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54

Time for Aweb to change

Not my words - those of one of the mod team in a PM to me.

Didn't find your answer?

I am assured that concerns raised about the direction of travel of this forum have been heard. I have been invited to bring the ideas that folk have on how to improve the forum into one place for consideration.

That is the purpose of this thread. Please have your say. I know in most cases that means repeating what you've already said elsewhere, but this time the 'right people' are listening.

Replies (54)

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Scalloway Castle
By scalloway
30th Jun 2020 14:19

How about a message saying that non accountants should refer their query to UK Business Forums?

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Replying to scalloway:
Lone Wolf
By Lone_Wolf
30th Jun 2020 17:23

That's just mean. Freeloaders Lives Matter!

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blue sheep
By NH
30th Jun 2020 14:35

PLEASE anything that stops the same questions being asked over and over again.

A discipline system for any impolite comments (in other words a moderator who just deletes them)

Also, I would love to see the opportunities page back again

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Replying to NH:
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By AWeb72
30th Jun 2020 16:15

Who's to judge what's impolite? Some people frankly need a curt response. Sometimes the world needs that instead of being a sanitised Stepford Wives version of reality.

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Replying to AWeb72:
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By Mr_awol
30th Jun 2020 23:28

AWeb72 wrote:

Who's to judge what's impolite? Some people frankly need a curt response. Sometimes the world needs that instead of being a sanitised Stepford Wives version of reality.

John S is to judge what is impolite, it seems.

I did reply with a quote from Wesley Snipes’ character Simon Phoenix in demolition man. In the film he stated that the world had become a far too submissive version of itself run by over-sensitive people in robes. I won’t repeat the quote because John deleted it and threatened to ban me for posting “sexist put-downs” that ‘poison the site’. Personally I think poorly targeted moderation, and the people he is pandering to, are poisoning the site by driving away long standing contributors but hey we’re all entitled to our opinion aren’t we? Well, maybe - maybe not it seems.

I posted the quote as it’s set in the year 2031 and I commented on how we seem to have reached this stage rather earlier than That. Ironically I think John proved my point with his behaviour

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Replying to NH:
Dog
By ClaireB
30th Jun 2020 16:17

I think the pretty woeful Search facility is partly to blame. It can't be right that it's far easier to search the site via Google than it is to use the inbuilt function.

If this improved, with more filters and boolean search parameters, maybe the same questions wouldn't be asked over and over again.

So, my vote is for a better search facility please.

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Replying to ClaireB:
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By Tax Dragon
30th Jun 2020 18:02

The internal search I think just looks at the OP. Which probably was full of misspellings and empty of relevant facts/terms that a search might find (and certainly never had a useful heading), even if, by the time you search, it hasn't been reduced to a dot.

Google and its ilk I think look at the replies. There, useful stuff may survive.

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By justsotax
30th Jun 2020 14:36

presumably concerns raised due to the fall off of hits on the site?! About 5 years too late......

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My photo
By Matrix
30th Jun 2020 14:50

The standard (and number of replies) has gone downhill even since John’s comments last week. Accountant A and lincolnartist left and Tax Dragon and Cheshire have stopped posting (or at least you had over the weekend).

AWeb needs to decide if it is a forum for accountants to discuss technical issues or a free for all. If it is the latter then, that is fine, but I will not be contributing.

This forum was indispensable when I set up, but, while I am happy to give back, I am definitely giving more than I am getting back these days.

Thanks (7)
Replying to Matrix:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
30th Jun 2020 14:53

I doubt that works for them re traffic.

I think the sectional route, Public, Students, Bookkeepers and Accountants, with opportunities/jobs as a distinct other,is how they maybe ought to go.

Thanks (4)
Replying to DJKL:
My photo
By Matrix
30th Jun 2020 14:58

But there won’t be any replies if there is no one left to reply. This is a real possibility. Surely that affects traffic?

