It is that time of year. I imagine that half of you reading this column will be making resolutions, probably half-heartedly in the expectation of breaking most of them before the close of January and quite possibly several before the end of New Year’s Day.
I would like to put my own bid in with the following:
- Stop attacking the government.
- Stop attacking that nice President Trump
- Do my damnedest to hold my tongue when it comes to commenting on the major political parties’ failures to take the issue of leaving Europe seriously, using it as a political football rather than the biggest threat/opportunity (delete where inapplicable) of our lifetimes
- Write positively about the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his policies.
- Find good things to say about HMRC
- Begin to understand why the Big Four and the FRC seem to believe that auditing is merely an income stream and not a matter that requires serious attention
- Be nice to Grant Thornton
- Avoid making sarcastic comments about outrageous artificial tax avoidance schemes that do not so much border evasion but constitute it
My guess is that almost every one of you will be delighted if I can stick to these eight principles right through the 12 months of 2019 or even the first quarter.
You will also recognise at once that should this happen, either you will no longer have a pseudonymous columnist, or far worse, these columns will get extremely boring and repetitive.
The slight problem here is that in order for me to achieve these ambitious goals, I need a significant amount of help from a number of third parties who are unlikely to come through.
Does anyone really believe that Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will play ball, let alone Donald J Trump?
Similarly, HMRC is prone to disasters, primarily resulting from a lack of funding from a series of Chancellors including the lovely Philip Hammond; a man who seems to have his own hands tied but even without the handcuffs is capable of making the odd bad decision.
As for the Big Four and FRC, they are already under attack from a number of quarters - and justifiably so - for a stream of audit failures. So maybe there is hope there but probably not necessarily in the short-term.
As for tax evasion and abusive (outrageous) tax avoidance …
There’s a little more hope on the Grant Thornton point. Considering its tumultuous last year or two, the firm and its partners need all the sympathy that they can get.
I fear that, in the real world, most of these changes are never going to happen. On reflection, I firmly believe that my criticisms over the last year have been entirely valid. Last year we saw bad behaviour or political decisions that were taken without any thought about the consequences for those who will actually suffer as a result - ie anyone but a very small band of politicians and high-flying members of our own august profession.
Therefore, perhaps my resolution should actually be to write about more likely occurrences such as flying pigs and blue moons.
About The Imprudent Accountant
Someone who should know better, but can't resist the occasional rant about the more exasperating aspects of the accountancy profession.