10 surprising accountancy facts

Looking at phone

Here are some surprising, strange and unusual facts about accountancy…

  1. Franciscan friar Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli is known has the father of accounting, although double entry had been around for centuries, he was the first to write a book on it (27 pages).
  2. It was FBI accountants that brought down Al Capone in 1931, FBI now employees 1,400 Accountants as Special Agents
  3. Mick Jagger and  Janet Jackson trained as accountants before becoming singers
  4. 60% of taxpayer hire an accountant to help them do their tax returns
  5. Bookkeeper and Bookkeeping are the only word in the English Language to have 3 consecutive double letters
  6. Monty Python frequently poked fun at the accounting profession.  One possible reason for their targeting of the accounting profession is that John Cleese’s father wanted him to become an accountant.  He was to work for Grace, Derbyshire and Todd Chartered Accountants on Whiteladies Rd, Bristol. (strange accounting facts)
  7. J. P. Morgan got his first Wall Street job as a junior accountant. Five years later he founded his own company.
  8. Erin Brady who won Miss USA 2013 is an accountant.
  9. St Matthew the Evangelist, author of the first of the Gospels, is the patron saint of accountants.  He is also the patron saint of tax collectors, bookkeepers, stock brokers and bankers.
  10. Compter was the original word of accounting. It was a derived from a French language.


Is your tax code right?

There are only a few days left to file Self Assessments for the tax year that ended on 5th April 2011 and we are rapidly approaching the end of another tax year, so have you paid too much tax? the chances are many people haven’t paid the right tax because their tax code was wrong.

Why not start by checking your tax with the HMRC Tax Checker


Checking your tax code

You’ll find your tax code on:

  • your pay slip
  • your PAYE Coding Notice – you usually get this a couple of months before the start of the tax year and you may also get one if something has changed but not everyone needs to get one
  • form P60 – you get this at the end of each tax year
  • form P45 – you get this when you leave a job

If you’re enrolled for Self Assessment Online, you can view PAYE Coding Notices issued on or after 11 October 2011 online.

If your tax code is wrong

You must tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible so they can correct it. You may get some tax back – or you might have to pay a bit more.

HMRC will need to know your tax reference and National Insurance number. Look for these numbers on official papers to do with tax, for example:

  • a payslip
  • letters from HMRC
  • a certificate of tax paid
  • a ‘PAYE Coding Notice’ if you have one – this is a notice telling you what your tax code is

Previously Reported Tax Code Errors

Tax code errors could cost a ‘huge number of people’ over £1,000 a year, financial group warns

Don’t pay the wrong tax, check it now and get it sorted.