They have had 4 years to put in an opportunities section, I doubt they will follow the boards route.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Matrix:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
30th Jun 2020 15:02

Well, if they do not do something then, as I mentioned to John on the other thread, I doubt they will have Any Answers in a few years; unless they pay a team of pros to man it and answer the questions.

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By legerman
30th Jun 2020 14:58

Threads highlighted if new replies since last visited. They manage this successfully on ukbusinessforums so can't see why they can't do it here. It's my pet hate on this forum.

Categories (again see ukbf) So we could have a category for accountants in practice, payroll, bookkeepers, time out, business owners etc. If there was a section for business owners to post in we could either respond with advice, refer them to an accountant if necessary (and that sometimes is the best advice)

If this had been in place before covid-19 a separate category would have been a great tool.

Also posts (especially when starting a new thread) can't be amended after say 10 minutes. Again see ukbf

Thanks (3)
Replying to legerman:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
30th Jun 2020 15:17

legerman wrote:
Threads highlighted if new replies since last visited.

And a "jump to most recent reply" option. I suspect that that would have proved to be a most welcome feature on this thread in due course.

Thanks (5)
Replying to Wilson Philips:
Lone Wolf
By Lone_Wolf
30th Jun 2020 17:22

Seeing up to date replies is my biggest gripe with the site. If a conversation runs into the second page, then it's really difficult to see what replies are new on that second page without going through them all.

I've never been a fan of the layout, with replies to comment 1 appearing above comment 2. Much prefer forums where the comments appear as they've been made, quoting any relevant earlier posts.

Thanks (4)
Replying to legerman:
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By paulwakefield1
30th Jun 2020 18:52

[quote=legerman]

Threads highlighted if new replies since last visited. They manage this successfully on ukbusinessforums so can't see why they can't do it here. It's my pet hate on this forum.

Agree the principle but needs to be longer than 10 minutes. It takes me more than that to correct the typos I didn't spot before posting!

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By Mr_awol
30th Jun 2020 15:19

Tax Dragon wrote:

So that makes this a good place to have your say. I know in most cases that means repeating what you've already said elsewhere, but this time the 'right people' are listening.

In his 'new broom' post, John S told us that the forum is not just for qualified accountants, but for 'accounting professionals' . I agree and this status should be protected.

In the same post, John S also told us that the site is, and always has been, for everyone - and that telling members of the public to get an accountant is mean, nasty, and generally unacceptable. This is a huge mistake and given that the signup process/thread starting pages do (or certainly used to) ask people to confirm their position in the profession I would say that the site is not intended to MOPs and telling them to seek professional advice is perfectly reasonable.

If the current moderation team continue to allow the boards to be repeatedly flooded with half arsed questions from freeloaders (which are deleted/edited to a dot if the answers don't match the OP's desires) then they lose the right to complain if regular forum posters take a more robust approach with future examples of such behaviour. It has been acknowledged recently that some pretty long-standing posters have left, or been forced, off, the forum and that is to the detriment of the site.

The anonymous question option should either be disabled, or only available to posters who have made a minimum number of posts previously - say 50 or so. As the forum does not require 'real names' there is no need for a new poster to post anonymously, other than to hide the fact that they are a freeloader coming on here to ask a question without having ever contributed anything themselves.

On the other hand, if it's less about quality of content and expertise and more about maximising unique hits, or an ego trip to create a politically correct, happy clappy utopia, then carry on as you are.

Thanks (6)
Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Anonymous.
30th Jun 2020 16:26

Mr_awol wrote:

In his 'new broom' post, John S told us that the forum is not just for qualified accountants, but for 'accounting professionals' . I agree and this status should be protected.

In the same post, John S also told us that the site is, and always has been, for everyone - and that telling members of the public to get an accountant is mean, nasty, and generally unacceptable. This is a huge mistake and given that the signup process/thread starting pages do (or certainly used to) ask people to confirm their position in the profession I would say that the site is not intended to MOPs and telling them to seek professional advice is perfectly reasonable.

