Member Since: 6th Sep 2005
I currently work for Construction Industry Solutions Ltd (known as COINS), the leading provider of integrated business software to the construction industry. My main area of responsibility within COINS currently is statutory compliance (particularly CIS and VAT). I am also starting to look at issues around environmental accounting. As well as working for COINS, I chair the Construction Industry Special Industry Group within BASDA. I also represent BASDA on the HMRC CIS Operational Forum.
14th Mar 2012
I never pay
I am sure that I am not alone in simply looking elswhere for information as soon as I hit a paywall.
I think I would have difficulty in recovering subscription costs from my employer and I am not prepared to pay for them personally.
At the moment there are still plenty of free sources. I would certainly object to paying and still being flooded with intrusive advertising (I do not subscribe to pay TV) as then it appears that I am paying twice. If I paid for access to a webpage then I would expect advertising to be much less intrusive than if it was free.
2nd Mar 2012
On the question of morality, I think the intention of the legislation is important. There are a many things in life which may be legal but are also immoral.
If our attitude to life is to see what we can legally get away with without any regard to how that affects other people then that reflects a rather low moral standard. Paying less tax than was intended by legislation affects other people because either that money is not available to pay for services or others end up paying higher taxes to compensate.
I am fully aware that legislators, tax authorities and others are highly imperfect but that does not give us the moral right to try to exploit every mistake they make for our own personal gain. After all, we all make mistakes - some more publicly than others.
10th Feb 2012
Why a paper copy at all?
I really cannot understand why ICAEW insist on producing a paper magazine. A well-formatted website with an email newswire would be 100 times more convenient. There isn't even an option for members to be environmentally-friendly and opt-out of the paper copy. So we have to take it out of the plastic wrapper (which goes to landfill) and then put it in the recycling bin.
Without a paper copy the idea of producing a difficult-to-navigate electronic replica could easily be abandoned and we could have the information in a format designed solely for ease of reading on-screen.
27th Sep 2011
An example company policy
Our company policy allows reimbursement of lunch expenses when away from the office for those employees who are normally office based but who have to work elsewhere occasionally. However, for those employees who normally work on client sites, this is not claimable.
15th Mar 2010
What he should have done
Rather than setting himself up as a contractor, etc; what he should have done was to have passed the invoice on to his client to settle directly with the plasterer. That would have avoided all CIS issues for him. That should be the advice for people who do not regularly subcontract work but occasionally arrange another tradesmen for clients, if they want to avoid the bureaucracy of CIS.
As to how to dig the electrician out of the hole he is now in - I will have to leave it to others to recomend the best approach.
14th Oct 2009
Complaining MPs have misread the public mood
Any MP complaining about this has poor political judgement because they have completely misread the public mood. The system has been badly mis-managed for years - so they have increasingly got used to the idea that they can get away with just about anything. The public will no longer put up with this.
MPs are paid to represent us - any that don't understand that and think they can follow their own agenda and interests with complete disregard to the people they are supposed to serve do not deserve their seat, salary or expenses.
24th Jun 2009
You need to think positively about what you do want to do - not just about what you want to avoid. What parts of your current work do you enjoy?
I am ICAEW qualified. Having been seconded by a former employer onto an IT project I eventually moved permanently to the IT department. Now I work for a software solutions supplier. We employ a number of qualified accountants as software implementation consultants. Personally, I am now more involved in software specification, documentation and pre-sales demonstrations - quite varied.
There are still clients to keep satisfied and I do have dealings with HMRC - but in a different way than I would in an accounting role.
12th Jun 2009
Nil Returns by Phone
In case anyone is not aware - it is possible to file a Nil CIS300 return by telephone. So in this case the client who was unable to file either a paper return or an electronic return could have filed Nil returns by telephone to the CIS help line. It is also possible to advise HMRC that you are inactive for CIS purposes for a period of 6 months - there is a box on the paper return to do this or you can do it by phone or electronically. Be aware of this when advising clients who are registered for CIS but not currently paying any subcontractors.
I agree with others that if you persist you should be able to get these penalties cancelled - but it might be a slow process.
Senior Product Manager
Construction Industry Solutions Ltd
6th May 2009
Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!
If God did not exist then worship would indeed be superstitious nonsense. Indeed, sadly much religious activity is little more than superstitious ritual. However, although I once thought (like most contributors to this thread) that all religion was unsubstantiated wishful thinking, I have now discovered that to be wrong. The truths of the Christian gospel do stand up to closer srutiny.
The Christian church has always included the bad as well as the good - like most if not all organisations. But the NHS isn't all bad just because people like Dr Shipman have worked in it. And the church isn't all bad either despite the serious failings of some of its members.
5th May 2009
Worship - not superstition
Before you dismiss all religious worship as superstition - have you been to your local church recently to see what really goes on there?
It is more likely that the churchgoers are subsidising the local council tax payers by providing lots of facilities and services to the community free of charge. They pay for this through their own voluntary giving.
Just ask your local council how much it would cost if they had to provide all the services currently provided by voluntary groups (both religious and secular). The answer would be hugely more than any council tax that might be charged on genuine places of worship.