The 2010 Taking Stock Awards



Hello Accountancy Age readers. It’s TS here, engaged in a bit of end-of-year reflection on the year that was.

This year, we thought, we’d draw attention some of the most memorable moments and personalities of 2010 (not necessarily for the best of reasons we might add).

Here you go punters, our list of the best and worst the profession had on offer this year:


Gobbiest accountant of the year (who’s had more airplay than Terry Wogan)

And the Winner is…

Mike Warburton, Grant Thornton

Warburton was quoted a grand total 301 times, from The Daily Telegraph to the Daily Mail. He started the year talking about pension tax and ended it talking about wine-related tax schemes.

For the record John Whiting, formerly of PwC fame and now with the Office of Tax Simplification, was mentioned a total of 97 times.

Runner up: John Whiting



Wish you were here award (for absent friends)

And the Winner is…


Vantis’ website now carries an ominous “the requested URL could not be retrieved” message but it wasn’t always like this. Whispers that one of the UK’s most prominent networks was going under first started in early June, but it seemed the business was being dressed up for sale as early as December 2009.

Andy Raynor, of RSM Tenon fame, swooped in to feast at the carcass in late June, leaving, now, only a memory of what was. FRP Advisory also rose from the ashes of Vantis’ insolvency practice.

Runner up: Former FASB chairman Bob Herz



The foot in mouth award (for those who speak before thinking)

And the Winner is…

Dave Hartnett, HMRC

Who could forget the Whitehall mandarin’s very public about-face during the PAYE debacle. When news broke he at first said “I’m not sure I see a need to apologise,” then, after drawing the ire of several parliamentary members days later, he said he was “deeply sorry”. He didn’t really have much of a choice with 1.4 million people receiving a surprise tax bill, with an average £1,428 tax bill each.

Runner up: Business secretary Vince Cable (for the now infamous spivs and gamblers remark)



The Beth Tweddle award for policy back flips

And the Winner is…


The Big Four said in its submission to a House of Lords inquiry the firms had seen “no evidence of anti-competitive behaviour”. Really Deloitte. A few months earlier, together with the other largest UK accounting firms, the firm signed a document which mentioned “clauses or requirements in contractual agreements between companies and their banks or underwriters that state that only the Big Four audit firms can provide audit services to the company”. Hmmm.

Runner up: Lib Dems


If you can think of any other categories worth including or other worthy recipients just drop TS a note at

In the meantime, have a great Christmas and remember to keep those receipts…just in case.


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