Member Since: 9th Jul 2013
1st Apr 2015
Actually not far off budget....
£50,000 less than budget!!!! How much was the budget!!!???
Although I'll agree the new site is worse and I would cast serious doubt on the savings figures, I will make 2 points in HMRCs favour:
1) Being over budget by only 4.25% is (sadly!) rather good for a public sector project (and I have experience of a few....)
2) A payback period of about 5 years doesn't seem too bad.
That said I return to my initial doubts over the quoted savings figures (I've seen my share of made up public sector savings figures too!) and the emphasis on the new 'product' being worse.
4th Mar 2015
We at DNS Associates use Nomisma Solution which I personally feel is a wonderful software. It has all the integrated features of Sage, Zero, IRIS and a lot more. The beauty about it is that it can be customised according to one's needs be it an accountant or a business owner and the pricing is really exiting too.
I've seen software packages with low and high pricing, good value and poor value, not sure I've ever found one exciting though...
11th Feb 2015
Not wishing to diminish what she may have achieved, but presumably having a rich father with rich contacts helps you get started.....
Taken from Wikipedia:
Her Irish father, Terry Brady, had made his fortune in printing and property development.
Brady’s career began as a trainee at the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi  having been rejected for a place on a journalism course. A year later, on joining the London Broadcasting Company  (LBC) as an advertising account executive, she was able to secure the advertising business of one of her father's largest clients, David Sullivan. Sullivan spent more than £2,000,000 on advertising in six months, on condition that Brady managed the account.
Sullivan offered her a job with Sport Newspapers, and she became one of his directors at the age of 20. While in Sullivan's employ, Brady spotted an advert for the sale of Birmingham City F.C. in the Financial Times, when the club was in receivership, and persuaded Sullivan to buy it and let her run it. Sullivan later commented that he agreed to the deal because such a young, female director would attract publicity to the club, and also because Brady was a "sacker"....
Also I assume it was made clear in her presentation, but the article above gives the impression that she bought the club, when in fact it was bought by David Sullivan. Which is why I Googled her in the first place,intrigued as to how a 23 year old had the cash to buy a club, I assumed it would be her parents, but I was slightly out....
3rd Feb 2015
"HMRC also answered 95 per cent of calls first time on deadline day."
An interesting stat to pull out - not the average length of time, but the number answered 'first time'.
I wonder how they classify people who hang up early, are they not answered, or could they be wrong numbers? At what length of waiting time does one become the other? Is it just those greeted with a "sorry we can't take your call, ring back later" message who are treated as not answered? If so you could pretty much achieve 100% just by letting them sit on hold forever!
30th Jan 2015
“You see that kind of dishonesty all the time. If you believe the Big Four they’re all the cheapest - I’m an accountant and reality is none of them are that cheap.”
From the context I presume he's talking about the big 4 supermarkets, not the big 4 accounting firms?
I've not worked for a supermarket, but I would imagine the pricing and offers strategy has at least as much, if not more to do with the Marketing departments rather than Finance departments. It seems convenient to blame the accountants when speaking at an advertising conference, rather than say the Marketing/Advertising department!
Edit: Actually I lied, I have worked for a supermarket (Morrisons in fact), but cooking chickens at the weekend whilst in sixth form oddly doesn't give you much access to the internal machinations of pricing strategy!
27th Jan 2015
If it had been Tesco and not McDonalds maybe they would have put more focus on technical accounting skills, like booking income in the correct year ;-). You can have as many soft skills as you like, but it won't save you to have good interpersonal skills when HMRC or your shareholders are out for blood because you reported incorrect figures...
20th Jan 2015
You can be intelligent and sarcastic
Reading the above comments from so called professionals just reinforces my perception that the accountancy profession has gone down hill in recent years. Why can't we behave like intelligent adults anymore?
Years of accrued cynicism built on experience and a distrust for the management of organisations that appear to exist on momentum, which people remain members of in large part due to the effort they made to become a member?
The problem with organisations like ACCA/CIMA/ICAEW is holding them to account. When Tesco's profits drop the shareholders can point to the profit margin, the share price, EPS, dividends etc. as definitive evidence of poor performance. Its harder to judge the likes of CIMA, they bang their own drum about their achievements, they can point to salary surveys I suppose, but how much improvements in that area are due to them can be harder to quantify. If they'd done nothing bar the bare minimum of admin work for the year, would market forces have pushed salaries up anyway?
They often measure themselves on membership, but is increased membership a good thing for existing members? Yes it raises the profile, but it's another shark in the tank is often not welcome. If you can say to an employer or prospective client "I'm a qualified accountant" they might check it out, to make sure you really are, but are they going to come back and say "oooh you're a member of ACCA, I heard about the sterling work they are doing in Afghanistan, here take my money!"
Taking this Afghanistan example, what will be the tangible benefit to existing members?
As a comparative though I think that the ATT and CIOT are a lot more useful,effective and value for money (slightly tarnished by the ex-ATT president being banged up, but you can't have everything....). I would have nothing but praise for them if they could tighten up their admin a little (had to submit my annual return 4 times and they sent me the wrong person's membership card...).
As to professionalism - there is a difference in my approach to dealing with client's affairs and my throwaway comments in pseudo-anonymous online forums where I can let off a little steam with fellow "professionals". Maybe if the profession has gone downhill it's due to the likes of ACCA/CIMA letting in oiks like me ;-)
I'm probably just a little riled as I've paid out my various and sundry subs in the last month and it still stings (especially the inflation busting increases!)
20th Jan 2015
Clearly ACCA are trying to extend their global reach, as their membership is jealous of the CGMA designation us CIMA members now get to use, along with the eleventy squillion pounds in extra fees/pay we get by having this prestigious and worthwhile title.
This title of course easily justifies the CIMA leadership gallivanting all over the world spending our every increasing (above inflation) subscription fees.
26th Nov 2014
Find your why
I think if somebody asked me to 'find my why' I'd ask them to find the exit before I boot them through it!
14th Nov 2014
Double cab, yes please!
I had been telling clients to consider double cab pickups for years, so when I changed my company car a couple of years ago I tried one myself and haven't looked back since (difficult anyway as you can't see out of the back window!).
Fuel consumption is pretty good, around 37mpg the way I drive it. In rural Somerset it's pretty handy when the roads are very wet or icy, and if it snows I'm one of the few people who can get down the hill to our office.
If you go for a top of the range model the have all the executive car comforts, so it's quite comfortable on long journeys. They do charge double the car rate to cross the Severn Bridge though!
I'll admit that one of the reasons on my list for incorporating is so I can get a double cab cheaply, really can't justify it in the slightest, I just want one!
I suppose the reverse of that is that for small businesses this is something to factor in when considering incorporation - if travel is a large proportion of your costs then what is the impact of incorporating? I looked at this recently for a client in this situation and the loss in claimable expenses, going from 45p per mile + the HP interest/full motoring costs apportioned, to just 45p per mile wiped out any NI saving left after factoring in higher accounting fees etc. It wasn't the only factor at play but it certainly helped tip the balance.