Cheeky business owners are claiming for holidays, hairdos, Botox and teeth whitening, a new survey has found. Asked about the most unusual things they’d put through the books, five per cent said ‘personal grooming’, 16 per cent claimed holidays and a saucy five per cent ‘adult toys.’ Cocktails came in at 15 per cent, five per cent said they had claimed to get into a nightclub, four per cent said they put their pet care through the books and three per cent their speeding fines.
Nearly a third claimed for clothes, five per cent for wearable fitness trackers and five per cent for games consoles. Of the parents polled, 16 per cent had claimed for child care and keeping up appearances also featured, with nine per cent expensing their gym or golf club membership and six per cent their make up. The research was carried out to mark Love My Accountant Day on August 25th, set up to celebrate number crunchers by accountant Mahmood Reza.
Mahmood, 58, who runs Pro Active Resolutions in Leicester, said: “I wanted to ensure people are claiming all the expenses they’re entitled to. The answers ranged from Donald Trump wigs for a photoshoot to paying for their dogs to go to daycare and adult toys. The idea behind #LoveMyAccountantDay is making accountants seem less scary and more approachable for business owners. So it was good to see that people are being pretty up front by putting claims in for more unusual expenses.”
How Sexy Are Accountants?
It quizzed 1032 business owners to find out their perceptions of the profession. Nine per cent said they saw them as ‘fun,’ and three per cent of people said they thought accountants were ‘sexy.’ Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) said they thought they were serious, 36 per cent said they were boring and 39 per cent said they were geeky or nerdy. But of those polled, 75 per cent said seeing ‘accountant’ on a dating profile wouldn’t make them any more or less attractive.
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One in seven, 15 per cent, said they would swipe right and one in ten said they would find the vocation unattractive and swipe left. Asked if they would expect one to split the bill on a dinner date, 30 per cent said yes, 29 per cent said no and 36 per cent weren’t sure. Only two per cent said they dated a bean counter and they DID split the bill.
The research revealed lockdown has helped people warm to the profession and see those dealing with the numbers as more approachable. For many small business owners, accountants have helped get their figures in shape to claim on the Government’s furlough scheme. As a result, only seven per cent viewed them as ‘scary.’
Mahmood added: “There’s a stereotype of accountants as being stuffy and dull, and I wanted to find out what people really thought and it’s pretty positive. But accountants can be fun so it was encouraging to see them described with words like adventurous and sexy, albeit a relatively low number. During lockdown, many have turned to their bookkeeper for help in keeping their businesses going and this had changed perceptions for the better. If someone can help you put your Botox, blow dry or even your family holiday through the books, they can’t be that bad!”
What Cars Do Accountants Go For?
When it came to accountant’s favourite cars one in five said they’d expect to find them behind the wheel of a BMW. Next on the list was a Honda at 13 per cent, then a Toyota at 12 per cent, an Audi at 11 per cent and the least likely car choice for a finance whizz was a Seat. Mahmood says that he hopes people will embrace Love My Accountant Day by showing their appreciation of money men and women and sharing stories of their financial wins.