If the current moderation team continue to allow the boards to be repeatedly flooded with half arsed questions from freeloaders (which are deleted/edited to a dot if the answers don't match the OP's desires) then they lose the right to complain if regular forum posters take a more robust approach with future examples of such behaviour. It has been acknowledged recently that some pretty long-standing posters have left, or been forced, off, the forum and that is to the detriment of the site.

The anonymous question option should either be disabled, or only available to posters who have made a minimum number of posts previously - say 50 or so. As the forum does not require 'real names' there is no need for a new poster to post anonymously, other than to hide the fact that they are a freeloader coming on here to ask a question without having ever contributed anything themselves.

On the other hand, if it's less about quality of content and expertise and more about maximising unique hits, or an ego trip to create a politically correct, happy clappy utopia, then carry on as you are.

In case anyone missed it:

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/a-new-broom-for-accountingweb

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boat
By SouthCoastAcc
30th Jun 2020 15:21

Is there a similar site for accountants?

Thanks (3)
Scooby
By gainsborough
30th Jun 2020 15:47

Echoing some of the comments above, Accounting Web has been invaluable to me, as a sole practitioner, as a sounding board/sanity check and a discussion of technical issues. I also end up learning a lot about issues I no longer deal with (e.g. trusts) from the real-life scenarios popping up than I do in most CPD courses.

AWeb seems to have strayed from this in the last couple of years and agree that we have lost some quality contributors (especially Portia). Think AWeb needs to commit to being a technical discussion forum for accountants by accountants. There are enough general forums out there for Joe Public.

As an aside, really appreciated Maddy flagging an impolite response from an OP this week. Hopefully, this will lead to an improvement in behaviour in the future.

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Replying to gainsborough:
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By Mr_awol
30th Jun 2020 23:02

Can you imagine Portia surviving more than ten seconds in the current environment.

Shame. Really is. I was on the receiving end of a PNL exasperated rant or two when I got stuff wrong. I also once challenged him/her/it on some minor technical point and he/she/it acknowledged I was right. I very nearly printed it and framed it. T’was a glorious day.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
Scooby
By gainsborough
01st Jul 2020 08:29

That is high praise indeed.

The optimist in me hopes AWeb is serious about listening to members views and retaining the good contributors who still remain.

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Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
30th Jun 2020 15:51

"Time for Aweb to change
Not my words - those of one of the mod team in a PM to me".

Again, not holding my breath but, wouldn't it be a (very welcome) change, if the Editorial and Design team, actually listened to the members, for once?

I know - I may as well whistle (****) into the wind.

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
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By Tax Dragon
30th Jun 2020 16:04

Try whistling, Chris. At the moment, you just to seem to be saying "what's the point, no one will hear me?"

PS - looks like your cat has held its breath for too long. When did it keel over? (Or was it always like that, sorry.)

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
Oaklea
By Chris.Mann
30th Jun 2020 16:27

The cat (Oaklea) was abandoned, with the rest of his litter, at 5 weeks old, in some local woods. When he came to us, around 6 weeks old, you could easily hold him, in the palm of your hand. He's now around 7 years old, is the biggest cat we've ever had and has developed a heart murmur. However, the odd caption is his owners fault, which I thank you for bringing to my attention. Sad to say, he lost his best pal, my Chocolate Labrador, Harry, last Boxing Day.

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Replying to Chris.Mann:
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By Mr_awol
30th Jun 2020 16:19

Chris.Mann wrote:

Again, not holding my breath but, wouldn't it be a (very welcome) change, if the Editorial and Design team, actually listened to the members, for once?

I know - I may as well whistle (****) into the wind.

Unfortunately they cant hear Jimi

They might well see the comments, and throw a paddy if they don't like what they see - but any objections to their plans go in one ear and out the other.

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By AWeb72
30th Jun 2020 16:10

Another vote for non-accountants to use UK Business Forums. That forum already exists, we don't need a MK2

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Lisa Thomas
By Insolvency Practitioner
30th Jun 2020 16:12

Make it easier to see where you are up to in posts and which you have commented on. On other sites unread posts are in bold and your picture appears when you have replied.

