Member Since: 6th Oct 2004
19th Dec 2011
Study finds some accountants are better than others. Well I never!
Is the Pope catholic? Do bears s**t in the woods?
What annoys me is when people who aren't even doing it day to day set themselves up as the arbiters of who is good and who isn't.
Don't forget that the reason the world is the way it is is because of evolution. Sometimes a mutation comes along. Some of those mutations change the evolutionary process. The vast majority don't - they just wither and die. Who knows which is which when you see them?
Value billiing is just as riddled with problems as time based billing. So for the moment I'll stick with the method that has emerged at the top of the pile thanks!!
16th Dec 2011
I have signed the e-petition
If you read the postings the HMRC justification is comlete garbage - just a fudge to avoid admitting they got it wrong when they said they wanted to change it.
They admit openly that you can always get CGT treatment by appointing a liquidator. So they effectively admit that small business (and yes, businesses remain small hundreds of £k in excess of £25k of retained profit) must pay an insolvency practitioner unnecessarily for something they can do in 5 minutes with £10 and a form filed at CoH.
The government need to make up their mind as a matter of policy whether or not they accept that retained profits can be distributed subject to CGT when the life of a company comes to an end. All or nothing - no in between.
If the answer is "YES" then all that is required is a statutory version of ESC C16 accompanied by a declaration of solvency by the shareholders on pain of personal liability if falsely or negligently given.
If the answer is "NO" then that's fine too - at least we know where we stand. Same declaration of solvency, different tax result.
Either way there is no need for completely unnecessary liquidator's fees. For goodness sake, this is supposed to be a givernment doing away with red tape for business!
2nd Jun 2011
An appeal to CD and BKD
[removed by mod - above personal dispute now moderated]
1st Jun 2011
CD - you are way too cynical on this one
I've been in the profession a little (not much) less time than you and, yes, there are bad eggs in HMRC and, yes, they are under-resourced. But they are not (generally) "out to get us".
The vast majority of those on the other side of the fence actually do care. The reason they come across as petty and vindictive at times is borne from a combination of lack of training and the world weariness that goes with working for an employer they know is completely dysfunctional. Not because they are inherently nasty human beings!
The signal behind this consultation from HMRC is "we give up - we can't do it efficiently so we'll hand it over to the agents". It annoys me that we will have to do some of their work for them, but at least it will get done.
Balances, checks and limits will be required, but I suspect that I am far from alone in saying I have no reason to be concerned if agents become regulated. It won't stop us acting for the "orphans", and I won't lose any sleep over our averages - because I know we act very much for our clients, but within the law. If you accept the need for people having the promised access to be regulated (as I do) then why would you have a problem being regulated?
Any fee we are charged will be massively outweighed by the extra chargeable time that will drop back into our laps as a result.
So - let's go for it. Not in a cavalier fashion, but in a way that accepts that HMRC might, just might, want to put the past 10 years or so behind them.
23rd Mar 2011
An interesting debate
Those who back the "Entrepreneur" accountant model rave about the additional fees that generates - and I don't doubt that is the case. But that ignores the fact that their time is limited and that (unless you are really special) the only real way to make good money in a small / medium practice is by selling the time of staff at a margin - and the more the better. Whilst I enjoy what I do I never lose sight of the fact that what I do is primarily a means to an end - not an end in itself.
So, like all things, the reality is that there has to be a balance. Whilst there will always be some at either end of the spectrum most accountants at partner level I know are part entrepreneur and part historical. Most importantly they know their client, and know whether they want just compliance, or whether they want full entrepreneurial involvement or (as in most cases) something in between.
Exisiting practice models don't evlove by accident. They reflect the reality of the commercial world. Many will not recognise that they mould their practice to fit the demands of their clients - but the fact is that they do it.
I don't say that being an entrepreneurially focussed accountant is wrong or bad - but it is not the way to some kind of special success. There are very few individuals who have the necessary skill set and personality combination to make that work. The rest of us should concentrate on doing what has worked for a very long time, evolving our practices as things change, and making the most of the cost / benefit trade offs that we have to make every day with our clients.
