Horizon : What difference versus Acc Industry?

Horizon / PO / Fujitsu : What's the difference in this scandal versus Accounting Industry?

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Yes, I am aware that the identities of those directors & shareholders implicated by misdemeanours taking place within the accountancy industry (similar to Horizon events) are not the same as the Horizon scandal where the government has a major supervisory role including as shareholder, and a smaller one in the accountancy industry via the dept for Business. Therefore it's reasonable to see a reduced level of public interest in and compassion for (compared to the outcry re Horizon) those impacted by misdemeanours in the acc industry, since the gov's role is deemed more protective and supervisory (in Horizon) than a free market where the culprits in the free market lurk (in Accountancy).

 

In the same vein as the Horizon events (recently in the news), the accountancy industry has a frequent and long history of events & chronology being deliberately manipulated and misrepresented, as well as all manner of pretencious behaviour and reporting being practised by dubious characters. We see, almost on a daily basis, a deep level of technical deficiencies, highly illiterate and innumerate individuals, hoards of professionals handling transactions and reporting without the necessary control, competence and understanding. 

 

The following aspects of the Horizon scandal matches perfectly with what has been going on for at least 30 years in accountancy:

 

Person X, the original accused and victimized :

used the systems correctly

identified dysfunctionality

suffered in his career due to woeful behaviour at management level

The lack of difference between the firmly established dysfunctionality/ shenanigens in the annals of our industry and that of this recent Horizon scandal, after which everybody is reacting as if the traits of Horizon haven't been rife throughout accountancy and business by spivs and other dubious characters, merely demonstrates a deep level of inconsistency, amnesia, futility, imbalance and insincerity. The impact on genuine people in the accountancy has been the same or worse as that depicted in the Horizon media content.

Given the reaction (uproar) anyone would think that this kind of event is not very frequent in the accountancy industry, in its small and big accountancy firms and also in industry.

Replies (29)

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By SXGuy
15th Jan 2024 15:55

Forgive me, but how does a company who's software clearly didn't work properly, and accused its postmasters of fraud have to do with accountancy professionals?

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By [email protected]
16th Jan 2024 10:23

if you look closely enough at the minute detail of various armed robberies, sure you can be idiotic enough to convince yourselves that those details mean that the 2 events having no similarities

as you skipped over the fundamental common traits, all kinds of unsuitable individuals involved in technical matters, recklessly misrepresenting events and individuals, you're obviously yet another peripheral problem to one industry at the very least

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Replying to [email protected]:
RLI
By lionofludesch
16th Jan 2024 10:39

james1999h-AT-yahoo.com wrote:

if you look closely enough at the minute detail of various armed robberies, sure you can be idiotic enough to convince yourselves that those details mean that the 2 events having no similarities

as you skipped over the fundamental common traits, all kinds of unsuitable individuals involved in technical matters, recklessly misrepresenting events and individuals, you're obviously yet another peripheral problem to one industry at the very least

Armed robberies?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By [email protected]
16th Jan 2024 11:07

yes there are events outside of your cave

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By lionofludesch
16th Jan 2024 12:03

james1999h-AT-yahoo.com wrote:

yes there are events outside of your cave

With accountants involved? Formal qualifications or QBE?

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By FactChecker
15th Jan 2024 16:20

"The following aspects of the Horizon scandal matches perfectly with what has been going on for at least 30 years in accountancy:"

Presumably you're trying to hint at some past injustice you've suffered?
Not sure what a public forum can do to help if that is the case ... but, whatever the failings of individual accountants and lack of efficacy of related activities such as audits, they don't begin to equate to the corporate duplicity operated across a national organisation like the P.O.

