Friday, March 19, 2021

Restoring Trust in Audit and Corporate Governance

Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance

This white paper sets out proposals to strengthen the UK’s framework for major companies and the way they are audited.

Details

This white paper sets out proposals to strengthen the UK’s framework for major companies and the way they are audited. The proposals set out how:

  • companies should report on their governance and finances
  • reports should be audited
  • audit and the audit market should change
  • these should be overseen by a new regulator

The objectives of these reforms are to:

  • restore public trust in the way that the UK’s largest companies are run and scrutinised
  • ensure that the UK’s most significant corporate entities are governed responsibly
  • empower investors, creditors, workers, and other stakeholders by giving them access to reliable and meaningful information on a company’s performance
  • keep the UK’s legal frameworks for major businesses at the forefront of international best practice

The proposals respond to recommendations made by 3 independent reviews commissioned by the government in 2018:

Respond to the consultation

Please provide your views on these proposals: the consultation closes on 8 July 2021 at 11:45pm.

You can respond to the consultation online.

Documents

Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance

Order a copy

Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance

Order a copy

 

Every few years we go through the motions of "restoring trust", yet somehow or another never manage to achieve that "trust"!

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Big Four To Have Their Wings Clipped - Nothing New Under The Sun!


 

Proposals to reduce the dominance of the "Big Four" accountancy firms and scrap the industry regulator have been unveiled by the government.

The theoretical aim is to improve regulatory standards after high profile corporate failures such as Carillion and BHS.

Also, company directors will face more responsibility to ensure accounts are accurate, or face tougher penalties.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the changes would help restore confidence in business.

There will now be a 16-week consultation on the proposals.

The BBC reports that the business of auditing companies' accounts, and ensuring they are a fair reflection of their financial health, is dominated by four accountancy firms: KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and EY.

However, there is concern that providing both accountancy and auditing services creates a conflict of interest.

Under the new rules, large companies would be required to use smaller auditing firms to conduct part of their annual audit, in an attempt to dilute the Big Four's dominance.

The new proposals would require KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and EY to make their audits more rigorous.

They could face a cap on the number of companies on the FTSE 350 index they may audit, if those improvements don't go far enough.

The government said last year almost a third of audits inspected on the FTSE 350 were in need of improvement.

All of this is rather amusing, given that when I was studying to be an FCA (back in the late 80's) these issues were very much "hot topic" issues at the time.

Seemingly nothing changes, no matter what regulatory shake-ups occur!

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  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
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Thursday, February 18, 2021

ICAEW Recruiting Full-time #VAT and Duties Manager

 


The Tax Faculty is recruiting

The Tax Faculty is recruiting for a full-time VAT and Duties manager to lead on our work in the areas of both VAT and an expanding portfolio covering Customs Duties and international trade.

The VAT and Duties Manager role involves two aspects. Firstly, the management of ICAEW's policy and reputational work in these areas, which are overseen by the Tax Faculty's VAT & Duties Committee. Secondly, the production of high quality member services in these areas which will include presentations, webinars and the authoring of guidance notes etc.

This is an important role sitting right at the heart of the Tax Faculty’s activities. We would expect that the successful applicant will have a professional qualification and have detailed experience of VAT.

In addition, the role has been expanded to cover the growing importance in our work of customs duties and international trade related issues. While existing knowledge of the latter would be advantageous, we would welcome applications from suitable specialists who can display a determination to learn and upskill in this area as the UK moves to establish an independent trading policy. 

The faculty is seeking a full-time, permanent staff member based in London, but is willing to be flexible for the right person. Salary is c£70,000 FTE. Download a copy of the role profile, 

If you believe that you have the skills and experience we are seeking for this important role, please send your CV and a covering letter to hrapplications@icaew.com.

The closing date is 26 February 2021.

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Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

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A Solar Protect policy will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to:

  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

Please click here for details.

Friday, February 12, 2021

KPMG Goes Into Meltdown - #MoanGate

 


The fallout from Bill Michael's (UK Chairman of KPMG) #MoanGate video continues.

The Telegraph reports that relationships at the top of the firm became so toxic under Bill Michael that it was forced to pay for an external coach to sit in on meetings to ensure senior managers would be civil towards each other, according to insiders.

KPMG's leaders were also asked to hand over their phones to investigators trying to root out the source of suspected leaks as the firm’s reputation took a battering over regulatory probes, alleged bullying and aggressive cost cutting, sources said.  

Unsurprisingly he has now resigned. Bina Mehta has stepped in as acting chairman, and Mary O'Connor has taken over Michael's day-to-day executive responsibilities as acting senior partner.

A pretty poor state of affairs by anyone's standards, and not how the firm used to be run when I was a member of staff in the late 1980's!

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A Solar Protect policy will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to:

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  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

"Stop Moaning" - Message To Staff From KPMG Chairman

KPMG’s UK chairman, Bill Michael, has come in for heavy criticism after he told staff to ‘stop moaning’ about their working conditions during the lockdown.

In a virtual meeting with around 500 staff Michael reportedly told staff to ‘stop moaning’ and to ‘stop playing the victim card’. They had raised concerns about pension contributions, pay and bonuses. Questions were also asked about the ranking system of staff performance – from best to worse.

A Financial Times story revealed that Michael later apologised for his choice of words. He told the paper: 

“I am sorry for the words I used, which did not reflect what I believe in, and I have apologised to my colleagues. Looking after the wellbeing of our people and creating a culture where everyone can thrive is of critical importance to me and is at the heart of everything we do as a firm.”

KPMG wasn't like that in my day!

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Tax Investigation Insurance is an insurance policy that will fully reimburse your accountants (your tax return agent) fees up to £100,000 if you are subject to enquiry by or dispute with HMRC.

A Solar Protect policy will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to:

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  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

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Thursday, February 04, 2021

Which of The Big Four Accountancy Firms Broke Lockdown?

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Tax Investigation Insurance is an insurance policy that will fully reimburse your accountants (your tax return agent) fees up to £100,000 if you are subject to enquiry by or dispute with HMRC.

A Solar Protect policy will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to:
  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Good Luck #ICAEWStudents

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Tax Investigation Insurance is an insurance policy that will fully reimburse your accountants (your tax return agent) fees up to £100,000 if you are subject to enquiry by or dispute with HMRC.

A Solar Protect policy will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to:
  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

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Wednesday, January 06, 2021

ICAEW Summarises Brexit

Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

You have the peace of mind knowing that your accountant's (your tax return agent) fees will be paid by the insurance without any Excess for you to find.

Tax Investigation Insurance is an insurance policy that will fully reimburse your accountants (your tax return agent) fees up to £100,000 if you are subject to enquiry by or dispute with HMRC.

A Solar Protect policy will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to:
  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

Please click here for details.