Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

Brand new Business Bitesize!

Business Bitesize

Brand new from Balance Accountants is our Business Bitesize magazine which we are producing every 2 months.

Business Bitesize provides precious insights from some of the world’s best business books. Each issue is available via the home page of our website where you can download not only the magazine itself but a whole host of business tools and processes that will help you to implement the Business Bitesize ideas.

The whole package provides a great resource  for forward thinking business people who want to apply modern concepts to their businesses. But don’t take our word for it, look atv our website now and get access to a copy of the first Business Bitesize which looks at the subject of goalsetting.

More than just bean counters!

This year at Buy Yorkshire 2015 we are keen to point out that we are much more than just bean counters.  More to come on this over the next couple of days, but in the meantime here’s a look at the definition of ‘Bean Counters’.  Hopefully you will see why we don’t think this applies to us.

Bean counter

Meaning – A disparaging term for an accountant, or anyone excessively concerned with statistical records or accounts.


When researching the expression ‘bean counter’ there is a difficulty – the term has several different meanings. The common usage these days is as a name for a rather pedantic accountant, the implication being that, while most of us are content to buy beans by the bag, fussy accountants want to know exactly how many they are paying for. Before the first hapless accountant was called a ‘bean counter’ the phrase was also used as the name of a place where beans were sold, especially in the USA where ‘pork and bean counters’ were commonplace in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Added to that, our inventive predecessors used machines to count beans – and there’s no need to tell you what they called them. This variability can lead to some confusion when scanning old newspaper records and other references. Nevertheless, I’ll plough on and try to sort the leguminosae from the chaff.

Bean counters, that is, ‘counters where beans were sold’, came first. The US newspaper the Lewiston Evening Journal referred to these in June 1907:

The Clerk, seeing himself worsted by numbers… walked over to the bean counter where he again busied himself putting up packages for the evening trade.

This was followed by bean counters, that is, ‘machines that count beans’, which meaning is cited in the Pennsylvania newspaper The New Castle News, March 1916:

City Registry Clerk Stanley Treser has invented a new device. It is known as the bean counter.

Then, lastly, we get to bean counters, that is, ‘accountants’. The earliest reference I can find to the use of ‘bean counter’ with this meaning is in the US newspaper The Fort Wayne News And Sentinel, February 1919, in an article titled The Bean Counter:

The son of Josephus has been promoted in the quartermaster’s department. “I suppose,” remarked the Gentleman at the Adjacent Desk “I suppose that somebody has to count the beans for Colonel Roosevelt’s fighting sons.”

The ‘fighting sons’ were the US soldiers engaged in the latter part of WWI. The story alludes to the American politician Josephus Daniels who served in the administration of Theodore Roosevelt, who was himself a colonel during his military service and was a strong supporter of the US’s involvement in WWI.

The phrase appears in Australia soon afterwards, either by migration from the USA or by independent coinage. An example is found in The Parliamentary Debates of the Australian House of Representatives, 1928:

It is not a bean counter’s bill. There is no attempt to make any savings.

This insinuation that ‘bean counters’ were penny-pinching accountants who couldn’t see the bigger picture chimes in well with the no-nonsense reputation of Australian politicians. The phrase flourished down under during the 1930/40s before becoming commonplace throughout the English-speaking world later in the 20th century.

Article from The Phrase Finder

Quack quack!!!

About a month ago I took my 2 year old son to feed the ducks at the River Holme in Holmfirth. To our amazement we saw a Mandarin Duck, such a beautiful creature.

Two weeks after my encounter with Mr. Mandarin, Huddersfield Examiner had a front page spread of him in all his glory, ‘my’ famous Mandarin duck… He had swam all the way to Dewsbury!

Below is my attempt at taking a picture whilst making sure my son didn’t jump in after him (right) & the Examiners picture (left) putting my photography skills to shame.

And after all the excitement of my now famous Mandarin, on Monday whilst walking back from the village of Holmfirth I saw a Heron looking very statuesque. At first I thought it was an ornament until after 5 minutes of not moving even slightly it dived into the water like a bolt and came up with its tea… a rather large fish!… I was reminded to nip to the shop to get my son his fish fingers!!!

It is amazing what you see in that stretch of river through Holmfirth!

Actually, can anyone guess what I saw there last year? There will be a prize for the winner!

Not just accountants… Dentists too, apparently?!!

Most of you have visited our office in Holmfirth and have noticed a dental practice below us. Over the last couple of years we have had many patients walk into our office by mistake wanting their 6 monthly check-ups.  The dental patients usually come to our reception and sit down on our comfy leather sofa until we attend to them. However, one particular gentle man walked straight into Ashley’s office almost baring his teeth. He was then politely escorted downstairs to the dental practice. Unfortunately, he kept coming back, walking straight in to Ashley’s office again…..

Ashley now has a pair of pliers in his desk drawer for this particular gentlemen’s next 6 monthly appointment!

