Institute bans accountant for forging signature

The ICAEW has excluded an accountant for at least a year for registering a client as a company secretary for a firm on a Companies House document.

Edward Hopson from North Humberside also falsified the client’s signature on form 288A in October 2006.

A disciplinary tribunal heard that Hopson believed the person would consent to being appointed company secretary but had not made sure.

Hopson’s client, a county councillor, then reportedly received backlash from...

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Comments
allenlunn's picture

disciplinary action    2 thanks

allenlunn | | Permalink

Life in the professional sector gets more complicated and sophisticated every year.It requires great effort sometimes to keep abreast of legislation and compliance especially when working on one's own. There's no-one to unburden yourself with nor share knowledge. Consequently, objectives and sound judgement is impaired.This ultimately has an adverse shift away from the core workload resulting in more mistakes and setbacks.

Dr a lunn

disciplinary action    4 thanks

karen.morriscook | | Permalink

Well said Dr Lunn.

The professional bodies seem to be more interested in whether or not someone has signed the top of piece of  paper than whether the figures are correct or the client has received a good service and good advice. 

I am in a partnership and we share out the work load but if you are by yourself it must be almost impossible to keep up with both the increasing demands of clients, ever changing tax rules and then on top over burdensome compliance.  I think that qualified sole traders will soon become an extinct breed.

forged signature

karen.morriscook | | Permalink

Obviously I was not referring to the forged signature with the above comment.  I cannot understand why an accountant would put themselves at risk in that way but I can also understand the comment re "best intentions" as I am quite sure that he didn't intend to cause the problems that he did.  Of course you cannot forge someones signature and expect to suffer no consequences. 

mr. mischief's picture

Sheer ICAEW hypocrisy    16 thanks

mr. mischief | | Permalink

ICAEW is great at bullying all the little guys for their little failings.  Tell me, ICAEW, how many Big 4 audit partners have you struck off for their dodgy clean audit reports in 2006 and 2007 on the 200-plus European banks later found to be utterly insolvent and in need of bailouts?

Auditing would have a much stronger public image if guys like that were properly held to task.

The old forge    1 thanks

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

Who discovered it and who complained?

I have never forged a client's signature.  But in 1972 or thenabouts, when I was a manager, a client brought in her husband's tax return and other data. Like a great many sole traders she kept the books, and attended to the paper work.  I completed the rerurn and asked her to get him to sign it.  "Oh it's OK, I'll sign it" she said. "No you can't do that, because he is making a declaration, blah bah blah." "But I always have" she protested, with a sweet little smile.. 

What should I have done? (No, I didn't sign it. ).

 

Although signing someone into an onerous office without their knowledge is something  a bit diferent..

disciplinary action    1 thanks

raj@accounts-tax.com | | Permalink

I full agree with Dr Lunn in that sole practitioners are already fully burdened with ever increasing expectations of their regulatory bodies, the HMRC, clients and the ever increasing all round rules and legislation changes. HMRC are hell bent on expecting Practitioners to provide more data and information in electronic format on a more regular basis (such as payroll on-line submissions), with the changes in recent years to submit other returns such as self assessment, VAT, P35's, corporation tax returns, etc, on-line; all this would have reduced the HMRC's human resources, but instead of appreciating this extra effort, we have all those dreadful additional deadlines and penalties to deal with, ensuring that the small practitioner is always living with abnormal stress levels. Unfair competition and unfair practices of struggling unqualified or inexperienced Accountants do not help matters either. Poor cash flows and profits caused by struggling clients do not help matters as the firm is not always in a good position to invest in new technology and tools, senior staff or administrative resources. Breaches of any regulations is unacceptable, but our regulatory bodies are always keener to pursue and penalise the small or sole practitioner even for lesser important matters such as quality of working paper files (even though the end product is materially accurate), whilst letting off the top 4 firms off with relatively smaller fines and punishment for much more serious regulatory offences and negligences. With their obvious limitations, sole or small practitioners have increasingly been easy prey for all authorities and I personally do not think that this position is likely to change in future. I have spent all my working life successfully training and encouraging students, but in recent years, there is some reluctance in over encouraging them to make a career in very small firms. I better get back to work before some deadlines are missed!

