AccountingWEB quotes of the year 2018

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Each year AccountingWEB trawls our articles, Any Answers threads and blogs to present a snapshot of the past 12 months by picking out key quotes and comments that reflect the year in accountancy. Here are this year’s offerings:


“I have tried for over 15 years to get clients to change but whatever we do, carrot or stick, it is always the same old ones,” NH on the trials and tribulations of self assessment season.

“At the end of a career in HMRC public service you get a shiny medal, wishing you lived on a Caribbean island and had a boat. At the end of a career as an FD of a big company you cash in your share options and sail away in a boat, wishing you had a shiny medal? You chaps are never satisfied.....” Tom 7000 ponders outgoing HMRC chair Edward Troup’s knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list.

“I am going to [***] have you with what I know about you.” An accountant blasted his clients with a profanity-laden outburst. Had the stress of tax season become too much?


“Beyond the everyday world … lies the world of VAT; a kind of fiscal theme park in which factual and legal realities are suspended or inverted.” Reacting to the Nesquik VAT decision VAT tribunal, much-missed friend of AccountingWEB Chatman posted this comment from a tax tribunal judge.

“I am an accountant first and an Eco warrior second”. DJKL on sustainable management accounting.

“As a practising accountant, I would be quite happy to do that. But all politicians should be required to take a similar oath: promising to put their constituents and the country before self and tribal loyalties.” Sammerchant on the potential for accountants being made to take a Hippocratic Oath.


“I am so pleased that HMRC waste public money in arguing a case which they were bound to lose.” pauljohnston cranks the sarcasm up to 11 as the tax authority loses another case at tax tribunal after insisting that there is a statutory requirement for a director to submit a self assessment tax return.

“And I thought South African tax laws were complex...!” MarietteJacobs reacts to Neil Warren’s review of a reduced VAT rate case on ski lift passes.

“I love the thought of including a review of the Accounts by Dennis the Menace, and the Accountants Report being signed by Roger the Dodger.” Tornado goes full Beano in a discussion on presentation binders.


“Probably not.” AnnAccountant provides a succinct answer to Philip Fisher’s question - GDPR: Are You Ready?

“The irony is of course that this assertion could be from not just 2018, but 2008, 1998, or even 1988.” Richard Sergeant discovers that the advisory practice is nothing new.

“We don’t like high street banks. Current account customers are fed up with high fees and poor service - customer satisfaction ratings are embarrassingly low - and it takes too long to set up business accounts.” Chris Goodfellow draws the first battle lines in the Open Banking war.


“Am I the only one who thought that spam would reduce after 25 May, only to find there's more than ever, with constant "Are you sure" and "Please opt-in" etc. emails coming in … Starting to annoy the hell out of me more than old-fashioned spam did.” SteLacca expresses his disappointment that post GDPR day the emails have kept on coming.

“I always think of it like if you had spaghetti bolognese and the spaghetti is everywhere - it's just the straightening of the spaghetti, so you can have clarity about what's happening.” The Peleton’s Mike Hutchinson on the benefits of daily meditation.

“The whole care system is broken and fiddling around with pay for sleep-ins and travel, while commendable in itself, is like requiring safety standards for the deckchairs on the Titanic.” Keithas reacts to the news that employees permitted to sleep while working must be paid the national minimum wage for all working hours, including time on “sleep-in” shifts.


“Guys from NZ and Oz are miles ahead of the UK when it comes to getting small business. They have broken down the barriers on how the deliver high-end services in an informal manner. You can almost imagine them dispensing this advice over a cold beer, wearing board shorts and the client left happy to pick up the bar tab after a good meeting ... They are making accounting a cool profession and I like the influence they and software people are having on our profession.” Glenn Martin salutes the accountant-as-mate model pioneered Down Under after attending a workshop with Kiwi experts from The Gap.

“But we are all ‘computer people’ these days.” Paul Scholes comments on the state of the profession as part of a look into GDPR and cloud apps.

“They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but is there such a thing as a free drink?” Daniel Rice takes a look at those free wine deals which are offered by certain supermarkets where the customer buys a main course, side dish, and dessert.


“Another winner from the Orifice of Tax Stupidity. Trebles all round at the bar, HMRC!” Mr Mischief reacting to a new report from the OTS that suggests the introduction of a PAYE option for gig economy workers.

