Member Since: 14th Jun 2014
5th Feb 2019
Maybe if we (and our clients) didn't have a mountain of unnecessary red tape of compliance to deal with, we would have the time to offer the value-added services you dream of in your article, and our clients would have the spare funds to pay for it.
Sadly, we all live in the colossal mess that is the authoritarian society the modern UK has to offer us. We accountants are drowning in a sea of over-burdensome compliance - such as the recent RTI demands, auto-enrolment, changes to money-laundering regs, MTD... Then our clients have increasing minimum wage demands, exponentially rising pensions costs, employment legislation woefully slanted in favour of the employees...
Most of my clients are small one-person owner/managed businesses. They can barely afford my base fee, on top of all the taxes and ridiculously high minimum wage, and auto-enrolment costs. Most of the auto-enrolment work I have had to do for NO ADDITIONAL FEE, simply because my small clients cannot afford any more - as they have had it all squeezed out of them by our short-sighted tax system. Often my clients make less per month than some of their staff.
Our whole system in the UK is totally broken, designed to keep small business owners poor, and where it simply does not pay to work hard and invest in a small business. The system is designed to have small business owners take out a loan, try to make a go of it for a few years whilst paying rent on premises, and payroll taxes for staff - sucking their life energy dry, until they give up, and then the next poor generation comes along and tries the same thing.
Our government is trying to plug an unrepayable deficit gap, and subsidising a pensions vacuum by shifting the burden onto small businesses through auto-enrolment. It simply DOES NOT WORK -and our economy will pay for it.
My mistake was going to university, getting a degree, going into the accountancy profession, studying for my ACA, getting experience in industry and practice, then (most foolishly of all) trying to start up my own practice - in a society, where the legislation is such that it is impossible to make any money out of running your own small business - then even if you are one of the lucky few who can break the glass ceiling and be successful, the Marxists who run our media outlets make it taboo to be rich and successful. They will just chalk it up to "privilege", and nothing to do with years of hard work and sacrifice.
Then I read articles such as this one, and frankly it pushes me one step closer to chucking it all in; shutting my business, and living off the state that couldn't give the last toss about me or any small businesses. I honestly do not know why I bother...
26th Oct 2018
I have to put up with this Marxist propaganda in my broadcast news and entertainment media - please God, tell me I don't have to put up with it in my professional publications also!
This is a one-sided article, which does nothing to unpack the REASONS behind the wage disparity. For instance, what is the average experience level of male FDs versus female FDs? What are the average personality types of the average male FD versus the average female FD?
Males on average tend to have the psychological personality traits that lend more towards being more aggressive in negotiation (eg for initial salary level, and annual incremental increases).
If the aim is parity between male and female employees, then this is simply Marxist claptrap.
1) More women on average CHOOSE to put career on hold for longer than men eg to spend time with their children.
2) More men on average are PUSHIER for higher salaries, and salary increases at interview and annual review.
So why exactly is the expectation that there would be gender parity?
I would argue the precise opposite, in that if any organisation actually achieved gender pay parity, I would be EXTREMELY suspicious that they were being deliberately gender biased in order to achieve that parity...
Western society is accelerating towards a cliff of emotional irrationality, rather than attempting a logical understanding of how human beings are wired.
22nd May 2018
I'm one of the few sole practitioners from what you might term the "younger generation". I have gone from starting out five years ago being excited at all the opportunities, to being thoroughly disillusioned at the reality.
I simply cannot generate a profit; all the extra workload imposed on us by recent legislation cannot be easily converted to extra revenue - because my small clients are already squeezed from all angles (living wage, pensions etc). The legislative straightjacket placed upon small businesses in the UK is untenable and they are drowning in a sea of red tape.
You cannot enforce Living Wage, Auto-Enrolment, RTI, GDPR, MTD, draconian employment legislation etc on a small business and expect it to survive long term. Many of my smaller clients, eg hairdressers and cleaning companies, simply cannot generate any margins after dealing with all of the above. Many of their own staff end up earning more than they do.
Big businesses LOVE red tape incidentally, because they can pay a whole department to deal with it, and it auto-strangles their smaller competition without them having to do anything.
The system will not change, because the politicans are in bed with big business, and do not give a monkeys about small business.
Incidentally, I used to be a die hard optimist. Five years of attempting to run my own small practice in a system of impossible-to-meet legislation has driven me almost to total despair. My mistake was going to university, getting a degree, getting qualified ACA, and working for a living. Clearly what I should have done was leave school at 16, had 4 kids - and lived off the state.
The modern UK is an utter joke of a country.
