t: 0141 556 5348
e: mail@ngmaccountants.com

Business is fun


According to the weather forecast, there is no real snow forecast before Christmas now. Which is not to say that we will be having pretend snow instead.

Many people would say that we've had enough anyway in the last few days, though I for one would not agree - I love the snow. For one thing, it makes everything brighter and cleaner-looking, so in many ways its a bit like slapping on some make up and, in the process, hiding a multitude of spots and other blemishes.

But it is superficial and as we all know, usually it doesn't last, and before long, lumps and bumps reappear, the potholes in the road seem suddenly bigger and deeper and the once clean covering is dirty, brown-coloured and looks a bit like mashed potatoes and gravy, spread all over the roads.


Its a not uncommon thing now to walk into Starbucks or - if you're wiser, into biblocafe in Glasgow's Woodlands road - to find most of the seats occupied by what I call visonistas.

There they sit focussed, on their own creativity, oblivious to the world as it hovers in their presence looking for a share of a table. Few of us, sitting down in a cafe or public space immediately strike up a conversation with the stranger sitting next to or opposite us, and unless the lift breaks down, will easily pass a minute or so in a perhaps embarrassing silence as the hollow cube rises or falls in the lift shaft till we reach our destination.

We have become islands in our own world. And yet, "No man is an island, entire of itself" (John Donne). We should be - are - social animals but still it is the done-thing (no pun intended) to ignore our neighbours.


Grey is the colour of an accountant or so popular culture tells us. Personally, I prefer red - for warmth, passion, love, adventure and danger. Maybe that says more about my personality than my profession. Many accountants choose the tried and trusted blue, grey, gold and sometimes, purple.

Designers will tell you that all of these colours have psychological overtones and that is why so many accountants' websites are a cold, chilling blue!

So here we have a very defined interpetative boundary between two primary colours.

5th October 1143

A long time ago, you'll agree. On that date, Portugal obtained its independence from the Kingdom of Leon, although it was a different kind of independence from that obtained by other countries in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Whether or not you agree with Scottish Independence is a matter of fact and no doubt in a time to come, we'll find out if we want it or not. It's difficult to separate out partisan fluff from real facts and indeed even if you knew what the facts were, how could you be sure they were true! That would depend a lot on who was doing the telling, I guess.

Truth be told, I don't care who wins. - An Andertoons Cartoon


I've often wondered whether I don't have the skills to be a tradesman. My wife would absolutely say "No Way!", but it is still nice to dream of working with wood and creating something pleasant to look at or better still, be a plumber and deal with creating new central heating systems or fixing bursts or just simply dealing with the waste products of the world...well on second thoughts, maybe not. Maybe a joiner after all... There is something satisfying I guess about making a "thing" and then getting paid for it.

But now I think about it, an accountant is a master craftsman too: kind of like electricians and joiners and plumbers all rolled into one. [That's me made a couple (at least) of enemies].

Accounting isn't about adding up the numbers. That's bookkeeping. Accounting starts afterwards; business advice starts after we have the numbers and that's why as a master craftsman we spend as long as any tradesman getting to understand what business is about and THEN another 3 or 5 years serving our apprenticeship.

Screen play

I find it difficult to read long tracts of text on a computer screen. Especially narrative. Maybe this is because my brain is conditioned to see reading on screen as needing to be fast and in "byte" sized chunks only; because I need the kernel of tax information or the accounting rule in a few words (in joke!).

Everything these days is chunked down to small bits - twitter limits you to 140 characters - and no one seems to want to spend more than 1 or 2 minutes on any web page searching for information. And that piece of information is taken directly from my own web stats. So small is beautiful it seems.

This blog post has been commented on 12 times, tweeted 22 times, and actually read 3 times! - An Andertoons Cartoon


KISS - Keep it Simple Stupid. I think everyone knows this acronym and uses it regularly (sometimes appropriately).

But I think it's more complex than just using the glib, almost hackneyed phrase. It's almost an automatic response nowadays, almost like the "air quotes" many people use.

It's more complex because the glib phrase requires action to make any sense of it. As business owners it's all too easy to get so embroiled in the complexity of a problem which by its nature grows arms and legs just by looking at it. Arms and legs that twist and turn and become tangled, making a real gordian knot of a problem.

Just for wimps and wooses

Continuing on the values bandwagon...

One of the values I said that we hold as a team is about feelings. Here is our explanation of what that value means for us:

Our personal feelings are important to each of us and must be respected by others in the team. We ensure that no-one is subjected to harassment,bullying, emotional blackmail, racism or any form of discrimination whether enshrined in law or not. Idle gossip can become unintentionally harmful and so we avoid it at all times.


I don't often write about ethics and so you'll be pleased to see that I'm not going to start today. Ethics, while interesting and challenging, is not a topic for a fun-focussed blog like this.

But Values are important - and different from ethics in some ways - and are the rules by which we work or behave or act. Embedded often by our parents, our values can change in time and because of our life experiences. Nowadays values seem less like values to me at any rate. Personal values like honesty, decency, integrity, loyalty, truthfulness, and fairness all seem such old fashioned concepts in our "who cares" world.

At times like this I am glad to be old and as an accountant to have these values deeply embedded in my psyche. It is not of course something we brag about in our marketing. It would be boring in the extreme and also because they are taken for granted by everyone else: our clients expect these as a basis for doing business and NOT as an extra that is negotiable.

No really, it is just for fun

No thoughts, no comments (other than to say there aren't any). I'll leave today's picture to you.


A free gift if you like.