Audit / CMA wants Big Four operational split and mandatory joint audits

The Big Four firms face an operational split between audit and consulting services, and mandatory joint audits of large listed companies, as a result of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) final report on the UK audit market

Tax / Criminal Finances Act 2017: facilitation of tax evasion rules

HMRC is ramping up its action against businesses which fail to prevent facilitation of tax evasion by staff, but compliance levels are low. Businesses should act now given the risk of corporate criminal investigations, explains Ben Jones, tax partner at Eversheds Sutherland

Tax / Loose Women presenter wins IR35 case

Media star Kaye Adams, the presenter of ITV’s Loose Women programme, is the latest celebrity to win an IR35 challenge, with a First Tier Tribunal (FTT) finding the terms of her personal services contract (PSC) for BBC radio shows meant she was not an employee and did not have to pay some £125,000 of PAYE and National Insurance contributions (NICs), reports Pat Sweet

Insight / Baldwins expands Scottish reach with Scott-Moncrieff merger

Scott-Moncrieff, Scotland’s longest established accountancy firm, is to join Baldwins, part of the fast-growing challenger audit services firm CogitalGroup, which now has a significant Scottish presence via both acquisition and organic expansion

Insight / People in the news: Grant Thornton, Price Bailey, Foxley Kingham

The latest career moves across the accounting profession see senior manager promotions at Price Bailey, partner hires at Grant Thornton and a specialist payroll appointment at RSM

Insight / Lack of women in top jobs at accountancy firms

Women make up only a quarter of the positions on executive boards at the top 25 accountancy firms in the UK, despite 44% of full-time accountants being female

Insight / Brexit dominates FCA priorities for year ahead

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its business plan for 2019/20, outlining the key priorities for the coming year, but says the immediate priority will remain supporting an orderly transition as the UK leaves the EU

Insight / Business confidence wilts under Brexit pressure

UK economic confidence improved a little at the start of the year, but remains lower than many other countries worldwide, according to research from ACCA and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

Technical Alerts

17 Apr 2019

Audit / Editor’s comment: audit market in turmoil

A swathe of audit reviews from the fundamental structure of the Big Four audit firms to the very future of auditing standards could reshape the whole profession, but are legislators prepared to make the necessary reforms, asks Sara White, editor of Accountancy Daily

Tax / HMRC’s direct recovery of debt powers bring in £178m tax

HMRC is claiming the new direct recovery of debt (DRD) powers to recover money owed directly from individuals’ bank and building society accounts have raised £178m of tax revenue, against a background of a low volume of complaints, objections or appeals, with the majority settling before direct intervention was needed

Insight / Brexit worries weigh on CFOs

As the Easter recess brings a temporary halt to parliamentary discussion about the UK’s plans for leaving the EU, long term levels of concern about Brexit among CFOs has hit an all-time high

Insight / Accountex 2019 exhibition showcases Making Tax Digital

This year’s Accountex exhibition will focus on Making Tax Digital with over 200 exhibitors including leading software and technology companies, and a keynote from HMRC’s head of MTD Theresa Middleton

Tax / Using post-cessation tax relief post Sinclair ruling

Lindsey Wicks, tax writer at Croner-i, examines the lack of clarity over the operation of rules concerning insurance proceeds received post-cessation in the wake of the Sinclair ruling

Insight / Big Four consulting projects overshoot on costs

Around 70% of all Big Four audit firm consulting projects end up costing more than the client’s initial estimate, with 18% of projects costing significantly more and only 2% coming in under budget

Insight / Scammer jailed after tax probe

A serial fraudster has been jailed for four years and nine months after repaying a tax fraud debt with money stolen in another scam

Technical Alerts

16 Apr 2019

Audit / Audit and quality management: ISA 220, ISQM 1 – part 2

In the second part of our series on reforms to auditing standards, Katharine Bagshaw FCA examines proposed changes to ISA 220 Quality Management for an Audit of Financial Statements and the introduction of the first quality management standard for auditors, ISQM 1, currently out for consultation by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB)

Audit / FRC prioritises audit inspections during ARGA transition

The government has made clear that the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) must prioritise inspection and enforcement activities during the overhaul of the regulator and restructure as the Auditing, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA)

Tax / Big Bad Wolff loses £147k NICs appeal

Actor Robert Glenister has lost a NICs appeal over the operations of his personal service company (PSC), Big Bad Wolff, at an Upper Tribunal

Tax / HMRC sets out provisional rules on IR35 for private sector

HRMC has published preliminary guidance on how to prepare for changes to the off-payroll working rules from 6 April 2020, even though the consultation on the extension of the rules to the private sector has yet to close for comment

Audit / Call to relax 51% rule on audit firm ownership

Reform of the audit market should focus on relaxing audit firm ownership rules, to permit new capital to enter the market to increase competition rather than breaking up the Big Four audit firms

Tax / VAT Q&A: treatment of retained deposits after policy change

In our regular VAT Q&A series, Croner Taxwise VAT advice consultant Sally Atkins looks at how changes in policy have affected the VAT treatment of a deposit that is retained after an event is cancelled

Insight / Trustees removed after cash couriering at charity

The Charity Commission has dissolved a poverty aid charity after charitable funds were misused and cash was taken overseas, while trustees were using funds for personal expenses

Insight / TC Group in south east expansion

TC Group, the new branding for accountancy firm Taylorcocks, has significantly expanded its presence in the south east through a merger with Essex-based Jamesons

Accounting / Financial services must focus on climate change risk reporting

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) says banks and insurers need to do more to manage the financial risks from climate change

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