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The Positive Accountant Vol 1 Ed 33


That's a word we've heard a lot of recently.

I thought I knew what the word meant.  Which is borne out when I reach for the dictionary.

But there is a new meaning to it.  For certain professionals it means 'Haven't got a clue, but I'll charge you for advising anyway'

And the phrase 'completely unprecedented' means 'Your guess is as good as mine, but I'll charge you for advising anyway'

I came across this today when I was seeking some legal advice for a client about redundancy, consultation periods and furlough.  There were more caveats in the first sentence than Boris Johnson has children, and less certainty than the answer to 'and how many that might be ?'

Basically the advice came down to 'if you want zero risk of being sued, do nothing.  But because this is all new law, if you do something you're at risk of getting it wrong and being sued'.  Which isn't helpful, but is the new environment we're all having to face up to.

Remember, if you have 'missed' any previous editions, they can be found at

What are my positives today:-:

1. I'm not a normal accountant

Just before qualifying, accountants are forced to learn the words to the famous Tom Robinson song - 'Sing if you're glad to be Grey'

I was off sick that day, as anyone who has seen my dress 'style' will attest.

I've been reminded of this when speaking to a fellow accountant earlier today.  He was of the view that as we don't know for certain exactly how new reforms and support packages work we should all steer clear of commenting on them and just stick to doing year end accounts and tax returns.  Otherwise we might be criticised for speaking on things we don't have complete knowledge about.

I begged to differ, and am glad that the only thing grey about me is my hair.  

2.  I can still tie a tie

It was for a Zoom call that I thought I should impress on. For the first time in six weeks I wore a tie, and remembered how to tie it.

Only to trip over my shoelaces later in the day...

3. I haven't run out of steam yet 

How much longer can you keep going for ?  Was a question posed by a client in relation to these blogs.  (Well, I think it was in relation to these blogs....)

His point was that he was amazed I'd kept going this long (again, I think in relation to the blog...)

But yes, still going 'strong', with more to come.  (Who groaned ?)

And what am I talking to clients about  ?  

The importance of work/life space - There have been endless spiels written about work:life balance in the last decade or so.  But the basic premise of all that is that there is physical differentiation between where you work (office, factory or similar) and where you live (home, cave).  

This distinction no longer exists and the difficulty is to keep the two apart whilst in the same environment.  

We didn't get to an answer incidentally...

Under 16 Furloughs - It's more common than you might think that under 16's are employed - Chimney Sweeps, Coal mines and, of course, Restaurants - and where those businesses have furloughed staff, those furloughed might therefore include under 16's.

There is a practical problem that under 16's don't have a National Insurance number - and the lack of an NI number causes the furlough claim to fall over.  HMRC have foreseen this, a standalone claim is made for the under 16's over the phone.

Until tomorrow


07917 338342

We have a problem - our piano has 'something done to it' this time of year.  I thought I'd solved it, but apparently not.

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