Home Forums Money matters Curious case of the invisible accountant

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  • #1000011
    JamesMillar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,675

    Something very odd that I’ve noticed here in the last year or so.

    There seem to be lots of tax and accounting questions being posed – some simple and some quite detailed. The simple ones are obviously exactly that – simple (and therefore simple enough to provide feedback on. Even by some non accountant members). The more detailed questions have a range of issues which really cannot and should not be addressed on an internet forum.

    Lots of members here (including myself) have politely suggested that forums are not the best place to seek detailed professional tax advice or strategy. Its normally been accompanied by the suggestion that the poster will likely also need to pay the adviser for the advice. The retort has almost always been one of the following;

    1. My accountant is currently on holidays so I thought I would try the forum for an answer (this is my favorite)

    2. I am arranging a meeting with my accountant next week and wanted to prepare for it.

    3. My accountant provided some advice and it made no sense so I am clarifying on a forum.

    So in almost all cases the poster already has what they seem to think is a professional accountant tax adviser – they just don’t happen to have received a solution from them so they head to the forum.

    Is there something wrong with this equation? These small businesses seem to have an invisible accountant. Do these accountants actually exist at all?

    #1222277
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,158
    JamesMillar, post: 268533, member: 5318 wrote:
    Something very odd that I’ve noticed here in the last year or so.

    There seem to be lots of tax and accounting questions being posed – some simple and some quite detailed. The simple ones are obviously exactly that – simple (and therefore simple enough to provide feedback on. Even by some non accountant members). The more detailed questions have a range of issues which really cannot and should not be addressed on an internet forum.

    Lots of members here (including myself) have politely suggested that forums are not the best place to seek detailed professional tax advice or strategy. Its normally been accompanied by the suggestion that the poster will likely also need to pay the adviser for the advice. The retort has almost always been one of the following;

    1. My accountant is currently on holidays so I thought I would try the forum for an answer (this is my favorite)

    2. I am arranging a meeting with my accountant next week and wanted to prepare for it.

    3. My accountant provided some advice and it made no sense so I am clarifying on a forum.

    So in almost all cases the poster already has what they seem to think is a professional accountant tax adviser – they just don’t happen to have received a solution from them so they head to the forum.

    Is there something wrong with this equation? These small businesses seem to have an invisible accountant. Do these accountants actually exist at all?

    Firstly, like the observations ;)

    My fave is 3. Its a bit like, are you listening or waiting to speak type scenario.. Or not really happy with what a professional had to say, so hey lets seek advice from a forum that may side with what i really wanna do

    Other than that, i read a few posts as being from students trying to have others do their homework.

    Jason

    #1222278
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    JamesMillar, post: 268533, member: 5318 wrote:
    Something very odd that I’ve noticed here in the last year or so.

    There seem to be lots of tax and accounting questions being posed – some simple and some quite detailed. The simple ones are obviously exactly that – simple (and therefore simple enough to provide feedback on. Even by some non accountant members). The more detailed questions have a range of issues which really cannot and should not be addressed on an internet forum.

    Lots of members here (including myself) have politely suggested that forums are not the best place to seek detailed professional tax advice or strategy. Its normally been accompanied by the suggestion that the poster will likely also need to pay the adviser for the advice. The retort has almost always been one of the following;

    1. My accountant is currently on holidays so I thought I would try the forum for an answer (this is my favorite)

    2. I am arranging a meeting with my accountant next week and wanted to prepare for it.

    3. My accountant provided some advice and it made no sense so I am clarifying on a forum.

    So in almost all cases the poster already has what they seem to think it a professional accountant tax adviser – they just don’t happen to have received a solution from them so they head to the forum.

    Is there something wrong with this equation? These small businesses seem to have an invisible accountant. Do these accountants actually exist at all?

    Hi James,

    It’s not just accountants, it’s invisible everything.

    One of the reasons I rarely post or log in these days is what appears to be a large volume and wide variety of “Dorothy Dixer’s”, imo designed to generate comment and I suspect indirectly site “traffic”.

    When you do engage, the original poster magically disappears.

    I’m beginning to suspect FS has become a price loss leader and promotional add on, for it’s current owners. Just check the current Ad profile, plus some Adsense auto generated stuff…once upon a time large corporate’s were paying for space, not now.