Thanks (1)
By Tim Vane
30th Jun 2020 16:45

Oh I do hope they don't change anything. It is perfect exactly the way it is.

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By Paul Crowley
30th Jun 2020 18:16

I would not want their job

If Fred wants 'this' then Jo will complain that 'this' has ruined Aweb.

If they interfere then 'they should not interfere' per Fred
Jo thinks they should interfere and its ruined Aweb

Thankless task

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Anonymous.
01st Jul 2020 11:32

Paul Crowley wrote:

I would not want their job

If Fred wants 'this' then Jo will complain that 'this' has ruined Aweb.

If they interfere then 'they should not interfere' per Fred
Jo thinks they should interfere and its ruined Aweb

Thankless task

Pretty sure there were no complaints - certainly nothing like the current volume - before the major changes that were made about 3/4 maybe 5 years ago? It was 'just' a professional forum for finance professionals and had some great contributors.

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By Moo Cow
30th Jun 2020 21:02

As a bit of a lurker, I'd like to see not just a single forum, but grouped:

Accountants only (peer to peer)
Joe bloggs looking for a freebe
Practises for sale / wanted
AWEB editorials

as for members being rude etc, I think we have the right balance of idiotic / cowboys questions and curt replies to. With the question on the right sub group, it should probably settle down....

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Replying to Moo Cow:
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By Paul Crowley
01st Jul 2020 05:01

Sounds easy, but lots of people claiming to have clients who either mislead or do not identify as a first year student. Even worse some who should not be trading.
Lots of Joe bloggs freebie claiming to be accountants, or claiming to have useless accountants.
Do we feel comfortable with Aweb advertising free advice from accountants, and as happened recently students who have never worked in practice giving replies?

Who would want to be a moderator? Whatever decision is made will be good to some, bad to others.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Paul Crowley:
My photo
By Matrix
01st Jul 2020 06:11

This is true. Are AWeb satisfied that their disclaimers protect them? Given that the quality of replies is already going downhill now that most responders have left.

The questions over the last few months demonstrate that there are advisers taking money from the public who don’t have the experience or ability to think for themselves. Although the risk of these people giving anything back and replying to posts is low.

It is hard to be kind and at the same time not correct people’s posts/replies.

AWeb needs to choose which one.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By Tax Dragon
01st Jul 2020 07:00

Matrix wrote:

AWeb needs to choose which one.

I think you have nailed it for me Matrix. The direction of travel is not determined by format and functionality (much as these could be improved in the ways suggested above) but by deliberate policy.

Do they want a forum where anyone can come for "advice" that is free at the point of delivery but could cost someone dear because it is wrong? Obviously, where the OP is asking because they don't know how to deal with a client's affairs, that someone includes the client.

Such forums surely exist elsewhere - including UKBF.

Or do they want a forum for discussing accountancy and tax issues (which includes all that goes with that, such as HR, wellbeing and displaying negative numbers in Excel)?

Anyhow I have been warned again overnight (possibly with a little bit of justification this time - last time was a total joke in all senses), so, good luck everybody. And sorry to any I offended at any point - I meant none of you any ill. Rather, the opposite.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Mr_awol
01st Jul 2020 09:01

Tax Dragon wrote:

Anyhow I have been warned again overnight (possibly with a little bit of justification this time - last time was a total joke in all senses), so, good luck everybody. And sorry to any I offended at any point - I meant none of you any ill. Rather, the opposite.

You are leaving? Or just ore-emoting a ban?

i would implore you to stIck around but in all honesty the way this site is going I doubt it’ll be worth it in a month or so. Interestingly enough I got a first warning recently for calling John’s new Broom post ridiculous (the excuse was calling people dip-somethings but I never did, and for quoting PNL who should of course be erased from history) and a final warning for my Wesley snipes quote referenced above so I strongly suspect he’ll find an excuse by the end of the week and I’ll be gone too.