“Oh dear. The panic whiff of a carnivore!” AccountingWEB member rjc joins the debate on shared office space provider WeWork’s decision to not pay expenses for meals containing meat for its 6,000 staff.

“Being memorable is a real challenge for an accountant … so it's nice to stand out by having a beautiful dog.” Bulldog Accounting’s Rachel Balchin on her firm’s unique branding style.


“Psychologically you think I've got to answer that email because that's the way to supply the customer service. But actually, it's not because I got to the point where I was making silly mistakes because I wasn't focused on that.” Alistair Hayward-Wright on the always-on culture.

“Here’s something Psychic Sally didn’t see coming: An astronomical £2.9m tax bill and an Accelerated Payment Notice (APN).” AccountingWEB mystic Francois Badenhorst tackles the taxing case of clairvoyant Sally Morgan and her troubled company finances.

“And here I thought I was being original when I wrote and recorded a heavy metal song about the trials and tribulations of balance sheet reconciliations :(“ AccountingWEB member Ben Lauritson adds to the unexpectedly diverse list of accountants singing songs about accountancy.


“Was the accountant in the bath trying to get the accounts signed though?” Glenn Martin on a bizarre excuse for the late filing of company accounts ‘I found my wife in the bath with my accountant’.

“My first proper calculator was the Casio fx82, which was the recommended one for both accounting and economics at University. I still have it and it still works. One of my children had to get a scientific calculator for their Highers exams and she got the exact same calculator just updated. I thought it would be quite sentimental to pass the calculator down to my children. But no, they wanted the new modern one that all their friends had.” Martin Treggonning on his first calculator - the Casio fx82.

“It’s nice to have confirmation that I have been correct in allowing all the costume claims for my burlesque dancer clients. After all, how many of us would wear a feather boa to go shopping?” AccountingWEB member spilly adds their thoughts on the case of exotic dancer Gemma Daniels, who was allowed to claim the cost of certain clothes, hairdressing and make-up against her profits.


What would you like to say to a client but can’t? Here is what Mr Hankey would say: “No Mr Smith, you are not the best thing since sliced bread. I have actually put in the work and achieved professional exams, starting my own business, and being happy with my life, unlike you who just seems to talk a lot about achieving things without actually getting up and doing anything. Your life coaching business is a fraud where you rely on cash-rich clients knowing even less than you do. Now pay my invoice and don't come back until next year.”

“It’s like ‘déjà vu all over again’”. Former business leader Lord Hollick lays into HMRC over its handling of the Making Tax Digital rollout.

“Sadly, most of the bunnies appear to have been a little too canny and stayed firmly ensconced in the topper this time around.” Philip Fisher on the lack of surprises in this year’s Budget.


“We are not just a platform for accounting, we are a platform to help small businesses succeed and a critical part of it is to make accountants successful.” New Intuit CEO Sasan Goodarzi speaking to John Stokdyk at QuickBooks Connect.

“It’s like telling an undertaker to forget burying bodies and instead sell hymns,” Elaine Clark is fed up with compliance bashing.

“If HMRC are going to send flowers for every bad blunder they make, they also need to pre-buy the entire flower display of Chelsea Flower show every year, plus all the bulbs in Holland.” Mr Mischief responds to the news that the Revenue has run up a £10,000 florist bill over the past five years to make amends with taxpayers over blunders.


“Well, if the professional bodies ever visit AccountingWEB they will have a field day, there are enough latent fines on these pages for all the employees of ICAS, ICAEW and ACCA to go on an all expenses paid fact finding seminar in say Las Vegas.” DJKL ponders the implications of the ACCA’s decision to fine a member for posting abuse on Facebook.

“All I want for Christmas is tax deductible cosmetic dentistry bridging the gap between my laterals with a central pontic.” What do you get the accountant who has everything this Christmas? Duggimon has the answer…


Merry Christmas to all our AccountingWEB readers. Thanks for reading and posting. From the whole team here at AWeb towers, have a fun (and hopefully restful) festive season.

About Tom Herbert

Tom is editor at AccountingWEB, responsible for all editorial content on the site. If you have a story that might interest us or wish to comment on the site's coverage get in touch via the site's private message function or Twitter DM (@AWebTom)


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28th Dec 2018 10:46

Considering how rarely I post on AccountingWEB, I'm both surprised and flattered to see my name in the quotations! Ahh, that momentary sensation of feeling special.

Thank you for immortalising my heavy metal madness in the AccountingWEB quotes of 2018 :)

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