The Secret Accountant presents a tongue in cheek look at the challenges of working from home.
Warning: the following text is the product of the secret accountant’s imagination and any resemblance to reality, of which there may be many, may not be a matter of coincidence.
Consider the following extract from the client engagement letter:
32. Phone calls: Due to the high volume of calls received by my office, and in order to serve you better, please choose from one of the following voicemail options:
Press 1 – if you wish to book an appointment to see me in the flesh. Our recent client satisfaction survey has revealed that this was the least rewarding enterprise ever undertaken by the clients
Press 2 – to transfer the call to the living room just in case I’m watching EastEnders
Press 3 – to transfer the call to my bedroom if I’m sleeping. However, please read clause 33 below before proceeding
Press 4 – to transfer the call to the House of Lords, where I get all the ideas to respond to Revenue’s consultations on such matters as IR35.
Press 5 - to make a complaint. We take complaints very seriously and have introduced an automated call recording service which, while it may take several hours, is very efficient in terms of accurately recording your complaint verbatim, with appropriate sound effects. Client satisfaction is at the heart of our practice. To ensure your time on the phone remains entertaining, we change the music every week. Further, for those struggling to find the appropriate vocabulary to make a complaint, please note we have a standard list of mildly abusive phrases to choose from, which can be obtained from our office free of cost. For more advanced cases, please contact my assistant who specialises in producing highly effective bespoke phrases tailored to suit your individual needs. However, this service is subject to a separate engagement and payment of a fee.
33. Our charges: I generally charge £42+VAT for getting out of bed; depending on weather conditions additional surcharge may apply.
34. Ethics: We follow ethics in letter and spirit. To explain it in plain English, if you were to leave £100 extra in your account in error, a bit of artificial intelligence embedded in our software means that your account will always be kept neat and tidy and any excess will be neatly transferred out to the practitioner’s drawings account.
35. Client money: Given the enormity of the tax liability on high net-worth individuals, we have researched the science of giving and have developed schemes for those pursuing philanthropy. Please contact my secretary for advice. As a matter of minor detail we accept donations in cash, cheques, crypto-currencies, and in kind (such as jewellery, expensive watches etc.)
36. Personal visits: In response to constant queries being received from clients, it’s clarified that those driving to my office in the UK in a car registered in France DO NOT need to remove the steering wheel and fix it on the other side, after crossing the border.
The Secret Accountant practises in an undisclosed location in the heart of the UK.