Bankrupt Britain destroying professional careers    3 thanks

Accountant on Mars | | Permalink

karen.morriscook wrote:

Well said Dr Lunn.

The professional bodies seem to be more interested in whether or not someone has signed the top of piece of  paper than whether the figures are correct or the client has received a good service and good advice. 

I am in a partnership and we share out the work load but if you are by yourself it must be almost impossible to keep up with both the increasing demands of clients, ever changing tax rules and then on top over burdensome compliance.  I think that qualified sole traders will soon become an extinct breed.

I am in full agreement with this comment.I know Eddie Hopson professionally and personally and once mistakenly turned down a job to work for him.I find him a very astute person professionally and personally and cannot help but feel for him.It makes you wonder where this country is going to end up with professional people,who are sole proprietors,working in excess of 3000 hours per year,having no social life and then being made to struggle on benefits,having had their reputation and livelihood taken away.If I was 20 years younger I would move to New Zealand and let this country rot and go to the dogs, because that is what is happening.The coalition and Labour party are overseeing this destruction of our country with their henchmen,judges,solicitors,courts and police helping them.And what happens is there are good men and women out there struggling with their tarnished careers,criminal records and prison sentences be served and when they come out the ever declining working population having to pay them benefits with their reduced tax bills.Lets face it we will join Greece and Spain and become the bankrupt laughing stock of the world.

I agree with most    1 thanks

Gaffer | | Permalink

George B should be right at home if he was a quality assurance auditor, and rightly despised too.  Some of his statements reveal a great similarity to the policeman "Javert" that relentlessly pursues  the poor guy who stole some bread "Jean Valjean" in the story by Victor Hugo, and the recent 2012 movie of the same name.   "The law is the law" says Javert, who eventually goes insane and commits suicide.  Good riddance claps the audience.

Regards

Gaffer -  September 11 2013

makes you wonder

The Black Knight | | Permalink

also falsified the client’s signature on form 288A in October 2006.

Makes you wonder what else he falsified.

Clearly didn't know the difference between right and wrong.

It is about time some of this behaviour that is deemed acceptable but really just criminal was stamped out.

Can't condone falsifying signatures, but the Big 4 do much worse    3 thanks

BryanS1958 | | Permalink

Of course falsifying signatures isn't acceptable, even though the consequences probably couldn't have been foreseen.  However, this inconvenienced one person and was rectifiable.  The Big 4 firms have been failing to adequately audit banks and other large companies and institutions for years, leading to untold financial suffering and distress for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people worldwide due to bank bailouts, quantative easing, etc - how many Big 4 partners have been struck off as a result?  Probably none.

two wrongs don't make a right though    1 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Two wrongs don't make a right though!

pembo's picture

bullies    4 thanks

pembo | | Permalink

totally with Mr Mischief and Accountants on Mars on this. This country has worked on the shooting fish in the barrel principle for decades because its far easier than going after the real criminals.

The report on this case said

"The appearance on the public record of her apparent consent to be a company secretary of a limited company suggested that she had failed to declare her interest in the relevant register of members’ interests. A member of the public complained and eventually the police became involved ".

Heavy stuff eh and of course far more serious that the failure of MPs to properly declare interests. And are we really expected to believe that this councillor was entirely unaware that this may happen ? Of course we all agree he should not have done this but lets have some proportionality and common sense. As for the "member of public that complained" he or she needs to get out more as do some of the holier than though brigade as posts passim who are oh so quick to judge.  

" "

DMGbus's picture

Correct motivation but technically wrong    1 thanks

DMGbus | | Permalink

The tribunal said it believed Hopson hadn’t committed the wrongdoing for any personal gain, but as an expedient to help his client.

We do not know what pressure the client put on the advisor, nor what consequences might have accrued had the form not been fraudulently signed to help the client.

What the court DID find was motivation to help the client, with no perceivable disadvantage to anyone from the advisor viewpoint.

