Your Friendly Bean Counters!

Your Friendly Bean Counters

[A tribute to BN Associates – small accountancy Firm of the Year 2018]

 

Some claim that accountancy is really boring
And the subject is simply not worth exploring
But I would reject this view superficial
‘Cause accounting for business is most beneficial

Accounting can outline the state of our wealth
And strong cash flow is vital for health
If we find ourselves too deep in debt
Our creditors become a serious threat

So by keeping track of such vital numbers
Monetary issues should never encumber
And accurate accounting will show us the way
To monitor the business each working day

Enough of the system, it’s people that matter
And I don’t intend to unduly flatter
But I know of a squad who deserve all our praise
As they help their clients in so many ways

So today I offer warmest congratulations
To a firm now peerless within our great nation
So raise your glasses to Brett, David and team
As they tick every box and count every bean!

Ken Fisher
The Bard of Kelvindale

The Swiss Army Knife – Even More Useful

The Swiss Army Knife – Even More Useful

[This is a sequel to my previous poem – The Swiss Army Knife-
Published Jan 24, 2017]

The Swiss Army Knife is quite cutting edge
No limit to the uses to which it can stretch
This latest model has pen and shining flashlight
Features which surely will bring much delight

I crossed the boundaries of this innovative nation
Whose mechanical products deserve admiration
Their fame is well known for watches and clocks
But my joy is the penknives of Victorinox

Imagine my delight when I discovered a store
Whose shelves were laden with penknives galore
Some were enormous with unlimited functions
To deal with every problem or tricky malfunction

But my preference is for the smaller device
Not only because of its more reasonable price
So the one that I chose to add to my collection
A multi-tool, a pen, and a light, all which act with perfection

Ken Fisher

GDPR

GDPR

The latest challenge to face our British nation
Is the General Data Protection Regulation
Now we must comply with detailed rules
To help us, some guidelines are useful tools

Curiously it is Europe who commands we comply
And Brexit appears to offer no alibi
In the UK the Information Commission
Demands our complete and ready submission

It would appear all these changes come in the wake
Of frequent liberties that intruders may take
With our personal data which we let others hold
As in on-line processing we have entered so bold

Big Data is the feature that might fill us with fear
As facts known about us break every frontier
Thus personal data ascends to the cloud
And lands where we surely would not have allowed

So all these new rules have been devised
To ensure of our data use we keep appraised
Above all, our privacy must be secured
And of that fact let us all be assured

Businesses, charities and all kinds of organisation
Will find they must meet their new obligation
To ensure that they comply with GDPR
Whose ramifications stretch both wide and far

One aspect of GDPR that surely will scare
Are the punishments if firms seem not to care
And it’s best that all submit to the ICO Regulator
Who is the ulitimate judge and arbitrator

So I hope all goes well in data protection
And miscreants will soon suffer detection
But don’t let all your links to others be lost
A price we may think is too high a cost

Ken Fisher

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting

How often do you feel left to do it all?
The heavy lifting, I mean
Of course they all pretend to be concerned
But there is always a convenient get out

There are domestic heavy lifters
Caring 24/7 for ageing relatives
Single parents bowed down in their isolation
The partner of the unrepentant alcoholic

There are industrial heavy lifters
The factory fodder on the minimum wage
The wage slaves in flooded car-washes
Or seedy nail bars or all-night greasy spoon cafes

There are commercial heavy lifters
Keyboard slaves handling millions of transactions
Of which their share will be infinitesimal
Clerks waiting to be swallowed up by automation

Social heavy lifters propping up suffering humanity
Nurses on night shifts, social workers, paramedics
All these strain their muscles to uphold our burdens
But do we care? After all someone has to do it.

And higher up the tree there are others who know they
do the heavy lifting that we all fail to recognise
The loyal servants of companies and institutions
The office holders in churches, clubs and voluntary organisations

But do we really ever think of the injustice suffered
by the heavy lifters? Or do we just think – hard luck
Why don’t they just get over it?
If they all decided to give up one day – where would we be?

