Tuesday, January 09, 2007


One of the truly exhilarating intellectual challenges with which you wrestle during your roller-coaster life as an Accountant is the idea of Retention of Title – the concept where something you have bought remains the property of the Seller until you, the purchaser, have actually paid for it. You’d think it was dead simple as an idea, but no, Accountants and Lawyers being what they are, the maintainance and clarification of the Rules on all this keep some very highly paid people in employment permanently – not, I hasten to add, individuals with whom you’d want to spend too long in a pub. Anyway, we’ve all seen the comments written on the bottom of invoices which companies send to us when we buy something new.

The first invoice I received through the post after New Year contained one of these clauses. In the circumstances however, being still full of bonhomie and good naturedness, I contacted them to advise that, even in the (unlikely, I hope) event that my Bank did not honour my cheque, I was more than happy for them to retain the goods involved in the transaction whatever happened. I actually foresaw no circumstances where I would conceivably want the goods to be returned to me.

Generosity knows no bounds at this time of year!

Upon reflection, this magnanimity may also have been slightly coloured by the fact that the “goods” referred to in their invoice (Exhibit A below) were the contents of our Septic Tank which, before Christmas, they had just emptied and removed.

Enjoy your breakfast!

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