Letters – 3 September

English sister with decent beer

In your article ‘No English please – we’re European’ (‘Taking Stock’, 13 August), I guess you have been inundated over your reference to at least one member state of the EU having English as its national language.

I try to achieve numerical accuracy whenever possible, in the hope that any mistakes will then be forgiven. There are, of course, two member states that use English as their national language, and they also happen to be the only two member states that:

1. Drive on the left.

2. Are not connected to mainland Europe at ground level.

3. Drink decent flat beer.

Keep up the good work!

P J Lashmar, FCA

Targeting the right market

‘Taking Stock’ (13 August) featured our advertisement in the Gay to Z directory, and I welcome the discussion it has provoked. The campaign was aimed specifically at the gay market, with advertising and promotional literature designed to attract clients from that sector.

Advertising must provoke a response to be effective and, in the Yellow Pages of the gay consumer market, the advert demands some attention, competing as it does with inherently more exciting products. Naturally, we would have used a different advert in Yachting Monthly or the local rag, but in context, it is appropriate and effective.

If the accountancy profession is to survive, it must obey the first rule of business: understand the customer and respond to that demand. Our clients want us to be accessible, proactive, responsive and innovative. They also want a first-rate service and good value for money. Our marketing, therefore, needs to be unstuffy, modern and stylish but with an underlying professionalism.

This, I think, we have achieved, and the excellent response from clients has confirmed this. Nobody has suggested a lack of taste, and indeed many people have said they liked it.

John Holding, partner, Holdings, Welwyn, Herts

What a waste of money

ACCA’s self-elected leadership has no mandate from members to waste nearly #500,000 on its hostile takeover bid for CIMA and CIPFA. It has wiped out the subscriptions increases for the last two years without addressing any of the serious issues facing accountancy.

Pity none of the money has been used to improve the quality of education, auditing, accounting and services to members. Endless subscription increases and more futile ventures are inevitable unless the membership is willing to call the leadership to account.

Prem Sikka, University of Essex

Was it a fluke or a jibe?

Turning to ‘Colin’ on receipt of Accountancy Age as usual, this morning I noticed that the printing of ‘The Androidome’ was back-to-front (‘Taking Stock’, 20 August).

Some covert reference to the fact that Andersens partners should have a long look in the mirror before spending such a huge amount on an ostentatious building before a possible cyclical downturn in the economy?

Adam Hart, Peel Hunt & Co

Is Austin depressed?

I am becoming worried about Austin Mitchell MP. His ‘view’ (6 August, page 11) gave me concern that he may have depression problems. He states that newspapers are ‘full of’ accounting failures. This cannot be true.

If it were true, there would be no space left to criticise the Royal Family!

David Hunt MA, FCA, Vale of Glamorgan,/i>

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