Why you should never accept a free lunch or befriend John Whiting
Having lunch with John Stokdyk was a great chance to catch up. Despite avoiding alcohol in anticipation of an upcoming client meeting, somehow I agreed to write a regular column for AccountingWEB.
This is a familiar pattern. On joining PKF just over four years ago, it seemed a good idea to introduce a mental policy to say 'yes' to every request for the first six months, with the intention of changing that to 'no' thereafter. It worked a treat for those first six months.
Of late, in addition to this project, a terribly nice lady from Tolley's suggested that writing half of an online publication on Employee Share Schemes would be a good idea. Soon afterwards, one of her colleagues needed a speaker at a Disguised Remuneration conference. To add to the fun, a third was looking for both an article and a webcast on the PA Holdings case, with something on Morality, Tax Avoidance and Retrospection to follow (which was actually volunteered).
It is very flattering when the face of UK tax speaks to you. Getting on to a conference panel with John Whiting must be the peak of most tax professionals' ambitions. The upshot of all of this was regular visits the Treasury to sit on the Office of Tax Simplification's Share Schemes Committee. Halfway through that project, it has proved to be richly rewarding and time-consuming in equal measures.
The problem is finding time to do the day job. Therefore, it would be great to learn how to say 'no' on occasion. Until then, readers of AccountingWEB.co.uk can look forward to regular appearances of this column.