20 years of AccountingWEB

Tom Herbert
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November 1997. Bird flu fears gripped the world, the UN pulled out its weapons inspection teams from Iraq and the star-heavy single ‘Perfect Day’ was riding high at number one in the charts.

It was also the month that the first AccountingWEB Weekly newswire was sent – 26 November 1997 to be precise. Over the next few months, we’re planning a few low-key things (this is an accountancy publication after all) to celebrate 20 years of AccountingWEB.

Below is the second newswire. Featured stories include the Y2K bug, a Customs & Excise survey and a story about PW and Coopers’ impending merger. As a disclaimer, most of the links don’t work and all the information is out of date, but nonetheless it’s an interesting slice of 90s life.

If you’re wondering why I’m posting the second newswire… well, the first has been lost to the great hard drive in the sky, and we’re looking for your help to find it. Our founder and Sift chairman Ben Heald is offering a bottle of English champagne to the first person who emails it in. Send it across to [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.

Here’s the newswire:



The AccountingWEB Weekly - Issue 2
3 December 1997

An update for members of developments at AccountingWEB, and news from the Accountancy search engine of new content added to the UK's accountancy web sites.

Copyright (C) 1997 Sift plc. All rights reserved.

Editor's note

I'm glad you all enjoyed the first newsletter last week.  We certainly had a busier week on the site with an average of over 250 people visiting AccountingWEB each working day.

We've been moving through a redesign exercise this week, which will mean that the navigation around the site is much improved and some of the features such as the databases and forums, receive more prominence.

A couple of people at a seminar recently asked me if they could have a copy of my bookmarks.  Absolutely, so either email me or visit the forum where I'll upload a copy of the file (that you should also be able to import into either Netscape or Internet Explorer).  I have to say it is
by no means a definitive list, as things are always changing but if you've not got any, definitely a lot better than starting from scratch.

News from the Accountancy Search Engine

New content on the sites that we index.

A paper from Customs & Excise on the scope for helping the less well-off keep warm and of reducing emissions through VAT relief.
http://www.open.gov.uk/customs/green.htm (editor’s note - link broken)

A technical discussion document about the Tax Rewrite Project.
http://www.open.gov.uk/inrev/rewrite.htm (editor’s note - link broken)

The DTI has made some of its publications for small businesses available on the net.
http://www.dti.gov.uk/publications/sme/ (editor’s note - link broken)

Four new Draft Interpretations on accounting issues from the IASC as follows:
    SIC - D4: Classification of financial instruments - issuer's
    settlement option;
    SIC - D5: Classification of financial instruments - contingent
    settlement provisions;
    SIC - D6: Costs of modifying existing software; and
    SIC - D7: Accounting for the Introduction of the euro.
http://www.iasc.org.uk/frame/cen8_35.htm (editor’s note - links to a weird page)

Report from Sage that suggests that three-quarters of small accountancy practices will leave it too late to address the Year 2000 issue.
http://www.sage.com/press/pressrel/sg323.htm (editor’s note - link broken)

It's just worth noting that the Sage site refuses to allow a search engine inside the site in order to index it. You would think that they wanted to promote the site to all of us!!

The press release from PW and Coopers announcing partner approval for their merger.
http://www.tc.pw.com/uk/merger1.htm (editor’s note - link broken)

The results of an independent survey on what travellers think of the service they get from Customs & Excise.
http://www.coi.gov.uk/coi/depts/GCE/coi5249d.ok (editor’s note - link broken)

A consultative document from the Inland Revenue on Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs).
http://www.open.gov.uk/inrev/condoc8.htm (editor’s note - link broken)

And finally, just in case you missed all the Budget stuff.

Chapter and verse from the Treasury
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/pub/html/budget.html (editor’s note - if you really want to you can view the budget legislation here in the national archives)

And the usual rash of commentaries from the Big Six

KPMG's weekly commentary
http://www.kpmg.co.uk/uk/services/tax/weekly/a971128.html (editor’s note - link broken)

And a report from PW
http://www.tc.pw.com/uk/greenbudget.htm (editor’s note - link broken)

Developments at AccountingWEB

Many of you have been trying out our new Build Your Own website online product. Can I just remind you that if you become a Executive Club member of Sift, we throw in a Level 1 website with this subscription package.

