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Step away from the keyboard


As I have aged, I’ve found myself tolerating fools less and less.  Whether it is on social media or in general life, especially business, I am now consciously having to bite my tongue to avoid appearing confrontational.
In a previous blog, I mentioned grammar and pronunciation (or at least, aspiration) of the letter “h”.  As a now officially card-carrying grumpy old man (having now attained a “certain age”) I find that tolerance of fools decaying on a daily, if not faster basis.
Some advice for people embarking on a career of bookkeeping.  Before you even consider it, first get some training or, at the very least, experience of the genre.  Having been a trained trainer in technical matters, I used to believe that there were no stupid questions:  I was wrong.  Some of the doozies I see posted by would-be bookkeepers and "businesspeople" on social media are so stupid that I seriously think these people should not only avoid bookkeeping as a career/business, but they should present themselves at the nearest sanitorium (are they called that, nowadays) and voluntarily submit to some EST.
There’s a thing on the internet now called a search engine – learn to use it and you won’t embarrass yourself in front of your would-be peers.  Some of the questions I’ve seen have almost prompted me to reach for the keyboard to find the nearest facepalm GIF as a response.
Likewise, the accounting software packages being advertised on the radio and TV suggesting that their use is a piece of cake and that anyone can do it.  To be honest, I can’t really complain about this as their oversell is my lead generator but doing one’s own set of books without an understanding of what a set of accounts is supposed to look like, or the regulations behind them is, believe me, not a wise thing to do.
It's why some of us have qualified and have letters after our names – hard won recognition that we are “supposed” to know what we are doing.
 Now, I’m not saying we’re perfect.  The goalposts are constantly being widened, shrunk and moved by the lovely people at the HMRC, and there are cock-ups on a more than seldom basis.  However we DO understand what needs to be done to rectify the errors.  Eventually.
Please, I’m begging you, don’t run headlong into your books and then, when they are wrong and you come to us for assistance, complain that you are surprised there’s a sizable cost to you.  Education is a costly thing:  both for our attainments and achievements as well as your bad experiences.