Audit / ARD: what the audit rule change means for mid-tier firms

Separation of non-audit services under the recently introduced Audit Regulation and Directive (ARD) will open up opportunities for mid-tier firms in the listed market, say James Roberts and Jo Gilbey of BDO

Insight / Dundee newsagents banned over £1m HMRC lost revenue

A husband and wife from Dundee who were directors of a newsagents have been disqualified for a combined 13 years for submitting false information to the tax authorities, which resulted in over £1m of lost revenue for HMRC

Insight / High street banks threaten charges over negative interest rates

Two high street banks, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), have warned businesses they may consider introducing negative interest rates, which would effectively mean they would start charging to accept deposits

Tax / MPs warn HMRC over customer service levels

HMRC's plans to cut the cost of its personal tax services by a further 34% in the next five years raises the risk of another collapse in service levels, according to a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which wants the department to balance its potential savings with the costs to taxpayers left waiting on the telephone

Insight / Pay gap between accountants and lawyers narrows

The pay gap between chartered accountants and lawyers has reduced to 13.7% as a result of the average pay for accountants rising by 2.8% in 2015 to £35,900, according to research by Nixon Williams

Insight / KPMG puts administration on the menu at Silverstar Foods

Will Wright, Mark Orton and Colin Haig, partners at KPMG restructuring, have been appointed joint administrators to food wholesaler Silverstar Foods Ltd, which has collapsed with the loss of over 450 jobs after an attempted business turnaround failed

Practice Development / Kingston Smith appoints female board member

Top 20 accountancy firm and chartered accountants, Kingston Smith, has appointed one of its partners, Anjali Kothari, to its executive board

Insight / Demand for FTSE 100 executive pay reform increases

Pay packages for senior executives in the FTSE 100 remained largely unchanged last year, but shareholder dissatisfaction with companies’ top level pay rates is increasing, according to research by PwC

Insight / CABA and Dementia UK to support ICAEW members

The Chartered Accountants Benevolent association (CABA) has partnered with charity Dementia UK to support ICAEW members and their families who are living with, or are providing care for someone with dementia

Technical Alerts

26 Jul 2016

Tax / Tax claims: how to protect yourself from litigious clients

As tax rules become more complex and clients more willing to sue, Virginia Hickley, head of financial claims at Mills & Reeve examines how accountants can safeguard against claims

Tax / OECD to report on countries’ non-compliance in tax transparency

At the recent G20 meeting in China, finance ministers stressed their support for greater tax transparency, calling for a report from the OECD on the implementation of automatic exchange of information before the end of the year, and stating that by July 2017 it wants a list of non-compliant jurisdictions

Tax / HMRC alters student loan repayments amid service problems

HMRC has made changes on the deduction of student loan repayments from employees’ pay with the introduction of two types of student loan, plan one and plan two, coming into effect from the 2016/17 tax year, however issues have arisen with downloading employer notices for student loans

Tax / BT broadband outage ‘illustrates risk’ of reliance on online services

The broadband service outage suffered last week by BT broadband customers illustrates the risk for firms and their clients of over-reliance on online services, advisers warn

Insight / Charity Commission inquiry into charity set up by 12 year old

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Young Pioneers, a charity set up by a 12 year old schoolboy who experienced bullying, over concerns about its governance and financial administration

Insight / Scotland calls for ‘multi-national’ UK negotiation on Brexit

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has indicated there could be a push for a second Scottish independence referendum if the UK government fails to demonstrate that Scotland’s interests will be protected during negotiations to leave the EU following the Brexit vote, which could include finding a way for Scotland to retain its EU membership

Audit / FRC criticised over ‘inexplicable’ decision on HBOS audit investigation

The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC’s) failure to take regulatory action sooner following the failure of HBOS has been strongly criticised by the Treasury select committee, which says its original decision not to investigate the auditing of the bank was ‘a serious mistake’, labelling its response ‘inexplicable’ and ‘unacceptable’

Insight / Charity Commission removes trustees over financial mismanagement

The Charity Commission has removed all three trustees from the charity Didi New Organisation, after an inquiry found they had not kept sufficient accounting records to explain the charity’s transactions and activities, there were no internal financial controls in place and they were unable to evidence the proper end use of the charity’s funds

Technical Alerts

25 Jul 2016

Audit / Report on BHS collapse slates advisers’ ‘group think’

The Work and Pensions (DWP) and Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) joint select committee examining the sale of BHS and its pension scheme deficit has delivered an excoriating report, saying leadership failures and personal greed led to the retailer’s collapse, while advisers including Grant Thornton were used as an ‘expensive badge of legitimacy for people who would otherwise be bereft of credibility’, reports Pat Sweet

Audit / FRC ban for former Connaught FD over £4m loan accounting failure

Stephen Hill, the former finance director of Connaught, has been given a five-year exclusion and former deputy financial director David Wells a three-year ban, after the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) found the pair, who are both ICAEW members, failed to account correctly for a £4m short-term loan in the company’s 2010 interim financial statements

Tax / EU set to drop VAT charges for ebooks

The future of the chargeable rate of VAT on digital publications and ebooks is back on the agenda at the EU as the European Commission has announced plans for a two-month consultation with a view to abolishing the current full rate VAT

Insight / HgCapital swoops on accountancy firm Blick Rothenberg

London-based Blick Rothenberg has been acquired by HgCapital, a private equity investment platform and will sit within HgCapital’s services sector, but will retain its name and its established approach to dealing with clients

Accounting / Accounting for credit losses on financial instruments

The introduction of revised accounting treatment for current expected credit losses (CECL) will overhaul reporting of losses, says Jeroen Van Doorsselaere, IAS/IFRS expert at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Tax / HMRC contact centres slated for lack of callback services

HMRC is facing calls for more investment in improving its telephone contact services, despite the department’s commitment to ‘digital by default’, with a report from the government’s Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) saying telephony will continue to be an important medium for communication for some time and issues around call waiting times must be addressed

Insight / US regulator cracks down on auditors of fraudulent company

The US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has suspended an accountant for conducting a faulty audit of the financial statements of a public company that was committing fraud, and the firm where he was a partner at the time has been prohibited from accepting new public company clients for one year

Insight / Fraud and computer misuse escalates as bank accounts attacked

New research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests there were nearly six million incidents of fraud and computer misuse last year in England and Wales, most of it relating to bank and credit account fraud

Tax / UK ranks outside top ten for property tax

The UK levies higher purchase taxes on prime real estate than many key competitors, and risks reducing its attractiveness to globally-mobile executives and high net worth investment from overseas as a result, according to a study by UHY Hacker Young

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