Sunday, 15 February 2015
This & that & ABS
23 January 2015, 8.30 am
I break into CIPA again. No-one else has got through the commuter traffic yet so I set off the alarm for the second time in less than a year.
Good morning! I say brightly when the next person arrives. The kettle is on and your room is nice and warm and oh by the way the alarm system needs a total reset. Sorry.
Some others arrive and we hold an emergency meeting of the Joint Business Practice Committee. Apparently IPReg have been ringing people up and calling them ABSs – which sounds impolite to me – and these people have been getting upset because if you are an ABS you have to have a Head of This and a Head of That and a Policy for This and a Policy for That and also something called a Business Plan, whatever that is. And you have to fill in a whole load of forms and I am not talking about PCT Requests.
It is all very well if your Alternative Business Structure is a big one. You can tell your minions to write the policies and fill in the forms and be the Heads of This and That. But if you are a small ABS, and the “alternative” part of it is just a tiny percentage of your spouse who has not the remotest interest in This and That much less your business plan, it is a bit harder. In this situation you have to be the Head of This and the Head of That yourself, which is confusing and quite possibly contrary to the rules on conflicts of interest, and you have to write your own This and That Policies not to mention a Business Plan and it is not enough to say in your Business Plan that you are going to do a bit of This and a bit of That and make some money out of it because IPReg will see straight through it. They will say: Why has your bank manager not rejected this Business Plan for insufficiency? And you will say: because my bank manager has so little interest in my business that he would rather paint the outside of his whole house with nail varnish than look at my paperwork, and the same applies to my “Customer Relationship Manager” that the bank is delighted to tell me has been appointed to manage my relationship from 250 miles away using a database that can’t even spell my name right.
So you see, there are some of our members, in smaller practices, who are getting a bit tetchy about all these developments. They have only just recovered from having to have a client account and then not having to have a client account or perhaps only having to have a client account for This and That, and then from having to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations or perhaps not having to comply and then wondering if they need a Policy for it anyway just in case.
We agree to do a webinar. A webinar is a giant anaesthetic to soothe away your troubles, at least until after it is over when you kind of have to do something in response. This one will be a great webinar because you will be able to watch someone filling out the forms for This and That and to ask questions about The Other. And CIPA will show you how to make a Business Plan out of sticky-back plastic without upsetting a tiny percentage of your spouse or indeed your Customer Relationship Manager. How good is that??