It's a monday thing..

Hey guys..

Just taken on a client that I have insufficient knowledge to advise properly. I thought I would just run every query that comes up in this forum and hope for the best.

If everyone can let me know their charge out rates then I will bill the client and profit accordingly.

Many thanks..



  • Poodle
    Poodle Registered Posts: 711

  • Dean
    Dean Registered Posts: 646
    I'm glad you started this thread; my frustration of these forums is starting to come out in some of my replies.

    I've wanted to say something about it for a long time but I also don't want to offend people - maybe I should say I seriously think the vetting of MiP applications needs some serious attention. Maybe it's not the AAT's doing, but the applicants bending the truth about their experiences etc. Maybe it's them even trying to do work they are not licensed too do? I don't know, however, I've been wondering whether I should take a break from here to vent my frustration and come back when I'm content enough to think 'oh well, not my client, not my PI claim'.


  • red_devil
    red_devil Registered Posts: 52 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Thanks guys. I really appreciate your smug responses which were obviously aimed at me. I will stay clear of these forums from now on and leave you to belittle other people who dare to post a question on here.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809
    If you were offended, red_devil, you might want to ask yourself why?

    When I was working for other firms, and particularly in my training days, I had little appreciation for the benefits of acting in a professional manner and maintaining high ethical standards because at the end of the day there was always someone higher up the food chain to take responsibility if something went wrong.

    When you act for a client as their adviser then it is you who is at the top of the food chain and it is your livelihood at risk if you give incorrect advice that leads to their financial loss.

    You may be quite young and bullish at the moment but the more work you take on that is out of your depth then the greater the risk that something will come back to bite you and when it does it bites hard!

    A few detrimental comments on here is a far easier lesson to learn than being sued for negligence, being subject to disciplinary proceedings and losing your licence to practice.

    Alas, some lessons have to be learned the hard way.
  • angela27
    angela27 Registered Posts: 40 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Wow what a childish thing to do, to actually start a thread because you are annoyed someone has asked for help basically. Red devil has the same qualification as you two and everyone has to start somewhere. Perhaps a case of jealousy in any instance your posts come across as being bitter and trying to teach someone a lesson, everyone learns their own lesson if be it the hard way. I can imagine a lot of business people although looking for experienced people to advise them also dont want to be made feel like an idiot for asking a question.
  • Guest
    Guest Registered Posts: 73 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Sorry, but Dean is spot on, i guess you are not a MIP to understand the Implications of just having a go.

    Plus why should the regluar posters here completed someone else's files?
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809
    angela27 wrote: Β»
    Wow what a childish thing to do

    No, childish may have been to post derogatory marks on the thread started by Red_Devil. I chose to post entirely separately to avoid the confrontation, yet raise the ethical issues.
    angela27 wrote: Β»
    to actually start a thread because you are annoyed someone has asked for help basically.

    No, it annoys me when people devalue the qualification they have worked hard to obtain by potentially bringing the reputation of the AAT into disrepute by choosing to ignore the ethical guidelines laid out by the association and blindly taking on clients they do not possess the knowledge or experience to serve.
    angela27 wrote: Β»
    Red devil has the same qualification as you two

    Same qualification but none of the experience.
    angela27 wrote: Β»
    and everyone has to start somewhere.

    EXACTLY. The place to start being working for someone else to gain experience and not experimenting with clients' tax affairs.

    If you read Red_Devil's question this morning it is not just a case of an unusual issue coming up for which he/she is seeking clarification. It is a complete lack of knowledge of where to even begin to assess the clients tax liability.

    I am all for people trying to expand their knowledge and learn new things by using this forum but I also wish to extol the virtues of abiding by the rules set by the AAT.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809
    angela27 wrote: Β»
    Perhaps a case of jealousy

    angela27 wrote: Β»
    in any instance your posts come across as being bitter and trying to teach someone a lesson

    Perhaps they do but, as I said, far better to hear it from me on a forum than from an AAT disciplinary panel.
    angela27 wrote: Β»
    I can imagine a lot of business people although looking for experienced people to advise them also dont want to be made feel like an idiot for asking a question.

