Member Since: 15th May 1998
Sole practitioner based in Devon, hanging up calculator and throwing desktop out the window on 29 March 2019, in order to get a life!
22nd Oct 2019
In the eight month "phoney war" period, following our declaration of war in September 1939 there was significant doubt and resistance to the measures needed to ramp up the country to a war footing. Similarly, in 1943 a polish diplomat and courier for the Polish resistance brought evidence of the Holocaust to a US supreme court judge who, despite telling him he didn't think he was lying, told him he didn't believe him.
This sort of psychological barrier to inconvenient truths is still at play now with Climate Breakdown but, as screamed by the generation whose life is actually at risk, "change is coming, whether you like it or not" and, if it takes clumsy nudges such as fines or tax to steer us away from the damage we are doing, then I'm in favour.
The climate strike generation, David Attenborough, XR et al, believe the 97%+ of climate scientists and there really is now no time, or reason, to deal with deniers. Even if you feel safer believing the fringe or people like Nigel Lawson then just read what the oil company scientists wrote 40-50 years ago, then hid, or have a look at the Morgan Stanley report:
Despite the doom & gloom, this is an opportunity to make life better and to correct the damage and inequalities of the recent past. You don't have to be a Marxist to realise that our economic system is no longer fit for purpose, growth as a determinant of human wellbeing, never really worked, so let's wake up and make the changes needed rather than sit back and wait for other changes to be imposed on us.
19th Jul 2019
Sustainable, Social, Environmental, call it what you will, accounting has been bumbling along for 30-40 years (anyone remember Prince Charles's A4S?) and will continue to do so until all those spreadsheets and numbers melt or flood.
Accounting is irrelevant in this respect, you don't need to review and assess the accounts of a tobacco manufacturer to discover how many deaths their products cause. It's a bit like relying on police reporting to tell us how many murders and assaults took place last year, without expecting them to do anything about it.
Accountants however do have influence, they are involved with huge numbers of businesses and individual consumers. All they need to do is get onboard with David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg et al.
12th Mar 2019
Given some of the responses to last week's Int Woman's Day article goo.gl/mzpFuE this topic is timely, if not well overdue.
We all grow up with unconscious (implicit/inherent) bias of one kind or another and I think the way to handle it is not to beat your self up when you become aware of it and/or not reacting with the classic get out "political correctness gone mad".
My daughter is a surgeon, about a year away from making consultant, and, in her male dominated world, she has to deal with bias on a regular basis, eg being asked by surgeon attendees to get them a coffee when she was setting up to give a lecture or being called nurse in theatre when scrubbing up (some of this was conscious).
This has all been magnified by her taking maternity leave last year and now being seen as a lesser being compared to her male contemporaries. What's so sad is that, as women are also not immune from inheriting patriarchal social bias, she has to fight the feeling she is now subordinate.
Harvard University has been running Project Implicit for 20 years, it's worth taking the test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/uk/
11th Mar 2019
The majority of responses have made me even happier to be quitting this 19th/20th century profession in a few weeks.
Clearly, as in so many areas of business, many people seem incapable of standing back and recognising either conscious or unconscious gender bias.
Business has still got a long way to go until women are viewed and treated equally and whilst not meddling, as some people see it, might still allow all talent to float to the top, if it hadn't been for Suffragettes I dare say we'd only just have celebrated votes for women.
As far as celebrating a Man's day in business, that's the equivalent of creating a "White lives matter" day for racial bias.
12th Feb 2019
Like DJKL, this was my last tax year in the biz but I haven't had anything like the above since, in 2007.
We reset our own information deadline from 31 October to 5 July, then made sure we sent countdown reminders at the end of April, May & June. That first year we received over 70% of tax return info by the deadline and, in years since the average has been about 85%.
This is so easy to do and, rather than complaints, clients really appreciated the encouragement to clear it all in good time and not worrying all summer long that they still had to get the tax info together for Paul.
At the end of the day fellow accountants, this last minute stuff is pretty much all down to us, if you give clients 6 months to get the information to you, most will leave it to the end of the 6 months and, whilst you're trying to ramp up for that sudden influx of work, the rest are sitting there oblivious or waiting for a reminder, that doesn't often arrive till December. So who set up the problem?
Three months is more than enough time for someone to get their stuff together, so go on, give it a try.
And, for goodness sake if, as described above, a client gives you grief then 2 strikes and out, you don't need them, your health and wellbeing is more important than theirs.
25th Jan 2019
Reference my response above, I would always prefer to do tax returns and accounts in the Summer/Autumn and not have the grief of the winter rush regardless of how many thousands I could then charge for late info, and we used to double the annual fee if the info came in after 1 December.
For us it was just daft to send out tax return and accounting info checklists at the start of April only to end the email with, "Don't forget we need all of the above by 31 October".
What is the person going to do, will they rush to get it all done and dusted there and then or stick it in a draw for 7 months?
So all we did was replace 31 October with 30 June.
23rd Jan 2019
I tried the fee punishment route 10 years ago and it did nothing for long term relationships.
All solved at a stroke when, per Jennifer's number 4, we set the deadline for 3 months after the tax or accounts year. We used 31 October before and 70% of clients got their info to us in the last week of October, still causing grief December/January.
That's far too much rope, if a client can't get their info together in 3 months then they can go and pester someone else. We immediately got over 70% in within the 3 months, and it's got better over the years.
4th Jan 2019
It's refreshing to get amusement from a source other than Brexhit, in particular to learn that the 21st century way to settle timesheet grief is via an app with people clocking in and out :)
35 years of timesheet grief and now 12 years without, so I have no need to debate it.
8th Dec 2018
You can say that again!
6th Dec 2018
""Cloud" has become a trendy word and every one wants to sound trendy and cool"
Oh my goodness, so I've been trendy and cool for 7 years, that's a first, don't tell the kids!