Feeds

Keep the lights on, the budget needs it

Going green in a penny pinching world

High performance access to file storage

Column Lights don't turn themselves on.

I hesitate to offer this bit of technological know-how to such an intelligent audience, but after last week, it has come to my attention that there may be people who don't realise this. And they may work in Accounts.

The trigger for the observation was a report on the TV news last week that the UK Government was falling behind its targets on carbon consumption (reduction in). To illustrate the point, the newscaster dug out a lot of Official Figures, which gave us percentages. And then - realising that only people in Accounts would understand those, the camera crew went out into Whitehall, to show us what it looked like in the real world. (OK, Whitehall is the centre of the Civil Service, but unreal though that world may be, it's still geographically non-virtual).

It was late at night, and the days are still short in Britain, and yet the images that flared onto the screen were brighter than day, because every light in every office in the background was switched on. Not a soul was in the building - not even the office cleaners who are so often quoted as the reason big companies put their lights on at night. And the newscaster represented this as carelessness.

It goes to show how little the BBC knows about Accounting. Anybody who has ever worked in a large commercial corporation will know at once what those lights are doing.

Clues for the rest of you: 1) It's March 2) It has been a very warm winter in the UK.

Got it? OK, here's another clue: 3) the financial year ends at the beginning of April.

In a warm winter, the amount you need to spend on heating office buildings is down - way down. People recently made some capital out of the fact that although the UK is culturally careless about switching off TVs and leaving them on standby, thus consuming unnecessary energy, the spend per household on energy in the UK was low. The inference drawn was that we "weren't that bad" in Britain. The real implication, of course, is that winter in Britain is a lot warmer than in Germany. And when it's warm, you spend less on heating the building.

So the nation's accountants are facing a real problem. They have budgets for heating. The winter of 2006-2007 will have seen a huge under-spend - as much as 15% - on the energy budgets. And that - as we all know and understand - means that unless urgent action is taken NOW, next year's budget will be reduced by 15%.

Why?

What a very ignorant question! That's how budgeting is done! You take last year's figure, and you set the budget for next year as being the same.

Why?

Because that's how it's done! Goodness gracious, what monumental innocence of the real world. You have to have a budget! How are you going to work out a budget if you don't base it on last year's budget?

I suppose you might argue that you could work out what you actually need to spend. And then you might work out what the costs of doing that are. And you might find ways of reducing the amount you spend on things that aren't needed.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.