Accounting / Month end reporting: using data analytics to improve the process

Month end reporting is fraught with difficulties as multiple data and intercompany transactions is integrated for reporting purposes. Mario Spanicciati, chief strategy officer at BlackLine considers how to improve financial reporting through the use of data analytics

Tax / Lack of information hits HMRC relationship with mid-sized businesses

Mid-sized businesses have described how difficulty in finding information and criticisms about the quality of information provided by HMRC adversely affects their relationship with the tax authority

Tax / Parents must update tax records for children post GCSEs by 31 August

Parents that receive child benefit and child tax credits have been reminded by HMRC to update their child’s educational status after GCSE results were released to ensure that they continue to receive the correct payments

Tax / HMRC sets rules for Worldwide Disclosure Facility on unreported offshore accounts

HMRC has released guidance for taxpayers with non-disclosed offshore tax accounts who want to use the worldwide disclosure facility (WDF), due to open on 5 September

Tax / HMRC too fragmented and failing to address customer service

Ongoing problems with poor customer service, a siloed approach to departmental organisation and cuts in staffing at HMRC remain critical areas of concern for key stakeholders, incuding regulators, MPs and tax agents, interviewed for the latest HMRC stakeholder survey

Insight / PwC to recruit 1,000 IT assurance specialists by 2020

In a bid to build its IT specialism in audit, Big Four firm PwC is set to recruit more than 1,000 technology specialists over the next four years in its UK risk assurance business to meet increasing client demand for digital, regulatory and cyber security services

Tax / Osborne lands fresh job role

Former Chancellor, George Osborne, has signed up to a US speaker agency where he could earn tens of thousands of pounds from giving speeches on politics and the economy

Insight / Early pension withdrawals create tax confusion for savers

People accessing their retirement savings under the new pension reforms are being caught out by unexpected taxes and welfare reductions, according to research from Citizens Advice, despite warnings from the government that there would be a tax-free limit on the amount of drawdown income

Tax / Office of Tax Simplification hires three non-execs

The Chancellor Philip Hammond has appointed three new non-executive directors to the board of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), with the aim of adding experience from academia, taxation policy and business to the body which is being put on a statutory footing in the Finance Bill 2016

Professional Development / People in the news: Moore Stephens, Smith & Williamson, Joseph Hage Aaronson

This week’s latest people appointments include a partner at Moore Stephens, a group financial director appointment at Smith & Williamson and tax adviser Ray McCann joins Joseph Hage Aaronson as a partner

Insight / Premier League kicks off with record transfer spend

With just under a week to go before the close of the 2016 summer transfer window, Premier League football clubs have broken the transfer spending record for the fourth summer in a row and are on course to hit the £1bn mark, according to research by Deloitte

Insight / Carpet fitter given suspended sentence for £110k tax fraud

A self-employed carpet fitter who owed HMRC £110,000 in unpaid tax and then disposed of correspondence with the taxman to cover his tracks, has been given a suspended sentence, marking the fifth conviction under HMRC’s Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF)

Accounting / IFAC interactive tool profiles accounting rules in member countries

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published an interactive tool providing detailed country profiles of member organisations, regulators and professional accounting institutes detailing compliance with global and local audit and accounting legislation, regulation and oversight in 50 countries

Technical Alerts

25 Aug 2016

Accounting / Tips and pitfalls for senior accounting officers (SAO)

Rebecca Wilkinson CTA FCCA, corporate tax senior manager at Menzies reviews the revised HMRC rules for senior accounting officers from maintaining robust tax accounting systems to eligibility criteria

Insight / Harris Lipman acquisition pushes Menzies fee income to £40m

The acquisition of mid-tier accounting firm Harris Lipman contributed to 20% growth at Menzies LLP, which saw the firm retain its ranking in the top 20 league table, as results for the year to 31 June 2016 show

Insight / Large businesses say high staff turnover damaging HMRC relationships

The high turnover rate among HMRC customer relationship managers (CRMs) - the key intermediaries between clients and tax officials - means some large businesses feel their relationship with the tax authority has deteriorated over the past year

