Letters – 26 November

Accounting can be murder

Mr Stephen Flowitt-Hill, (‘Letters’, 19 November), will not be the only English ICA member to notice the supreme irony in the institute’s disciplinary reports.

If found guilty of conspiracy to murder, expect to be severely reprimanded and fined. But, fail to produce accounts in compliance with auditing standards and regulations, and you will be in really serious trouble.

It makes one wonder what criteria the committee uses.

Would the committee have had to consider whether it was an ‘exceptional conspiracy to murder’ or an ‘extraordinary conspiracy to murder’? If it did consider such issues, would it have come to the conclusion that they did not make any difference to the case?

This is precisely the feeling I have after spending hours of reviewing time making certain that accounts comply with some of the more obtuse and ever-changing accounting standards.

T C Clark FCA, Bexley, Kent

Correction facility need

In August, I submitted a client’s 1998 self-assessment return to the Inland Revenue. Three months later, I received notification that it had been processed without the need for correction. I assumed the Revenue had agreed my tax repayment calculation of #977, but to my (and my client’s) surprise a repayment for only #305 arrived.

My client wonders whether he will have to wait a further three months for the correct repayment, now the Revenue has admitted the error.

Megan Jones ACA, Oswestry, Shropshire

What’s in a word?

Nonagenarian Alfred Holt’s recollection of the #5 minimum (or maximum) wages in the 30s (‘Letters’, 19 November) reminds me of my articled clerk days, 40 years ago.

My principal told me that my request for the word ‘minimum’ to be inserted in my articles against the annual rise of 5/- (25p) per week, would also mean maximum if I insisted on the word!

Chartered accountants may be good at adding up, but their knowledge of English etymology leaves much to be desired.

Warren Levy FCA, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Catching the marketing flak

Mr Hurst urges us to reject further editions of Winning Business Strategies (‘Letters’, 19 November, page 15).

Isn’t that (as we say up here) a bit previous? Wouldn’t it be better to persevere a little, and then perhaps start to judge properly? There’s a point of view that says it can only get better. Surely, no one wimps out after only one try, however much flak they get. How about giving it a sporting chance?

John Malthouse FCA, Liverpool

… Well done Kate Winter! She is almost getting there. But, would it not be in the interest of both the institute (as a cost saving exercise) and members (to cut down on junk mail) to circulate all members with a prepaid card simply stating that if it is returned it will be assumed that the member does not wish to hear from the institute other than for collecting the annual subscription fee. The cost saving would be tremendous.

Jonathan Chaytor FCA, Liverpool

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