    I agree, which is why I didn't respond directly on Red_Devil's thread.

    Here is what I think Red_Devil should have done and, almost certainly, what I would have done.

    1) Not act for the client on this occasion for tax purposes, advising client that it is not their area of expertise.

    2) Come on here and ask questions about the scenario and/or conduct further research and/or use the AAT helpline and/or speak to an experienced accountant/mentor and/or look at CPD cycle and see how the extra knowledge required can be obtained.

    3) When happy that knowledge is sufficient then they may be in a position to accept such an engagement.

    As an alternative..

    1) Advise the client that he/she was unsure of the tax position but that, if client is happy, then the tax will either be outsourced or a more qualified adviser will be consulted or the position will be researched.

    Either way, Red-Devil would have acted in a professional manner, retained honesty and integrity and been transparent with the client.

    I rather suspect the actual situation is:

    1) Yes, I am happy to be your accountant.
    2) Yikes, no idea whether this client should be paying tax or not - time to get on the forum.

    If I have completely misread the circumstances then I apologise profusely to Red_devil but remember I made no mention of him/her in my original post, it was a general comment on some of the threads that have appeared over the years.
  • red_devil
    red_devil Registered Posts: 52 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    To Angela: thanks for your support - it's nice to know that there are some friendly people on here.

    To Dean Shepherd: thanks for answering my question eventually on my original post. You will be pleased to hear that this will be my last post on this forum. I will leave it to people like yourself and Dean to enjoy feeling superior to some of the other posters on here. I hope it makes you feel good about yourself to basically put people down for not having the same knowledge as yourself and for daring to come on to your forum (it appears that certain people on here think that the forums are for them and only them) and ask a question. I hope in future that you treat your fellow MIPs with more respect and not as if they are thick or stupid. By the way it was very obvious from the way you started this post "Hey guys..." that you were referring to my post. I hope you offer your clients more courtesy than you have offered me. I am off now to read all of my tax manuals so that I know everything there is to know about tax and so I won't have to suffer the same humiliation I have suffered today by daring to ask someone for advice. Thanks again.
  • Hasan.Ahmet
    Hasan.Ahmet Registered Posts: 87 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    It's a Monday thing

    Beh forgiveness if I missed it but I have not detected any mention of the aat's business support helpline for tax, payroll, employment and commercial law for advice, call XXXX XXX XXXX quote schem number XXXXXXXX. *
    There're alternatives too for researching before deciding.
    Ultimately you take the assignment if you're satisfied that you have the attributes and can provide the service the client wants. Knowing what the client wants can sometimes be a challenge in itself because it can happen that they don't know themselves. It all comes with experience.

    * Moderator note: This post has been edited to protect access to the Business Support Helpline. AAT members in practice can view access details for the helpline on the MIP toolkit page within their MyAAT account.
  • JJ43
    JJ43 Registered Posts: 50 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Its a Monday thing ! - no truer word spoken or written in this case - someone has obviously got out the wrong side of bed today....

    I would have thought that this forum would have been far more professional and supporting to its members, be them MIP or like myself on the long study road. I for one, think this forum is an absoulte gem however, todays post has marred what had become a regular `tea break` in my day.

    I am somewhat peeved that some people take it upon themselves to `indirectly` have a pop at fellow members, there really is no need to be so condescending !

    Deanshepherd - if you found red-devils post so irritating, why anwer them ?

    Like red-devil, I have decided to log off for a while and let you children settle down and get back to using the forum for what its for, providing good advice, support and good humour! although today, it is sadly lacking.
  • Bluewednesday
    Bluewednesday Registered Posts: 1,624
    I didn't even realise that this was directed at anyone in particular until it was pointed out.

    However having said that I am constantly amazed at the questions asked by some MIP's which are absolutely basic knowledge (I am definitely not referring to red devil here) and these MIP's are advising people on their tax affairs! I definitely agree with Dean here.