It is a trap that all advisors need to be aware of and resist pressure (however great) or temptation to, effectively, be "too helpful".

Now, had it been a case of great public interest with lots of money lost by investors, the country's banking system almost destroyed or thousands of jobs lost by workers (instead of political inconvenience for the victim) then it might be a worthy penalty to deprive someone of several years income.    It is of concern that in major public interest cases there is no proportionate penalty for the wrong do_ers.maybe it is a case of "the little man is a soft target" (he can't afford to spend a 5 or 6 figure sum on a defence unlike major wrong do_ers so we can make an example of him and look good in the process).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No No No

The Black Knight | | Permalink

What do we deem acceptable then?

Signing a passport application for someone we have not met.

Signing accounts we have not prepared or audited.

Signing someones tax return

This was a forgery after all, the reason he was caught out is neither here nor there.

What sort of reasonable law abiding subject would not realise that this was wrong?

Why all the emotive language?    2 thanks

Ken Howard | | Permalink

Why all the emotive language?  We've had comments about how hard it is to be a sole practitioner, working long hours, ever increasing regulations, etc.  Why is any of that relevant, and is it really such a problem?

The fact is that this guy forged a signature on an official document.  He's supposed to be a professional.  At the end of the day, this isn't acceptable behaviour whatever the motivation or pressure.  What on earth was he thinking about?  

As for apocalytic warnings of the end of the sole practitioner?  There are more sole practitioners than ever.  A whole new breed of "one man bands", many unqualified, have now stormed the market.  Made easier with online accounting, HMRC & Co House electronic filings, etc - you don't need receptionists, typists anymore.  Regulations etc needn't be a problem if you research and understand them - yes, compliance reviews etc are a pain and probably achieve little, but the likes of MLR checking etc soon becomes routine, as does RTI for payroll - nothing but minor irritations and certainly nothing that precludes the end of the world as we know it.  As for working long hours - why?  No need, just choose your clients and charge a decent/fair rate and you can earn a decent living on normal hours.

Let's get some sense of perspective.

pembo's picture

Envy

pembo | | Permalink

you Black Knight that your life is so black and white.... must make everyday existence so easy. Guess you have never taken a box of paper home from the office for your own use eh ? The spirit of Lord Denning must look down aghast at the society we've created.

excluded for a year

The Black Knight | | Permalink

pembo wrote:

you Black Knight that your life is so black and white.... must make everyday existence so easy. Guess you have never taken a box of paper home from the office for your own use eh ? The spirit of Lord Denning must look down aghast at the society we've created.

He has only been excluded for a year! That is where the proportionality is.

No fine!

and certainly not £14M

He has not been prosecuted. I think forgery might be a criminal offence?

mmm Shall I forge someones signature or not today? It's not a difficult one is it?

mitigating factors might be: blackmail, gun to head, love

but please not "look at those greedy bankers, MP's and rich accountants"

 

Unforeseeable Consequences

J Lessels | | Permalink

When you do something dodgy like forging a signature (I don't!), you do not know what the consequences might be. It's no good thinking it doesn't matter and who cares. You just don't know what will happen. It's what old Rumsfeld called the Unknown unknowns.

My bad

Gaffer | | Permalink

Sorry George, yes it was you I referred to and so it should have said George G.  Does being banned for one year mean he cannot service his clients for a year?  If so, he would then have to start from scratch since who would go back to him after having to find another accountant.  The punishment does not fit the "crime".

Regards,

Gaffer 9/12 Thursday

davidwinch's picture

A criminal offence?    1 thanks

davidwinch | | Permalink

The Black Knight wrote:

He has not been prosecuted. I think forgery might be a criminal offence?

I think you might have in mind s1 Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.  I am not a lawyer but, for what it's worth, I don't think what was done here amounts to the criminal offence of forgery because I do not think the accountant in question intended any harm to come to anyone as a result of his signing the Companies House form in the name of (and as if he were) his client.  (But that doesn't mean I think on a professional level it was perfectly OK to do that.)

David

Honest and decent yes.

