• Deloitte announces changes to its People & Purpose leadership team

    Deloitte has appointed Sharron Pamplin as the partner for human resources in the UK. Pamplin joins the firm from Atkins, where she was HR director for UK & Europe.
    Pamplin has held HR director roles at Atkins, Hays plc and LV= and has 30 years of leadership experience in consulting, business and HR roles. Pamplin has a strong consulting background with roles at PA Consulting and Mercer where she led business transformation, talent and reward programmes for both public and private sectors in
  • No-deal Brexit could trigger flurry of profit warnings, say accountants

    ICAEW tells MPs there could be ‘systemic’ impact on economic confidence if UK crashes outCrashing out of the EU at Halloween could result in a “flurry of profit warnings” from publicly listed companies in November, MPs have been warned.The Institute for Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW) told MPs that this could have a “systemic” impact on the confidence in the British economy. Related: Liam Fox 'tilting at windmills' over tariffs, say Tory Eu
  • Tech CEO: MarketInvoice – Invoice finance, the trigger for growth?

    What is MarketInvoice?
    We’re a business finance company that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs get access to capital, fuelling their cashflow. We use our technology and our people to deliver finance solutions which enable entrepreneurs get on with what they’re passionate about, taking their mind off finances.
    We started back in 2012 with a selective invoice finance product. This enabled business owners to get instant funding against any given invoice they were waiting to be pa
  • Tech CEO: Market Invoice – Invoice finance is no longer a dirty concept

    What is Market Invoice?
    We’re a business finance company that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs get access to capital. We use our technology and our people to deliver different business plan solutions and it’s all about letting entrepreneurs get on with what they’re passionate about, putting finances out of their way.
    We started back in 2012. We started with a selective invoice finance product. Let’s say you’ve got £100,000 invoice, you can come and put
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  • 5 people arrested in Patisserie Valerie scandal

    The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has revealed that five unnamed people were arrested in relation to the accounting fraud scandal at Patisserie Valerie on 18 June.
    “On Tuesday 18 June, as part of a joint operation with the Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and Metropolitan Police Services, the SFO arrested and questioned five people in connection with the ongoing investigation into individuals associated with Patisserie Holdings,” the SFO statement said.
    Patisserie Valerie has been mired in
  • Feedback led to change in FRS102 on Director’s Loans

    Comments and push-back from accountants led to the change in FRS102 which gives an exemption on director’s loans, according to Steve Collings who was speaking last Friday at AAT’s annual conference.
    Collings told the conference that when FRED 67 was issued by the FRC, revealing the changes planned for FRS102, several responses were received which referred to the accounting treatment for directors’ loans.
    “Virtually all of the responses referred in some way or another to d
  • HMRC loses £13.2bn in tax to criminals 

    HMRC today released statistics on the tax gap for 2017-2018, and revealed the overall underpaid tax has risen from £33bn in 2016-17 to £35bn, or 5.6% of all expected tax revenue.  
    Most notably, the £35bn tax gap (underpaid of total theoretical revenue) includes £5.3bn that HMRC attributes to evasion, £4.9bn attributed to criminal attacks, and £3bn to the hidden economy. 
    “These illegal activities cost the Exchequer £1
  • Proposed fines “do little” to tackle late payment problems

    Proposals announced by the UK government to fine large companies who continue to pay small businesses late do not go far enough, according to UHY Hacker Young.
    “Whilst a deterrent for businesses, these fines do little to help recipients of late payments,” said Peter Kubik, partner at UHY Hacker Young in an email. “For those small businesses who have already waited three months to get paid, the damage has already been done,” he added.
    On Wednesday this week, the government
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  • IFRS 17 is an “opportunity” for accountants

    The incoming IFRS 17 insurance accounting standard is an “opportunity” for accountants to highlight their value to their companies, according to Moody’s analytics director, Eve Pastor.While Pastor admitted that the changes to insurance accounting standards was going to be a “pervasive” change, the biggest in 20 years, ultimately she said that IFRS 17 was going to benefit accounting.“If you’re in insurance accounting this is the biggest change you have fa
  • Steve Coventry obituary

    My friend and former colleague Steve Coventry, who has died aged 66 of cancer, was committed to public service, spending much of his life helping to improve local health services for people in Hillingdon, west London.Born in nearby Hayes to Violet Haxell, a comptometrist, and John Coventry, a mechanic, he attended Hayes grammar school. He passed his Institute of Taxation (now the Chartered Institute of Taxation) exams in 1975 at Harrow College and qualified as a certified accountant in 1982, all
  • KPMG slapped with $50m fine over past audit work

