Any Answers answered: Ethical dilemma

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One AccountingWEB member sparked an ethical debate, when he posted on Any Answers about his older employer’s way of practising in terms of a particular client.

Vplus2008 is a second year ICAEW student working for a small firm, with an ACCA qualified boss in his late 70s.

When acting for a limited company, pub and restaurant owning client with a turnover of £180,000, the member came across an ethical dilemma between the way he, as a student, and his experienced boss reported the figures.

According to vplus2008, the client claimed the wrong amount of VAT back, won’t acknowledge or pay tax on rental income and cannot give an explanation of £35,000 in cash expenses - and his boss won’t agree with how he wants to deal with these issues.

“I’m close to leaving. I don’t think things are being run the way they should be,” he said, seeking the community’s advice.

The main issues are summarised as follows...

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About Rachael Power

Your friendly, neighbourhood community editor. 

Twitter: @rachpower10 


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08th Jan 2014 10:06

I didn't say that!

Is there another member called "dialmforaccountants" please?  The name is very similar to mine (dialm4accounts) so I apologise if there's been confusion here, but when I click the link it takes me to my comment.

My comment didn't mention the SAR on tax evasion or anything like that, it explained that I had moved part-way through my training contract and advised the OP to do the same!

Please correct the article!

Thanks - M

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08th Jan 2014 10:56

Apologies for that - I had linked to the wrong member. Thanks for flagging it up and it has been corrected. 

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08th Jan 2014 11:01

Thanks Rachael

I appreciate that, most grateful!

Kind regards,


Thanks (1)
08th Jan 2014 12:32

I had a very similar situation with my last employer. Unfortunately ethical dilemmas come with the job, whether you work in practice or industry as I'm discovering. It comes down to what you personally can put up with. I ended up getting very stressed because I knew that these kinds of issues were coming up on a very regular basis and I was never going to win any of the battles. In the end the decision was taken out of my hands because they made me redundant but I was also looking for another job anyway.
If you are going to stay then make sure you document everything. I used to write 'as per x' on my files for anything that I was told to do that I didn't agree with. Also keep emails that you send suggesting MLR or SAR action. That way you can prove that you did as much as you could and that it was the management and the client who are potentially in the wrong and not you.
I didn't have the issue of moving during my training contract but there's no harm in testing the water and seeing if there is anyone out there who is willing to take you on. People do move before they're qualified.

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By jimeth
08th Jan 2014 13:52

Moving Training Contract

I moved firm part way through my ICAEW training contract in the mid 1980's.  My problem was that I was getting no new experience in my second year and felt that I would not have adequate practical experience to back up my qualification.  I moved to a much larger firm in London to complete my training.  A year after qualifying, I then moved out into industry.  Such a move was certainly very rare at the time but it was the right thing for me.

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