Gaffer | | Permalink

Hi George,

Agreed, you are not Javert.  It's just that sometimes you deal in absolutes, and that risks submerging your humanity, if only temporarily.  'Nuff said.  I better get back to work.

Regards,

Gaffer (Toronto Canada)

 

davidwinch's picture

@George

davidwinch | | Permalink

In this case the accountant produced a formal document (submitted to Companies House) which purported to be signed by a person who had not signed it and had not given his consent to his name being signed on it.

As a consequence the accountant was disciplined by his professional body.

I think that is fair enough even though (in my view at least) no criminal offence had been committed.

I don't think there is any ambiguity there!

David

Nichola Ross Martin's picture

There's forgery and forgery...    1 thanks

Nichola Ross Martin | | Permalink

For sure this chap should not have signed for someone else. But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks.

This amused me - I had an email the other day, it came with the director's signature which is obviously stored on a shared server as the email was sent by someone else. Somewhat odd because underneath his signature the sender had put her name there and so I was left feeling completely perplexed as to what to do. Should I contact him and tell him a key member of staff has stolen his signature? Was it authorised? Is this "signature" legally binding on him, or his company? I phoned in the end - he was on holiday!! I still find it funny but I won't be pressing charges!

 

 But I wondering how many

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

 But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks. Or even knows!In my audit days I "observed the cheque signing procedure". The cheques were signed by a primitive computer system and the control machine was strictly controlled.   And yet in many a small organisation, one of the two cheque signatories would pre-sign the cheques and go away, thus defeating the object of having two signatories.

And how many board meetings in small companies, which we auditors were obliged to "peruse  the minutes of", actually took place? What about the preprinted minutes  banks give you to sign when a new cheque signatory is appointed?  

Years ago, as a manager,   I was  asked to witness the signature of the senior partner on legal documents.  He had gone out, It looked like his writing. I  complied.  It was apparently their standard procedure.  Should I have done?

What is the present position with tax returns? Before I retired if it was getting near filing date I used to e-mail the returns to the cllient, and post the signature page and authorisation to file. If the client e-mailed me to say he would sign I accepted that.  It saved late filing penatlries.  Suppose he had died before he could sign it?  

A  partner in one of the (then) big eight  told me she signed 2000 letters a day. She was amused that some clients thought she  read them.

 

And in the instance I discussed earlier, when the client's wife wanted to sign her husband's tax return on the grounds she always had done, this being in the days before independent taxation, I was presented with a signed return after I had momentarily looked out of the window. 

I should mention that all these instances were more than 30 years ago. None of these instances are in the same league as the poor fellow who signed a form and forgot to  ask if he should.  

But one instinctively thinks forgery is wrong even with the consent of the purported signatory.  I suggest it's because it's basically a lie, it is saying that someone has put pen to paper when one has not. 

 

 

 

His accounting career hasn't been destroyed    1 thanks

Ken Howard | | Permalink

George Gretton wrote:
Having his Accounting Career destroyed seems out of proportion

His "accounting career" hasn't been destroyed.  He's been chucked out of the ICAEW.  He can still operate as an accountancy practice - like loads do - on an unqualified basis.  If he has a good reputation with his clients, most would stick with him.  He also has his experience and the fact that he did once qualify which should enable him to gain an employed position if he wanted to do that.  All that has happened is that he has breached the rules of a professional body and has been struck off from that body as a result.  I'm sure he still has options to gain professional recognition via another professional body, maybe such as the AAT or ICPA etc depending on their rules/opinion of this matter.

Indeed

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Ken Howard wrote:

George Gretton wrote:
Having his Accounting Career destroyed seems out of proportion

His "accounting career" hasn't been destroyed.  He's been chucked out of the ICAEW.  He can still operate as an accountancy practice - like loads do - on an unqualified basis.  If he has a good reputation with his clients, most would stick with him.  He also has his experience and the fact that he did once qualify which should enable him to gain an employed position if he wanted to do that.  All that has happened is that he has breached the rules of a professional body and has been struck off from that body as a result.  I'm sure he still has options to gain professional recognition via another professional body, maybe such as the AAT or ICPA etc depending on their rules/opinion of this matter.