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By [email protected]
15th Jan 2024 17:03

public forums can at least highlight that there are some sincere individuals who are aware of similar events in the industry, and of the existence of the characters which get a mention in the frequent disciplinary publications of professional bodies or who make the news (the tip of the acc scandals iceberg), described in the above question and in other posts of mine, and that some understand the consequences, and (given the hours of experience resolving such disasters) are also ready to provide technical direction to the stakeholders making the speculative decisions which lead to the disasters mentioned...

for those who have not followed the story, it has highlighted the very same traits which culminate in the plethora of technical disasters in the acc industry, inexperienced individuals responsible for assessing what has happened on the technical level, speculating and coming to incorrect conclusions

good example here , which mirrors much of what happens in finance, bus & acc

https://twitter.com/FollowTheScien4/status/1723253020727664840

Far deeper than a few ineffective audits

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Replying to David Ex:
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By [email protected]
15th Jan 2024 17:19

you think it's impossible to flag state-accredited professionals whose technical deficiencies are consistently materially costing their employer?

you don't think this pretext for selecting preferred individuals is one more unhelpful influence and a distraction from the potentially glaring deficiencies in their in-work ability?

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By lionofludesch
15th Jan 2024 17:56

I've no idea what this is about but it's fun guessing.

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By [email protected]
15th Jan 2024 18:02
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By lionofludesch
15th Jan 2024 19:15

james1999h-AT-yahoo.com wrote:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting

It's about accounting, then.

Well, that's what this forum is all about.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By FactChecker
15th Jan 2024 18:06

I've tried taking the first letter of each line but that just makes it (slightly) worse - and I'm not prepared to hold my screen over a flame to check if it's been written in lemon juice - so that's me done on the decrypting front!

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By lionofludesch
15th Jan 2024 19:17

FactChecker wrote:

I've tried taking the first letter of each line but that just makes it (slightly) worse - and I'm not prepared to hold my screen over a flame to check if it's been written in lemon juice - so that's me done on the decrypting front!

Writing white on white is the computer equivalent of lemon juice.

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
15th Jan 2024 20:11

Mirror?

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By paul.benny
15th Jan 2024 18:16

A fundamental difference is that accountants who are members of one of the professional bodies are bound by a code of ethics. They can be and are subject to formal disciplinary processes from their professional body. (Accountant is not a regulated term and anyone can describe themselves as such).

There are no ethical obligations on company directors, even of the very largest companies. Indeed, apart from not being formally disqualified, there almost no qualifications, no training, no formal professional standards for most company directors. (There are fit and proper person tests and in financial services and a few other regulated sectors).

In the large-scale public failures such as Carillion, the directors are those who run the company and they are ultimately responsible for the management decisions. Auditors are held to account because (a) the can be sued (b) they can be disciplined. There are few examples of directors being held to account, partly because the government department responsible doesn’t have the resources to pursue such action.

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By [email protected]
15th Jan 2024 18:30

"There are no ethical obligations on company directors, even of the very largest companies. Indeed, apart from not being formally disqualified, there almost no qualifications, no training, no formal professional standards for most company directors."

someone's getting warmer

I suppose all I would suggest is no dishonesty in regard to the consequences

It means any level of dis/honesty in reporting on all types of activities

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By paul.benny
15th Jan 2024 19:05

I've no idea what point you are trying to make unless it is to say that the Post Office/Horizon/Fujitsu scandal is akin to corporate failures where auditors have been at fault. And if that is your point, there are so many major differences that I have to profoundly disagree.

To take just one, "little people" were wrongly blamed and persecuted by the PO. Although "little people" (employees, small shareholders, small suppliers) lose out when a company fails , they are never blamed and persecuted.

And to pick up one point in your post - ethics is about so much more than dishonesty.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By [email protected]
15th Jan 2024 19:17

ethics is about more than dishonesty - never intimated otherwise

blame is not attributed exclusively after total corporate failures, smaller events too

and no, it's not true that littler people cannot be persecuted after trivial or grave events - it's not illegal, and management often want to maintain a veil of employability despite zero capability

you "have no idea...." - the common features have been set out

all manner of entrusted novices speculating and coming to unfounded conclusions, as well as :

Person X, the original accused and victimized :

used the systems correctly

identified dysfunctionality

suffered in his career due to woeful behaviour at management level

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By paul.benny
15th Jan 2024 19:45

The "common features" that you set out are not present in any of the high profile company failures where auditors have been blamed. And I don't think they are endemic in the accounting profession.

