Is it time for a REPRESENTATIVE body for accountants in practice?

 

In the consultation document chapter "The Case for Change" HMRC do not put forward any overwhelmingly convincing arguments that the changes they are proposing are essential; they are at best good ideas (from HMRC's point of view) but they are not essential requirements for the proper operation of HMRC.

Surely it must be a fundamental principle that a regulation should only be introduced when there are overwhelming reasons for it. We live in a country where we should value our freedom, and our freedoms should not be taken away lightly. Freedom has been achieved over centuries and ANY erosion of freedom should be considered a serious matter of public concern and be fully tested before it is accepted.

No overwhelmingly good reasons for change have been fully established in the consultation document, yet the accountancy bodies (who were consulted prior to the publication of the consultation document) did not oppose the regulations in principle. Otherwise the consultation would not have been about how to implement the changes, but whether the changes should be there at all. The attitude shown by the accountancy bodies (and probably many others) seems to be that we should be grateful to HMRC for giving us the opportunity to be consulted on details of how our freedom is to be reduced!

This shows the extent that we have become used to being controlled and how unwilling we seem to be to oppose additional control. It is not surprising perhaps when over the last thirty years or so we have seen a continuous increase in powers of HMRC, continuous increases in penalties from HMRC, and continuous reductions in deadlines from HMRC. You might think each one of these was introduced for a good reason. Perhaps each one was, but taken as a whole they add up to a massive difference in the powers of HMRC and regulations for accountants to follow, and a marked reduction in freedom that affects all of us.

 

Each time a new power, penalty or deadline was introduced our freedom was reduced. And there has been no opposition to this. The accountancy bodies have let each one of these introductions go without any effective challenge.

One problem is that the accountancy bodies have dual roles of regulation and representation, which are to some extent mutually exclusive. There is therefore a question-mark about who the accountancy bodies are representing.

Back in the 1970s the accountancy bodies had virtually no external regulatory duties. They would respond to complaints about members but this was an internal matter and there was no pro-active regulatory function. The Companies Act 1981 (correct me if I am wrong) introduced the need for registered auditors, and since then the accountancy bodies have introduced active quality assurance schemes (called by different names depending on the body) and more recently they have taken on money-laundering regulatory duties. These additional regulatory functions mean that the accountancy bodies cannot easily represent their members where opposition to additional regulation would mean opposing those who give them their regulatory powers.

So where will this process of increased regulation stop, and who will monitor when it should stop? At the moment it seems nobody has that role or responsibility.

For many accountants this latest proposal from HMRC is a step too far, but there is no one to oppose it. We cannot rely on our professional bodies to do it. So is it time to set up a truly representative body for accountants in public practice; a body who will monitor proposed changes in power and regulation; a body who will consult their membership; a body who can wholeheartedly represent their members' views?

Do you think that there should be a new body whose sole aim should be to represent accountants in public practice (including those qualified by experience), whose remit is to voice the concerns of accountants to government and to consult and represent their members effectively?

Or am I the only one who thinks so?

Comments
KH's picture

Yes, but who would represent two totally different ponds ... qua    1 thanks

KH | | Permalink

I've been following all the posts on the ConDoc with interest. My own view is that HMRC must get its own house in order before trying to impose anything on agents, and, if their own systems were OK, then letting tax agents access more info would be fine. Changing info real time is another issue, and I'm not sure that's a good idea ... just provide links to the correct places so that emails could be sent to the proper HMRC person to effect online changes. I wouldn't want anybody else having the power to alter data in my internal systems, regardless of how well qualified they were, unless they were being paid by me ... and I don't see HMRC ever paying us, let alone having that sort of employer power (if they ever do get to that stage, heaven help us all!).

Now the idea of getting a body to represent all us agents is a great idea. None of the professional bodies do ... they're all in it for the power and the money (I honestly don't know of one singe prof body which is divorced from money and power issues, apart from the Sally Army, if you could count that in as a prof body, where something like 90% of their income goes to charitable work, unlike most charities where less than 60% of income is put to "good" use). And worse, us agents can't agree on the status of exam-qualifieds v. experience-qualifieds, so which single outfit could actually represent us all?

Also, one minor point, I bet all the other accountancy bodies would fight tooth and nail to stop a proper accountancy body getting off the ground ... if ProfBodyA were seen to fight for its members, then all the other B-Z ProfBodies would be out of business.

