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Can't AWeb put a note up NOT for non-accountants

Can't AWeb put a note up NOT for non-accountants

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As we seem to be getting a lot of questions these days from the general public who don't seem to know much about accounting and expect free tax advice on here.  Can't Accounting Web put a big notice up where you write your question saying something along the lines of 'Warning - this 'Any Answers' section is for professionals only.' or something similar?

Replies (22)

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By The Dullard
01st Jun 2021 16:10

This seems to be a place where people that don't seem to know much about accounting and expect free tax advice ask questions. You want the ones that don't try and sell the knowledge they might obtain (but more usually not) to not ask any questions?

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
01st Jun 2021 16:18

There was a litigious type only this morning wanting the panel to advise him how to go about suing his accountants for not waving their red flag sufficiently at what was evidently his own tax avoidance strategy.

Proffering advice without a disclaimer could potentially put Aweb members in the frame for such duty of care failures. And in the case of those operating under a non-de-plume (and even where members are identifiable to potential litigants) I wonder whether Aweb itself would itself be placed in the firing line for publishing any such advice (as either sole or joint-tortfeasors) without the safety-net of a disclaimer.

Perhaps that's a question for LegalWeb....I bet they have disclaimers!

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Tax Dragon
02nd Jun 2021 07:25

This forum has disclaimers. They're maybe not flagged as well as they should be (the only disclaimer as you post a question is the one that encourages you not to do so anonymously... which perhaps tells you how much attention people pay to disclaimers), but they're there. But I agree with you about the efforts some make to engage in advisory discussions with OPs. Ironically, you're one of those that post, and do so at a length that even Basil must be envious of, about all sorts of stuff. My personal favourites include your theses on legal matters. Almost as if you've forgotten the A in Aweb stands for Accounting. I'm curious... do you give advice in here that you wouldn't give to clients? I tend to be the other way round - I refrain from giving the advice here that others pay me to give.)

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
02nd Jun 2021 10:18

Well this month that A stands for Asexual:
https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/rainbow-flag

Hmm, I know I rattle on a bit; and if Aweb introduced an old woman award I'd be in with a shout. Trouble is once you jump on to anything legal you inevitably meet rule, exception, exception to the exceptions, and so on. Which IMHO matters if you're corresponding with say a good amateur DIYer, as you can't very well send them off partially-armed with rules but devoid of exceptions. I'm certain you tax-expert types are perfectly at home with the rule / exception format; although I suspect you've mostly (perhaps not Basil) become adept at brevity and succinctness.

Advice to clients? Those I trust get the Full Monty; for others, the Seventh Veil is never lifted. Here it doesn't matter, as I'm dancing in my spare time ;-)

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Tax Dragon
02nd Jun 2021 17:03

I'msorryIhaven'taclue wrote:

Here it doesn't matter, as I'm dancing in my spare time ;-)

CBA to analyse too deeply here, but it's possible you're contradicting yourself.

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Slim
By Slim
01st Jun 2021 17:03

It's a free for all unless you want to talk about flags :D

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By Hugo Fair
01st Jun 2021 18:19

I suppose the other option is to avoid any threads with accountancy-related focus ... and concentrate on the important things like bringing out our random thoughts for the delectation of the arbiters of taste (or the mods as they're known colloquially).

I have an example from yesterday when, in the glorious sunshine, I wandered down to the end of my garden to have a p$ss. This was not due to an uncouth upbringing but because I've been informed that it will eventually deter the foxes from treating the area as a combination of night-club and lovers' lane.
Unfortunately, once started one cannot stop ... so when a sleepy fox stuck its head out from under the bush at which I was aiming, it got hit right between the eyes.
I'm not au fait with the niceties of vulpine facial expressions, but it was certainly surprised then disgusted and finally outraged in fairly quick order - before beating a hasty retreat!

Why am I mentioning all this? Because I've now been made aware of the possibility that it was also offended.
However I knew of no place to which I could report my transgression ... until I read the thread on here about flags, and realised there was a receptive community just waiting to commiserate with both the fox and myself.
I place my soul in the hands of the community.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
01st Jun 2021 20:24

Never seen our local fox family paying much attention to urine, in fact it always seems it is them taking the [***], two large dogs next door yet Mr Fox still saunters along the wall for a snooze on top of one of my garden sheds albeit since the mutts arrived the feather scattering has been less frequent (Actually not best pleased with the two Magpies who are currently bullying everything else ,so if Mr Fox gets one I doubt I will shed many tears.)

