ACCOUNTANTS, at least back when this correspondent was young, always copped a bad rap.
For they were always stereotyped as dour, humourless types who wore ill-fitting suits and supported St George. We have no idea why this was the case.
There was no chance of this correspondent being an accountant and not because of the above reasons. Maths wasn't our go at school.
In fact we opted not to do maths in the HSC all those years ago and were roundly thanked by the Maths Department at the school where we largely wasted our time.
But being no good with numbers meant that after starting work we needed someone to do our tax, in other words, an accountant.
We recall being somewhat apprehensive when tax time rolled around, wondering if our first visit to an accountant to discuss complicated tax matters would be painful.
We sought advice and were pointed in the direction of a firm located in the then busy Victoria Street, Taree.
"Their office is near the Exchange, so you can have a couple of beers before you go there,'' we were told.
So we did. We conversed with a couple of United footballers (there were always United footballers at the Exchange in those days) then suitably fortified, we headed north to our taxation destiny.
We remember it being a pleasant half hour or so. We discussed worldly issues with our new accountant acquaintance - the footy and rising beer prices - before we signed some forms.
A couple of weeks later we pocketed our first tax return, which we recall was a princely sum for a 19-year-old. In the decades since we've always enjoyed tax time, even though we've changed accountants countless occasions.
For they were always stereotyped as dour, humourless types who wore ill-fitting suits and supported St George- Accountants used to get a bad rap
We've always found our accountants to be cheerful souls whose clothes seemed to fit them fine. At least one we know supported St George, but we all have our crosses to bear.
We remember once heading into tax time with a folder bulging with what we thought were legitimate deductions. We were wrong.
"This voucher will get you a free bottle of coke with your next pizza at Pizza Hut,'' the accountant patiently explained.
"But it's no use for your tax.
"Same with this pile of unsuccessful pub raffle tickets.''
"These people are so damn clever,'' we remember thinking.
So we blamed John Howard (we always did that), signed off on our tax return and in a moment of generosity told our accountant to keep the Pizza Hut voucher. (We've never liked pizza much.)
These days tax time is a doddle. Everything is virtually done before we get there and all we have to do is sign off and collect the cash in 10 days or thereabouts.
We do miss the conversations about the footy and escalating beer prices.
Sadly, it's all part of progress, we guess.
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