Member Since: 22nd Jan 2010
21st Apr 2021
Its obvious what happened, and why the lawyers put "fees as agreed" on the invoice. One just has to have their "commercial hat" on.
1. The accountant messed up the transaction and realised they couldn't claim the VAT on the lawyers invoice after the fact;
2. The accountant directed the lawyer to write the invoice with the words "fees as agreed" on the invoice, to hide the fact the VAT was in fact for work on a different entity, in the hope it wouldn't automatically be flagged as disallowable if investigated.
30th Mar 2021
That is a wicked story! One for the historical annals of accountancy, who says accountants are boring!
17th Mar 2021
The problem didn't start on Tuesday morning, that was just when many noticed it.
The problem started within the first hour of the end of the maintenance period. It worked for a very short while, after the maintenance period ended, but within an hour it had been shut down again and stayed like that all night (I kept checking periodically) and into Tuesday.
One of the problems with HMRCs API error notification service, is that it is often many hours behind when a problem arises. I think the people that run that service went to bed and didn't check their emails until the next day.
21st Jan 2021
I must say that I completely disagree with the anti-IRIS that exists in some quarters and no, I don't work for IRIS or any of its many subsidiaries!
I was a user of Kashflow that was later bought by IRIS - I've used Kashflow for 10 years. The prior owner of Kashflow had ruled out having bank automation linking to bank accounts, but IRIS added that within a few months of taking over to most users relief and the price stayed the same for a long time before the pricing was increased sensibly, its still a lot cheaper than say Xero.
I also use Keytime since 2012, that was bought by IRIS about 4 years ago? Improvements continued and there was no signficant changes to the pricing again.
I've also dabbled with TaxFiler!
The reason they put the price up on TaxFiler is that is was not being priced properly by the prior owners. I remember a couple of year ago going on to Companies House and seeing that it made year-on-year unsustainable losses prior to IRIS taking it over. If IRIS didn't take it over and put the prices up, it would have gone-by-the-wind by now as it had no share capital to speak of from investors. TaxFiler is still incredibly good value, when compared to virtually any other software and work has been done to improve it as well on numerous occasions.
11th Dec 2020
20th Oct 2020
I think the more volumous voting for cloud providers is being provided by the fact there are many more micro-practices than larger practices of £300k+ turnover firms.
In the past, micro-practices had all their software on their desktop (using IRIS and Sage 50), but now a lot of them have moved to the cloud, quite possibly also as the micro-firms have a shorter-life span, and so many more are newer to accounting, so have set up their software more recently.
The larger firms have no need of the cloud, as they are big enough to organise their own "private" cloud: dedicated server(s) accessible anywhere and at all times wherever staff are, and have desktop software on those servers. When I say larger firms, I imagine those of over £300k turnover plus on average.
Another reason why the larger firms do not use the cloud software, is because the cloud software is very basic. This is true not only for the likes of xero (say compared to the desktop Sage50 bookkeeping) but also for products such as TaxFiler compared to the IRIS suite. Larger firms tend to be more aware of and need more comprehensive products (less so in need of "vanilla flavour offerings") than the micro-firms that have more basic client requirements, hence stick with the more established software providers.
Therefore, it is not that the larger firms are "behind" the micro-firms in cloud take-up, but have different needs being already fully met by the more established providers and their own (or outsourced) IT department.
Larger firms prefer (rightly) to be in control of their own cloud (which could just be a server in their own building, but available from anywhere), so that they are not reliant on another provider holding all their client data.
16th Jun 2020
I think the drop in new firms is due to incorporations no longer being as tax efficient as they used to be.
I started my firm in 2012 on the back of doing lots of incorporations, it was a tax saving no brainer for most businesses making profits over £30k.
Since 2017, incorporating most businesses doesn't make sense any more and self employed folk generally are happy to do their own tax affairs.
I think it would be a lot harder to start an accountancy firm now that incorporations isnt the "go to" entity it once was.
25th Mar 2020
The self-employed are allowed to defer the July PoA income tax/NI class II/IV to Jan 2021, presumably this doesn't include those who are contractors via a LTD Co? They consider themselves to be self-employed, are they allowed to defer the July PoA?
4th Feb 2020
I'm fed up of AdobeSign now, I'll look around (eg: DocuSign) next time renewal comes up. I've been using them since 2012, and the price has gone up a huge amount, at the same time as the level of features have deteriorated.
I used to be able to buy it fully featured for a single user, perhaps about £30 (now over £100 for their basic package). Most of the good features (eg: remembering email addresses from over a year ago) have been removed and put on on the version that costs £500+
2nd Oct 2019
I must say, I've found with some small firms a lot of the pros and cons of a big four are also valid at some of the small firms too, let alone regional firms. I recall training in a small firm that was a bit of a sweat-shop. The business owner always said you'd have to work the same hours for PwC, where he trained....
I've also seen numerous mistakes and poor advice by the prior accountant, who was a big 4 firm, that had to be fixed by the smaller firm that took over the client. So I wouldn't say the "best and brightest" are to be found at the top 4, that is probably just their own self-projected image. The constant news of messed-up audits and fines serves as a reminder that poor accountants can be found everywhere.