Member Since: 1st Feb 1998
AccountingWEB’s interim Editor in Chief has been with the site since 1999 and returned to the editorial hot seat in March 2020 to lead the hunt for a long-term successor... Send a DM if you're interested! When not tending to the needs of AccountingWEB members and geeking out on their technology habits, he devotes much of his time to his oddball collection of stringed instruments and seeking out obscure indie music in Brighton UK and beyond.
Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
1st Apr 2021
Just to let you down easily if you got excited by the prospect of deploying the ApologyBot on your website, check the date at the top of the article.
I guess the subject was too close to reality to get much of a reaction. I should have known that when it comes to new technology, there's nothing you can think up that hasn't already been turned into a startup pitch.
Happy Easter everyone!
17th Mar 2021
We've been getting a lot of traffic on this item all day (Wednesday), so perhaps HMRC's programmers had some extra motivation to patch the MTD for VAT filing mechanism up asap.
I've just updated the article with news that came through from the API email alert at 15:28 that the problem had been rectified.
I'll be asking for a background briefing on what went wrong, and more interestingly, what new features they were adding to the system over the weekend. But give the emergency response team for fixing it ahead of Thursday morning. Now let's see if it holds...
3rd Mar 2021
I will do that asap - thanks for alerting us.
It's all my fault (as usual), but I was typing stuff in as he went along and missed the very rapid segue in his speech from CJRS to SEISS - don't you just love the dramas of Budget day?
1st Feb 2021
Thanks everyone for your comments on this case. I have stepped in to moderate a number of repetitive posts drawing on published information on Simon Dolan.
It is all in the public domain, but we do not think it is good practice to post personal information about anyone on the net without a very good reason.
Some of the points made in comments are supported by such statements, but please consider your sources carefully. For example, Wikipedia is not a definitive source of the truth and is not reliable for fact-checking.
Everyone is entitled to their professional opinions and to air them here, but also remember to abide by our community guidelines not to denigrate or insult anyone else in the AccountingWEB community. Thanks for doing so in this instance.
25th Jan 2021
Thanks for pointing out the confusion over the links to Jim Harra's letters, Basil. Last week's article has been corrected to point to the 18 Jan letter. It shows a good eye for detail, as apart from "January" instead of "December", it's not that easy to tell them apart.
The points you make about the seriousness of the policy smokescreen are very apt. So much effort could have been saved if HMRC had listened to constructive advice from people on the front line rather than spending so much time thinking about behaviour management and trying to hold their policy line.
But as others have already suggested, that has become the de facto approach to policy formulation under this government.
23rd Jan 2021
Oh dear, looks like my coffee-habituated fingers and brain ran away from me. Thanks for flagging the mistake, which has now been fixed.
21st Jan 2021
Thanks for your HMRC hold music suggestions. Coincidentally, Taxman already holds a prime position on our Songs for Self Assessment Season playlist on Spotify:
The missing tax dough is worth consideration, Tornado, but would you say "lazing on a sunny afternoon" captures is in tune with the spirit of busy season? Though maybe it is appropriate for one of those clever clogs accountants who are telling us they had all their tax returns wrapped up by Christmas.
Sorry to go off on a tangent, but I couldn't resist. Our feeling on AccountingWEB is that everyone might appreciate a bit of light relief at a time like this.
14th Jan 2021
BREAKING news - just a day or two after we published this piece, Senta users started reporting getting emails telling them IRIS has just acquired their cloud practice management software too. Here's the thread: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/say-goodbye-to-senta
We'll follow up shortly for the news pages.
15th Oct 2020
Hi FirstTab, it's been a while since we corresponded, but good to see your footprints on AccountingWEB again.
Having written about practice development for a couple of decades now, and based on eight years' study of the activities of all our Accounting Excellence Award entrants, I have come to the conclusion that there aren't really ANY secrets to starting up effectively.
The formulas and key factors to focus on are all right there out in the open. In our hearts, most of us reading this article probably know them:
1. Identify your ideal clients and build your strategy around them
2. Research the problems that are giving them the most trouble
3. Fix those problems and communicate regularly with key clients and prospects to stay in touch with their needs
4. Recruit carefully to get people who understand your vision and are excited to carry it out.
5. Treat your practice as a business and build out from your core values/strategy. When the formula is working, it will attract similar clients if you put a bit of effort into communicating what you have to offer.
A bit obvious really, and you can read the same advice from Mark Lee, AVN, 2020 Group and all the big accounting software houses and practice gurus.
What makes Lucy's article valuable and interesting to other accountants is that she's done it and is passing on the benefits of her experience. If she says staying focused on your core strategy can be difficult, maybe the 'Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?' book is a helpful aid to retaining that focus.
I got 5+ little ideas from a quick read of the piece; maybe not new, but useful all the same. If anyone picks up just one of them and tries to put it into action in their startup, then Lucy's article will have made an important difference to a fellow accountant. Surely we should thank her for that rather than sniping at her efforts?
7th Sep 2020
Please don't shoot the messenger here. Mark Taylor is a competent financial journalist, who delivered an article on a subject we asked him to write.
As part of our business-focused coverage this autumn, we've been looking at some of the sectors worst affected by coronavirus such as the arts, hospitality and retail.
You may feel it's stating the bleeding obvious, but I found it useful to get a detailed view of how the downturn and cash shortfalls were playing out in these sectors.
What would you suggest AccountingWEB does to make its content more relevant? Perhaps we could begin that process by hearing how your industry has dealt with the crisis?