Member Since: 8th Feb 2007
18th Sep 2019
Does your respondent refer to accounting *****ups being covered up or does this extend to Government ****ups? The Treasury seem to be fairly useless and below them HMRC are dysfunctional and don't respond to Agents and Taxpayers, get things wrong (was it 80 places where paper returns are necessitated this year - better than 40 odd last year .. but wait a bit it's in the wrong direction!) So perhaps it has become a National Pastime. Really makes you wonder whether it is worth bothering. The loss of productivity caused by trying to get all the notes right on small accounts is mindblowing - the more so because no-one cares a jot on private Companies. In fact it is unhelpful to ordinary business people trying to understand their accounts to have pages of notes saying that the company has ticked all its boxes. It's about time that the professional bodies got into the real world where small business just wants to know whether they are running profitably or not and whether they are solvent or not. It's a bit like the old excursion into inflation accounting where everyone was invited to guess the future . Too many people in the accounting regulation world with their heads in an inappropriate place.
22nd Aug 2019
Setting all that aside my concern is that the providers are selling hard to the man in the street. Experience so far indicates to us that the man in the street thinks it is wonderful and does everything for him. Unfortunately it doesn't and it also makes VAT errors very easy to achieve. VAT claimed on non-vatable invoices are common and VAT is often claimed where no invoices exist. One new client achieved a VAT overclaim of £1,581 in the year before he came to us. Easy to do because of the way the systems operate but painful to correct.
So I wholly agree that human error is the weakness but the software providers tell the public how simple it is to use their systems but it isn't if the public has no experience of bookkeeping software.
Stormy waters ahead I think and HMRC's claim that VAT errors will disappear is likely to prove rather false - but no surprise there.
16th Aug 2019
It all comes down to how much do you value your family as against your career.
I spent time with the children weekdays and weekends so that they had a reasonable shot at being able to cope with the rigours of life without fainting at the thought of hard work.
I earned less because of it but still we had enough to manage comfortably and live at a reasonable standard. We just had to be less ebullient about holidays etc.
Both children did well (in another profession) and I am still working but with a much better work/life balance. I really don't feel inclined to work harder to pay enormous amounts of tax to HMG for them to throw at the wall in their incompetence. So I take a relaxed view of the whole issue and try to help the little clients to survive the mayhem which HMRC's MTD czar seems to think is helping business. Is dysfunctional a synonym for HMRC?
If Commy Corbyn gets into power I shall retire because I certainly wouldn't work to keep him in comfort.
30th Jul 2019
Very interesting all these replies and many different reasons for what seems to be a general frustration.
My own ace frustration factor is HMRC who just do not want to know questions from the profession or the taxpayer. I have one case - letter in March - no response
another letter in May -still no response (this one copied to the SA complaints- no response there either) So now I am going to write to the new chancellor with copies to the others on the way. What do you think - any response? I'm not holding my breath. Bet you could all replicate the situation?
30th Jul 2019
I can fully sympathise with the writer. Trying to cope with an accounting practice is bad enough but adding on the complete inability of HMRC to do things right or respond to letters (Busy with Brexit you know) the compliance burden of FRS 102, the continual hassle of GDPR and all the other rubbish which the Government thinks is necessary to raise more money in fines to throw away on daft projects. Not to mention MTD a multi million £ burden on the taxpayer in retraining and coping with a new system which delivers exactly the same information as the old one did. With MTD fot SA and CT to come I think sailing into the sunset is a jolly good answer.
But what a way to ruin a productive economy - strangle it with red tape and regulation - just like the EU although, by all accounts, HMG gold plate the rubbish anyway.
I didn't read that the ICO had fined itself for failing to comply with its own rules. Typical!
Sunset sailing is really looking good - now which country hasn't got MTD?
18th Jul 2019
Interesting that 3 firms have turned him down. What happens if the company is boycotted? Presumably the audit fee would just hit the ceiling or he would be unaudited.
If more auditors took a risk assessment on those clients likely to prove a disaster, most of the public works industry, for example - what would happen then?
Would HMG have to step in with a Government Backed Auditor to do all those jobs the profession wouldn't touch?
Judging by the levels of competence shown by HMRC and the FCA I should think the profession would have a good laugh.
We do live in interesting times don't we?
11th Jul 2019
AbFab! Now HMG can look at a new tax stream - doesn't matter if BA were to go bust as long as HMG has a few quid to waste on making people's life more difficult.
Net result air fares go up and Jo Public pays the price or cost cut and shed a few jobs to cover it. Pity they aren't in the GDPR shop which cannot even get its own stuff right. Bet they didn't fine themselves!
Personally I think we should go back to cash think of the wheelbarrows full of plastic fivers that would be needed to pay that fine. Now there is an idea.
11th Jul 2019
Well no surprises there but it's a bit thick to blame it all on the actual auditors. A lot of the 'misses' are directly due to misrepresentation by the Directors and their accounting delegates. In the computerised world in which we live it is very easy for naughty people to hide things from sight and much more difficult for the auditors to spot it. The sheer volume of figures suggests that it is becoming an impossible task. I recall that Carillion foundered because an in house accountant blew the whistle on some shortcomings. I also recall that she had been there about 3 months. This implies that 3 months involvement in the Company threw up shortcomings but how would auditors spot that in 3 weeks of an audit.
It's all very well for the MPs and the FCA to throw up their arms in horror but they have no idea of the problems faced at ground level and like most people in such positions they talk off the top of their heads.
I am not an apologist for the big firms but I do think that the arguments are a bit one-sided. The whole system of audits needs to be rethought and viewed from a totally different perspective. The MPs and FCA will not help by trying to be clever when they are not.
1st Jul 2019
Wow! £94 million! At least it wouldn't be quite enough for the auditors to notice. Rather makes you wonder why we bother to audit. Let's all go and have coffee and cakes somewhere.
24th Jun 2019
In my experience the 'rich' are ok because their loans are paid off or capable of being paid off. The smaller people in the middle of the market trying to save for retirement are hit very hard and they are probably the best landlords. Not everyone wants to buy so a rental market is needed but HMG/HMRC are pushing the market into big companies who are often not sympathetic landlords.
As for the effect on the housing market the developers actually need BTL buyers to be able to sell them their houses and get the sites moving.
As for the sites the biggest problem seems to be the slowness of the planning system which seems to take a minimum of 5 years to promote and get planning permission.
It's the old story of Government interference doing more harm than good because they don't think ahead to the implications of what they do.