    KPMG has agreed to pay a $50m penalty after the American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the firm with altering past audit work after receiving stolen information about upcoming inspections. The SEC also found that numerous KPMG audit professionals cheated on internal training exams by sharing answers and manipulating test results.
    Alongside the $50m penalty, KPMG agreed to adhere to a set of measures, including retaining an independent consultant to review and assess the firm&r
  • Williams Lea appoints new global chief financial officer

    Williams Lea have announced the appointment of Dan O’Brien as chief financial officer (CFO).“Williams Lea is at a pivotal point in its rich history and I am looking forward to being a part of the team that drives the company’s evolution and growth,” said O’Brien in a statement.O’Brien will oversee finance, legal and compliance functions and will report to the company’s CEO Clare Hart, who joined the business on August 1.Williams Lea, headquartered in Lon
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  • Deloitte appoints first female Managing Partner for Consulting

    Anne-Marie Malley has been appointed managing partner for Consulting in the UK after incumbent Richard Houston moves on to become senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte NSE and UK, ranked 2nd in the Accountancy Age Top 50+50.Malley led the firm’s human capital consulting practice since 2011 and, in this new role, she will help the firm’s largest clients implement business transformation projects.
    “Anne-Marie has a proven track record of being a bold and visionary leader
  • From abacus to algorithms: why existing accounting skills are “less relevant”

    It should come as no surprise that artificial intelligence is spearheading deep fundamental changes within the accounting sector.
    Having already prompted a revolution in financial services as well as Big Tech, the buzzword AI now has its sights set on accountancy.
    AI is rarely understood and technophobes read headlines about AI beating chess masters (or the fictitious Cyberdyne Skynet) and assume a very sophisticated and very expensive software will soon be sat beside them in the office. Little
  • Mazars acquires healthcare company Hall Liddy

    Mazars has announced the acquisition of Hall Liddy, a medical accounting firm in the NorthWest, with over 2,600 clients.  
    “The healthcare sector has always been extremely important to us,” commented Margaret Laidlaw, Mazars‘ head of entrepreneurial business. “We are constantly looking for ways to deliver exceptional service and help our clients manage and grow their businesses.”
    Hall Liddy’s reputation within the healthcare sector for its expertise and f
  • ICAEW: Brexit not as bad on economy as expected

    The ICAEW said Brexit uncertainty has not affected the UK economy as expected – though it warned a no-deal Brexit must be avoided.
    “As long as a ‘no-deal’ Brexit is avoided,” commented Michael Izza, CEO of the ICAEW, “history suggests that the current ‘new normal’ of elevated uncertainty may not impact as much as some expect.
    “Of course, cuts in investment by some businesses in response to uncertainty are unlikely to be reversed, even once th
  • Moody’s Analytics enhances accounting and reinsurance capabilities of RiskIntegrity IFRS 17 solution

    Moody’s Analytics has added new accounting and reinsurance capabilities to their RiskIntegrity IFRS 17 solution. These new features are intended to help insurers and reinsurers meet the stringent reporting requirements of International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17.
    The latest enhancements to its accounting functions include the introduction of a Moody’s Analytics chart of accounts, end-to-end accounting logic, and mapping from an insurer’s accounts to the disclos
  • Why diving into tech won’t control accounting sector disruption

    As political and economic uncertainty, shifting markets and regulators throw up disruption for both practice and company accountants, a tech vendor warns that jumping into technology is not the way to get ahead.
    “It’s not about diving into the technology that’s on the market because it seems to be the trend, but really understanding what it is you need,” said Melanie Dowie, network development consultant at technology specialist Receipt Bank.
    Speaking on an Accountancy Ag
  • Small businesses ‘unsatisfied’ with their accountants

    70% of small businesses would not recommend their advisor to others – and over a quarter said they are likely to switch accountants, according to research by Xero.Xero studied businesses which use any online or digital bookkeeping tools, and found that 80% of small businesses are working with an external accountant, yet their satisfaction is remarkably low.“It’s vital that accountants are helping their small business clients succeed – and it’s a concern  that s
  • EY appoint two women to senior UK leadership roles

    EY today announced the appointment of Justine Belton to its UK LLP Board and Tonia Lovell as a UK Independent Non-Executive (INE). The announcement means that six of the 10 positions on the board will be held by women.
    Steve Varley, UK Chairman of EY, spoke of his pride at the firm’s continued commitment to diversity. Indeed, in Accountancy Age’s Women in Finance rankings, the top 4 positions were all held by EY staff.
    “I am proud that we are further strengthening the diversity
  • Ratnayake named CIMA President

