Community rules and moderation policy

General terms:

These guidelines are designed to ensure the AccountingWeb community is an enjoyable, inspiring and safe one for all our members. They come down to common sense, courtesy and respect (for your hosts and the rest of the community).

If you don’t agree with them, we won’t take it personally, and nor should you if we need to suggest might not be for you.

When we say ‘We’, we mean and Sift Media, who are the Publishers of AccountingWeb. When we say 'the site' we mean

We may update these guidelines and recommend you check back once in a while. Any new community features we introduce to the site will fall under these guidelines.

What do these rules cover?

Our community rules and moderation policy apply to any area of the site where you might post comments, threads or contribute in any other way.

What is Any Answers?

Any Answers is a place for members to post questions relevant to all areas of accountancy for other members to answer. For example 'How do you do X?' All members are free to respond to the question(s) appropriately and relevantly.

Basic rules:

Any Answers and is not a place to advertise or promote your own services. Please also refrain from posting questions such as 'What do you think of my company/website?'

Answers and comments must not include self-promotional content which is not relevant to the original post.

Members who post information about their own company/business in Any Answers or within comments on stories unnecessarily will be asked to desist. A warning or ban from the site may follow.

We expect members to behave appropriately and sensitively at all times and never to post comments which are knowingly offensive.

Bad language will not be tolerated at all. If you can’t make a point without swearing, then please do not submit a post or comment. This includes self-censored language (e.g. use of asterisks to mask words).

Deliberately discriminatory comments about sex, age, race, religion or politics, or any other derogatory or personal attacks will not be tolerated, and any attempts by members to deliberately provoke another member on these grounds will result in a temporary ban and the original thread being removed to allow time to investigate the nature and context of the comment(s).

Community DOs and DON'Ts:

  • Please stay on topic. Off-topic threads and comments are to be kept in the relevant sections such as the Time Out & Born Dull?! discussion groups.
  • Please do not post personal comments towards other members that could be interpreted as offensive or inflammatory. These will not be tolerated and will be moderated/deleted.
  • If you feel provoked by what you consider to be a personal comment, please try not to respond. Please contact the moderators who will deal with this.
  • Please also alert the moderator to anything you find offensive or abusive. We will deal with it in accordance with these rules. To alert the moderator click on the ‘Report’ link on the appropriate comment send a message including your reasons for requesting its removal.
  • Please consider the intonation of your postings when you write them and understand that interpretation of the written word can be subjective. You could offend someone without meaning to if they misinterpret your tone. Be mindful of this before you click 'submit'.
  • Please do not create multiple user accounts. This will result in the additional accounts being removed and deleted from the site. From time to time we may have to verify accounts that we believe may be duplicates or attempts to circumvent ongoing bans from the site.
  • Please avoid political, religious, racial or other such emotive topics which you could sensibly predict will provoke and offend other members.
  • When we remove a post on the site, or an entire thread, we will endeavour to explain why, both to the community and to the individual although we may not have the time to contact the member directly through private message.
  • Please do not complain or comment on this moderation policy in the Any Answers forum or any of the discussion groups. We will address any questions, comments or complaints by email or Private Message. reserves the right to remove any material from the Any Answers forum without warning or notice as we see fit or if contravenes these rules and guidelines. reserves the right to remove or disable or block member accounts based on any behaviour which contravenes these rules and guidelines.

Sift Media reserves the right to enforce any ban across all of our online publications at the discretion of our moderation team.


Blogs are a great way to showcase your knowledge, experience or even just talk about your day in the office. Our members have blogs covering a wide variety of areas, some professional, some personal and, to help get you started, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Keep it relevant – AccountingWEB is primarily a site for accountants. Please only post on-topic content to ensure plenty of views and comments.  
  • Don't post duplicate content, i.e. blog posts and content that have appeared elsewhere on the web
  • Don’t self-promote – As with the rest of the site, the rules regarding promotion and advertising still apply in blogs. Any content deemed excessively self-promotional may be removed without warning by the moderation team.
  • Keep it on the site – Please don’t link to blogs / articles elsewhere without any supporting content. You must have the express permission to reproduce content from other sources and always be sure to include references and attribution notes for any relevant information.
  • Follow the rules  - Be sure to remember that all of the rules that apply elsewhere on the site are also valid for blogs. Any violations of the community rules can result in posts being removed without warning by the moderation team.
  • We aim to maintain a relevant, useful and community-friendly Blog area on AccountingWEB. Our moderation team reserve the right to take down unsuitable blogs which:
    • Are considered to be primarily self-promotional
    • Contain content or material which is not relevant to AWEB Community members
    • Include links to material on other sites, without permission, attribution or references
    • Violate any of our community rules
    • Contain SEO keyword links

Moderation procedure:

Our moderation team will deem if a comment or posting needs to be edited or removed from the site.

Sometimes it may be necessary to remove an entire thread or conversations from the site. We endeavour to do this only in the most extreme cases in order to preserve the flow of conversation on the site.

We will also endeavour to contact members via the Private Message system on the site if we are removing or editing a posting. If appropriate we will also issue a warning at this time.

Members who continue to break the community rules after a warning will incur a temporary ban on their access to Members who are welcomed back after a temporary ban will be asked to post within the guidelines as stated here. Failure to do so will result in a permanent ban.

We are willing to review permanent bans after six months. Each case will be assessed individually and no precedence will apply.

We promise to review any offensive or inflammatory posts within 2 working days of a post being reported.

We promise to respond to member queries and requests reasonably and responsibly but ask that our members allow us reasonable time to deal with each request – some things may take us longer to investigate.

Moderation of off-topic posts:

To streamline the moderation procedure when threads are taken off-topic and to ensure members are always aware of the moderation process, the standard response to rule violations is as follows (note: each step represents a single, related infraction):

  1. Informal notice posted in the affected thread.
  2. Formal, private notification of moderation & initial warning.
  3. Formal, private notification of moderation & final warning.
  4. Temporary (5 day) ban.
  5. Permanent ban (with option for review after 6 months).

More extreme, one off issues will be dealt with on an ad-hoc basis at the moderators' discretion. Threads may be locked temporarily or permanently while under moderator investigation. A notification will be posted at the end of any locked thread, alerting members to the fact.

Our commitment to members

We want to make a safe, professional and interesting place for you to ask questions and make comments.

We promise to afford members freedom of expression within the reasonable confines of English law and decent and appropriate behaviour.

Where possible, we promise to protect the anonymity of those members who prefer to remain anonymous on

If there is ever anything you are unhappy about on our sites then please contact Dan Izzard, Community Manager. Dan is on hand to discuss anything in relation to the AccountingWEB community. You can also call the AccountingWEB team on 0117 915 3344.