When I was growing up my parents owned a shop, so I grew up with the saying "the customer is always right" ringing in my ears. You don't argue with a customer because you can never win.
Life is tough on the front line of accountancy. For more than five years, our intrepid correspondent has been bringing us news and views from a typical West Country practice.
Many years ago we identified clients' records as one of the most important things in our office. Despite being so reluctant to keep them in the first place, and then to bring them in to us on time, clients do seem to value their books and records.
Maybe it's my age, or my provincial roots. Or maybe I have absorbed some of my wife's Lancashire straight talking. Either way, it drives me nuts when clients start talking jargon.
Not a US comedy rock band but our nickname for a certain local tax inspector who is obviously trying to make a name for himself - or maybe he's just desperately trying to hang on to his job.
It started out like any other day. A fairly full diary, some client meetings first thing, then I had a meeting late morning with a VAT inspector at a client's premises, the client had asked me to sit in on what might be a tricky VAT inspection. Nothing unusual about that.
The weather has taken a turn for the worse, as it usually does when the school holidays start and the tourists come flooding down to our part of the country. Cloud seems to be the order of the day, with or without rain.
It wasn't so long ago that mortgage lenders would accept an accountant's reference signed by a qualified accountant. Most banks even provided a list of the qualifications they would accept as signatories. But not any more apparently.
I have been dealing with HM Revenue and Customs, and HMIT before that, for many years and I always thought tax inspectors fell into two general categories (with apologies to readers with a dual qualification in dog behavioural science):
They say less is more, and I'm trying to put that into practice here. My aim these days is to do less and delegate more - that way I can ultimately do more myself, but I make sure I do more of the right stuff.
OK, I know it's meant to be hot in the summer down here in the South West, but enough's enough! Some of us have work to do.