    Canadian finance leader Amal Ratnayake FCMA, CGMA has been named 86th President of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the highest volunteer post of the world leading professional body for management accountants.
    In May, Ratnayake was also confirmed as Chairman of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the global accounting organisation formed by CIMA and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) to advance the accounting profession worldwide.
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  • HW Fisher announce Compliance on Demand acquisition while Price Bailey partner with Ashtons Legal

    Two top 30 accountancy firms, HW Fisher and Price Bailey, have today announced strategic partnerships. HW Fisher announced their acquisition of governance, risk and compliance consultancy, Compliance on Demand.
    Separately, Price Bailey announced a partnership aimed at creating cost-effective dispute resolution with Ashtons Legal via Escalate dispute resolution service.
    Escalate is a collaborative venture involving accountancy firms, law firms, funders and insurers. Its mission is to bring togeth
  • CFOs frustrated by the accounting software buying process

    Seventy-seven percent of finance leaders do not have the time or resources to find suitable software, even though 85% agree they must continue to invest in their accounting systems.
    “Strong accounting systems are the backbone of any successful organisation,” said Marc Pettican, CEO of Barclaycard commercial payments, “so it’s important that businesses invest in the solution that’s right for them. Our research shows that many businesses face frustrations with their c
  • “The more you invest in people the greater the returns” – AAT calls for more mentoring

    AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) professionals receive fewer mentoring opportunities than people in many other industries, and 19% less than the finance/accounting profession as a whole. Just 45% of AAT professionals reported being mentored, while at the top of the table, 81% were mentored in the advertising/marketing industry, according to research.The study, conducted by Opinium Research, more worryingly found just 7% of AAT members reported that their organisation runs a formal men
  • Grant Thornton appoints two independent directors to board

    Grant Thornton announced the appointment of two independent directors to its board of directors, Aliza Knox and Martin Geh. The appointments are intended to provide “greater diversity of thought and experience” as the firm continues to develop its global strategy.
    “We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of building the next generation professional services organisation,” said Peter Bodin, CEO of Grant Thornton International.
    “To truly transform ourselves we need t
  • GovGrant urges action on innovation tax credit fraud

    GovGrant CEO Luke Hamm has welcomed HMRC’s  decision to crack down on abuse of the R&D tax relief system. GovGrant, which is a member of the HMRC Research and Development Consultative Committee, helps businesses claim £millions each year for their innovation, including patents and inventions.
    Mr Hamm said he hoped ministers would move quickly to protect the reputation of the tax system and force out unscrupulous agents in time for new rules on tax credit coming in April next
  • Compliance kings cash in on skills gap

    Salaries in the compliance sector have risen 11% in the last twelve months according to research. In May 2018, the average salary in compliance was £98,900. In the last twelve months, this has now risen to £110,100.
    The research by recruiter Randstad also showed that while Heads of Core Compliance and Heads of Central Compliance have seen salaries rise 16% – from an average of £100,800 to £116,700 – the biggest winners have been Regional Heads of Compliance wh
  • PwC audit changes are “unacceptable”

    PwC’s newly-announced audit reforms have been slammed as “unacceptable” and “do not appear to go far enough”, according to Professor Prem Sikka and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). But PwC insisted that their reforms were never intended to resolve all the issues the audit sector faces.
    PwC has announced a number of changes to the way their audit business was structured including an additional £30m investment to boost training, employee numbers and
  • Employee engagement demand prompts Deloitte acquisition

    Deloitte has absorbed Stitch Communications to boost its Global Employer Services offering amid heightened client demands for employee engagement.
    Good employee engagement and communications, especially among rapidly expanding companies, can make a critical difference to corporate success.
    “Many businesses communicate adequately,” said Mitul Shah, partner and reward leader at Deloitte, by email. “But continuing that conversation and tailoring that message is what makes many bus
  • Big Four scoop diversity honours while “alarming pay gaps” remain

    “It’s horrific that we’re still seeing fewer opportunities for ethnic minority employees and people of colour, and alarming ethnicity pay gaps across businesses,” said Suki Sandhu OBE, INvolve founder and CEO, in a statement announcing the results of EMpower’s annual Role Model lists.
    Despite the disparity in pay gaps, EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC professionals have been honoured in the lists.
    The EMpower top 100 ethnic minority executives lists senior people of colou
  • KPMG kick off World Environment day with Blue Planet II producer