This blog was compiled by Elizabeth Barrowclough

Friday Favourites – Favourite Sweets

Today we ask The Balance Team what are their favourite sweets

Alex                 Haribo Bears

Ashley             Voice Tablets

Austen              Chocolate Orange Nibbles

Chris                Skittles

Claudia           Haribo

Deb                   Fruit Pastilles

Elizabeth       Chocolate Limes

Jacob               Dolly Mixtures

Jane                 Chocolate Brazil Nuts

Jo                      tbc

Josh                 Rhubarb and Custard Chews

Karen               Fizzy Cola Bottles

Linda               Midget Gems

Malcolm         Barley Sugars

Phil                  Wine Gums

Rachel             Haribo Fried Eggs

Compiled by Deb Bradley

Ey up it’s Yorkshire day!

Huray it’s Yorkshire day again, time to celebrate all things Yorkshire and just be grateful that you were born in God’s own county. Here at Balance we celebrate Yorkshire day every day, after all Gods own county is a great place to be and so many good things have come out of Yorkshire over the years.

Including Yorkshire pudding, Yorkshire Rhubarb, Yorkshire mixtures and good old Yorkshire humour, cos us Yorkshire lot can laugh at ourselves like nobody else in the country and just to prove it, have a look at this video! Yorkshire Zulu

This article was compiled by Austen Barrowclough.

Auto Enrolment proves to be a much bigger headache than initially expected.

Auto Enrolment (AE) is the new and compulsory employer obligation to provide employees with access to an employer pension scheme. Many large companies are already operating the scheme with all other employers set to join over the next 3 years.

Auto Enrolment is not optional for businesses and The Pensions Regulator can levy penalties against businesses that are non-compliant or fail to implement a scheme prior to their staging date.

Importance of your “staging date”

The staging date is the date by which your scheme must be up and running as well as compliant with all the new requirements. All companies with two or more employees have a staging date for Auto Enrolment based on their number of employees as at 1 April 2012

Here at Balance Accountants, Huddersfield we have already helped a number of clients to get to grip with auto enrolment and it has proved to be an arduous and time consuming task so we are recommending that you start planning for it now.

As a guideline, the following is our suggested timescale for implementation.

By 6 months before your deadline (“staging date”) you should have:

  • Checked which workers might need to be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme
  • Chosen a pension scheme and confirmed that the pension provider will accept all your workers
  • Ensured that your payroll systems support Auto Enrolment, and
  • Started to make your workers aware of Auto Enrolment.

Once your staging date arrives you must:

  • Enrol workers into your chosen pension scheme
  • Make contributions to that scheme
  • Keep records, and
  • Complete registration with The Pensions Regulator

Auto enrolment is just another burden piled on employers and it may be that it is the final straw that persuades many employers to outsource their payroll processing. The payroll department at Balance Accountants can help you—we have experience of auto enrolment as well as the necessary processes and procedures to operate your payroll and auto enrolment for you. Don’t get bogged down doing it yourself when we are here for you!

This article was compiled by Ashley Barrowclough

Friday Favourites – Favourite Tipple

Today we ask The Balance Team what is their favourite tipple

Alex                 Rum and Coke

Ashley             Cider

Austen            Coke Zero

Carolyn            Gin and Tonic

Chris                Strongbow dark Berries

Claudia            Lime and Soda

Deb                   Port

Jacob               Staropramen

Jane                 Bacardi and Coke

Jo                     Lime and Soda

Josh                 Rekorderlig

Karen               White Wine

Linda               Bacardi and Coke

Malcolm          Red Wine

Phil                  Any lager

Rachel             Schloer

Compiled by Deb Bradley

Friday Favourites – Favourite Food

Today we ask the Balance Team what is their favourite food

Ashley              Chicken madras

Austen             Pljeskavica (Serbian burger)

Carolyn            Jerk chicken, rice and peas

Chris                Beef

Claudia            Thai green curry

Deb                  Spinach and potato curry

Jacob               Ribs and wings

Jane                 Christmas dinner

Jo                     Sunday roast

Josh                 Chicken tikka sizzler, chips, rice and naan bread

Karen               Beef stew and dumplings

Linda               Anything anyone else cooks for me

Malcolm          Seafood

Nyall                Lamb shoulder

Phil                  Pizza

Rachel             Crispy duck pancakes

Compiled by Deb Bradley

Balance help with the Entice Project

Linda Jacobs, client manager at Balance Accountants will be at Shelley College on the 23rd June doing a talk to students about future careers. This is part of the Entice Project that Balance have been involved with since it started. The aim of the project is to help our community prosper by bringing together local business and talented students through an apprenticeship scheme that really works, Balance have already taken on a member of staff through the Entice Project. “At Balance we believe that the Entice Project is really important for the benefits  it provides to both students (prospective employees) and businesses (prospective employers).” says Linda Jacobs.


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