Member Since: 23rd Aug 2017
24th Oct 2019
As a matter of interest, just how much were the document retrieval fees?
14th Jun 2019
There is no legal course of action you can take other than issuing a first, second and final warning.
Most practice owners earn a lot and live in mansions and drive the latest BMWs and Mercedes Benz.
Are you sure you are not the employee in question ?
LOL I bet you are now going to say that you personally only drive a Reliant Robin 3 wheeler?
13th Jun 2019
Simple answer - NO. If that was possible, all employees in all companies would buy personal things through the company and pay back the net amount, thus effectively benefiting from a VAT refund.
This is kind of a basic question isn't it? I mean the expense is only allowed to a company if it is wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred for its daily trading activities.
7th Jun 2019
There is not much you can do other than grin and bear it. It is no secret that accountants pay the least amount possible to each employee, relying on their desperation to stick to the job. It is also no secret that accountants have a very harsh tongue when they criticize their employees so it usually isn't long before someone with brains and guts decides to leave. I have witnessed part qualified staff being told off badly in front of others for being 5 minutes late to work and even for filling too much water in the kettle as it will take longer to boil. "Only fill the kettle with enough water for one cup of tea so that you can be at your desk sooner and it saves electricity", he used to roar. As for sitting on the toilet longer than 5 minutes, twice a day max - forget it. Every minute counts when you work for a practice and the practice owner has no problems in cracking the whip at each and every occasion.
You can console yourself by the fact that you paid him less than what he was really worth for the time that he was with you, so you have saved some money. That is the reason why he is leaving you. Now you can use some of those savings to offset his slow work at the end.
There is no legal course of action you can take other than issuing a first, second and final warning. If you want to go illegal, you could always warn him unofficially that his actions would affect the reference that you give him after he has left, but then that would be illegal and he might take you to the industrial tribunal for that. You are not allowed to give your employees a bad reference anyways by law unless they have committed fraud or committed a criminal offense but then we both know that bad references are very common over the phone nowadays.
So its just a matter of gritting your teeth and smiling till he leaves. Ever considered creating a happy, well paid environment within your practice so that your employees stay with you for years and years? Most practice owners earn a lot and live in mansions and drive the latest BMWs and Mercedes Benz. My last employer used to drive a Jaguar and used to live in a mansion with a swimming pool because he used to underpay all of us under the pretext that he was still training us to become proficient accountants some even 10 years later (those were the slow ones like in your case above).
Do update us how this situation ends when it eventually does. Good Luck.
24th May 2019
Lol how we accountants love to argue about definitions of "significant", "insignificant" and "negligible". We are like anxious sheep, so eager to apply the tax laws forced upon us by our useless government that we can spend days and months arguing over petty definitions. Sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees.
The solution to this one is very easy, just phone the HMRC and let them guide you over their own rules. No need to guess in case you get it wrong and they start charging fines and penalties due your erroneous judgement.
Don't forget, it is the HMRC's job to shake us down for each and every penny they can get out of us and as we eagerly concentrate on ensuring they get each and every miserable penny from our clients, most people fail to even notice how the government wastes our precious taxes.
I suppose worst case scenario, even if your client had to deduct 800 private miles out of 28k in total, it would hardly break his bank. I just hope your charges for researching this very vexing situation, do not amount to more than the tax he would have suffered on his 800 private miles. Good luck ;-))
28th Feb 2019
On the contrary I not only understood the info given but am more than familiar with tax rules regarding travel to work.
Hypothetically if he rents an office near home and uses it for the purpose of claiming travel expenses to his main job, I doubt HMRC can challenge it. They make not like it, but that is tough luck for them until they get it challenged in a court.
My point was that many accountants forget that their fees come from the client, not HMRC. It is therefore in their interests to come up with a reasonable excuse that will satisfy the taxman. It is not about keeping "mum", it is more about tax avoidance, which is what a clever accountant should excel at.
20th Feb 2019
I think if you consider who exactly is going to pay your fees at the end of the financial year, the decision as to whether it is tax evasion or just unethical will suddenly become crystal clear.
The second question to ask yourself is: Are you an unpaid policeman for HMRC or are you a tax adviser to your clients.
If you decide it is just unethical after that, you might even think up a very reasoned and logical excuse on behalf of your client if the taxman should query.
Clients don't mind paying a bit extra for accountants who can save them tax, legally.
14th Nov 2018
LOL, your client sounds like a very dodgy businessman. I mean who hires a QS in a pub, pays him cash and accepts fake invoices?
So the situation as far as the tax inspector is concerned is very simple. He will disallow the £9,500 payments made and will now scrutinize the accounts in greater detail to see if more payments have been made by your clients to other dubious people. Basically he will treat this as a fraudulent expense payment.
Will probably result in penalties with interest and all of his future accounts being looked at in more detail by the HMRC for the next couple of years.
1st Oct 2018
Thanks for the tips, but I am curious, what exactly are the USP's for an accountant looking for new clients? We can't say we are cheaper or better than other accountants as that would bring the profession into disrepute.
So what exactly are the USPs for an accountant looking for new work? A list of such USPs would be much appreciated.
28th Sep 2018
I have found flyers to be a total waste of time and effort. Conversion rates were almost non existent and lets face it, we all throw flyers straight into the recycling bin without so much as a glance at the contents. I have even seen some home owners place mini bins beneath their letterboxes to catch all the letters and flyers and they just pick out the letters from it in the evening. If you do get the odd response or two, it will be from potential clients who want "cheaper" accountancy services. No use getting such clients as they never last anyway.
As for "getting your name out there" from a leaflet drop, forget it, it will never happen. People are too busy in their daily routines to remember a name from a flyer.
If you are only targeting a dozen businesses or so in your village, your best bet would be to find out their owners names either from Companies House or other enquiry and then post letters addressed to one of them. It will be a far cheaper and more successful option.
The only other option would be personal networking in your local area via business lunches etc. if there are any. Sorry to say this, but it is a bit tough to gain new business in the book keeping, payroll and accountancy field as business owners are very reluctant to move from their existing providers unless they are unhappy with the service.