In other words, Paul Scholes, you were absolutely right in your first post - there is no magic.
4th Feb 2011
Our professional bodies really can't win can they?
They are often moaned at, with justification, for not supporting the profession as they should - particularly smaller practitioners.
And yet, when they come out IN UNISON to suggest that things are moving too quickly, they are accused by some of being puppets of some of the software producers. That is an insult.
Don't forget that they have all been intimately involved with what is a huge change (I don't think most people actually realise what is about to hit them) and they have the best knowledge of what the real situation is. The software vendors tell us what they want us to hear. The institutes know what is really happening.
Most of us will remember the debacle that was the early years of self assessment online filing. Do we want that again?
So, my view is that, if ALL of the main accounting bodies think it should be deferred, then it should be deferred. And we should be applauding them for standing up for us. Don't forget that all they are asking for is that accounts can be submitted as pdf's for a period of not less than 6 months. Is that such a big deal?
3rd Feb 2011
The position on the detailed P&L is quite clear
I have this "from the top".
If a detailed P&L is submitted as part of the iXBRL file then, to the extent that information appearing in it is taggable, then that information must be tagged. However, if the taxonomy in use is the Minimum Tagging List there is very little that is taggable - just the headline numbers like Turnover, Gross Profit and Profit before tax. But they must be tagged (although the soft landing approach probably means you wold get away without tagging them for a bit).
Once the full tagging list comes in pretty much the whole of the detailed P&L will have to be tagged if included in the accounts submitted.
Alternatively, exclude the detailed P&L from the accounts which create the iXBRL file.
If you do that there are two options:-
1: Summarise the P&L in a way that should be provided for you in your CT software (much like the summary you do for unincorporated businesses) - but almost nobody will do this: OR
2: Submit the detailed P&L as a pdf attachment to the CT comp
How mad is all that? But that is the official position at the moment. Don't expect it to last!
29th Jan 2011
Why oh why
Can't HMRC have a "process now check later" approach to UTRs? It can't be beyond even their wit to simply issue a UTR and record the principal name and address when an application is received and then deal with the rest of it later. If they are worried about security simply block repayments until the "check later" process is complete.
And if HMRC are really looking for efficiencies, why don't they delegate this work to authorised agents. I know we would happily load all the relevant / necessary details online for HMRC if the quid pro quo was that we would have a UTR issued there and then. OK, there are some security and validation issues to be dealt with, but that should be dealt with easily enough.
Think how much that would contribute to HMRC's headcount reduction aspirations - although it's tempting to believe at the moment that only my granny and her blind husband are dealing with issuing new UTRs anyway.
8th May 2009
Interesting isn't it - 3.5 years on.......
.... I have come across this thread accidentally whilst researching something else.
UITF40 may be GAAP - for the moment. I see now that the international standards setters are revisiting revenue recogniton, using the principle that you don't recognise revenue until (essentially) the customer has something "under his control". That would reverse UITF40 if it becomes GAAP. A return to accounting sanity.
Of course, we have adopted UITF40 both for ourselves and all relevant clients - but I don't know of anybody who actually thinks it is right.
And I wonder just how many businesses around the country geared up heavily on the back of accounts that included profit they hadn't really earned and who now face insolvency as a consequence. UITF40 is just another example of the muddled thinking and departure from common sense financial prudence that has led the economy into the position it now finds itself in.
Emile Woolf was right all along. The sooner UITF40 is consigned to the accounting dustbin the better.
10th Mar 2008
Another very useful feature
of Entrepreneur's Relief relates to companies with tainted Taper. Take a company that ceased trading 12 months ago but has been winding down over the past 12 months. A full 10% relief would technically not be available.
Another category of transaction which qualifies for EL is a disposal of shares in a company (which includes an ESC C16 striking off) within three years of ceasing to trade, so long as the company was trading for the 12 months prior. That eliminates the tainted Taper problem.