Me, cynical? Never.........-- KH

KH you ideas are admiral but

pauljohnston | | Permalink

I dont feel we have the final say.  HMRC are on a mission and if we dont participate with the Condoc then some items will not be to our liking!

The represntative body suggested by the original poster could include the institutes etc it does not have to be an us and them situation.  But I feel that all will need show competence and as has been discussed on Aweb the best way is CPD for all.

johnjenkins's picture

With you    1 thanks

johnjenkins | | Permalink

all the way Jon.

What we don't want or need is another "body" taking our money, making noises "off stage" (noises off, great show with that bloke from the army game OGA) and ending up like all the others. If there was another "body" who is to say they won't be fobbed off when trying to make a point.

The problem with most "bodies" "parties" etc. is that they draw up an agenda and because nobody can agree nothing actually gets done. I do the accounts for clubs and associations, but to get involved with the "comitee, well thats just a nightmare.

The most important issue is that there does have to be change and it does have to come from HMRC. We do not live in GB's world of everybody should be perfect and if not penalise them. Aspire to high standards, yes, but that comes naturally when the foundation is solid.

Most Accountants will have trained in a practice that would have installed a sense of correct proceedures and that will always stay with you. As I said in another post. The more bent an accountant the more competant.

 

Representation and Other Things

Peter Tucker | | Permalink

 

There would seem to be a degree of confusion in this general area of discussion. Should HMRC allow non-HMRC staff to access and update HMRC Computer systems? The point made about "who would you allow to access your own email and office systems" is very valid. If HMRC want to allow non-HMRC Staff to access and update their computer systems then it is entirely the responsibility of HMRC to select and or vet the Individual to whom they give this Power ( word chosen carefully ). I certainly would not give access to my PC to anyone who could produce a certificate, no matter how impressive the certificate looked !!HMRC are suffering Staffing reductions and need to find ways to expedite the processing of information and the updating of their systems. That is their problem and they must find a solution. It is not a matter for Consultation. Why anyone should concern themselves with the status, competence or inside leg measurement of an "Agent" is an interesting mental exercise but, I would suggest, contributes little to the business of Assessing ( properly ) and Collecting (efficiently ) Income Tax.

Just a thought, would HMRC have the power to decide that I could only appoint particular Individuals to deal with my Tax affairs? We have noted that HMRC's ideas on its powers have recently been overturned in several Court cases and lets face it Income Tax is not quite the same as the legal or medical profession, where there needs to be tight controls on who can undertake what.

johnjenkins's picture

Peter,

johnjenkins | | Permalink

the only reason why HMRC are even contemplatiing allowing us to have access to information (which we really should have anyway) is because they do not have the staff to cope with the workload. So it's not a question of "who shall we let in" it's more of a "help we are in the smelly stuff and we need you to bail us out".

We do not need HMRC, they need us. However I always like a "compromise".

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Were my ears burning?

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

We need something like the professional contractors group, even as a single issue group.

I do not want these powers, I just want to view. If I have the powers I will not use them : I will view the data and send HMRC instructions on what needs doing; I will not go in and change one thing on the HMRC database, the ramifications are too dire to consider.

Ideally, when the changes come, we will at least be able to ign up for different levels, i.e. view only or full access.

I didn't get where I am today by being a unpaid lackey for HMRC.

Accountants?

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

If you are talking about the body representing only or mainly for this issue please do not restrict it to accountants.

There are many of us who are not accountants but 'merely' tax - whether that is compliance or advisory - or PAYE or etc etc.... to whom this issue is just as important.

Like OGA I have come to the conclusion that much as I would love to self serve, as I am sure I could do better, I will not do so until the risk and PII exposure is NIL. I want to see a fully working single view of client information, with a fast access to HMRC to let them know necessary actions, before any further options are offered. The news this morning is again panicmongering on postal delays and call centre issues, so HMRC are going to be increasingly defensive - we do not want to be in the position of a willing scapegoat for the future.

Regulation is not a welcome thought - restricting our clients freedom of choice is not acceptable as it is that freedom which ensures in the main that competent advisors continue to work. There are enough remedies available now although I do think we will have to stop being reluctant to report matters.

 -- Marion

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I'm with Marion

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

We need a body that acts for tax agents.

