beer and minding his own business. A bunch of bikers roar up in the car park outside and then go into the pub where they immediately begin harassing him.

He tries to ignore them as they continue to insult him and make fun of his glasses and the fact that he is a mild mannered guy.

The accountant continues to ignore the bikers who then begin poking at him and getting physical. One of the bikers pours beer on his head. He does nothing. Another pokes him with a pool stick. He does nothing. They take off his jacket and wave it in front of him like a bull. He still does nothing.

The accountant grabs back his jacket, pays for his drinks and leaves the pub.

One of the bikers turns to the bartender and says, "Not much of a man, was he?" sneering at the cowardice of the accountant who did not defend himself against a bunch of guys who outnumbered him and were bigger than him.

And the bartender turns to the biker and says, "He's not much of a driver, either. He just rode over all of your bikes."

Friday, September 08, 2017

Why is there always a vacany for a Finance Director?

If the FD is really good, he will be headhunted - leaving a vacancy

If the FD is really bad, he will be fired - leaving a vacancy

If the company prospers the FD may well land the top job - leaving a vacancy

If the MD dies or retires only the FD has sufficient familiarity with all aspects of the business to take over - leaving a vacancy

If the company is doing badly, the FD will know first and will leave before anybody else finds out - leaving a vacancy

(According to Peter Vaines and Roger Nuttall in their book "The Bottom Line")

Friday, September 01, 2017

5 quickie jokes about accountants

The market may be bad, but I slept like a baby last night...
....I woke up every hour and cried.

I'm not saying my accountant is too literal, but when I asked him to check my balance, he pushed me over.

Why are accountants always so calm, composed, and methodical? They have strong internal controls.

What do you call a trial balance that doesn't balance? A late night.

Did you hear about the constipated accountant? He had a ton of paper work to do.  But no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t budget. So he decided to work it out with a pencil.

Before PwC, before Coopers & Lybrand, there was Cooper Brothers.....

Long before the merger of Coopers and Lybrand and Price Waterhouse created the firm we now know as PwC,  Coopers was originally called Coope...