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The Positive Accountant Vol 2 Ed 39

Updated: Aug 5

I was glad to read today of the breakthrough that we now know that viruses and resistance thereto is direction dependent.

Take Ann Gus, a tourist who has been to The Algarve returning to Liverpool International Airport. If she lives North by a hundred miles or so she may be infectious and needs to quarantine.

Ivor Problem, on the same flight, who lives 50 miles or so West also has to quarantine.

But Stuart Fue (Stu to his friends) who lives South doesn't need to. What a breakthrough !

That got me thinking, the Government makes its decisions on the science. I'm an accountant and make my decisions on numbers. And guess what - they're right !

Google it for yourself - how many Coronavirus cases have been detected in Antartica ?

Anyway, to continue... I said that in the next edition I'd review where we now are with the furlough scheme.

The scheme at the moment allows staff to be furloughed some of the time and work some of the time ('Flexi-furlough')

The furlough periods need to be paid at the lower of 80% of normal pay / £2,500, HMRC refund 70% of the normal pay (the balance, plus pension, plus employers NIC is paid by the employer.

And now a warning for directors who may still be furloughed. As regular readers may recall, there was a lot of debate at the start as to whether or not directors could be furloughed. A compromise was effectively forced on the Government and the position is presently summed up below:-

‘Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, i.e. they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.’

Where care is especially going to be needed is the part that I've underlined - especially where the company is single director and VAT registered. A joined up approach from HMRC might be to compare furlough claims with VAT returns. Where they see directors are furloughed and sales on the VAT returns, they might challenge how the sales were generated.

As ever, if you are affected by or concerned about this, give me a call.

What are my positives today ?

1. School's back

Which is great news for parents and children. Really great news.

However, as chair manufacturers will tell you, there is always a this case that means the need to help with homework is back too. Charly is starting her two years of GCSE's and mentioned over supper tonight an art problem.

Now, those who know me will also know that asking me to help with art is like asking Harold Shipman for advice on an essay on 'Geriatric Care' or maybe Tony Blair to lecture on Ethics. But I gave it a shot.

The problem was drawing a picture inspired by Picasso's portrait of a candle, a bottle and a goat skull. (Although what art has to do with a mid range Citroen I'm not sure.)

At the time Debbie and I were enjoying a bottle of red wine called 'Saint Jospeh Rouge Soulane' - see

And so it occurred to me that she could paint, by candlelight, a picture of this particular bottle and a rainbow coloured goat next to it.

In answer to the quizzical look I explained that it could be entitled "Joseph and his technicolour dream goat"

The last words I heard were 'Not helpful' as the door closed.

Oh well.

2. David needs a new bank

David, name changed to protect the innocent, hasn't always been that successful in business. So much so that in the past two banks have told him to take his business elsewhere....

But in recent years he's done OK and behaved himself. He has a good relationship with his current bank, operates a credit account and hasn't bounced so much as a tennis ball in years.

Imagine his surprise therefore when he received a letter from his bank's head office recommending that he go elsewhere, giving him details of a half dozen or so banks that would be keen for his business, and promising him £1,500 if he does so...(They even pay the new bank for the privilege)

I checked the date on the letter, it wasn't 1st April. And so called a friend in the bank.

And yes, it's true. As part off the 2008 bailout this particular bank agreed to reduce its market share, it has looked at splitting itself in two (like Lloyds/TSB did) but has some technological problems with that.

So instead they are paying perfectly good customers to go away. The cost of this ? £750m....

It would be unfair to mention which bank it is, but more details can be found at

3. It's Friday

That was a short week.

The next bank holiday is Christmas, and on that note, enjoy the weekend.

Stay safe, stay positive

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