Indeed.

He might even find that he has less costs of regulation and is now able to sign any documents in any manner he now sees fit.

How many company directors don't realise they are company directors? That will be the wife that never gave her consent then?

Ignoring the forged bit...Signatures are either important or they are not. The trust placed in that signature is reliant on your professional ethics and standards of behaviour so it is of the utmost importance that these matters are taken seriously.

I always make sure that the persons signature I am witnessing is present, that those signatures are not backdated, that it is the person signing and I have known them for the requisite amount of time, If it is the children's passports I drag them in too, No excuses. Because then I know I can put my hand on my heart and say I did things properly.

If clients do not agree with these standards then the law provides work arounds E.G.  in that a director can now sign a passport application and that director could easily be your local criminal who will not necessarily need to identify you or even be the person he purports to be. I assume this was introduced to alleviate the problem of illegal immigrants achieving a reduction in the figures.

The Australian embassy actually checks your validity, but they don't like immigrants.

More of a problem than it used to be

The Black Knight | | Permalink

Nichola Ross Martin wrote:

For sure this chap should not have signed for someone else. But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks.

This amused me - I had an email the other day, it came with the director's signature which is obviously stored on a shared server as the email was sent by someone else. Somewhat odd because underneath his signature the sender had put her name there and so I was left feeling completely perplexed as to what to do. Should I contact him and tell him a key member of staff has stolen his signature? Was it authorised? Is this "signature" legally binding on him, or his company? I phoned in the end - he was on holiday!! I still find it funny but I won't be pressing charges!

 

it's more of a problem than it used to be.

does a consent to act as a director need to be in writing for example?

You just need some ID questions to appoint anyone and you could make them up given companies house filing cabinet rules.

I thought you said "I consent"

No I said "you're bent"

 

Had a cheque

ghewitt | | Permalink

Nichola Ross Martin wrote:

For sure this chap should not have signed for someone else. But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks.

This amused me - I had an email the other day, it came with the director's signature which is obviously stored on a shared server as the email was sent by someone else. Somewhat odd because underneath his signature the sender had put her name there and so I was left feeling completely perplexed as to what to do. Should I contact him and tell him a key member of staff has stolen his signature? Was it authorised? Is this "signature" legally binding on him, or his company? I phoned in the end - he was on holiday!! I still find it funny but I won't be pressing charges!

 

signed by a non-signatory. It went through unchallenged. It was for 500 odd pounds. The bank said they didn't usually bother checking if it was under 5000. Nice.

that's

The Black Knight | | Permalink

ghewitt wrote:

Nichola Ross Martin wrote:

For sure this chap should not have signed for someone else. But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks.

This amused me - I had an email the other day, it came with the director's signature which is obviously stored on a shared server as the email was sent by someone else. Somewhat odd because underneath his signature the sender had put her name there and so I was left feeling completely perplexed as to what to do. Should I contact him and tell him a key member of staff has stolen his signature? Was it authorised? Is this "signature" legally binding on him, or his company? I phoned in the end - he was on holiday!! I still find it funny but I won't be pressing charges!

 

signed by a non-signatory. It went through unchallenged. It was for 500 odd pounds. The bank said they didn't usually bother checking if it was under 5000. Nice.

That's because you should use chip and pin otherwise you are leaving yourself open to fraud sir!

The purpose of banking is to move your money around and charge you for doing it.

Changing the signatures on an account is a nigh on impossible task so people (charity, club and volunteer sector mainly) have worked out that anyone can sign the cheque and it will go through. After all it is no different to giving the internet passwords to the secretary or the bookkeeper. Saves all the hassle and you can help yourself whenever you need too.

If it's allowed it must be perfectly acceptable and normal behaviour.

Is there actually a crime if a non signatory signs a cheque for an unauthorised amount to a dodgy geezer in the belief that he needed the money for charity begins at home principles?

