My sons, Murphy Richards Jr and Murphy Richards III, reminded me of a joke last night. I think the original was by Michael McIntyre. He is a popular comedian who specialises in observational humour. Therefore the substance of his joke is true and everything that I have assumed is meant by this joke that follows in this post is also true.
The joke is about using maps on a mobile phone – and that the first place we always want to find is our home. The same is true of street view, or whatever Google call their service where you can view a road on a map. This is true for upper-middle class sorts such as myself who have nice homes in nice areas, so I imagine it must still be true for people who live on council estates too.
It is certainly not true simply because when we want to play with our new smartphone’s map function, our home postcode is the only postcode we can actually remember off the top of our heads.
No, that would not support my tenuous argument that home matters to us so much that we want to check it out – even when we’re at home.
But look at a set of multinational corporation accounts and you can’t do that. Apparently I am so insignificant that they do not declare how much profit is attributable to my custom from them. My household is noticeable by its absence because customer-by-customer reporting does not exist within the pages of such a document.
Those accounts do, as a result, fail to meet a basic human need, which is information on what is happening immediately around us. And even now when the case for customer-by-customer reporting is being won (because I say that it is being won), those responsible for the preparation of accounts are fighting back against the provision of that information.
It is obvious that they are trying to hide something by not providing this information (not that there is no requirement to publish it and there is no interest to your average shareholder). My only question is what?
Michael McIntyre has clearly endorsed the need for customer-by-customer reporting. So why haven’t accountancy firms?