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Married at First Sight: Accountants stuck in a bad marriage

What follows is an entertaining analysis of the merger of two accounting bodies as if they had met and married in 2014 in a lavish ceremony agreed by their respective members.
Together, the lovers formed CAANZ, an alluring acronym which stands for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.  The great promise of this matrimony of professional bodies, as laid down in the nuptial documents, otherwise known as the Explanatory Memorandum to the merger, has not lived up to its vows.  Perhaps it is a case of haste to the alter. NZICA appeared only borderline solvent before the marriage. It was the ugly duckling which somehow married a swan, albeit a worn out old swan, with sweet talk and forget-me-nots in an Explanatory Memorandum. As the private equity turnaround merchants say: “You only have to look good for the wedding day.”  Since the nuptials,  the New Zealand bride seems to have been on a frolic with the marital credit card, spending up in the Shaky Isles and apparently taking li…
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Do accountants laugh?

"Do accountants laugh?" was a question posed online by top Comedy Magician, John Archer ahead of a gig for accountants.

Among the replies he received were:
It depends on their clientsOnly where they lose their balanceWhen it's at someones else's expenseYes, when their balance sheet balancesAs soon as you pay their bill

A new supplementary page for SA tax returns: Application for Mercy

Original is on the clever and fun official looking (but fake) website promoting a book published by Ian Vince:The Department of Social Scrutiny

How many accountants are witch doctors doing magic?

In a 1964 speech British law lord, Lord Justice Harman, told an audience: ‘Accountants are the witch doctors of the modern world and willing to turn their hands to any kind of magic.’
I note that this quote has appeared on dozens of firms of accountants' websites.

(You need to know me to know why that quote so appeals to me. There's a clue in this much earlier posting on this blog)


What do taxi drivers know about tax?

Many years ago I travelled by train to Penrith in Cumbria, to present a talk to the local CIOT branch. In the cab I then took to reach the venue the driver asked me what I was doing in Penrith and I explained:
“I’m here to give a lecture to a group of tax advisers”. For a moment I was thrown as he seemed very miffed. It then became clear from his reply that he had misheard me: “It would be nice to have been invited. I’ve been a taxi driver here for over ten years!” I was unable to keep a straight face!
I shared the story during my talk and at the tea-break one of the delegates came over to explain she’d had a similar problem recently.
When arranging her car insurance by phone, she was astonished by the premium quote. It was more than 8 times what she had paid the previous year. She queried the figure and was told this was due to her profession, and the risks inherent in this. “What are the inherent risks of being a tax adviser?” she asked. At which point it became apparent the insurer…

Yes Prime Minister - How the Treasury work out how much tax to raise

In January 1986 the political comedy " Yes Prime Minister" featured an episode "The Smokescreen" in which The Prime Minister, Jim Hacker, favours abolishing smoking through heavy taxation but he runs into strong opposition from the tobacco lobby and the Treasury department.
The following exchange between the PM and his permanent secretary seemed especially worthy of inclusion on this blog:

Sir Humphrey: Taxation isn't about what you need.
Jim Hacker: Oh, what is it about?
Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, the Treasury doesn't work out what they need to spend and then think how to raise the money.
Jim Hacker: What does it do?
Sir Humphrey: They pitch for as much as they think they can get away with and then think what to spend it on.

Here's the whole episode if you're interested. At the start Sir Humphrey explains his view as to how all new Prime Ministers want to cut either taxes or public expenditure.....

Don't Cha Wish Your Accountant Was Cool Like This

Well done Accountant Annette Ferguson.  Great video revealing those thins Accountants NEVER say - and with good reason!