The name of the game these days is value for money. And in our case, time is money, so when it comes to networking events I'm looking for something that represents time AND money well spent.
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.
Looking at this week's workload, I am struck by one thing in particular - there's a lot going on here that I'm not doing myself!
I'm going to do something tomorrow that I haven't done for some time - I'm going to drive for over an hour to attend a CPD course!
And I bet it will be a two hour drive home as it's an afternoon session so we'll be leaving in the rush hour.
Ever since I joined the profession in 1979 there have been three areas that no-one has ever wanted to take on in any of the firms I have worked in:
It seems like there's no middle ground at the moment, clients are either running out of cash or making record profits.
I get the impression the answer is: nowhere! They're not going anywhere.
I have read and heard this a number of times from tax experts and lecturers, but until recently I haven't been able to bring myself to do it.
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.
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.