It really is truly amazing that fraud has not taken off as our leading industry (but perhaps the figures are suppressed as it wouldn't look good in the telegraph)

Had a cheque    1 thanks

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

I paid a credit card company, and kept a copy of my cheque, always a good idea with credit card companies.  I discovered I had dated it March instead of December, no idea why. So I rang the card company   , who said they had paid it in, but not to worry, as "they won't notice." They didn't. it went through.

 

I paid a cheque into my bank, who pointed out  it was unsigned. They said "if it comes back we'll charge you £4.00".  I knew the drawer, it was a few hundred, I knew he would be in funds and would not have deliberately left it unsigned. (Some people do, but not the kind of client I wanted).   This also went though, and my understanding is cheques don't physically leave the bank anyway, I may be wrong.

 

So what was the point of that ancient audit test, where you had to get a pile of cleared cheques and check them against the cash book? Something to do with teeming and lading i think. 

 

 

 

 

Numpties    1 thanks

The Black Knight | | Permalink

The door is clearly wide open for fraudsters to take advantage,

from companies house, HMRC, banking, supported by a complete lack of enforcement.

It is almost as if the primary purpose of establishing government department procedures is to encourage the fraud industry and obstruct the prosecution of the offenders.

Only the very stupid get caught. Most of the reported convictions recently are so daft you have to wonder at the level of stupidity. When it would have been so easy to steal more and remain undetected and or even confuse or pass the blame to someone else.

How often are these crimes discovered by chance events.

a mobile phone spotter noticing mobile phone numbers, a complainant, an aggrieved wife, etc etc

Half of these frauds should never have got off the ground.

Why didn't the chap above sign the form in his own name, no one would have checked (provided it was in black ink and didn't spread outside the box). It would then NOT have been an act of forgery but a mild silly moment? Consent would have been verbal and the form completed with the right intentions argument may well have kept him safe.

or he could have just made up a name as company secretary and filed that!

Companies house don't even check if company secretaries of PLC's are real let alone qualified to act as such. Much less directors and secretaries.

Maybe    3 thanks

ghewitt | | Permalink

He should have filed on line and just ticked the correct box. No signature needed.

Looking through this post (don't ask me why I bother - hope springs eternal, dammit) I think what a pathetic world we live in. All this underhandedness, forgery, fraud et-al is all over money. Pieces of paper that we give a value to, that people are willing to kill another person for. To do what with. Buy another trinket, another car, go on a holiday, say ooo look at me I'm rich?. Totally mindless. We spend our days toiling at some God-forsaken job to get pieces of paper, if that - usually just an increase in a number on our bank account. And then what? Sure, yes, yes, I know we need some money to do this and that - we are told and educated that this is how it works. But why? There has to be a better way than spending most of our lives working for paper and then just dying. Alan Watts told a great story of how we constantly chase the future and in the end find out the whole thing is a hoax and life passes us by as we strive to 'make it'.

I urge you to just stand back and look at the madness you call your life; how you are manipulated by the media and the crap-o-vision that governs how and what you think, how corporations and governments control you and how we are slaves trying to 'make it'. What the 'it' actually is I have no idea - big house (big deal), big car (big deal), latest whizzy gadget (big deal).

On your death-bed, with 10 minutes to live will ANY of this matter? Will you be wishing that you had spent more time at the office? I doubt it.

Y shovel sixteen tons/and    2 thanks

ken of chesterl... | | Permalink

Y shovel sixteen tons/and whaddaya get?/another day older/and deeper in debt.

 

Can't remember who wrote it or who sang it, but it was in the mid-fifties I think! 

If you make it 16 tons of paprer or 16 MB, it describes the profession I now watch from the sidelines.

 

10 minutes before you die is leaving it a bit late.  But you're 10 minutes short of eternity, one way or another, all your CPD , trinkets,  will avail you nothing..   There will be eminent members of our profession, some of whom are my friends,  to whom it will be said: Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose  shall  those things be, that thou hast provided? so is he that layeth up treasure for himsesf, and is not rich toward God.

 

Mr Hewitt, I think I might be a bit off piste, but I suspect we are on the same wavelength.  And it was you who (mercifully) broadened the discussion!

 

But I'm Ok, I'm retired!