    I think the real question might be. How long before the add revenue can’t pay for costs and it get’s shut down?

    A once useful resource is now a shell imo.

    I see no movement to fix it, and without an active forum there’s not much else happening apart from recycled articles from other sources.

    Happy to be wrong, but I won’t hold my breath….and I do miss having somewhere to drop in and get involved in a robust or informative discussion.

    Cheers

    #1222279
    JamesMillar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,675
    LucasArthur, post: 268536, member: 34537 wrote:
    Other than that, i read a few posts as being from students trying to have others do their homework.

    Jason
    Hadn’t occurred to me but that could explain some.

    My opinion is that in many cases the accountants either don’t exist or they are bargain basement with no service or expertise. Its pretty sad to think that a forum is a better solution than your own accountant.

    #1222280
    beaglebookkeeping
    Member
    • Total posts: 9
    JamesMillar, post: 268533, member: 5318 wrote:
    Something very odd that I’ve noticed here in the last year or so.

    There seem to be lots of tax and accounting questions being posed – some simple and some quite detailed. The simple ones are obviously exactly that – simple (and therefore simple enough to provide feedback on. Even by some non accountant members). The more detailed questions have a range of issues which really cannot and should not be addressed on an internet forum.

    Lots of members here (including myself) have politely suggested that forums are not the best place to seek detailed professional tax advice or strategy. Its normally been accompanied by the suggestion that the poster will likely also need to pay the adviser for the advice. The retort has almost always been one of the following;

    1. My accountant is currently on holidays so I thought I would try the forum for an answer (this is my favorite)

    2. I am arranging a meeting with my accountant next week and wanted to prepare for it.

    3. My accountant provided some advice and it made no sense so I am clarifying on a forum.

    So in almost all cases the poster already has what they seem to think is a professional accountant tax adviser – they just don’t happen to have received a solution from them so they head to the forum.

    Is there something wrong with this equation? These small businesses seem to have an invisible accountant. Do these accountants actually exist at all?

    As an accountant and bookkeeper I think the main problem is that people don’t want to pay for advice these days. They think that the answer to any question can either be googled or asked in a forum like this for free.
    Most small businesses loathe the thought of paying an accountant for advice and would rather rely on free advice from strangers or ‘friend advice’ because they don’t seem to see the value in it anymore sadly.
    I’ve seen so many people, when asked whether they have spoken to an accountant or not, respond with ‘I can’t afford it’ or ‘They’re too expensive’ even though the financial gain to them that would eventually come from that advice would greatly outweigh the cost.

    #1222281
    JamesMillar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,675
    beaglebookkeeping, post: 268539, member: 51317 wrote:
    As an accountant and bookkeeper I think the main problem is that people don’t want to pay for advice these days. They think that the answer to any question can either be googled or asked in a forum like this for free.
    Most small businesses loathe the thought of paying an accountant for advice and would rather rely on free advice from strangers or ‘friend advice’ because they don’t seem to see the value in it anymore sadly.
    I’ve seen so many people, when asked whether they have spoken to an accountant or not, respond with ‘I can’t afford it’ or ‘They’re too expensive’ even though the financial gain to them that would eventually come from that advice would greatly outweigh the cost.

    I think you are probably on the money Michelle.

    We need to keep in mind that this forum is now almost entirely comprised of micro self employed operators (including side hustlers) which in many cases don’t have the issues and resources of typical small business. So “Flying Solo” does not necessary mean you are a small business.

    I’m not surprised they don’t have the funds or value advice because they aren’t really “in business”. Side hustling is by definition not a priority to the person doing it which to me says they are not serious about it. We can’t easily help someone that is not serious about their business.

    #1222282
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472
    Greg_M, post: 268537, member: 38207 wrote:
    I see no movement to fix it, and without an active forum there’s not much else happening apart from recycled articles from other sources.

    I’m sure that in a similar thread 12 months ago one of the admins said they were working on a new and improved forum, must be still working on it. They even asked for feedback at one stage.

    Sadly since [USER=5]@Robert Gerrish[/USER] departed the scene, things have gone in one direction. Maybe it’s the lack of ownership interest, who knows, the new owner has never been seen, accept feature prominence in some of the articles, which now a days have all become self promotional.