8th Apr 2018
Amen Luke11. What worries me, is that even highly educated and professionally qualified ACCOUNTANTS - who are supposed to be trained to evaluate statistics, and consider all the underlying sub-factors behind figures, swallow this utter garbage of a narrative.
14th Mar 2018
No indeed, the proportions will never be *exactly* reflective - but when you have a disparity of the percentage proportions I have highlighted, then you cannot put this down to mere statistical margin of error. The percentages I highlight suggest a significant override against expected statistical norms, to the extent that there is clearly either deliberate or subconscious bias at play at this firm. I am the only one to call them on it; most people will remain oblivious, a few other will choose to ignore it as this is safest in the current political climate.
In general, I agree with you that focussing expected proportionality is ridiculous if you *only* look at underlying population as a whole. For instance, if more women choose to put their career on hold for a length of time (eg to bring up children) compared with men, as the statistics clearly show is the case, then there will be more men working full time and getting paid more than women - on average that is, if you look at the entire population. Not all women choose to do this of course, but it is a simple fact that more women do CHOOSE to do this. Equality is about freedom of choice after all, not equality of statistical outcomes compared to blunt underlying population data and ignoring all other factors.
The most ardent feminists will tell you that those women aren’t really choosing to put their career on hold for themselves, but that it is the bogeyman “patriarchal” society which impresses this upon them. I personally think that men and women are wired differently when it comes to sacrificing for progeny, and it is the ardent feminists who are the ones actually putting any kind of pressure on women to conform to THEIR stance. But you could argue about this all day – I’ll leave the rational majority to form their own opinion about which stance more closely reflects reality.
Hence the whole "gender pay gap" myth - of course ON AVERAGE men will earn more than women, because on AVERAGE men have more years of work experience than women (having, on AVERAGE, put their careers on hold for less time), and on AVERAGE more men choose to do more dangerous and social unpleasant jobs than women – which due to simple supply and demand economics (not the patriarchy) garners a higher salary on AVERAGE.
The thing to focus on is not broad brush underlying population statistics, but very specifically focussing on men and women doing the same job with the same level of work experience in the same business sector, in the same geographical location. And even then there might still be room for non-biased disparity of salary in a true meritocracy - say on AVERAGE more men are pushier during annual reviews to press the case for higher wage increases than women, then even men and women doing the same job might have a wage disparity - and rightly so. If one employee has pushed and made a case for higher salary than another employee, that is purely meritorious and non-biased.
Note, that you will have never heard this argument before in the mainstream media – because I have formulated it along the lines of LOGIC. You will only have heard the argument of emotion, and that of cherry-picking blanket statistics to support a narrative that happens to be in vogue at the moment. Now, I don't doubt that the rare misogynistic employer deliberately pays women less than men. They should be highlighted and reprimanded under the law. But I would wager the actual cases of gender pay-gap, gender bias in selecting employment candidates are such a minute percentage as to be negligible, compared with the amount the focus the media (and now it seems even professional journals and websites such as this one) chooses to place on this non-story.
Then you get people like Justin Trudeau in Canada, who selects a cabinet of 50/50 men and women to appear all trendy. When only 22% of the elected officials were women. Now do you suppose he is a believer in meritocracy, and getting the right people into the right positions based on skills and experience? Or do you suppose he is shamelessly pandering to this total baloney of a narrative?
Even if I am the only one left in the West who will call out the Emperor as wearing no clothes - then they can lock me up, they can fine me, they can assassinate my character on social media. But I will keep pointing out that the Emperor is wearing NO CLOTHES.
14th Mar 2018
hahahaha - "before I get accused of gender bias... currently we have about a 67/33 female/male staffing ratio"
Now I don't know if most of your staff are full time or not, but assuming they are then only 38% of the full time UK workforce are women versus 62% of men (source: ONS).
So, I'd say the gender bias in your employment rates of men versus women was HEAVILY biased against men. What you need to work out is whether it is deliberate or subconscious on your part, and that of your fellow management team. Either way, it is clearly discriminatory.
And the reasons why no-one else on the comments thread will point this blindingly obvious fact out:
1) They have such a contorted view of discrimination, thanks to the ongoing bias in the press, that they genuinely don't see the blindingly obvious.
2) They do see it, but are too scared to point it out in a society increasingly focussed on silencing views that are not mainstream with the threat of economic and social sanctions (losing job, losing reputation, losing friends) if you dare not go along with the current vogue.
3) You are protected from such comments, precisely because you are a women. I wager people are less likely to criticise you as they would a man in your position. Personally I think that is wrong, and you can disagree with me all you like - but the comments in this thread speak for themselves. Not one other person yet has called you on it.