This gives you a simple site that you can update 24 hours a day using a password and user ID. The other nice thing about this is that in effect it means that you can establish a four-page website for £15 per month, with absolutely no commitment. Why not try it for a couple of months?

This Week's Threads

There are threads in the forums on topics ranging from WinForecast to consolidation systems, with new threads this week on the Green Budget and computer networking.  We're also going to be starting a tax forum, and slowly rolling out more areas as everyone gets more used to being part of
an online community.

As well as asking and responding to questions, you can download files that other users have added to the forum.  I've posted a couple of files there: a Word file containing the Prudent Surfer Guide to the Internet (that we were handing out at The Accountants and Financial Directors Exhibition in October) and also the Year 2000 checklist for small and medium-sized companies that was contributed to the Prudent Surfer by Dick Price.

Tips and Tricks

Remember that you don't have to log in to AccountingWEB to use many of the services. The search engine, the free news, the online directory of accounting firms and the links are all completely free. We'll never even know you've visited! (editor’s note – just don’t publish an anonymous comment!)

Next week, we're exhibiting at the Online Information 1997 show at Olympia.  So if you're coming make sure you visit us on stand 31 to have a chat.

See you next week.



About Tom Herbert

Tom is editor at AccountingWEB, responsible for all editorial content on the site. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.


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22nd Sep 2017 12:56

Congratulations and thank you Sift. I wish I had found AW a lot earlier than I did. I would be richer, thinner and a better accountant.

We have a history darling.

Thanks (1)
22nd Sep 2017 20:00

My tribute especially for Accounting Web

It was twenty years ago today
That Accounting Web taught them tax could pay
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years
Accounting Web's Lonely Hearts Club Band

We're Accounting Web's Lonely Hearts Club Band
We hope you will enjoy the show
We're Accounting Web's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sit back and let the evening go
Accounting Web's lonely, Accounting Web's lonely
Accounting Web's Lonely Hearts Club Band
It's wonderful to be here
It's certainly a thrill
You're such a lovely audience
We'd like to take you home with us
We'd love to take you home

I don't really want to stop the show
But I thought that you might like to know
That Any Answers has got a query
Give an answer, however weary
So let me introduce to you
The one and only PNL
And Accounting Web's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Thanks (1)
25th Sep 2017 11:14

Congratulations !

Thanks (0)
25th Sep 2017 17:08

Blimey, that means I have been hanging around here for nearly three quarters of your existence.

Nice to see some things don't change however, software companies selling solutions to problems that don't exist for the Y2K 'bug' that wasn't really much of an issue but was hyped like fury at the time in order to shift units of desktop software and new computers.

As I tried to explain at the time to my mother, your microwave doesn't know what year it is in the first place, and even if it thought it was 1901 it would still make things hot.

Thanks (0)
to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Sep 2017 12:13

Ah, yes the millennium bug. My wife worked for Oracle at the time and everybody was on a 3 line whip to work on New Year's Day in 2000 to man the phone lines for all the hordes of people who were going to be phoning in that day with their horrendous computer crashes etc...
Guess what, nothing happened, everything carried on as normal and my wife was stuck in the office while I went out with the rest of the family and had a lovely walk. She was not impressed!

Thanks (0)
04th Oct 2017 15:48

Wow! Congratulations!
Two years later I decided to become an accountant. Although I did spend two summer holidays working at the accountancy practice before I joined them after uni.
It took another 5 years before I discovered accountingweb though.

Thanks (0)
16th Nov 2017 16:06

We've been moving through a redesign exercise this week, which will mean that the navigation around the site is much improved and some of the features such as the databases and forums, receive more prominence.

And 20 years on, that policy was reversed.

Thanks (0)