Friday, June 05, 2020

Ten key tax questions for accountants

  1. Why is simplification such a long word? 
  2. Do you have a tax conscience? It's that small inner voice that tells you that the Special Civil Investigation Office will be writing to you. 
  3. If taxes are the answer, what was the question? 
  4. Why is it that HMRC can make 'mistakes' but taxpayers are always negligent? 
  5. Why are tax laws like a Haggis? They are both the the result of bloody processes; the end result is a mystery and you wouldn't want to watch either being made. 
  6. Is it true that HMRC believes that the generation of names for random audit is too important to be left to chance? 
  7. Why should we encourage clients to check their tax returns before breakfast? Then nothing worse can happen to them all day. 
  8. Is it really due to taxation, that clients find it increasingly difficult to reconcile their net incomes with their gross habits?
  9. Is the Eiffel Tower a warning as to what will happen to Canary Wharf after taxes? 
  10. Has the self assessment system resulted in the UK becoming a land of untold wealth?

Friday, May 29, 2020

An ode to auditing

Auditors are people too, we’re not nasty and mean

No need for fear and loathing whenever we are seen
Don’t hide behind your desk or go and nervously take flight
We’re only there to try to make sure everything’s all right
So when we do a test it isn’t just because we can
It’s to check your system’s working right all neatly spick and span
When we ask awkward questions it’s simply that we care
That your records may be incomplete with not all you need there
We look for fraud it’s true but hope to find it? We do not!
Dealing with fraud just adds more to the work that is our lot
Yes auditors are lovely with a helpful task to do
It’s only incidental when we make more work for you
I hope that now you understand and so, what do you say
Will you fight prejudice and hug an auditor today?

Contributed by Stephen Purham and originally published on AccountingWeb

Friday, May 22, 2020

Popular films remade for accountants (part one)

There are dozens of films about lawyers. Here are some that could be made about accountants:

  • The Accountant of Monte Cristo 
  • Honey I Shrunk The Balance sheet 
  • Double Entry Indemnity 
  • Abacus Now
  • Dead profits Society
  • Kinky Books
  • Trading (Profit and Loss Account) Places 
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being Audited 
  • Harry Potter and the Audit of the Phoenix 
  • Tax Returns Of The Jedi 
  • Debbie Does Double Entry Bookkeeping 
  • Abbacus - The Movie 
  • The Offshore Shank Redemption

Friday, May 15, 2020

The purchase ledger accountant's lament

Piles of purchase invoices, in all colours and sizes

Apparently so varied but with very few surprises
The Boss will read them carefully before he authorises
Then it’s my job to process them as my blood pressure rises

I say each number quietly to get it in my brain
And as I type it to the screen I say it once again
The others in the office think my mumbling’s a pain
They say it shows I’m mad, but can I promise you – I’m sane!

Once input to the system I’m so careful where I pile ‘em
Too close to the window, they’ll be gone before I file ‘em
And that would be the end of me, straight off to the asylum…
My loving caring colleagues would be very quick to dial ‘em

So here I am, an invoice clerk until the bitter end
Most of the time I work real hard but sometimes I pretend
I’m living in a different world, with mates and cash to spend
Oh please won’t someone rescue me? I’M GOING ROUND THE BEND!

Written by Sean Kelly.

Friday, May 08, 2020

Is this email too informal for a client?

A recent online exchange between two anonymous accountants made me chuckle:

Accountant 1
Has anyone else noticed that email communication with clients is becoming more personal and less formal?

Accountant 2

Dear [Accountant 1],
I hope you are well.
My emails, like yours, have moved imperceptibly from sublimely formal to ridiculously over-friendly.
Please find attached our fee-note in respect of our professional charges relating to our involvement and commentary upon the matter(s) raised by you; settlement of which is due within seven days. Thank you for using our services, which I trust have been to your satisfaction.
Thank you in anticipation of your timely settlement.
Yours objectively,
Mr ThisIsAsInformalAsIget F.C.A.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Lockdown lingo for accountants

Blue Skype thinking
An accountancy firm's brainstorming session which takes place over a videoconferencing app. Such meetings might also be termed a “Zoomposium”. 

An overdose of bad news about clients during a time of crisis. Can result in a “panicdemic”.

The elephant in the Zoom
The glaring issue during a videoconferencing call that nobody feels able to mention. Typically either a colleague who has dramatically put on weight, suddenly sprouted terrible facial hair or has a worryingly messy house visible in the background.

Quentin Quarantino
A furloughed junior staff member who is using their time in lockdown to make amateur films which they’re convinced are funnier and cleverer than they actually are.

A colleague or client who ignores public health advice or behaves with reckless disregard for the safety of others can be said to display “covidiocy” or be “covidiotic”. Also called a “lockclown”.

Antisocial distancing
Using health precautions as an excuse for avoiding any contact with colleagues you find irritating.

How you describe the consequence of your colleagues acquiring a sun-kissed glow from working at home in their gardens.

Doom ’n’ Zoom
The feeling spread by the a miserable or pessimistic colleague in a videoconference, aka the “Zoommonger”.

Fattening the curve
The weight that all accountants are gaining from comfort-eating and comfort-drinking. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Giving an accountant something to worry about

A newly qualified chartered accountant applies for a job advertised in The Times.
He is interviewed by the owner of a small business who has built it up from scratch.

"I need a qualified accountant," says the man, "but mainly I’m looking for someone to do my worrying for me."

"How do you mean?" says the accountant.

"I have lots of things to worry about, but I want someone else to worry about money

"OK," says the accountant. "How much are you offering?"

"You can start on eighty thousand," says the owner.

"Eighty thousand pounds?" exclaims the accountant, "How can a business like this afford
to pay so much?"

"That," says the man, "is your first worry."

Ten key tax questions for accountants

Why is simplification such a long word?  Do you have a tax conscience? It's that small inner voice that tells you that the Special Civil...