How about "the Friends of Levi"

Inspired by this blog page I came accross:

http://rantsnrants.blogspot.com/2010/01/jesus-and-tax-collectors.html

 

Regulation - Representation - Action

Peter Tucker | | Permalink

All very interesting comments in this thread and other threads concenrned with the HMRC Consultation Document.

The point STILL remains that the options are as follows:

1) Tell HMRC and have the informtion acted on rapidly and correctly

2) View HMRC Systems and enter into discussions about the way in which HMRC has acted on information provided

3) Access and update HMRC systems.

HMRC are an organisation which has a core purpose - Assess and Collect - and as an organisation it has to act on information provided. It is this latter point which is, I believe, at the root of the current problem / state of affairs.

They, HMRC simply can not handle information provided. There is no point in Mike Clasper appearing on the BBC and saying that "we will be better soon", particularly as he advised a Select Committee that he had expertise in the area of all Centre management, when this has been demonstrated as bing a najor HMRC failing.

No change in the way in which HMRC formulate a way forward, no assitance either through view or diecrt system access, should be the stance of everyone, with or without velum or parchment scrolls !!!

This thread is going off at a tangent!

chicken farmer | | Permalink

In the original post, Jon Darlington made the valid point that the professional bodies were in secret talks with the Revenue BEFORE the consultation document was issued. That document asks for views on HOW the strategy should be implemented whereas it ought to have been on whether the strategy SHOULD be implemented. Although there have been denials that any secret deals were made, no one from those bodies (as far as I am aware) has ever made public what was discussed and how those bodies influenced the final version of consultation document. Secrecy breeds mistrust. Those bodies need to be more open with their members about what took place.

What I find depressing about the vast majority of posts on this whole subject of the agent strategy is that the writers seem to have been blinded into thinking that it is about self-serve. It isn’t, that’s just a smokescreen; the real objective is to regulate tax agents to identify a handful of rogue and incompetent agents and then send the boys round to give them a good going over. I suspect this is a massive sledgehammer to crack a very small walnut. Before we agree to that we should be challenging the Revenue to explain why they cannot do this under their existing and already extensive powers.

johnjenkins's picture

HMRC

johnjenkins | | Permalink

are in a right mess. They NEED our help to get out of it. So to a certain extent we are in the driving seat. Lets get real. Ther isn't a "body" capable or competant enough to handle this situation so eventually HMRC are going to have to run with us.

I suspect that the main "bodies" doing secret deals new exactly what they were doing and didn't want to frighten HMRC away.

Self serve

Scotton | | Permalink

Have to agree with pretty much everything OGA and Marion say on the subject on the condoc and regulation. Were my ears burning?

We need something like the professional contractors group, even as a single issue group.

I do not want these powers, I just want to view. If I have the powers I will not use them : I will view the data and send HMRC instructions on what needs doing; I will not go in and change one thing on the HMRC database, the ramifications are too dire to consider.

Ideally, when the changes come, we will at least be able to ign up for different levels, i.e. view only or full access.

I didn't get where I am today by being a unpaid lackey for HMRC.

Accountants?

Like OGA I have come to the conclusion that much as I would love to self serve, as I am sure I could do better, I will not do so until the risk and PII exposure is NIL. I want to see a fully working single view of client information, with a fast access to HMRC to let them know necessary actions, before any further options are offered. only want the facility to access a single portal showing all taxes for a client. 

Regulation is not a welcome thought - restricting our clients freedom of choice is not acceptable as it is that freedom which ensures in the main that competent advisors continue to work.  

Spot on.

 

As regards a 'new' representative body.

Lovely idea, but I can't see how you would get any meaningful agreement to proceed from the existing bodies/members.

Pinning a jelly to the ceiling would probably be easier. Too many turf wars just for a start.

ShirleyM's picture

Why are we discussing this?

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I may be wrong, but I think it's because we think we will need someone/something to put our views to HMRC, or we feel we need protection from HMRC.

It does seem to me that the decision has already been made by HMRC that they will require agents to register with them for the 'enhanced' service. Nobody has been invited to discuss this aspect of it, so why does anyone think a new 'body' to represent accountants will have any influence, or even be invited to the party?

The decision is made! All we can do now is influence what 'enhanced' services the registered agents will get. I doubt that HMRC will offer 'less enhanced' services for agents that do not register. You will either be in, or out!