    KPMG began World Environment day today by hosting a series of events around the UK with the award-winning producer of BBC’s Blue Planet II, Mark Brownlow, to raise awareness of the environmental issues effecting the globe. The events also aim to encourage individuals at the firm to think about how they can make a difference.
    During the events, colleagues will be able to gain further insight into KPMG UK’s environmental programmes. These cover KPMG’s plastics commitment, the imp
  • PwC reveals “big deal” tech plan to boost audit quality

    PwC has committed to an additional £30m annual spend to boost training, employee numbers and technology in a bid to improve its audit process. It includes a huge hire of 500 new audit experienced staff.
    “It’s a big deal,” says Hemione Hudson, head of Audit at PwC UK, “It’s as big an investment in the audit practice I can remember and I’ve been here more than 20 years.”
    As part of its investment, PwC aims to tackle public scrutiny commonplace w
  • Over 300,000 businesses wrongly believe they are MTD compliant

    Approximately 346,000 small businesses are in danger of being caught out by MTD after mistakenly believing they are MTD compliant when in fact they are not, according to research.
    The research commissioned by QuickBooks also found that 89% of businesses had heard of MTD, two-thirds believed they were compliant, but 46% wrongly believed they were compliant.
    The confusion, according to Chris Evans VP and country manager at QuickBooks, was due to firms that were already operating digitally, so beli
  • Top 20 shake-up as Saffery Champness hires S&W partner

    A former Smith & Williamson partner, Jamie Lane, has joined Saffery Champness.
    Lane, who spent 15 years at Smith & Williamson, most recently as partner, will become partner at Saffery Champness’ Bournemouth office.
    Saffery Champness comes in at 12th in the Accountancy Age rankings, while Smith & Williamson recorded 8th.In a statement, Lane said: “I am thrilled to be joining Saffery Champness. The firm is highly respected and I am genuinely very happy to have been offered
  • Grant Thornton to up audit quality with new appointment

    Grant Thornton has today appointed insider Fiona Baldwin as head of audit, months after the Patisserie Valerie debacle.“The appointment comes at a time where the industry is facing unprecedented levels of change,” said Dave Dunckley, CEO of Grant Thornton, “which will require the dedication and resourcefulness Fiona possesses to help Grant Thornton navigate these changes and ensure our audit practice is fit for the future.”
    Baldwin’s appointment comes amid the ongoi
  • Wealthiest families in UK gobble up inheritance tax relief

    A small number of the wealthiest families in the country are sharing up to £666 million a year in inheritance tax relief, a report by Tax Justice UK has found. Under current rules large amounts of agricultural and business property are exempt from inheritance tax, costing the government almost £1 billion a year in total.
    The report estimates that almost 80% (£458 million) of the total £595m of business property relief given in 2015/16 went to just 234 families. For agricu
  • Deloitte announces global CEO

    Deloitte has announced that Punit Renjen has been elected to a second, four-year term as Deloitte Global CEO. When Renjen’s new term begins June 3, 2019, Sharon Thorne will begin her term as chair of the Deloitte Global Board of Directors. She is the first woman to serve as Deloitte Global chair.“Leading Deloitte has been a privilege, and I am honored to be chosen by my colleagues to continue our work for four more years,” Renjen says. “As Deloitte nears its 175th year, I
  • European Commission notified about more than 380 potentially unlawful tax breaks in the last five years

    The European Commission has been made aware of around 385 tax breaks which may be unlawful under State aid rules over the last five years, according to research. 
    Research by International law firm, Pinsent Masons, also found that in the last 12 months alone, the European Commission received 51 notifications. Meanwhile, between 2007-13 there were only 80.Pinsent Masons said EU Member State governments have been reviewing the tax treatment of multinational businesses in other Member States i
  • Time and budget fears giving accountants sleepless nights

    Two in five accountants are kept awake at night by fears over delivering services on time and in budget, according to research.The research by IRIS Software Group also found that over a third of accountants were deprived of a good night’s sleep by stress over the drive for greater efficiency. While one in five were kept up by fears over compliance and advisory services.
    Frustrations around MTD compliance have added to accountancy professionals’ stress, with almost three in five repor
  • HW Fisher and Kreston Reeves announce new partners

    Top 25 chartered accountancy practice, HW Fisher, has expanded its audit division with the appointment of Darshna Choudhury and Paul Clark as partners. Both joined HW Fisher as graduate trainees and will be working in the firm’s audit and assurance services.
    While at Kreston Reeves, another home-grown talent, Tom Wacher, becomes partner alongside colleague Rob Sellers. Wacher specialises in forensic accounting, focusing on business valuations, fraud investigations and commercial disputes.
  • “Women are voting with their feet” – CM Murray on KPMG departures

