Friday, December 02, 2022

The 12 days of Christmas or Taxmas (a reworked xmas carol)

 First line: On the first day of Taxmas the taxman sent to me:

- A rejection of my time to pay plea

The second verse:

On the second day of Taxmas, the taxman sent to me
- Two demand notes and
- A rejection of my time to pay plea

...and so on.
The last verse is:

On the twelfth day of Taxmas, the taxman sent to me
Twelve months to pay my debt
Eleven penalty charges
Ten confusing statements of account
Nine booklets on 'How to complain'
Eight explanatory leaflets
Seven website links
Six excuses for the delay
Five more queries
Four VAT returns to file
Three blank tax returns
Two demand notes and

One reluctant acceptance of my time to pay plea.

When I had the idea for this I checked online and found there was an old US version of the 12 days of Taxmas. Mine was developed independently.

Friday, November 25, 2022

An accountant learns the truth about game theory

There was an expert accountant who was well versed in game theory. 

He heard that his intelligent niece, who was five years old, always took a 50p piece, when a choice between a 50p piece and a pound coin was offered to her. 

He went to see his niece and offered her just such a choice. She took the 50p and said "Thank you Uncle". 

The accountant tried to explain to his niece "You must understand, a pound coin is twice as valuable as a 50p piece, so you should always choose the pound coin." 

The niece replied "Uncle, but then people will not offer me any money."

Friday, November 18, 2022

Matt Hancock to appear in new show: Accounting with the Stars

Politicians, actors and other 'selebs' have been queuing up in the hope of getting a steady job in accountancy via the latest talent show that producers hope will top the TV ratings. 

"I always had this secret dream that I might one day work in some area of financial management" said an excited MP, "but this TV show means that at last there is the chance that my dreams might come true…" she said as she practised her audition piece with her calculator and spreadsheet.

"Ever since I was a kid I used to practise accountancy in my bedroom…’ confessed a popular TV actor, whose identity we are protecting until his participation is confirmed. "I sent a few tables of some projected expenses into all the big firms, but even though they kept rejecting me, I always believed I had the financial acumen and auditing skills to make my dreams come true."

"This means the whole world to me" wept another 'seleb', after being told that she had been shortlisted for the show.  Decisions have yet to be made as to who will be the judges. 

Expectations are high that one judge will end up being accused of being too brutal with some of the accountancy hopefuls. 

Imagine if Matt Hancock MP was to take part and causing one of the judges to shout: "You call that deductible!" and forcing him to tear up his illegible receipts from some Australian gift shop. "Forget it Matt. You’ll never make it as an accountant; you’ll just be a laughing stock ex-MP for the rest of your life".

Friday, October 07, 2022

Popular accounting terms - redefined

 Profit – A chief executive who gives the accountant the bottom-line.

Debtor – A high society fillies’ coming out trip.
Corporation Tax – A levy on people with large stomachs.
Turnover – The number of times customers are fooled into buying your product.
Budget – A caged bird that can fly through the sound barrier.
Expended – Exhausted from all that shopping.
Drawings – The creative art of taking money from your business.
Stock-take – Counting the number of items taken home from work without payment.
Book-keeping – Those books not given to the accountant.
Fixed Cost – Size of required bribe.
Cost Accounting – Size of accountants' bill.
Liability – A gift for telling the opposite of the truth without detection.
And finally –
Asset – A complete collection of posteriors.

With many thanks to Rod Wilson of RWA Ltd Accountants (Rod tells me that RWA = Really Wicked Accountants)

Friday, September 30, 2022

The overly ambitious aspirational trainee accountant

 The young accountancy graduate, fresh out of university and knowing everything, applied for his first job in a large firm of accountants.


The partner interviewing him asked what starting salary he was looking for.

The young man replied: “Around £100,000 a year, plus usual benefits.”

The partner responded: “Well, how does this sound? Five weeks annual leave, 15% non contributory pension, reimbursed expenses - no questions asked, free attendance at an overseas conference every year with your partner, all mobile and home telephone bills reimbursed, gym membership, Friday night entertainment and a company car replaced every 20,000 miles, say a Mercedes convertible.”

The graduate sat up straight and tried not to look excited. “Wow. Are you kidding?”

Which earned the response: “I'm afraid so, but you started it.”

Friday, September 23, 2022

How to make HMRC 'Quite Interesting' (QI TV prog)

BBC TVs QI comedy panel show once focused on the 'Inland Revenue'. (Series I Episode 10)

Some of the stories are worth repeating on this blog:

The world's most exotic tax inspectors are in Pakistan. If you refuse to pay your tax you are shamed into paying it by receiving a visit from a team of tax inspectors who are all transgender. They would then sing and dance in your place of business until you paid up. 

In Andhra Pradesh, India, tax inspectors use drummers to get people to pay tax, by standing outside the place of business and banging on the drums loudly until they pay up. The comedians on the show considered how the 'Inland Revenue' might achieve a similar outcome here. The favoured conclusion was to send in the Morris Dancers.

Sandi Toksvig once spent three days with a tax man who investigated all of her accounts. In the end he did not find anything and the taxman said: "To be honest Miss Toksvig, I just wanted to meet you."

Dara O'Briain recalled an actor who tried to claim his carpet against tax because of the wear and tear he caused when he walked up and down while he learnt his lines. He did not get away with it. 

Dara himself once tried to claim for a bed but failed, while Sandi attempted to claim for some paintings in her office, failing as well. She told the tax inspector that no-one could possibly work in an office which had no art in it. Sandi looked around the inspector's office and saw that it had just one poster in it, which explained the Heimlich manoeuvre.

NB: This episode was first broadcast in 2011 and clearly no one had told the researchers or producers that HMRC took over from the Inland Revenue 6 years earlier in April 2005. 

The episode was hosted by Stephen Fry with Alan Davies and guests Al Murray, Dara O'Briain and Sandi Toksvig.  


Friday, September 16, 2022

10 ways accountants could become more like characters from Star Trek

1. Find a weird hand signal that means either, “Live long and prosper,” or “My hand feels cramped from typing all these numbers into an Excel spreadsheet.”

2. Take the firm up to warp factor five, or the speed you generally go about a week before January 31.

3. Raise the deflector shields, especially if HMRC contacts your clients about an investigation.

4. Try the Vulcan mind meld when you can’t understand what your client is trying to tell you about why his children should be counted as a business expense.

5. Appoint a skilled liaison to deal with the Romulans, also known as HMRC.

6. Have Scotty beam you up to the bridge whenever your flight gets delayed and you need to get back to the office right away.

7. Say, “That’s highly illogical,” whenever an inspector challenges one of your client’s deductions.

8. Establish a work/life balance between fighting aliens and making out with scantily clad Venusians.

9. Set your phaser gun on stun when someone complains too much about getting a low tax refund.

10. Tell the managing partner, “I canna do it, Captain, I can’t defy the laws of physics,” if he asks you to prepare more than five tax returns a day.

This is an anglicised version of a list originally created by Michael Cohn, Editor-in-Chief, WebCPA in 2009.

The 12 days of Christmas or Taxmas (a reworked xmas carol)

 First line: On the first day of Taxmas the taxman sent to me: - A rejection of my time to pay plea The second verse: On the second day of T...