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By the_drookit_dug
01st Jun 2021 22:00

I don't actually mind giving the odd pointer to non-accounting folk with reasonable queries.

It's the questions by DIYers way out of their depth that are annoying, or those wanting free and detailed tax planning advice that they should be paying for.

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Replying to the_drookit_dug:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
01st Jun 2021 22:46

Because our profession are, by and large, too helpful for their own good it's so easy to get sucked in to dishing out freebies.

Yesterday and after-hours today I've been fixing a panel in our (outside) office door. Strip back the laminations, dry it out, and apply layers of car body filler; apply sealant, and paint over. Job's a good 'un. And I'm happy enough in my own little world.

Cue the various office neighbours' interest, because their doors too are in need of patching up. Same people that have tried interesting me in (i) their scheme to Phoenix their way out of their government-backed loan; and, separately (ii) their Channel Islands based trust fund which is about to catch up with them.

So expect some referrals here: re BBLs, dodgy Guernsey trust funds, and door repairs.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
01st Jun 2021 23:29

I don't mind dishing out freebies, within reason, as long as there is some sense of reciprocity ... it doesn't have to be equal, just a sense of looking out for each other.

In the early '90s I got a bit of a reputation (no not that type) in my neighbourhood as being able to 'sort out' people's PC problems. It was one-eyed man syndrome, but most of the problems were quicker to fix than to explain ... so I just fixed them and went on my way.
Until the day I met a bloke down the pub who was actually a qualified engineer (hardware, software and networks) ... and I offered to refer all future requests for help that I received on to him.
He was happy (built a very successful local business out of it), neighbours were happy (getting a far broader and better set of services), and I was happy (there's only so many PC investigations that constitute a fun way to spend your time).

I made no money out of any of that ... but nor did I have to pay anything when I had a couple of disasters (crashed hard-drive without a backup, etc), which were resolved quickly.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
02nd Jun 2021 09:25

Ahha, is there anyone down your pub who can fix doors?

I guess we all were good amateurs dabbling in computers at one time or another, installing early network versions of Sage and suchlike for clients. I gave up on that and farmed it out after I hooked up an "installation" involving a network of three PCs, all duly loaded with network and accounting software, which crashed whenever someone got up from their chair to walk around the office. Their office was a Portakabin with a springy floor: time to summon a pro!

Which I suppose brings us back to the good amateur Joe Public DIYers here on Aweb.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
02nd Jun 2021 11:58

"Ahha, is there anyone down your pub who can fix doors?"

Sadly no ... they've all found it more lucrative to open pop-up accountancy clinics!

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
02nd Jun 2021 12:37

I try to cover most activities (No gas work and electrical wiring these days is mainly avoided), I am a firm fan of being able to do doing nothing perfectly but everything a little bit, the jack of all trades master of none approach. You just need an inner voice that sounds like Clint's :"A man's got to know his limitations" and know when you really need to call in the "Pros from Dover"

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Replying to DJKL:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
02nd Jun 2021 13:35

DJKL wrote:

"A man's got to know his limitations" and know when you really need to call in the "Pros from Dover"

Are they too part of the Rainbow Flag?

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
02nd Jun 2021 13:52

It is a "Mash" reference.

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
02nd Jun 2021 12:04

I think I will take this month off

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
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By The Dullard
02nd Jun 2021 16:10

Have you perhaps also considered that for other months? Asking for a friend.

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Replying to The Dullard:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
02nd Jun 2021 18:10

You have a friend, how lovely!

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By The Dullard
02nd Jun 2021 17:09

In other news, LinkedIn is asking me for my personal pronouns. The whole world's gone f***ing mad, IMHO.

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Replying to The Dullard:
A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
02nd Jun 2021 18:20

Like many on here I suspect, I identify as an accountant. Binary, because accounts are made up of debits and credits and for centuries they have co-existed in harmony.

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Tallula Brogan
By Tallula Brogan
03rd Jun 2021 11:32

Hello all,

The moderating team have decided to close any further comments on this thread. We feel that the discussion has run its course and that the ongoing comments are no longer productive to the original question.

We would like to remind everyone that AccountingWEB is a respectful space for professionals, as some of the comments posted here would simply not be permitted in a professional atmosphere. Please try and keep this in mind when contributing to discussions in the forum.

Thank you.

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