But we know they wont

Ken Fisher

Comforting Capsule

Comforting Capsule

The car door shuts with a reassuring clunk
Suddenly “the busy world is hushed”
All external clamour is stifled
I am at peace

Through the windows the quotidian frenzy
Perseveres unremittingly
But I am immune,
Cocooned in this comforting capsule

Don’t start the engine, don’t check the mirrors
Why go anywhere, enshrined in this calm oasis?
Luxuriate in this fleeting lacuna, life on hold
Baby-like, secure in mother’s womb

Why do they sell cars on their reputation for speed?
Or their brake-neck acceleration
Surely their motionless power to induce serenity
Not only saves fuel, but restores our sanity

No longer 0 – 60 in 5 seconds
But high doh down to low doh
Snuggly encapsulated
Simply chill

Ken Fisher

 

Algorithm

Algorithm

 

An algorithm is a concept of which we should take heed
A kind of diagram which shows us how to proceed
To solve a problem by breaking it down to small steps
Making decisions unambiguous is the main object

Primarily used to solve conundrums mathematical
It can be employed to cope with tasks quite practical
By considering the flow of information in a process
And the choices at each stage throughout its progress

Algorithms are the heart of most computer programs
Compiled as binary choices shown as in a diagram
A question is asked for which the answer is yes or no
And the response determines just how to go

Algorithms can be defined as a set of rules
Within a sequence of operations they form the tools
Whereby a computer can make ‘decisions’
According to a defined set of conditions

Thus by the use of algorithms joined together
Decisions are made on ‘greater or lesser’
Or the scale of a value or magnitude
And the measures such as latitude

The whole approach assumes that there is nothing
That cannot be defined as zero or one thing
Thus the binary system employed in its glory
The very heart of every algorithmic story

All these processes are performed at the speed of light
On huge chunks of data held by the megabyte
And computers do their work with such composure
The inner workings never revealed to external exposure

There is no doubt that the algorithm deserves our praise
As the performance of machines it continues to raise
But prophets of doom fear for our future employment
As robots will doubtless enforce our replacement

Because algorithms bring artificial intelligence
Clever machines designed with great elegance
To take over from humans the work that we do
An advance that in time we may well  rue

We can only hope that the mighty algorithm
Will nonetheless improve the human condition
And perhaps at some glorious future date
From drudgery it might all of us liberate

Ken Fisher

Tired and Emotional

Tired and Emotional

“Tired and Emotional” is a well-worn euphemism
Used by the press to highlight the effects of alcoholism
Demonstrated in some of our erstwhile politicians
When subjected to their Star Chamber style inquisitions

But it seems to me that to be tired and emotional
Can affect us all, even those most stoical
Fatigue is found endemic in busy modern life
With emotional turmoil as we face daily strife

So many spend their days constantly being driven
Slaves to a work regime, quite often unforgiving
Heightened emotion a feature of our interaction
Prompting passion instead of calm reaction

So is it any wonder that all this is so draining?
A challenge to ensure our composure still remaining
Being tired and emotional becomes our default disposition
And our earnest wish is to change this dire condition

So is there any cure for this grim state of affairs
Any nostrum, magic formula to rid us of our cares?
Perhaps that other aphorism “Keep Calm and Carry On”
Might yet prove useful for us to ruminate upon?

Ken Fisher

Newspaper Supplements

Newspaper Supplements

You have heard the expression ‘too much information’
An example of this stems from newspaper publications
The weekend supplements are inclined to excesses
In the vast flow of material that spouts from their presses

The very size of the bundle you pull down from the shelf
Can all this be read by one person themself?
There are endless features, sometimes in sections
News, travel, finance, business, all demand your attention

If your interest is gardening, or the life-style of the llama
Or perhaps science is preferred to music or drama
If healthy living and sport is your main obsession
The supplements will surely give it expression

And then there are the colour magazine enclosures
Here fashion and glamour are given full exposure
Photographers are thus granted undoubted free rein
If they show rather too much we ought not to blame

For editors of these weekend cornucopia
Try to showcase a world resembling utopia
The travel supplements would take us all to exotic places
Island paradises peopled by outlandish races

And let’s not forget the crosswords and puzzles
We need these to exercise the cranial muscles
Although if we get stuck it might make us furious
And their answers to quizzes are sometimes quite curious

However I think the weekend supplements are really a boon
The Radio and TV programmes, even a cartoon
A range of material, far more than we seek
And weekend reading surely lasts us all week!