If you think those features are indeed common, you are just wrong. Audit reports are signed by a named partner in the audit firm and s/he is ultimately responsible, a responsibility that they cannot offload onto a junior.

I'm still guessing at the point you are trying to make. Maybe I'm being stupid.
Could you perhaps rephrase rather than just repeat phrases from the OP.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By [email protected]
15th Jan 2024 19:52

Auditors are a subset of the entire set of qualified accountants, a subset of the entire accounting profession

while there is a level of futility to audits, it's usually not at the heart of the dysfunctionality or unscrupulous behaviour

among the main company's / organisation's culprits at management/ board level are qualified accountants. At least half of those individuals involved in those events similar to Horizon are qualified/ part qualified (not auditors)

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By adam.arca
15th Jan 2024 19:26

I too can’t be bothered attempting to decipher what the OP is trying to say.

What I would suggest, however, that someone who accuses his target of “pretencious” behaviour might actually consider spelling the word correctly.

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Replying to adam.arca:
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By [email protected]
15th Jan 2024 19:45

I suppose I could copy and paste the whole thing in to a new question

cannot edit after 30 mins

merely request the abandonment, in the face of those indisputable records, of deceitful denial of the status quo

namely, that the industry, with a plethora of recorded misdemeanors and technical catastrophes, ubiquitous across the industry, is ill as a result of no professional standards being legal (referenced by Benny "There are no ethical obligations on company directors"), and that it's brimming with some of the most unscrupulous, dubious individuals known to civilization

traits of the Horizon scandal events is the norm in the accounting ind, not the exception

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By paul.benny
15th Jan 2024 19:55

It looks like my interpretation of your post (an assertion that PO and accountants are as bad as each other) is there or thereabouts.

You're just wrong.

For now at least, I'm out.

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By [email protected]
15th Jan 2024 20:05

I'm not saying that you don't come across the odd good accountant like AIMS' Mr Ejdelbaum

The day I wake up and all the chronological written evidence of dysfunctionality and pretense disappears in to thin air then I'll start to question the validity of the above

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By DJKL
15th Jan 2024 20:16

james1999h-AT-yahoo.com wrote:

I'm not saying that you don't come across the odd good accountant like AIMS' Mr Ejdelbaum

The day I wake up and all the chronological written evidence of dysfunctionality and pretense disappears in to thin air then I'll start to question the validity of the above

Like Bruce "Born in the USA" given US spelling of pretence?

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/pretense-pretence/

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By SXGuy
16th Jan 2024 08:08

Can't work out if the language you use is an attempt to sound intelligent or has been ran through some sort of chatgtp/plagiarism software, but either way, it makes no sense to the common man, what your actual point is.

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DougScott
By Dougscott
16th Jan 2024 12:01

SXGuy wrote:

Can't work out if the language you use is an attempt to sound intelligent or has been ran through some sort of chatgtp/plagiarism software, but either way, it makes no sense to the common man, what your actual point is.

I'm not sure that James1999h is actually human, although he may be a Vulcan. Most people are human and that's why things like the Post Office, auditors, HMRC, the Home Office, the Tory Government, financial advisors, etc cannot ultimately be trusted as they are all prone to human frailties.

But I would place most Chartered Accountants ethically higher and more fastidious than the others I have listed above, just from personal experience, however I have also met Chartered Accountants who are corrupt, racist and useless.

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By Michael Davies
16th Jan 2024 10:21

What is the process of disbarring directors ?Is it Companies House obligation or DTI ?Presumably with all the corporate scams going on ,the guard dogs are probably under budgeted and understaffed.
Last week I received 1.3/4 p in the £ from the Liquidators;when in the year prior to liquidation,the directors trousered a million pounds out of the company.Incidentally I was all set to moan about the liquidation fees,when they only took £15k after 4 years work and a shed load of admin.

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