Last week we looked at the issues for Judy and if she should trade through a company or stay as a sole trader. If you missed it see here. This week we are going to take a lighter look at some of the funny accounting stories. And some were a touch embarrassing at the time too. You will all have had those moments when you shouldn’t have done, said, or worn that. We are going to look at
- Human Face of it
- My own view
I shouldn’t start with this but better to get the worst out of the way first. Starting as a tax trainee in EY in 1996 we had to come up with a password that you would remember. It was unique to you and no one else would know it. So, I believed. It wasn’t like now with upper case, lower case, a number, and symbols to keep the hackers at bay. Neither was it 1234, Password or Man United. It had to be something you remember.
This all came back to bite me when my manager had deleted something I sent to her, and she needed access to my computer. My female manager. I got a call when away on a training course. Listen I need to get onto your computer what’s your password? The reply came “Are you serious as I thought that was only for me” Yes, I need to get that e-mail. Ok, it’s a bit embarrassing, well it’s very embarrassing. Can it wait until Monday? No was the swift answer. My heart sank. Ok so here it goes. LargeTesticles. After 5 minutes of solid laughing, she promised she wouldn’t tell anyone. A complete lie as she told everyone. And it always came up, no pun intended, over a few Friday evening pints in the snug at Katy Barrys.
Back in the day you either typed your own letters or used a Dictaphone and dropped the tape in for typing. One of the secretaries was on holiday and we got a temp in for a few weeks. Some funny names started to appear in letters to clients. QK Cold Stores became QK Cold Sores and North Wharf had a name change to North Dwarf. Des Brennan was a manager in EY at the time and one client who knew him “well” wrote letters to Des Bennett. The partner in EY was Bill Halley and he often got letters to Bill Haley. Given that we worked for Bill Haley we were his Comets.
Only recently I got a letter to Colm Foley, so my first name was wrong, and the surname was Gers. And it’s not only us. A local solicitor in Tramore was Treacy Mullins, the surnames of both partners. They were getting calls “Can I speak to Tracey, please” They are Mullins Treacy now.
Human Face of It
Being a bit green around the ears and wanting to impress I wore a suit with a waistcoat in my early training days. I had invested in a new suit. I had to use it to get the value out of it. It came with a waistcoat as that was the fashion at the time. I was only a week in the place and one of the girls asked me when I was playing in the snooker final. The waistcoat was gone. Never worn again.
We have a great lady farming client who wouldn’t be shy in using a few swear words. We had done a piece of tax work for her, and it came to discussing fees. She was hoping for a smaller amount than the figure I mentioned. Her reply to me was “Ffs sure I’d expect to have a night with you for that”
Back when we went to Tax conferences there was a speaker from KPMG talking about Revenue Audits. He was ex Revenue. When in Revenue he sent a letter to an accountant querying the low level of drawings in the accounts of a client. The drawings were £6000 and the client had a nice house with a wife and kids. The answer came back that “my client enjoys a very low standard of living.” To which the speaker remarked that not only had the guy a very low standard of living but that he “enjoyed” it too.
We have a great client over the road from us called Total Precision. Niall and Shane are the owners and Dee called them the day we had a photographer in to get pics for our new website. To have the site look more authentic we wanted to get pictures with clients instead of stock photos. Niall said to Shane that the lads needed him over in Comerford Foley to sign stuff. Shane came in looking to sign some papers. A quick 5-minute job. About an hour and a half later poor Shane was getting his picture taken from all angles and different poses. It is Shane that adorns the first page of our site in the picture with Ger. Modelling for a website wasn’t in his plans for the day.
We know that accountants don’t have the swoon factor like a policeman or a firefighter. The usual joke that gets put out there is “what does the accountant use for protection”? His personality. Is that not a more suitable joke for an actuary?
There was a story in the papers years ago about a tax adviser in Finland. His work colleagues found him dead at his desk. He had been dead for 3 days and the question arose why they didn’t check on him sooner. The answer was that they thought he was working on a complex tax problem and didn’t want to disturb him.
An accountant is having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. “Doctor, I can’t get to sleep at night,” he says. “Have you tried counting sheep?” inquires the doctor. “That’s the problem — I made a mistake and then spent three hours trying to find it.
My Own View
Let’s face it our reputation is not the best. But things are changing. We love doing what we do as we find it exciting. It is interesting and rewarding work. Helping clients solve problems and saving them money is not boring. New and better ways of working are a challenge, and it is an area of constant learning. Cathy, one of our managers, saved a client €3000 this week. She did that because she cared about the client by being curious and wanting to help. It comes back to our values, one of which is we enjoy doing what we do. To check out our values see here. Working for a variety of clients that appreciate the help we give them is rewarding. And to have a bit of craic along the way adds to the enjoyment.
Stuck with your old boring accountant, well then you deserve each other. Interested in more fun, excitement, and quality call Deirdre on 051 396703 or start here. Go on, go on, go on, go on.