    I have raised this before with an ex president of the AAT a few years ago so this is not a recent issue, I am no expert myself but I would like to think that I wouldn't take on anything that I couldn't be confident at dealing with. The AAT qualification without experience is not enough to start dealing with people's tax affairs.

    I'm sorry if it's an unpopular view but it's my qualification too.
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809
    I hope it makes you feel good about yourself to basically put people down for not having the same knowledge as yourself and for daring to come on to your forum

    You came here for advice and advice you got. I think you have little to complain about.
    I hope you offer your clients more courtesy than you have offered me.

    Of course I do. I even offer them the courtesy of being honest about my capabilities.
    I am off now to read all of my tax manuals so that I know everything there is to know about tax

    Forget the tax manuals - have a read of the Guidelines and Regulations for Members in Practice (link) and the Guidance on Professional Ethics (link).
    JJ43 wrote: Β»
    Deanshepherd - if you found red-devils post so irritating, why anwer them ?

    I didn't. I started my own thread. Who's irritated?
    JJ43 wrote: Β»
    Like red-devil, I have decided to log off for a while and let you children settle down

    Hilarious. Now who's being condescending? If you can't debate an important issue without throwing your toys out of the pram then by all means take a break.
  • qwerty
    qwerty Registered Posts: 82 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Why are people having a go at Dean?

    Sorry, but I have to agree with Dean here. Not only on this forum, but others too, there are people who run their own practice who ask questions which just make me scream "WHAT?"

    Yes the forums are here for people to ask questions when they are unsure (after all, no-one knows everything), but it seems sometimes that the attitude is "well I don't know what I am doing, but it is okay, I will learn from this, and it doesn't really matter that it is someone's affairs that I could mess up"

    We have a duty, not only to clients but also to our fellow professionals to act in a professional manner. If someone is unsure what they are doing, or how to deal with a client, it is in the best interests of the client to decline the appointment.

    My post is not aimed at anyone, and is just a general comment on what I think when I read some of the threads I come across.
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    Dean, you have my support too. You raised a valid point and got it across well - not rudely or jealously or any of the other baseless accusations that have occurred on this thread.

    There's nothing wrong with asking for advice from our fellow MiPs. There's nothing wrong with saying, "Argh, I'm having one of those days, I can't find the answer in my books, how do I do [insert technical calculation here]", or "this is the situation and I can't remember if A or B is right, can someone please confirm if I'm remembering this right?".

    And I'm not aiming this next comment at anyone in particular (I didn't realise the OP was influenced by Red Devil's posts but now I look at them I can see how it might be) but it's not right to use the forum to fill gaping holes in technical knowledge when you're holding out to be a professional in practice.

    I spend a lot of time trying to promote that the AAT is not just another bookkeeping qualification, and that we can run a general accountancy practice that is just as good as any chartered firm (indeed my partner and I can't believe the glaring errors we've seen after professional clearance but that's a whole new thread).

    When some MiPs act in a way that devalues what is recognised as a very good qualification, the rest of us are allowed to be a little miffed.
  • Raging Pineapples
    Raging Pineapples Registered Posts: 110 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    I'm only a student (just qualified and in the process of becoming a member), but I often read this section of the board to try and learn from the MIP comments.

    Now obviously, I'm no MiP, but Dean has my support purely because he's right. It's not a personal issue, it's professional. Your client is not only paying you, but also trusting you to advise him correctly on how to manage his tax affairs. If it's wrong, HMRC will come to his door since it's him who owes the money.

    This creates not only a professional duty but also a moral one. You simply cannot run this risk with someone else's life, it's just not fair to be that cavalier with someone else's funds.

    The other MIPs are warning you off a very dangerous course, and you would be wise to swallow your pride and take their advice. That is what you came here for, after all...
  • AdamR
    AdamR Registered Posts: 668
    It was a controversial post but I'm in agreement with the points made. However, at the risk of alienating the potentially already alienated, I do feel that a little bit more tact could've been used.

    That said, similar questions regarding an individual's competence have been put to some of the people with problems that they should probably know the answer to, so I guess this thread was probably the next step!

