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Have had enough of being fit and proper

Have had enough of being fit and proper

I have had enough of doing everything properly and competing with unregulated accountants. From now on I will take short cuts.

It is likely I will be call to account by ACCA. I will just give up my membership. Besides  UK allows anyone to setup as an accountant. Believe me when I was a franchisee I have seen some real horrors. These people are still in business. Why should I work my backside off when others are getting away with it. I am sure I will be slatted by the proper and upright brigade here on AW. .

This is it, I have had enough. I will now get everything done in the shortest possible time.I will not worry abut ethics and standards.

What about clients? They normally want things done at the lowest possible price, If I do not do this, they would go to some other accountant who is unlikely to be different.

On AW we tend to hear about how accountants do everything properly. I am sure reality is likely to be different.

Let the attacks follow!

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01st Apr 2012 16:39

Save yourself the hastle later...

... and resign from the ACCA now.

Otherwise you will only spend many hundreds of hours and thousands of pounds later when they  do punish you.

Good luck with the new business model :-)

Regards

Steve

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01st Apr 2012 16:43

Interesting post, agree with steve 100%, however, I would say you have acheived the status of being a "chartered accountant" which you should be proud of its a respected qualification, perhaps more by employers than clients but still, if all qualified accountants took this approach the profession as a whole would suffer, not all clients are looking for a cheap accountant, its about marketing yourself for your target market, anyway, food for thought.

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01st Apr 2012 16:46

oh, and while your at it...

...why not go the full hog and learn of this fellows advanced accounting techniques:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2098810/Married-accountant-stole-500-000-splash-luxury-gifts-blonde-model-mistress-wife.html

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01st Apr 2012 17:32

Hmmm ... what day is it?

Good one, FT, but traditionally the jokes stop at 12 noon.   :)

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By BKD
01st Apr 2012 18:06

Nice try ....

But as Shirley points out, anyone that tries to pull a trick after midday is themselves an April Fool. (But not half as big a fool had you been serious)

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01st Apr 2012 22:35

I agree, up to a point...

I've often found myself thinking like this, though I'm not really up to date on what offends ICAEW/ACCA these days, and what doesn't.  Don't really care much, either.

Obviously we don't, as professionals and (somewhat) decent people, want to do things that are unlawful or aren't in the best interests of our clients.  We want to take pride in a job well done.

On the other hand I think we sometimes go too far in the amount of work that we carry out, most often because it's the way we've always done it.  This was brought home to me a couple of years ago when I was working part-time at two different local firms.  I'll pick an obvious example of disclosure checklists to (possibly over-) emphasise my point.

In one firm, very much the traditional type of firm that I trained in, everything was done lickety-split, including at least two completed disclosure checklists for each client no matter the size or complexity of the business.  Quite frankly, these checklists, on top of IRIS software and my own personal knowledge, were a complete waste of time and effort in the majority of cases.  For those cases where they helped, I knew in advance the complexity of the client or events in the year justified using the checklists, and could have used them on this basis.

The other firm I worked at was the complete opposite.  I doubt any of the staff had ever seen a checklist, and the very concept of a working file structure was utterly alien.  Accounts were churned out ASAP, with a minimum of fuss or attention.  Yet despite this, I would say for the half of the clients that were uncomplicated and straightforward, the accounts and tax returns were probably very adequate.

I came away from the experience confirmed in my thinking that a rational, commercial way of acting falls firmly in the middle.  There are those of our clients who need a full belt-and-braces approach to the accounts, but to apply this level of diligence to a client who is known to be straightforward and simple, is a complete waste of time.  To over-act because 'that's what we've always done' or because 'we might get a practice assurance visit' is a crying shame.

Perhaps I've misinterpreted FT's point, but his post got me thinking, nonetheless.

WS.

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By Old Greying Accountant
01st Apr 2012 23:28

Joking aside ...

... I wouldn't be to quick to give up membership, not with back door agent regulation round the corner via self serve!

Or may be I'm just a cynic!

 

 

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By DMGbus
01st Apr 2012 23:38

Giving clients what THEY want

Many firms of "professional" firms of "compliant" (obedient to their regulatorybodies) give clients MORE than they want or legally require.  Looks like such firms are more interested in blind obedience to providing unnecessary nonesense to please their governing bodies rather than being sensible and sensitive to client needs...

Just look at this list of rubbish that clients absolutely do NOT need nor want...yet are routinely given...

# Company information page

# Index page

# Calling accounts "financial statements"

# Excessive notes

# Putting dividends, reserves brought forward and carried forward in notes rather than on the face of the statutory P&L making the accounts harder to follow through and understand

A set of small Ltd Co accounts can be legally compliant at just 6 pages yet I keep seeing idiotic 12 page examples.

 

 

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By Old Greying Accountant
Moonbeam
02nd Apr 2012 10:00

Ah but ...

DMGbus wrote:

Many firms of "professional" firms of "compliant" (obedient to their regulatorybodies) give clients MORE than they want or legally require.  Looks like such firms are more interested in blind obedience to providing unnecessary nonesense to please their governing bodies rather than being sensible and sensitive to client needs...

Just look at this list of rubbish that clients absolutely do NOT need nor want...yet are routinely given...

# Company information page

# Index page

# Calling accounts "financial statements"

# Excessive notes

# Putting dividends, reserves brought forward and carried forward in notes rather than on the face of the statutory P&L making the accounts harder to follow through and understand

A set of small Ltd Co accounts can be legally compliant at just 6 pages yet I keep seeing idiotic 12 page examples.

 

... there is no work in all those pages, they just get spewed out by the software - it would take longer tailoring the reports to omit them than the cost of ink and paper to print them (especially as most are just sent as pdf's these days anyway!).