As such, I’d like to echo your sentiments in bidding my fellow A-Webbers a find farewell as and when my time comes

Thanks (0)
Replying to Mr_awol:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
01st Jul 2020 09:15

In case your premonitions are true.

As you sail across the A Web Styxx with your two pennies for Charon, just think of us still here giving you, the departed,a drunken rendition of the following;

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friends, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each chartered course
Each careful step along the byway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way

I've loved, laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of loosing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh no, no, not me
I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say all the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows, I took the blows
But I did it my way

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Replying to DJKL:
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By Mr_awol
01st Jul 2020 09:55

DJKL wrote:

For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say all the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows, I took the blows
But I did it my way

That, sir, sums it up perfectly.

Who knows, maybe things will calm down, people will see sense, and we can all carry on in a (not too) happy clappy way. I believe there have already been losses of decent posters (much better than I) though and so the damage may already have been done

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Tax Dragon
01st Jul 2020 10:11

Mr_awol wrote:

I believe there have already been losses of decent posters (much better than I) though and so the damage may already have been done

Decent posters (e.g. David Winch) say very little [DJKL will here point us to Proverbs 17:27 and 28, and maybe other similar sayings]. Average posters (you and me... please don't take offence that I have included you) say too much. And Trump just cannot shut up. Therein lies the problem - money follows clicks and clicks follow idiocy. Except... in the old days, threads had 5, 6 figure views. Few make it to 4 figures now. So, there is hope, if someone sees the light.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Mr_awol
01st Jul 2020 10:15

No offence taken.

Is David Winch still here? He deserves a place in the accounting web hall of fame. If I recall correctly he once stated he had/admitted to having two accounts. I really did hope that his alter-ego would be PNL, but he said it wasn't the case.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
By mrme89
01st Jul 2020 10:30

His second account was Running Mate.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
01st Jul 2020 10:29

Just so long as you read the King James version, one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written in English (albeit with issues deciding if it ought to be in the fiction or non fiction section)

My bible quoting is actually not very hot, whilst I read it at school and then it was on the pre reading list for university I never went as far as actually learning it, my ability to memorise things is more:

"I always eat peas with honey
I've done it all my life
They do taste kinda funny
But it keeps them on the knife"

though I have always thought I should be slightly more ambitious and say memorise "The Shooting of Dan Magrew"

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Replying to DJKL:
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By Tax Dragon
01st Jul 2020 12:48

My Dad (an ardent, God-fearing agnostic) said much the same, a particular favourite bit of poetry being the "How are the mighty fallen/Tell it not in Gath" eulogy/lament.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Tax Dragon
01st Jul 2020 09:21

Mr_awol wrote:

You are leaving? Or just ore-emoting a ban?

Pre-empting? Someone has played with the O and P on your keyboard. Or you have abused the word "OP" one too many times!

But to answer your question, I don't know. Both are on the cards.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Mr_awol
01st Jul 2020 10:21

Pre-empting indeed. I think I need a bigger phone - or better eyes. Perhaps slimmer thumbs would help too.

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By SteveHa
01st Jul 2020 09:00

Dump the whole Facebookesque format and go back to being a proper forum. Discourse or similar would infinitely improve things.

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By bernard michael
01st Jul 2020 09:20

Am I the only one who derives immense delight in the strange /esoteric questions asked by non or idiotic accountants and my friend MDTP

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Replying to bernard michael:
Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
01st Jul 2020 09:41

It's just you, Bernard, just you.

I do find stories about them amusing but really do not want them living next door or heaven forbid taking over my home.

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Paul Crowley
01st Jul 2020 09:48

They do entertain, flounce, delete, not reply, not thank, report,complain, hide, but can do no wrong: even if when some do reply, reply so deliberately with intent to offend

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By bernard michael
01st Jul 2020 09:57

I find there's nothing finer than prodding certain OP's

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