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:
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.
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.
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.