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By Hansa
02nd Apr 2012 00:19

What the client wants!

I couldn't agree more with DMGbus.  I have recently come away feeling rather bruised after a word for word itereration of his complaints with the (ACCA) Hong Kong Auditors we use for clients with HK companies.  (HK requires an audit for all but tiny companies still).   They absolutely refused to budge and, because of deadlines I was forced to let the accounts go in as mangled (in that case 20 pages where 7 would have done). I wondered whether they charge by weight!

I wasn't going to respond to this post initially but this comment so hit the nail on the head that I have.  I try to avoid doing accounts wherever possible but unfortunately clients insist! (I joke not, I cannot get most of them to do anything more than bare book-keeping if that).  I digress.  In nearly all cases I know the clients and their businesses well enough to know how many bells & whistles they want (ranging in one extreme case) where the clients convene a board meeting at my office, they fly over, spend and hour and a half asking questions after which we adjourn for a serious lunch.  - I have the entire accounts file to hand, all schedules printed etc etc., through to the other extreme with clients who sign them without looking at them. 

My point being is that I try to give clients (a) what they need to have and (b) what they want to have (very often different things!).  Unnecessary bureaucracy falls into neither category!

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By noradh
02nd Apr 2012 07:26

Engagement letters

The query may or may not be an April Fool, but I think it raises some serious points. A colleague has been in trouble with his Institute several times, and now has to issue a 20-page engagement letter to new clients, as well as a 10-page disengagement letter to lost clients. Most readers will probably dis- agree with me, but is this really necessary? It takes him at least  10 hours to draft each letter for each client, and I suspect that the clients don't read all of it, so what does it achieve?

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02nd Apr 2012 08:21

Ten hours?!

Then you're doing it wrong .... takes me 2 minutes max. Maybe you should consider using a computer?

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02nd Apr 2012 09:00

Were HMRC to insist on professional qualifications as a means of agent regulation there aren't enough institute members to cover the needs of the taxpayers

Then what?

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02nd Apr 2012 09:19

If HMRC insist on qualified agents

Then demand will outstrip supply and the fees will rise, and the qualifieds (both good and bad) will be raking it in while the unqualifieds, both good and bad, will be out of work, or doing the same work as before, but for the qualifieds practices.

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02nd Apr 2012 09:23

@steve......its good when someone

can raise a smile from my face first thing on a Monday. 

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02nd Apr 2012 09:28

Am I the only one

Who is still a little concerned FirstTab might have been serious?  I will continue to be worried until he confirms it was a joke.

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02nd Apr 2012 09:44

Would agree @constantly - and when it comes to anything in ....

life one size most definitely does not fit all.

 

If you are a good chartered accountant and are targeting the right type of clients then I dare say you will hardly ever come into contact with a QBE (or not as the case may be) competing for the same person.

 

   

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By Flash Gordon
02nd Apr 2012 12:36

@ FT

Come on FT - was this a wind up or a real post?

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02nd Apr 2012 12:53

C'mon FT

Tell us it was a joke, or at least let us know you are reading our responses to your post!

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02nd Apr 2012 13:43

1 April Wind up

Thank you an excellent discussion. I enjoyed this thread.

This was 1 April  wind up.  It lead to such a good discussion.

 

 

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Duggimon
02nd Apr 2012 14:33

Thanks for telling us

FirstTab wrote:

Thank you an excellent discussion. I enjoyed this thread.

This was 1 April  wind up.  It lead to such a good discussion.

Generally speaking, jokes usually involve blondes or Englishmen, Irishmen & Scotsmen.

 

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By DMGbus
02nd Apr 2012 14:05

Extra pages = extra cost or extra error

"

... there is no work in all those pages, they just get spewed out by the software - it would take longer tailoring the reports to omit them than the cost of ink and paper to print them (especially as most are just sent as pdf's these days anyway!). "

Extra pages such as name and address of bank cost time to populate and check every year.   Extra pages take extra time to "call over" check the accounts.  For some of us who actually do still "call over" / check software output before issue this really is more time cost.

Extra pages make accounts less understandable to small clients.

Clear and consise is better than "imitate a PLC" and have lots of pages and notes over and above legal obligation.

The "imitate a PLC" scenario might be so that small company accounts are easier for those normally only dealing with PLCs to understand.  Forget the client, instead look after the profession is NOT a good attitude in this context.

 

 

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02nd Apr 2012 21:40

Sorry

I am sorry if I offended anyone. Putting aside 1/04, it really was a good discussion.

No more 1/04 wind ups from me.

Thank you once again for bringing such good points to this thread.

 

 

 

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By Monsoon
04th Apr 2012 08:32

Company information pages

I'm so glad someone else brought that up. I keep seeing it in prof. clearance docs and, because I don't think it's necessary, I've been omitting that for ages (as DMG says, takes time to populate and check). I was beginning to think I was doing it wrong! I will carry on then... :)

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By Old Greying Accountant
04th Apr 2012 08:46

Compnay Information

IRIS just prints from the database you hold anyway, I don't include bankers or solicitors details. There is absolutely no keying other than what is needed in respect of maintaining the client.

The clients who don't understand the accounts don't care, they just want compliance. The main users of their accounts will be the bank so it is best to have them in a format they prefer to give them the information they need, surely that is best for the client? 

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By Monsoon
04th Apr 2012 08:53

.

Thanks OGA. VT doesn't auto-populate that page, which is probably why I've never bothered with it. The only thing on that page that isn't anywhere else on the accounts is the registered office. I've never had a problem and no-one has ever asked for it, so I will probably keep calm and carry on.... thanks though :)

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