 

maybe    1 thanks

raj@accounts-tax.com | | Permalink

can only echo ghewitt's message; at the moment of death, a street beggar is as wealthy as Bill Gates. Beggar's probably happier as he would not have slogged through life (keeping numerous authorities, including all regulatory bodies, HMRC, etc) happy at expense of a hugely stressful and poor quality life, whilst accumulating whatever, only to leave it all behind to someone who may not even appreciate your efforts. easier said than done, but very important to maintain a good balance where you also get fair level of happiness and quality of life. As qualified practitioners in small practices, we operate at highest levels (this supported by relatively low numbers and levels of negligence claims, compared to the big 4) also associated with higher stress levels and yet this effort is still never good enough for others as they keep moving the goal posts, just to kick the bucket sooner rather than later! our regulatory bodies expects us to be independent and yet over many decades, they regularly let off big firms and their partners very lightly despite their history of mega negligences and professional breaches where innocent parties loses millions, and all this casts serious doubt over their so called independent status as a regulatory body. Perhaps I ought to be a preacher (certainly more rewarding and less stressful - no daily barometers measuring standards of professionalism and achievements and with better chance of hitting heaven, assuming there's one) and ask all to seek more contentment and peace, which is increasingly damn difficult as a very small practitioner! 

I do use chip and pin

ghewitt | | Permalink

The Black Knight wrote:

ghewitt wrote:

Nichola Ross Martin wrote:

For sure this chap should not have signed for someone else. But I wondering how many people do that and no one even blinks.

This amused me - I had an email the other day, it came with the director's signature which is obviously stored on a shared server as the email was sent by someone else. Somewhat odd because underneath his signature the sender had put her name there and so I was left feeling completely perplexed as to what to do. Should I contact him and tell him a key member of staff has stolen his signature? Was it authorised? Is this "signature" legally binding on him, or his company? I phoned in the end - he was on holiday!! I still find it funny but I won't be pressing charges!

 

signed by a non-signatory. It went through unchallenged. It was for 500 odd pounds. The bank said they didn't usually bother checking if it was under 5000. Nice.

That's because you should use chip and pin otherwise you are leaving yourself open to fraud sir!

The purpose of banking is to move your money around and charge you for doing it.

Changing the signatures on an account is a nigh on impossible task so people (charity, club and volunteer sector mainly) have worked out that anyone can sign the cheque and it will go through. After all it is no different to giving the internet passwords to the secretary or the bookkeeper. Saves all the hassle and you can help yourself whenever you need too.

If it's allowed it must be perfectly acceptable and normal behaviour.

Is there actually a crime if a non signatory signs a cheque for an unauthorised amount to a dodgy geezer in the belief that he needed the money for charity begins at home principles?

It really is truly amazing that fraud has not taken off as our leading industry (but perhaps the figures are suppressed as it wouldn't look good in the telegraph)

 

But in this case it was another employee going to purchase goods with a cheque signatory; who didn't in fact go. I thought the point of the signature was to authorise the transaction - otherwise why bother having signatures in the first place?

 

Philosophy    1 thanks

Accountant on Mars | | Permalink

ghewitt wrote:

He should have filed on line and just ticked the correct box. No signature needed.

Looking through this post (don't ask me why I bother - hope springs eternal, dammit) I think what a pathetic world we live in. All this underhandedness, forgery, fraud et-al is all over money. Pieces of paper that we give a value to, that people are willing to kill another person for. To do what with. Buy another trinket, another car, go on a holiday, say ooo look at me I'm rich?. Totally mindless. We spend our days toiling at some God-forsaken job to get pieces of paper, if that - usually just an increase in a number on our bank account. And then what? Sure, yes, yes, I know we need some money to do this and that - we are told and educated that this is how it works. But why? There has to be a better way than spending most of our lives working for paper and then just dying. Alan Watts told a great story of how we constantly chase the future and in the end find out the whole thing is a hoax and life passes us by as we strive to 'make it'.

