2010: The year in finance
It’s December, which means we’ve been bombarded by all those ‘looking back on the year that was’ press releases, but 2010 really has been an oddball year. In her last blog for AccountingWEB, deputy editor Gina Dyer takes a trip down memory lane at the shocks, jocks and, er, socks that made our year.
In January, it seemed like the end of the world as we know it, when the whole country came to a standstill thanks to snow – nothing changes! Naturally our experts were on hand with a bad weather business survival kit to keep your company running during the arctic blizzards.
Here at AccountingWEB towers we embraced the bad weather by nipping out at lunchtime for a snowball fight. Community manager Becky Midgley won the ‘most snow covered staff member’ award after being ambushed from behind a dustbin by her fellow team members. Sorry Becky!
In what must have been the longest ever wait for an election result (apart from the year Alexandra Burke beat JLS on the X Factor), Britain woke up on 7 May to a hung parliament.
AccountingWEB ran a live blog following the events on election night, featuring more panellists than we’ve ever had in one event before, but our sprint turned into a marathon as the vote count dragged on. Luckily, our team of troopers remained online throughout the night and for much of the next day discussing the outcome of this truly bizarre election.
Clegg was popular with young voters (“I’d like to lick his policies” was one comment heard at AccountingWEB towers before the election), however many fell out of love with him after he promptly hopped into bed with David Cameron. Other voters were simply shocked to find that blue and yellow went together.
In June South Africa hosted the World Cup and we all learnt a new word, since those pesky ear-splitting vuvuzelas were everywhere we turned. AccountingWEB was on hand with a guide on how to plan your world cup campaigns.
We also discovered at last why AccountingWEB Editor John Stokdyk always wins the office sweepstake…it was a very complicated calculation process involving Excel spreadsheets and technological voodoo.
HMRC launched its new PAYE system this year but coding errors meant some 1.5m taxpayers were found to have underpaid, in many cases by substantial amounts.
The department faced the mammoth task of working through the backlog of unresolved PAYE cases against a background of budget cuts which has forced 20,000 jobs to be shed over the last four years.
HMRC’s permanent secretary for tax Dave Hartnett didn’t help the situation by refusing to apologise for the errors, and a poll of AccountingWEB members found that 27% thought HMRC was no longer fit for purpose. Bad times.
Budget budget budget
First there was the Budget, then the Emergency Budget, then the Spending Review, then the Autumn Statement. The chancellor’s little red box came out so many times this year, he had to get matching shoes to go with it. Unfortunately tax advisers were left struggling with the consequences of frequent tax reforms.
Being based in the West Country, one of AccountingWEB’s least favourite budget measures was the news that duty on our favourite tipple would increase by 10%. Tax editor Rebecca Benneyworth was reported to have leapt out of her seat screaming “Oh no! Not my cider!” during the chancellor’s speech. Luckily, the move was soon revoked when Cameron came into office. No doubt the vision of the Wurzels descending on Downing Street with pitchforks was enough to put him off.
It’s been a heck of a year, with more challenges still to come for finance professionals. Unfortunately I’m going the way Michael Jackson and Gary Coleman went this year… yes, I’m departing this world. Well, the finance world anyway. I’m off to edit a womens’ consumer title, so if any of you are interested in shoes, handbags or wedding dresses, feel free to look me up on Twitter! Thanks to all the AccountingWEB members and contributors who’ve made the last two years interesting/funny/downright bizarre! Keep up the good work!
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I've been a journalist for four years, writing on a wide variety of topics from business and finance to travel, culture and celebrities. I began my career as an editorial assistant for Palladian Publications, a B2B publisher specialising in technical magazines for professionals in primary industries. I later moved into consumer magazines as a...