Like OGA, I do NOT want access to HMRC systems. I want view only, but I want data that will help me, and therefore help HMRC because I can check that everything is OK and spot errors quicker. I also want good communications. All these 'enhancements' will help us, and, as a result, help HMRC becuase errors will be reduced, whereas allowing agents to change HMRC data will just open a can of worms, and cause even more conflict between HMRC and accountants.

RebeccaBenneyworth's picture

ABSOLUTELY NO DEALS HAVE BEEN DONE

RebeccaBenneyworth | | Permalink

I am sorry to have to shout, but there are certain people who seem to be a little hard of hearing. Ask absolutely anyone who saw the document or commented on it before release and they will tell you exactly the same thing. No deals were done and the bodies reserve the right to go back hard on any aspects that members of those bodies feel unhappy about.

Why some posters insist on perpetuating complete falsehoods is beyond me. The ICAEW will fight regulation of its members by anyone outside of the body to its last breath. I can't answer for other bodies, but as part of the team for ICAEW I do know the line the Institute is taking. Does that sound like a stich up to you? Every time you perpetuate this rubbish you accuse those who have been working hard on this for the bodies of bad faith and of downright dishonesty. I know a number of them personally - and in this I include those working to represent the CIOT and ATT too. I am disgusted that you feel free to rubbish their reputations in this way and I respond on their behalf. To say that deals have been done before the consultation started is a lie; plain and simple.

HMRC intends to implement an agent strategy. Whether anyone likes it or not they will do this. It is nobody's place other than HMRC management to say that they can/can't/should/shouldn't, as that is an internal matter. Arguing about that is absolutely pointless. As to how that strategy might work and what it might look like - that we have been consulted about. While the OP's comments are interesting and make for useful discussion which is absolutely on topic, those who want to take the discussion into an agenda about dishonesty at the professional bodies should think again and get back on topic. The agent strategy IS NOT about regulating the profession by HMRC. For goodness sake get your facts right.

Why are we discussing this - BECAUSE WE ARE WORRIED WHAT MIGHT B

kookies1ot | | Permalink

A lot of what we are discussing is probably down to the fact we are feeling insecure over big brother.

A large percentage of us are members of institutes or professional bodies so why are we worried?  I think we have to role over and accept registration but definitely NOT regulation.  If any one is going to smack my wrist then it is down to my peers though I have no objection to HMRC blowing a whistle to my institute.  In all honesty given all the different aspects of agents involved I do not think HMRC could even cope with the task of regulation.

I am another one like OGA who does not mind viewing and jumping up and down if I see something wrong but I too do not want to interfere with the HMRC system.

Can I also state that the people who class themselves as qualified by experience should perhaps consider joining an institute or trade organisation - I appreciate that the consensus is that this is a restrictive practice BUT I feel it might increase the standing of the profession and at least we would all then be all on a reasonably level playing field from an ethics and PI point of view.  

 

Off tangent – I think not

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

Chicken farmer – I have read and reread the original post and cannot see anything about secret talks!! I am not a member of a body but know they are talking to HMRC about a variety of issues all the time. Their responsibility is to their members but it is apparent from communications I have received from a variety of areas, not just Rebecca’s input here, that they have stepped outside the box and are trying to represent the profession as a whole and draw us all into the debate. To my mind this is to their credit and to challenge their integrity is not acceptable.

HMRC have designed a strategy and are looking for our input as it will not succeed without our support. Do we not agree that every business has, or should have, a strategy designed by the business – not by the customer. If that strategy is incorrect the business suffers so including us on the development of their ideas is sensible. I attended the meeting at CCH last night with Mike Clasper and was impressed with his frankness, as well as his grasp of the practicalities specific to most of our questions. There were few matters he needed to take away for further clarification. I am convinced that he sees this as offering us additional options – not limiting those we already have. He was very clear that they do not want regulation by anyone but it may be imposed upon them. My last question to him was about the intended rate of introduction of the three elements. He explained that the systems had not been written yet, and the meetings and consultation process would help them identify and deliver our minimum requirements for the new system. He was very plain that unless we perceived a benefit to us and our clients the new system would not succeed as it is all voluntary.