I urge you to just stand back and look at the madness you call your life; how you are manipulated by the media and the crap-o-vision that governs how and what you think, how corporations and governments control you and how we are slaves trying to 'make it'. What the 'it' actually is I have no idea - big house (big deal), big car (big deal), latest whizzy gadget (big deal).

On your death-bed, with 10 minutes to live will ANY of this matter? Will you be wishing that you had spent more time at the office? I doubt it.

I like your thoughts.We should all go around with 'MUGS' tattooed on our foreheads.

Yes,

ghewitt | | Permalink

Accountant on Mars wrote:

ghewitt wrote:

He should have filed on line and just ticked the correct box. No signature needed.

Looking through this post (don't ask me why I bother - hope springs eternal, dammit) I think what a pathetic world we live in. All this underhandedness, forgery, fraud et-al is all over money. Pieces of paper that we give a value to, that people are willing to kill another person for. To do what with. Buy another trinket, another car, go on a holiday, say ooo look at me I'm rich?. Totally mindless. We spend our days toiling at some God-forsaken job to get pieces of paper, if that - usually just an increase in a number on our bank account. And then what? Sure, yes, yes, I know we need some money to do this and that - we are told and educated that this is how it works. But why? There has to be a better way than spending most of our lives working for paper and then just dying. Alan Watts told a great story of how we constantly chase the future and in the end find out the whole thing is a hoax and life passes us by as we strive to 'make it'.

I urge you to just stand back and look at the madness you call your life; how you are manipulated by the media and the crap-o-vision that governs how and what you think, how corporations and governments control you and how we are slaves trying to 'make it'. What the 'it' actually is I have no idea - big house (big deal), big car (big deal), latest whizzy gadget (big deal).

On your death-bed, with 10 minutes to live will ANY of this matter? Will you be wishing that you had spent more time at the office? I doubt it.

I like your thoughts.We should all go around with 'MUGS' tattooed on our foreheads.

Maybe we should with the sub-heading 'By Choice'.

Thank you to those who responded to my comments; usually one of two things happens when I post such thoughts:

1: I'm ignored
2: I'm ignored.

I understand that. People generally don't want to know, to think, to have their comfy boat rocked.

When you step back and look at what is going on in the world and think, really think about it and scratch the surface of this 'reality' the whole thing becomes absurd. What on earth are we doing? It makes you laugh. We are insane.

We are hypnotised slaves who work and then die. For what?

How is it there is so much world out there yet we choose to live like this  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2306842/Stunning-images-Hong-Kong-living-cubicles-look-just-like-Borg-cubes.html-

and here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2282764/Hong-Kongs-human-battery-hens-Claustrophobic-images-slum-families-squeeze-lives-tiniest-apartments.html

please, take a look and tell me we are not mad.

How is it that a single man can tell tens of thousands of people to go and kill other people in another part of the world they don't know and they go and do it, no questions asked?

How does that work?

We complain about violence and such on the TV and in films and computer games. But we go and buy and watch them.

We complain about this that and the other going on in the world; the rape of the planet, squandering the resources, polluting the environment but go and buy what is produced.

It is all our fault.

We are responsible.

But we would rather salve our consciences by putting 10p in a rattling tin and put a 'job done' sticker on our lapel; business as usual- responsibility dumped.

There is nothing on this planet that we can't put right if we really want to. War? Put down your weapons and go home. There is no need for the misery on this earth, there is plenty for everyone. Does it sound simplistic? That is because it is. We complicate it; we are greedy, avaricious and don't want to change; so what about the starving - I have a new phone; have I shown you what it does... it's really cool.

Have you ever watched a serious documentary by say, John Pilger and he is getting his point across about how we are killing the planet when the ads come on.."OMG what long eye lashes!! I want long lashes tooOOOooo!!!! - YOU CAN!!! Longer more luxurious lashes and with the new long-o-style-o-matic-brush (tm) they are easy to apply...don't wait a moment longer buy them today!!!!!!! -- deee dahhh deee... Longo-lash a slash and burn family company!"

So we occupy our pitiful lives best we can, wringing our hands in forums like this, reading how someone has worked the system we built, telling each other how awful it all is and there should be a law against it. Don't worry, there will be.