Tax / US Treasury hits out at ‘supra-national’ EU probe into Apple tax

The US Treasury department has fired a warning at the European Commission ahead of its expected ruling on whether Ireland offered Apple a preferential tax arrangement amounting to state aid, suggesting its investigations into the technology giant and other US multinationals are undermining multilateral progress on reducing tax avoidance and are based on a ‘selective’ interpretation of transfer pricing rules

Insight / Chancellor guarantees EU funding and grants beyond Brexit

The Treasury has confirmed that British businesses and universities have been given guarantees over future funding under EU schemes like Horizon 2020 and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU

Tax / EU and EEA nationals pay more in tax than claim in benefits

Latest HMRC statistics show that European Economic Area (EEA) nationals in the UK pay more in income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) than they take out in tax credits and child benefit, with the biggest contributions coming from French and Irish nationals

Audit / IAASB consults on development of external reporting

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) has released a discussion paper exploring ways to improve the quality and scope of external reporting for entities  by identifying critical emerging reporting issues for auditors and company reporters 

Tax / HMRC advisory fuel rates for company car users rise from 1 September

HMRC has published the latest advisory fuel rates (AFR) for company car users, effective from 1 September 2016 reflecting the upward trend in forecourt fuel prices

Insight / Last fraudster of £643k ‘Project Dobbin’ tax fraud jailed

The final defendant in an investigation into a £643k tax fraud by 17 tradesman, has been jailed for seven years after failing to declare his earnings to HMRC

Accounting / IFRS Foundation issues guide to IFRS taxonomy common practice

The IFRS Foundation, responsible for the governance and oversight of the International Accounting Standards Board, has issued a guide explaining IFRS Taxonomy common practice content including examples of best practice and areas for possible future review

Technical Alerts

24 Aug 2016

Tax / Worldwide Disclosure Facility for offshore tax evaders effective 5 September

HMRC is to set up a Worldwide Disclosure Facility to allow taxpayers with offshore non-disclosed accounts to legitimise their tax arrangements, although details about the actual restrictions and penalties are not clear, nor a closing date for the amnesty period

Accounting / Houchen: the end of manual reporting for accounts

The accounting error in the M&S quarterly accounts highlights the risks of complex manual reporting processes as companies handle increasingly diverse financial data sources, warns Dee Houchen, senior director for ERP applications, Oracle

Tax / HMRC plans ‘requirement to correct’ for offshore tax evaders

As part of a package of moves to tackle offshore tax evasion, HMRC is consulting on plans to introduce a ‘Requirement to Correct’ (RTC) obligation compelling those with offshore interests who have yet to put their UK tax affairs in order to do so by September 2018, ahead of the widespread adoption of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

Tax / Online tax refund facility under digital tax accounts promised

Taxpayers who have set up a personal tax account can now apply for an online refund of any overpaid tax and receive payment within three to five days, HMRC has announced

Tax / VAT treatment of dwelling formed of several buildings revised

HMRC has changed the policy on the VAT treatment of a dwelling formed from the construction of more than one building or from the conversion of non-residential buildings into a dwelling, following several wins for taxpayers over challenges to its original position at the First Tier Tribunal (FTT)

Insight / Director ban dished up for restauranteur's inadequate records

An Aberdeenshire director has been disqualified for eight years for failing to ensure her restaurant company kept adequate books and records, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service

Insight / Client relationships undermined by over reliance on IT

The increasing use of IT and automated systems is having a negative impact on accountants by reducing their interaction with their clients leading to 60% of firms losing one to ten clients in the past year, research has shown

Insight / Inquiry into financial discrepancy at Salford charity

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a Salford-based Orthodox Jewish charity, Chessed L’Yisroel Ltd, over concerns about its financial affairs, which include failure to account for a £130,000 loan and the loss of £250,000 due to failure to make repayments to a lender

/ Scotland warns of Brexit economic risk

The UK’s decision to leave the EU is projected to cost the Scottish economy up to £11.2bn per year and Scottish public finances up to £3.7bn, according to the first in a series of analyses the Scottish government plans to publish to look at the potential impact on Scotland of the UK’s Brexit vote

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