    The news that two female partners have left KPMG over the way the Big Four firm handled bullying allegations against a senior male partner is bound to ruffle a few feathers in the industry.
    At a time when firms’ handling of complaints and treatment of female staff in particular is high on the agenda, the negative publicity would have been unwelcome.
    The FT reported that Maggie Brereton, who was head of UK transaction services and a non-executive UK board member, and Ina Kjaer, former head
  • Poor leadership hits small business while confidence sinks to two year low

    A lack of strong leadership, primarily caused by a “soft skills gap”, is preventing SMEs from tackling the myriad of challenges they face, according to research.
    The news comes as a double blow to SMEs as research by Hitachi Capital Finance has found the number of firms predicting growth has fallen to 34%, a two-year low.
    A third of business leaders cite soft skills, including emotional intelligence, communication and collaboration, as the most crucial requirement for leadership role
  • As IR35 consultation ends, is there any more clarity?

    A series of recent high-profile court cases involving TV presenters have not done much to clarify who does and does not fit the criteria for IR35.
    HMRC won their case against Christy Ackroyd, but lost cases against Lorraine Kelly and Kay Adams, who successfully argued that they should not be regarded as employees for tax purposes. Ackroyd will now appeal hers.
    Now a consultation into off-payroll reform, which began for the public sector in April 2017, has closed. HMRC will consider the responses
  • Businesses watching politics with “resignation” as battle for PM hots up

    Businesses across the UK are hoping for a speedy resolution to political dramas as they make preparations for Brexit, KPMG said.
    They want to know if ‘no deal’ will soon be back on the table, and are watching political developments with “resignation”, according to KPMG.
    Theresa May’s announcement that she will step down on June 7 has sparked a clamour for the top job with 10 MPs putting their names forward, including favourite Boris Johnson. However, businesses are
  • “Businesses are better with an accountant”

    It has been a big year for Xero. With 463,000 subscribers in the UK alone, the software company is now no longer a niche small business product and fast becoming a household name.
    In its yearly results, announced recently, the company cemented its position as the largest provider of cloud accounting software in the UK, notably taking share from some more established providers.
    In part driven by Making Tax Digital, Xero subscribers increased by 151,000 in the past year, with revenue growth of 50%
  • The British Steel scandal is a corporate disaster entirely made in the UK | Prem Sikka

    The government must stop appeasing the financial industry and start scrutinising corporations and their shareholdersThe collapse of British Steel Limited, with the potential loss of at least 5,000 jobs, has once again exposed deep fault lines in the government’s laissez-faire economic ideology and in Britain’s shareholder-centric model of corporate governance.The government clings to its do-nothing approach, justifying its rejection of financial support, a bailout or public ownership
  • The British Steel disaster will be repeated unless there is urgent reform | Prem Sikka

    The government must stop appeasing the financial industry and start scrutinising corporations and their shareholdersThe collapse of British Steel Limited, with the potential loss of at least 5,000 jobs, has once again exposed deep fault lines in the government’s laissez-faire economic ideology and in Britain’s shareholder-centric model of corporate governance.The government clings to its do-nothing approach, justifying its rejection of financial support, a bailout or public ownership
  • Outdated processes mean large firms frequently pay staff incorrectly or late

    Three-quarters of large companies in the UK process payments incorrectly or late due to the continued use of manual data entry in the payroll process, according to research.The survey by HR and payroll provider MHR, found that the worst offenders accounted for nearly one in ten of all large companies. They confessed to paying employees either late or incorrectly over 12 times in the last year.“Worryingly many are still using outdated manual processes for gathering and inputting data result
  • Goldman Sachs chooses Mazars for audit – but does it really matter?

    Goldman Sachs has chosen Parisian accounting firm Mazars to audit its European operation, the first time that the bank has not chosen one of the Big Four accounting firms to conduct its audit.
    The news, first reported by the Financial Times, is a major coup for Mazars, who are just the 8th biggest auditor in the UK. A spokesperson for Mazars confirmed the appointment but declined to comment further.
    The Big Four make up around 97% of big companies’ audit, while Mazars has struggled to get
  • KPMG called in as Jamie Oliver’s restaurants face collapse

    Around 1,300 jobs are at risk after celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chains went into administration today.
    The restaurant group which includes Jamie’s Italian, has reportedly appointed KPMG as administrators.
    According to the BBC, Oliver said: “I appreciate how difficult this is for everyone affected.”
    “I would also like to thank all the customers who have enjoyed and supported us over the last decade, it’s been a real pleasure serving you.”
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