    Nevertheless... Oh no, that was it, sorry!:laugh:
  • angela27
    angela27 Registered Posts: 40 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    I agree with Adam, more tact could have been used, everyone is talking about being professional but the original post yesterday morning certainly wasnt being professional, and for the people who are annoyed when someone asks a question which you think they should know then dont reply to it you have a choice, the bottom line is red devil asked a question and like he said a smug thread was started because of it. Dean did however respond to red devils question later in the day in great detail so perhaps the better side of him took over unfortunately a little late as Red Devil has now decided to not post here anymore.
  • Poodle
    Poodle Registered Posts: 711
    angela27 wrote: Β»
    as Red Devil has now decided to not post here anymore.

    Bet he does and I bet he reads the rest of this:001_smile:

    Have to say that I am with you Dean as well.

    I post threads sometimes that might seam like really basic knowledge requirements to some but if you do not know the answer then what else can you do. All on here have been really helpful to me at times and I thank you all, I also find the MiP helpline really usefull as well. It is difficult when you operate from home on your own with no one else to ask.

    However, that said I do not take on clients that require work that is beyond me or my license, but sometimes an innocent engangement can turn out to be quite a beast without warning.

    When I take on a new client I always give them my business card, tell them that I am not a CA and explain that there are limitations to my license and that I have connections with a CA locally. Clients are happy with that and indeed I have had a couple of times now where I have visited the CA with my client to gain their direct help and advice, and to be honest wth you I think that it has given me more credit in the eyes of my clients.

  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809
    I think there are two issue here:

    1) The main issue I raised regarding integrity and acting professionally to our clients. (Which has now been well discussed above)

    2) Correct use of these forums.

    On the second point, it is sometimes hard to communicate your opinion in the written word only i.e. without body language or the subtleties of speech.

    Therefore, posts can come across quite innocent to some and quite antagonistic to others.

    I will often bite my tongue because I cannot always express what I want to convey without it sounding condescending or personal. In this case perhaps I did overstep the mark but, in my defence m'lud, I never mentioned any names in my original post and, even if I had, I think I am probably the only person in this thread that could actually be identified by their user name so I am the only one risking any negativity in reality.

    If anyone really was humiliated then they can quite easily reappear using another pseudonym. Given the past postings of some people a new pseudonym is probably long overdue!
  • claudialowe
    claudialowe Registered Posts: 275
    I finally understand Dean's original post :lol:

    I thought that I was having a bad Monday morning - totally didn't get it :blushing:

    IMHO - it is often difficult on forums to distinguish between blonde moments and lack of knowledge.

    If an existing client asks a question that I don't know about - I will always be honest and say "dunno". I will then say that I will try to find out for myself, or alternatively find a person that does. Clients expect us to be the fount of all knowledge - and we are not! We need to know what our limits are - and where to send clients if we cannot help.

    My tuppence worth!


    PS - Dean you get my vote :thumbup1:
  • Dean
    Dean Registered Posts: 646
    I will leave it to people like yourself and Dean to enjoy feeling superior to some of the other posters on here.

    That is complete and utter tosh!

    I am involved in public practice day in day out and I post on these forums for the passion of it, the thrill of problem solving and the buzz of tax saving. All my help is given completely free of charge and I expect nothing in return!

    ……forget it, I can’t even be bothered to continue.
  • Sue
    Sue Registered Posts: 217 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    I know I’m dragging up old posts but Red_Devil was the poster that insisted he was putting through Β£50 a week for use of home then eventually admitted it was a typing error and he meant Β£5.

    Then said he had gained 41 Clients within a couple of months of being Self Employed and was charging them Β£50/Β£100 an hour.

    I wonder how many of those Clients he still has!!

    Actually having just looked back through his posts I’m not sure he’s in a position to accuse anyone else of posting smug responses.
  • JJ43
    JJ43 Registered Posts: 50 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Apologies to Deanshepherd, I take back some of what I recently posted in defence of red_devil.

    I have just read some of red_devils previous posts and now fully understand where you are comming from.

    Could not stay away from forum for long, tea breaks just are`nt the same !
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