For various reasons, I have looked at many accountants’ websites over the last year or two. I have to say that there is a trend for accountants based in Cumbria to have nice-looking friendly websites compared to accountants outside the region. In fact, I might just be one of the laggards here. Keep it up!
If you ask a computer to do a job, much of its resources are expended upon interacting with you rather than actually doing the job, and in the days when there was a shortage of computer power, this was an issue. The solution was to put your job in a queue and do it overnight along with a batch of similar jobs. This is called batch processing and it is more efficient than trying to serve everybody at once.
One effect of the Construction Industry Scheme for many businesses in the building trade is that they will pay too much tax during the year, and will need to claim a refund at the year end. Companies often have a loss to carry back to a previous year, and they may also claim a refund of corporation tax.
Reading through the handouts of various election candidates, it would appear timely to remind accountants of the different types of death duty that may be encountered. Suppose a person dies and leaves ten million pounds to five children, who each receive £2,000,000. There are two types of death duty that may be charged.
Yet another big company listed on the Stock Exchange has reported a loss. Actually, there has been only a modest fall in trading profits, but this sets off a chain reaction. The premises that the company trades from are only worth the expected future revenues from the trade, and a fall in profitability implies a fall in expected future revenues and therefore a fall in the value of the premises. Often this fall in the value of the premises swamps everything else, and it looks as if the company has made a huge loss. This is what hits the headlines.
It’s nice to see that PricewaterhouseCoopers, a large firm of accountants, have removed A Level grades as a minimum requirement of their recruitment process. This will enable them to recruit good accountants from non-traditional backgrounds, based upon merit rather than what school they went to. While I went to a private school myself, I think universities and employers should be free to look at their experience of recruitment and make adjustments for a wide variety of backgrounds. However, this should not be dictated to them by politicians who want to introduce rigid systems which would merely swing the pendulum across to the opposite silly extreme.
Let’s say you were out, and you come back to find on your caller display that somebody has telephoned you, but who? Do you know that you can just type in the telephone number on Google, and often you will find out something about your caller. It might not be complimentary! If you suspect that a company called “Dodgy Trading Ltd” is a scam, then try searching for “dodgy trading ltd scam” to see what other people say.
Income tax is an annual tax which requires a new Finance Act every year. Opposition parties in Parliament usually vote against the Finance Act, but the Government always wins by virtue of its overall majority. Since the Finance Act is a money bill, it then goes straight for Royal Assent, bypassing the House of Lords.
This sounds like a wonderful idea, but how exactly would it work? Suppose that a busload of MPs goes over a cliff. We have 78 by-elections, and 78 new MPs. A basic principle of our Constitution, if not of logic itself, is that no one can dictate to these MPs how they will vote when they get to Parliament. Income tax is an annual tax for which the authority to raise it has to be renewed every year. It is not possible to dictate to any of these new MPs, or to any existing MP for that matter, how they will vote. In the case of other taxes, such as VAT, Parliament could resolve to determine the VAT rate at the start of a new Parliament, and not to review it, but there can still be a palace revolution after which the new regime changes it.