Insight / Artificial intelligence: the pros and cons of AI for accountants

Artificial intelligence (AI) can reduce the volume of transactional work and improve productivity through the use intelligent accounts payable management systems but it cannot replace humans. Alan Rajah, partner at Lawrence Grant Chartered Accountants, examines the use of AI in accounting and finance teams

Tax / Treasury reports on disguised remuneration loan charge impact

The Treasury has come out fighting in its newly published review of the operation of the new loan charge on disguised remuneration (DR) tax avoidance schemes, which is due to come in next month and which has stirred up considerable controversy over claims that some individuals will face severe financial hardship

Insight / Auto enrolment contribution increases to 5% for employees

From next month, the minimum contributions employers and their staff must pay into their automatic enrolment workplace pension scheme will increase, and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is urging all businesses and individuals to make sure they are ready for the change

Tax / Q&A: losses occurred under irrecoverable loans

In our regular tax Q&A series, Croner Taxwise adviser Sohail Butt considers whether a directors’ loan which cannot be repaid will occur capital gains tax (CGT) losses

Audit / PCAOB offers guidance on critical audit matter requirements

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has released three staff guidance documents developed to support implementation of the new critical audit matter (CAM) requirements, which are set to be introduced later this year

Insight / Call to end ‘eyewatering’ executive pay packages

MPs want an end to ‘eyewatering’ remuneration packages for top bosses and are calling for companies to do more to link executives’ pay to that of the rest of their workforce, in the wake of ‘shaming’ decisions such as those at Persimmon, Royal Mail and Unilever

Insight / Warning over £93m invoice fraud losses

Over four in ten businesses in the UK are unaware of the risks posed by invoice fraud, despite these scams costing firms almost £93m in 2018, research from UK Finance has revealed

Tax / HMRC’s online inheritance tax service unavailable

HMRC’s online page for inheritance tax (IHT) is currently unavailable, with the department stating it is working with its IT partners to provide an urgent fix for the unspecified difficulties

Technical Alerts

25 Mar 2019

Accounting / Beyond the red flags – the alternative fraud triangle

The level of fraud in businesses is growing exponentially but the only way to get to grips with the scale of the problem is to drill down to the fundamental reasons why it happens and risk factors for finance departments, says Arun Chauhan, founder and managing partner of Tenet Compliance & Litigation

Tax / When is a temporary workplace not a temporary workplace for tax purposes?

Temporary workplace expense claims can be a challenge for employers when it comes to ensuring HMRC compliance with tax rules. David Redfern, managing director of DSR Tax Claims, examines potential pitfalls when  determining whether claims should be allowed

Tax / 1.13m businesses still to sign up to Making Tax Digital

With just one week to go until Making Tax Digital for VAT is introduced for more than a million businesses, HMRC says just 70,000 have signed up for the new service, which is mandatory from 1 April

Insight / Financial services optimism plummets

Sentiment among financial services firms deteriorated further in the quarter to March, plunging sharply at the fastest pace since December 2008, according to the latest CBI/PwC survey

Insight / Scotland offers rates relief to boost full fibre for business

Telecommunications firms are to benefit from 100% non-domestic rates relief on new fibre broadband infrastructure in Scotland to help them make the business case for installations, the Scottish government has revealed

Tax / Investigations into apprenticeship levy underpayments double

The number of investigations launched by HMRC into the underpayment of the apprenticeship levy has more than doubled in a year to 84, up from 33 in 2017/18, according to analysis by UHY Hacker Young

Audit / Grant Thornton picks up £500K Mothercare audit

High street mother and baby retail chain Mothercare has chosen Grant Thornton UK as its new auditor with effect from the 28 March 2020 financial year, ending a 17-year relationship with Deloitte

Insight / HMRC updates ‘no deal’ EU trading advice

As Brexit negotiations continue to be poised on a knife-edge, HMRC has announced it is extending arrangements already announced for traders to use transitional simplified procedures (TSP) designed to make importing easier, in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement on the new date of 12 April

Technical Alerts

22 Mar 2019

Tax / Calculating a PILON payment and tax liability

Changes to employment tax in the event of termination of employee contracts mean that payment in lieu of notice (PILON) is now treated as earnings so income tax and NICs are payable in full. Croner-i experts provide tips on how to make the correct tax calculation with a worked example

Insight / Business funding: alternative finance for SMEs

Raising finance is one of the big concerns for businesses, particularly SMEs, who often face investment barriers, but there are alternative finance options, explains Dominic Buch, co-founder and managing partner, Caple

Accounting / Law firms probed on anti money laundering compliance

Solicitors’ firms are to be inspected to ensure they are meeting anti-money laundering obligations, with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) revealing it will be carrying out checks on a sample of 400 law firms

Accounting / CIPFA consults on first-ever financial management code

CIPFA is consulting on a proposed new financial management code (FM code), which aims to drive improvement in financial management for all local authorities in the UK, marking the first time many areas of local government financial management have been codified

Tax / Scrap metal company tops tax defaulter list owing £16.4m

HMRC’s latest list of major tax defaulters is topped by a scrap metal company owing £16.4m on £22.9m unpaid tax, followed by a restaurant owing £626,461, with a raft of takeaways and construction services also featuring

Insight / Giraffe restaurant closures as CVA agreed

The creditors of Giraffe Concepts Ltd, the operator of the Ed’s Easy Diner and Giraffe restaurant brands, have approved its proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which will see around a third of the sites close, putting hundreds of jobs at risk

Tax / OECD releases first beneficial ownership toolkit

The OECD’s global forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes has released the first ever beneficial ownership toolkit designed to help governments, particularly in developing countries, comply with international transparency standards

Insight / Fraud total hits £1.2bn

Authorised and unauthorised fraud totalled £1.2bn in 2018, with the theft of personal and financial data through social engineering a major contributor to fraud losses, according to the annual report from UK Finance

Technical Alerts