Dost thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale? | AccountingWEB

Dost thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

Sir Toby BelchAt times methinks that Malvolio never died but merely assumed the embodiment of immortality in the guise of the IRS. If only Sir Toby Belch were the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service instead of Daniel Werfel, oh, Reuben and Rachel, what a fine world this would be.

Instead of all of our clients only receiving 50% of their expenses for wining and dining and playing, they could write it all off without saving all those receipts that are easily lost, sparing them the perennial embarrassment of requesting a receipt from their waitresses and waiters in front of their clients, creating the impression that this entertainment was in truth all for business and not pure fun.

What better way to stimulate the economy than to allow everyone to deduct on their tax returns all necessary living expenses, including recreation. Isn't this the land of the free? Are we only to receive credits for business expenses, and not those for enjoying and appreciating our very short lives here?

The Pilgrims, the religious fanatical fringe of the Puritans of merry Ole England, kicked out of their motherland for pissing on everybody's parade over there, settled New England and codified the laws of life, forbidding any pleasures here on earth: thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife (really now, as if that could really work); thou shalt not cavort and drink and play; thou shalt not swear (I am going to Hell on that one alone); and on our one day of rest, after working twelve hours a day, thou shalt spend hours and hours sitting on a hard wooden bench in a Church listening to speeches of fire and brimstone. And our forefathers were not whack jobs?

That Calvinistic work ethic, work until you drop, haunts us to this very day. We CPAs are the Malvolios of today, working 72 hours a week, grinding away till all hours of the day, only to await the cardiac arrest to relieve us from all of this toil and trouble, at the ripe old age of 50.

If only the Royalists had settled the Colonies instead of the Pilgrims, imagine how the tax code may have been written: tax deductions for drinking, smoking, going to Red Sox baseball games, losing at Casinos, going to Disney Land, building a vacation home in Florida, frequenting concerts of country western singers….okay, that may be going too far.

Wouldn't this solve so much of our debt problem? People wouldn't owe the IRS hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes for spending their money on enjoying life since there wouldn't be any tax liabilities after all was said and done. Only those from the planet Kolob, or those stashing all their savings on the 19th floor of that one building on the Cayman Islands, would have the cash to pay all of our taxes. I'm all for that.

If only Sir Toby Belch, Falstaff, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, and their cronies had gotten drunk and taken a wrong turn at the Globe and landed on Plymouth rock, imagine the creative possibilities of our tax code. There might have been more cakes and alehouses. 

The Barefoot Accountant

Dost thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

This blog

The Barefoot Accountant—is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor,  operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Berlin, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLC.  Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission.  Bill is a crazed animal lover, feeding birds, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, possums, stray cats, and any two-legged or four-legged critter traversing through his yard.  His backyard in Berlin, Connecticut has been certified as a habitat suitable for wildlife by the National Wildlife Federation.

Bill also writes an Accounting, QuickBooks, and Tax blog:  Accounting, QuickBooks, and Taxes by the Barefoot Accountant.  For entertaining articles, please see his listing at The Amazing Brighenti.

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.


Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.


Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.


Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".


William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.


Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (, a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.


Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.


Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website:
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.


The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.


FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.


Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.


Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.


AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.