Practice & Industry

Insight / Treasury introduces anti-money laundering supervision body

The Treasury has announced the launch of the new Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS), designed to tackle potential weaknesses in the supervisory system that criminals and terrorists may be trying to exploit, and is also consulting on further developments to the anti-money laundering (AML) supervisory regime

Tax / Creative sector sees 27% increase in tax relief payments

The UK creative sector has benefitted from a 27% increase in tax relief payments from £519m in 2015/16 to £661m in 2016/17, with an added £51m from new theatre and children’s television tax relief bringing this year’s record total to £712m

Insight / General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): HR compliance issues

Social media is flooded with articles about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), lots of statistics and conflicting information but very little in terms of cold hard facts. With the regulations less than 12 months away, Julie Lock, service development director at MHR looks at what GDPR is and what organisations should be doing from a HR perspective to ensure compliance

Insight / HS2 hits buffers over unauthorised redundancy payouts

The National Audit Office (NAO) has qualified the accounts of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, the company set up by the Department for Transport (DfT) to develop, build and operate a high speed rail network, on the grounds it paid out £1.76m in unauthorised redundancy payments and lacked sufficient controls

Audit / BBC switches £2m audit to National Audit Office as EY bows out

EY faces a £2m loss in annual audit fees as it steps down from the BBC audit as the National Audit Office (NAO) takes over the contract for the 2017/18 financial years and is currently negotiating the transition

Accounting / Call for FRC to increase staffing and scope

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) needs to consider additional staffing, and a wider selection model in order to improve its enforcement activities, according to a peer review by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) into how national competent authorities (NCAs) supervise financial information according to the guidelines

Insight / FRC enforcement costs under budget by £2.8m

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) reported a £2.5m surplus last year, partly as a result of efficiency sayings, but also because total expenditure was slightly down at £29.3m, due to lower than expected spending on enforcement costs and delays in recruiting staff

Insight / Accountant fined £75k over pensions advice failures

Belfast accountant David Watters has been fined £75,000 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for failing to exercise due skill, care and diligence in his role as compliance oversight officer, firstly at FGS McClure Watters (FGS) and then Lanyon Astor Buller Ltd (LAB)

Insight / Warning on Brexit finance uncertainty

With the UK’s negotiations over leaving the EU still uncertain, less than one third of UK businesses (29%) have made Brexit plans, while under a half (43%) have held meetings to discuss the opportunities and risks, according to ICAEW research

Tax / HMRC urged to change approach to complaints

HMRC needs to change its approach to customer complaints and view them as an opportunity to improve service, rather than as a challenge to operation efficiency, according to the latest annual report from the Adjudicator’s Office, which reveals the department paid out some £1.3m in redress last year

Audit / FRC revises UK ISAs to reflect ethics code changes

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has issued a revision of ISA (UK) 250 Section A—Consideration of laws and regulations in an audit of financial statements, and conforming amendments to other ISAs (UK), in response to changes made to the International Code of Ethics issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA)

Accounting / CIPFA/IFAC launch public sector financial accountability index

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and CIPFA have launched a public sector financial accountability index to provide an overview of public sector financial reporting quality on a global basis

Accounting / EU sustainability expert group backs integrated reporting

An interim report from the EU high level expert group on sustainable finance has highlighted the need to prioritise the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into financial decision making and backed a shift to integrated reporting

Insight / Accountancy graduate applications drop 21%

The number of graduates applying for roles in the accounting sector has dropped by a fifth (21%) as the expected average starting salary for graduates rises to £24,300, according to High Fliers Research

Insight / Blockchain surge driving recruitment demand

Half of financial services directors in the UK have already implemented blockchain and nearly a third plan to invest in this area in the future, driving up demand for finance professionals with technology skills, according to research from Robert Half Financial Services