Enrolment is to create a clean database of agents and their clients which would allow matters such as authorisation to apply to all taxes where required. At the moment information is on many databases, and contains much out of date and incorrect information. Whilst people can see differing screens at the same time the systems do not talk to each other. Our re-enrolment is simply the quickest and easiest way to make sure the data is accurate at that one particular point in time. We also talked about the security issues enrolment would simplify, and the level of security needed depending on how sophisticated we required the access to be. He took away the knowledge that some clients will have multiple agents for differing aspects and said that whilst the new system may not be able to cope with that at first, they will have the end result in mind when designing the enrolment options.

 We were lucky enough for him to be at our discussion table for the self-serve section of the debate. Shirley - when questioned he was clear that all agents would continue to receive the current levels of access. It remains the taxpayers right to chose their agent. He assured us that joining self-serve would just replace actions already dictated now by ourselves, by phone or letter, with our own input, and that there were no implications to our PI cover or our responsibility should things go wrong. We were asked to prioritise the capabilities offered – no surprises then that our table chose 64-8 and single view. A common feeling among our table was that there would be a commercial pressure to join if the new systems were successful, as the competition would be able to provide a quicker and more reliable service.

As you probably know, my opinion was that I would enrol in the system. I wanted single view of my clients with access to HMRC quickly, and would only self-serve if PI and risk implications were NIL. I rang my P.I. company this morning and was told that the Underwriters are fully aware of the proposed changes, and as long as HMRC gave us a level of training on their systems, and this was the only change to my current activities, self-serve was not a problem and would have no impact on my policy. As a result of this and the discussions last night I am reassured on many areas and will self-serve.  

I will continue to argue that qualification and regulation are not applicable, and feel that discussions on the Agent View are ongoing. He appreciated that any potential dis-engagement actions would need to be clearly identified and any appeal process quick and effective. He said that there would probably be levels of appeal to ensure a speedy solution.

Kookies- as a qualified by experience person I can tell you, as does the thread in this group, that it is sadly too expensive to join a body, whether this is in terms of time or money. It would be great if CIOT or the Tax faculty would offer a type of membership but I doubt that that would be practical from their point of view. Also, on another thread you mention Working Together groups? I thought that these were set up for/by the representative bodies in the first place. It has now been opened up to us all, as I received an invitation to apply (a general email, not personal) earlier this year to which I replied and will be attending my first meeting this Friday. The only criteria I was asked to meet was that I had a circulation of contacts that I could forward information on to, and I have been doing that for a few months now. The main topic for the meeting will be the condoc so HMRC are using all avenues open to them to talk to us.

I am convinced that we can influence the outcome of this consultation and hope as many people as possible will respond with their opinions before the deadlines. Answer the questions, explain areas of concern and make alternative suggestions. Otherwise the information pool they work around will not be representative. As with all political issues abstaining does not help - WE HAVE TO BE INVOLVED.

 

 

-- Marion

 

ShirleyM's picture

Thanks Marion

ShirleyM | | Permalink

That was a useful insight.

I still have concerns regarding 'self serve' and I doubt that I shall be easily placated over this. Maybe my imagination is running overtime, but the disadvantages seem to outweigh the advantages. There are too many things that can go wrong.

I do really want 'one view', and indeed anything else that will help us, our clients, and even HMRC, as this will help all taxpayers in the long run. Most of all, I want efficient communications, and as much information as it is possible for them to deliver! HMRC don't seem to have grasped that saving a few pennies here, ends up costing pounds elsewhere!

I want to believe our views will be given full consideration, and I want to believe that HMRC will allow us to participate on our own terms .... but I don't!

I'm sorry that I feel this way. I truly hope I am proved to be wrong.

Rebecca

chicken farmer | | Permalink

Rather than expressing outrage at my post, it would be more helpful if you would answer the simple question posed, i.e. in what ways did the professional bodies influence the contents of the final version of the consultation document?

johnjenkins's picture

Meeting

johnjenkins | | Permalink

Marion did anyone think to ask Mr. Clasper as to why agents can't just have view only without all the gobbledegook?

John

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

When we were talking about degrees of self serve his opinion was that having signed up it was up to us how much or how little we used of the facilities available. Every aspect was voluntary. 

I didn't hear anyone asking if we could limit it only to view to start with .

