Friday, April 11, 2014

What it takes to become a professional accountant

Every now and then I come across a US video about accountants that I feel fits on this site. I've just become aware of the CPA 2014 Rule the Tube video competition and one of the finalist videos made me really smile. Hope you like it too.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Tax evasion excuses that don't work: The magic golden fish

A tax inspector arrived at the front door of a magnificent 8 bedroom mansion in the depths of the countryside.

"How have you managed to buy this luxurious mansion whilst your income is so low?" he asked the market trader who lived there.

"Well" replied the trader, "When I was fishing last year, I caught a golden fish. When I took it off the hook the fish looked at me and spoke. It said: 'I am a magic golden fish. Throw me back in the water and I'll give you the most luxurious mansion you have ever seen.' I threw the fish back into the water and got the mansion."

The tax inspector looked at the trader suspiciously. "And what proof do you have, to convince me that this preposterous story is true?"

"Well, you can see the mansion can't you?"

Friday, March 28, 2014

The accountant with a special time clock

There was an unscrupulous accountant who always overcharged his customers.

He had a special clock built that ran faster than other clocks. It ran at nearly twice the speed of a normal clock so that 1 hour would appear as 2 hours. He then tracked his time by using the fast clock and in essence doubled his billing hours.

He bragged about his overcharging process to his close friends and his wife. He also bragged about other topics such as his golf score, his time in running the mile and his endurance when being intimate with his wife.

The latter was his most proud accomplishment. Therefore, it took him by surprise when his wife filed for divorce a year later. He remonstrated with her “Dear why would you leave me? I have given you money, a fine house, companionship and a great love life!”

She replied, “True, you have given me money and a fine house – although by ill gotten gains. Your companionship is shallow because you only think of yourself AND as to your skills in the bedroom, I just wanted you to know that I had a clock made just like the one you use at work!”

Friday, March 21, 2014

Novel and fun claims for tax relief

I'd love to see other examples attached as comments to this posting.

Thanks to Keith Deane for letting me know about a self-employed accountant who worked from home. He claimed that he often received books from clients (especially jobbing builders) that were "covered in muck".

As a result he claimed that he had to constantly wash his hands to rid himself of exclusively business dirt and as such the water so consumed was an essential element of his business activity. Thus the accountant claimed a proportion of his household water bills as being business related.

Keith does not relate HMRC's reaction to the claim - though I think we can guess....

Now that's novel. What other examples can you suggest?

Friday, March 07, 2014

Accountancy talent show - for singers.....

Newsbiscuit reports as follows:

Top singers, actors, dancers and rock stars have all been queuing up in the hope of getting a steady job in accountancy in the latest talent show to top the ratings in the United States.

‘I always had this secret dream that I might one day work in some area of financial management’ said an excited Beyonce, ‘but this TV show means that at last there is the chance that my dreams might come true…’ she said as she practised her audition piece with her calculator and spreadsheet.

Contestants have just thirty seconds to impress the judges with their advice on tax returns and deductible expenses. But only a few lucky ones will go forward to ‘Accountancy Camp’ where the heartache and elation of discovering who has the talent to go all the way will be watched by millions of viewers.

‘Ever since I was a kid I used to practise accountancy in my bedroom…’ confessed Adele. ‘I’ve sent a few tables of some projected expenses into all the big firms, but even though they kept rejecting me, I always believed I had the financial acumen and auditing skills to make my dreams come true.’

‘This means the whole world to me’ wept Rihanna, after being told that she wouldn’t be going forward to the next round. The judges have been accused of being too brutal with some of the accountancy hopefuls. ‘You call that deductible!’ shouted one of the professionals to a tearful Madonna as he tore up her illegible receipts from some holiday gift shop. ‘Forget it sweetheart. You’ll never make an accountant; you’ll just be an iconic rock superstar for the rest of your life.

‘I’ll come back next year, and the year after that’ wept Madonna. ‘I’ll just keep hold of my dream until I reach the top. As long as I can offset the projected expenses against my partner’s small business on an overseas leaseback account… No, hang on that’s not right…’

Friday, February 28, 2014

Why Tax Returns Belong With Cake - alledgedly

Regular readers of my main website will know I am keen on the idea of accountants and bookkeepers standing out from the crowd. One lady who does this in a unique way is Rosie Slosek of 'one man band accounting'.

Her website has a distinct feel about it - beyond the fact that she has a single clearly defined target audience - which you might guess from the name of her site.

Rosie, who offers bookkeeping services to one man bands, seems to be almost obsessed with cakes and brownies!  The menu bar at the top of her site starts, on the left, as usual with 'home'. The next item though is 'cake'. The cake page explains that Rosie sends one of her signature home made brownies to each new client. Her intention is to "turn Accounts Time into You Time".

On her blog Rosie shares 3 reasons that tax returns belong with cake.

She explains that baking is like bookkeeping in that you need to do a lot of precise things in the right order. With baking, you get a delicious cake, biscuit or brownie at the end.

She also explains how she gets to enjoy doing bookkeeping.

  • Create a good environment: put on some music, clear some space 
  • Give a little luxury: get yourself a cuppa or a glass of wine 
  • Add some sweetness: a slice of cake or a gooey brownie 
It’s easier than you think. It’s training your brain to associate lovely things with your bookkeeping instead of ‘oh no, not this again’. Bookkeeping = good music, a fabulous drink and delicious cake.
I must admit, Rosie may have a point!