    PS. I like all 3 excuses above

    #1222283
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,158
    bb1, post: 268541, member: 53375 wrote:
    I’m sure that in a similar thread 12 months ago one of the admins said they were working on a new and improved forum, must be still working on it. They even asked for feedback at one stage.

    Sadly since [USER=5]@Robert Gerrish[/USER] departed the scene, things have gone in one direction. Maybe it’s the lack of ownership interest, who knows, the new owner has never been seen, accept feature prominence in some of the articles, which now a days have all become self promotional.

    PS. I like all 3 excuses above

    Oh, i have been snoozing lately.. Who owns FS now? There has only been several interesting posts of late that i thought were sponsorships or in FS better interest.. Is it more that the owner is self promoting now?

    A more confused than ever… maybe bringing things together as opposed to keeping FS moving forward?

    #1222284
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    bb1, post: 268541, member: 53375 wrote:
    I’m sure that in a similar thread 12 months ago one of the admins said they were working on a new and improved forum, must be still working on it. They even asked for feedback at one stage.

    Sadly since [USER=5]@Robert Gerrish[/USER] departed the scene, things have gone in one direction. Maybe it’s the lack of ownership interest, who knows, the new owner has never been seen, accept feature prominence in some of the articles, which now a days have all become self promotional.

    PS. I like all 3 excuses above

    I don’t know how many got it, but I remember doing a private (I think) survey asking about the state of the nation at FS…I had my $1.50’s worth answering it.
    But nothing happened with it seems.

    I did have a dummy spit in a thread a long while ago about some of the bugs in the site, accusing FS of setting up click bait in the way some of the headers and banners operated…I got a very good response from Peter, including a statement that a makeover was imminent. That was months ago, and now he’s departed too, so I reckon it’s done and dusted.

    I’ve always thought the content generated by the forum was the engine that powered FS. I once even found on Google an answer to a very obscure technical issue I was trying to fix…the source with a correct answer was a FS post…that must have been common in other areas as well.

    As Robert himself mentioned most forums have become problematic and are a dying breed.

    Some very eminent and experienced members offered support for a change of direction to maintain the resource, but it seems the business case didn’t stack up given where it’s at now.

    Longtime since I’ve had a rant and written an essay (well here anyway). If I don’t get wiped I’ll try to be more constructive in the future…

    #1222285
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    LucasArthur, post: 268542, member: 34537 wrote:
    Oh, i have been snoozing lately.. Who owns FS now? There has only been several interesting posts of late that i thought were sponsorships or in FS better interest.. Is it more that the owner is self promoting now?

    A more confused than ever… maybe bringing things together as opposed to keeping FS moving forward?

    Lol, how could you miss it? It’s the man with his head in every ad “pinstripe media”

    #1222286
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472
    LucasArthur, post: 268542, member: 34537 wrote:
    Oh, i have been snoozing lately.. Who owns FS now? There has only been several interesting posts of late that i thought were sponsorships or in FS better interest.. Is it more that the owner is self promoting now?

    A more confused than ever… maybe bringing things together as opposed to keeping FS moving forward?

    I just tried to find the thread announcing it, but its either disappeared or the search doesnt like it. But as [USER=38207]@Greg_M[/USER] says look for the pin stripes.

    With his supposed interest in small business you would think that he would be building this resource up instead of using it as a cash cow.

    #1222287
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472
    Greg_M, post: 268550, member: 38207 wrote:
    I..I got a very good response from Peter, including a statement that a makeover was imminent. That was months ago, and now he’s departed too, so I reckon it’s done and dusted.

    Oh when did Peter go I missed that one

    #1222288
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472
    bb1, post: 268553, member: 53375 wrote:
    Oh when did Peter go I missed that one

    Oh last seen October 16, bye Peter

    #1222289
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    bb1, post: 268554, member: 53375 wrote:
    Oh last seen October 16, bye Peter
    There’s an article written by Peter on the main page (yep, I do read some off them) about “returning to flying solo” himself.
    #1222290
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472

    For Jason’s benefit [USER=34537]@LucasArthur[/USER]

    2nd para

    https://www.flyingsolo.com.au/profile/robert-gerrish-associates

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