I think this is where we need to tell them what we want the starter offering to be. My supposition is that if sufficient numbers ask for that to be the first stage it can obviously be delivered much more quickly than designing edit access for us so he might be glad to offer that as an interim measure

 

Marion

johnjenkins's picture

meeting

johnjenkins | | Permalink

I was under the impression that self serve etc all comes as a package, which is going to happen whatever we think, and our opinion was being sought as to what pitfalls there might be and how to overcome them.

It would appear that perhaps this new initiative might be "sold" better as modular.

The reason for my asking Marion is that most of agents problems stem from not being able to view certain information then finding the right person to rectify errors.

I'm sure many agents would say "yes" let's have view only to start, with access to dedicated agent lines to rectify, or liase with properly trained officers. Then both sides can iron out any bugs before moving on.

I have been advocating all through these threads that HMRC need to get us in via the basement not 1st floor. Condocs would then take very little time from drawing board to action. 

So what are ACCA doing to consult their members?

Ken Howard | | Permalink

As an FCCA, I am appalled that I've not heard anything about this strategy from the ACCA.  Surely they should have been consulting their members before entering any form of talk with HMRC?  In fact, I think ACCA should have been balloting its members about what we want to see.  If it weren't for Aweb, I'd probably have not known anything about this.  That's plainly wrong .  Considering ACCA send regular emails and a monthly magazine that contain lots of info about irrelevant international matters, barely a word about UK practice, I think they've been woefully negligent if they're going into consultations without having the faintest clue about what it all means to the people on the ground who will have to deal with the outcome.  The ACCA certainly aren't representng me as they've not asked me how I feel about this or for any of my ideas nor comments.

I'm getting more and more disullisioned with ACCA every year.  No doubt members of the ICAEW will be feeling the same.  I think it's time for the bodies to be re-organised for the good of the profession.  I think we have to question whether there is actually any future for the ICAEW, ACCA etc as they're just not representing their UK practice members properly at the moment. By contrast, ICPA have a clear strategy of being a SUPPORT group for small practices and their membership and popularity is growing fast, even with CCAB qualified members joining them for the benefits of their practice support.  I'd certainly be keeping my ICPA membership whereas I'm currently border line as to whether I'll stay with the ACCA for much longer.

It all reminds me of an ACCA Saturday seminar I went on many years ago.  It was around the time when the statutory audit was required by ALL companies and there were plans for exemptions for smaller companies.  One of the speakers mentioned it in passing and suggested it was a good thing for small cos to be exempt and the entire audience of a few hundred applauded.  There was an ACCA council member who was absolutely staggered - afterwards he stood up and asked why we all seemed so keen to see the end of small co audit when he thought we all wanted to keep it - it was a massive surprise to him that the practising members on the ground wanted it scrapping as well!  Just how wrong could you be?  And he was in practice himself, but a partner in a larger firm, so he wanted to keep audits for fee income and just ASSUMED everyone else wanted to keep it as well.

johnjenkins's picture

Ken,

johnjenkins | | Permalink

now you know why HMRC are in such a mess.

Any large institution needs a reality check occasionally.

Top_Cat's picture

YES

Top_Cat | | Permalink

There does need to be, for want of a better description, a Trade Union for all Agents (Q & QBE).

 

However, it needs to be headed by someone strong enough to stand up to HMRC's usual bully boy tactics.

It also needs ALL agents to back that person. Yes we do have "muscle" - imagine if no one filed a single client's return until 31st January then flooded HMRC with returns?

Imagine if all investigation or quiry letters were returned to them marked *GONE AWAY*.

Imagine if every time an agent had to sort out HMRCs messes they automatically billed HMRC and followed that up with a claim filed in the Small Claims Court.

HMRC would be burried.

We are not just "agents", we are voters too, so MPs can be pressured.

 

These are the things that "could" be done, unfortunately I suspect that most agents would simply act like sheep and do as they were told, and while HMRC know that they will continue to walk all over us and no one will represent us if they know that they wont be backed up by their members if push comes to shove.

 

Feedback

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

Morning all

I attended my first working together group yesterday and was very impressed by the topics.The HMRC agent liason representative (my terminology so probably wrong) came to catch up and talk about the condoc.

He stressed the need for feedback, and asked that we respond personally, through our professional bodies and through our working together groups. The more feedback the better to help them get it right!!

John - I asked if we could have a fully functional single view first, and he asked that we put it in our feedback and if enough people ask for it it will happen.

