On Friday I had a little pop at the legal profession - and in particular their insistence on the old fashioned practice of wet ink signatures.
In the interest of balance, I'm going to mention accountants now.
Needless to say, there have been things coming in to my inbox from my Accountancy regulators, and I thought I'd share just some of the delights:-
- 'Exciting developments in the world of anti money laundering'- which require yet more work to be done verifying identities of clients, irrespective of how many years I've acted (and whether or not I certified the applications for the passports that I'm getting copies of)
- A reminder about considering the concept of'going concern' in the context of financial reporting, looking for assertions that a body being reported on will be in existence 12 months from the date of reporting. Which right now seems to me an impossibility
- Reminding those that audit that the requirement toattend annual stocktake is 'probably' still there whether or not the entity is open and regardless of lockdown.
All this in the context of the biggest economic shock since the War.
Meanwhile the official 'breaking news' about Government support for COVID 19 is some way behind the 'news' 'breaking'
Deckchairs and the Titanic spring to mind.
Remember, if you have 'missed' any previous editions, they can be found at
What are my positives today:-:
1. Furloughing is open
Yes, the portal opened this morning. And closed. And then was shut for 'technical reasons'. It rejected one client as being 'ineligible' for no good reason, but then allowed a second application for the same company
Needless to say, not all the information that we had been told we needed to have to hand was needed, whereas some that we hadn't been warned about was needed (address where the bank account is registered to ?).
But it's open again. And that's good.
2. Tax Enquiries are paused
It is official that any 'open' tax enquiries are now 'paused'. HMRC are not going to be working them and any information requests with deadlines can be ignored.
It seems likely, reading between the lines, that smaller cases may just be shut down without further ado once life restarts.
I think we will see a mass resurgence in the future, but let's worry about that another day
3. I've started a trend
Over the weekend I sent out a set of draft accounts to a client which, to be honest, the word 'disappointing' was designed for.
I received an e-mail back entitled 'The Positive Client Vol 1 Ed 1'....
And what am I talking to clients about today ?
The January Iceberg,the description maintaining the Titanic theme above.
The thing is, with the ability to defer July self assessment bills until January next year, and the deferment of the next VAT bill until end March 2021, there is quite a debt problem building below the surface, which is going to cause a cashflow problem in the first quarter of 2021.
Businesses taking advantage of the deferment need to make sure that they remember and factor in these amounts, businesses who sell on credit terms are going to need to keep an eye on their credit control as the year progresses.
Using software better - spreadsheets are one of the marvellous inventions of the modern world. But they can spawn a job creation scheme.
A real life situation we tackled last week - financial information typed into a spreadsheet from a management report to calculate sales bonuses. The bonus figure is typed into a spreadsheet to add to basic to give gross pay. Which is typed into a software package to calculate net pay. Net pay is then typed into the bank system to make payment and - you guessed - typed into the accounts system to record the payments.
All well and good (albeit expensive) with a full complement of staff. The staff are now furloughed, so we're looking at getting all those systems talking to one another, leaving the only human interaction being a review prior to payment. Much more efficient and less error prone !
Working from home means the ability to harness 'help' from unusual sources.