Ken Fisher

The Assault on Irn Bru

The Assault on Irn Bru

I see, in the press, Irn Bru is to change
Less sugar proposed in this magical mixture
It appears some drinkers it might thus estrange
For whom this beverage has long been a fixture

There is a great history behind this well-loved libation
Without it this nation would seem somewhat deprived
So fiddling the formula produces frustration
Why make these changes, we are quite satisfied?

For more than a century the Scots sought refreshment
From this unique blend of secret ingredients
For quenching their thirst, no better replacement
In bottles or cans it was found so convenient

Of course the years have seen changes in its presentation
Glass bottles by plastic in due course succeeded
And adverts quite often produced a sensation
To rival world brands, whisky almost exceeded

But in order to meet targets for sugar reduction
The makers of Irn Bru now offer a spanking new version
And they claim there should be no dissatisfaction
A switch to the new, a quite painless conversion

But in the meantime some traditionalists are simply stockpiling
Crates of the old brand of their great national drink
The prospect of the new not quite so beguiling
And that’s their opinion despite what anyone thinks

Ken Fisher

Personal Brand

Personal Brand

It is no longer good enough to be one face in the crowd
You need something distinctive to shout out really loud
In these modern days where qualifications proliferate
Extra impetus is needed to give your CV more weight

It is also true that individuality is the cult of the day
‘Look who I am’ is the message to convey
So our unique selling points we have to grandstand
And this can be achieved with a personal brand

The use of social media helps in self-promotion
Face Book and Twitter set the wheels in motion
This takes some time and can be quite a slog
Or you can gather a following with a topical blog

Some find that YouTube can spark lots of interest
It’s visual cameos often seem to work best
But branding is not only about loud media hype
It is more than just creating a new stereotype

Your personal brand should convey to all others
That you are different from many competitive runners
In the race for that treasured new job or profession
Claim that those talents they seek are in your possession

When there are so many fish swarming the sea
From that pool of bidders why should they pick me?
The answer would seem is to make them aware
Of the power of your brand when they start to compare

And so whatever in life is your earnest endeavour
Success in employment, marriage, or whatsoever
My advice would be to polish your brand
Thus being ready for whatever life might demand

This worldly advice is not meant to seem selfish
To ‘big you up” or half-truths to embellish
But rather to encourage your own self-belief
In your personal brand which will ensure you succeed

You may have observed that the brands we all love
Have not been handed down to us from someone above
They took years to build up to a good reputation
So it’s bound to take time to gain acclamation

Ken Fisher

Track Your Parcel

Track Your Parcel

A mounting feeling of anticipation
Wondering when it will arrive
There is no need for desperation
Without it we have so far survived

In times past we simply waited
Till the postman rang our bell
Gazing at the pane frustrated
Arrival time we can’t foretell

The modern world is so high tech
Now we trace it on its way
Aware of delay or bottleneck
Beeps can trigger hope or dismay

But sometimes promises are broken
Dashing all our expectations
Bell rings and our door we open
Looking out full of impatience

But all we find is our Window Cleaner
Wanting paid and Christmas tip
Of parcel van he’s not the driver
Bearing our much hoped for gift

So when you order goods on-line
Remember hitches can arise
Predictions may be undermined
To remain uncertain my be wise

However, imagine how it made as marvel
When our neighbour at our door arrives
Bearing our illusive parcel
She had received to her surprise!

Ken Fisher

Black Friday 2017

Black Friday 2017

Black Friday is about to dawn
Indeed it seems never to have gone
This mad scramble for bargains
Gives birth to rugby scrums in shopping malls
And melt-down on computer networks
As search engines and eager bargain-hunters
Hit the town centres and the web browsers

I wonder if this whole exercise has some cathartic purpose
Pent-up emotions being released in some orgasmic frenzy
But who stirred up the desire in the first place?
Did we harbour some deep repressed longing to buy, buy, buy
Or was it the wiles and blandishments of the advertisers
On behalf of the retailers in their constant quest for profit
Who ensured that we would not remain lethargic

Well whoever is to blame, ourselves or the market place
We are assured that Friday will produce record-breaking turnover
Shops may be crammed with customers
And the on-line trade will ensure the white-van army
Of delivery agents will shift the goods from anonymous
Warehouses up and down the land, to your door and mine
And we will jump for joy at the ring on our door bell!

Happy shopping!

Ken Fisher