Shirley - love the logo

 

Marion

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Ken, I had my first e-mail from ACCA re the condoc today!

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

Had a look back on some old e-mails just to be sure and found this, very enlightening and speaks volumes. Rebecca's outrage at the implication ICAEW is part of a done deal stitch up may be fair enough, but if it extends to ACCA it may be rather misplaced!

http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/2073422/hmrc-formulate-tax-policy-acca

There was mention of the condoc in the weekly newsletters, but only by links to Accountancy, the Daily Telegraph and the like, no specific e-mail about the con doc, ACCA's view, recommendations/advice for members etc.

As far as ACCA go, they admitted at a seminar, their main purpose is to promote the ACCA brand worldwide, as that it what the members have said is their priority! I don't know how they got to that, I have never been asked! I don't know the figures and can't be bothered to look them up, but there is a vast non UK membership of ACCA, plus, vast numbers who are not in practice. I have never seen any evidence of them fighting tooth and nail to protect the UK practicing members interests, I am firmly believe many of the ridiculous laws, regulations and standards over the last 10+ years would not have been possible, or would have been better thought out, if the accounting bodies had put up a decent fight and not just rolled over in submission (IR35, UITF 40 etc etc).

 

johnjenkins's picture

Thank you Marion

johnjenkins | | Permalink

but the fact that your WT person said "put it in feedback" says it all.

Can HMRC not comprehend that if they were to offer agents "total view" what the outcome would be????????

As Chris Tarrant is always saying "we don't want to give you that". Otherwise they would without all the nonesense.

I have been to a few WT meetings and yes they are extremely negatively positive or positively negative, whichever you prefer.

Sorry Top_Cat we don't need any more monitoring. If the current "bodies" can't or won't get anywhere with HMRC no one else will. Let's face it the only reason people join the "bodies" is cos they have to otherwise they lose Q status.

Top_Cat's picture

JJ

Top_Cat | | Permalink

johnjenkins PM | Mon, 08/08/2011 - 09:18 | Permalink

"Sorry Top_Cat we don't need any more monitoring. If the current "bodies" can't or won't get anywhere with HMRC no one else will."

 

Thaqt's my point - I'm not talking about "monitoring" - I'm talking about representing - someone to fight for OUR interests (whether Q or QBE).  Someone to stand up to HMRC and say NO we will NOT put up with that.

johnjenkins's picture

But then

johnjenkins | | Permalink

nobody is going to do that for free and it will never just end at representing. HMRC will say yer you can have that be we want agents to do this, which is precisely waht they want in the agent view.

Unfortunately when you deal with HMRC it's the same as dealing with the banks "policy" rules.

You will always find someone who says yes ok but then it never gets done.

representative body/bodies

david5541 | | Permalink

johnjenkins wrote:

all the way Jon.

What we don't want or need is another "body" taking our money, making noises "off stage" (noises off, great show with that bloke from the army game OGA) and ending up like all the others. If there was another "body" who is to say they won't be fobbed off when trying to make a point.

The problem with most "bodies" "parties" etc. is that they draw up an agenda and because nobody can agree nothing actually gets done. I do the accounts for clubs and associations, but to get involved with the "comitee, well thats just a nightmare.

The most important issue is that there does have to be change and it does have to come from HMRC. We do not live in GB's world of everybody should be perfect and if not penalise them. Aspire to high standards, yes, but that comes naturally when the foundation is solid.

Most Accountants will have trained in a practice that would have installed a sense of correct proceedures and that will always stay with you. As I said in another post. The more bent an accountant the more competant.

I struggle with the concept of "tax compliance standards and ethics" and its conflict with acting in the interest of the client, since after a while clients begin to expect something better every year! the only answer is to maintain their cooperation and communicate with them alot about their tax so they are prepared and not shocked by bad news on the tax front having earned a lump........

"Most" is always where the assumptions come in and not everyone gets the best training(or firm) either.

working together

david5541 | | Permalink

johnjenkins wrote:

nobody is going to do that for free and it will never just end at representing. HMRC will say yer you can have that be we want agents to do this, which is precisely waht they want in the agent view.

Unfortunately when you deal with HMRC it's the same as dealing with the banks "policy" rules.

You will always find someone who says yes ok but then it never gets done.

 

yeah just like all those inaccessible "working together groups " that hmrc set up and then set up a remit brief and member/area brief for?

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