Audit / Big Four reject breakup in response to CMA study

An invitation to comment on a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) audit market study has resulted in the Big Four unanimously rejecting the possibility of being broken up and expressing a range of opinions on market share caps and non-audit service restrictions

Insight / How accounting firms can use chatbots to connect with clients

Melissa Hernandez, executive at Propero Partners, discusses the practical applications of artificial intelligence and the use of web-based chatbots by accounting firms to increase engagement with customers

Tax / HMRC signs lease for Nottingham regional centre

HMRC has signed a 25-year lease for its Nottingham regional hub with the tax authority planning to move employees into the building by 2021, with the building becoming the final lease that HMRC has signed out of the 13 regional centres

Tax / OECD cracks down on misuse of preferential tax regimes

The OECD says international efforts spearheaded by its base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project to curb harmful tax practices and prevent the misuse of preferential tax regimes are having a tangible impact worldwide, according to its latest report on progress

Audit / US Pentagon fails first-ever audit

The first-ever audit of the Pentagon has identified multiple issues resulting in a heavily qualified opinion of the financial management systems and information technology at the US Department of Defense (DOD), which says it plans to use the findings to improve its financial controls

Insight / £1m fund to aid charities improve digital skills

The government has announced a new £1m fund to expand training programmes for charities so that employees and trustees can improve their digital skills, including developing social media presence and online fundraising

Insight / Dow Schofield Watts merges with financial modelling firm

JL Advisory, which provides financial modelling services for public and private sector clients throughout the UK, has joined forces with accountancy firm Dow Schofield Watts as part of its growth plans

Audit / Oman suspends KPMG from beginning audits for a year

KPMG has been suspended from auditing entities regulated by Oman’s Capital Market Authority for a year following the discovery of what were described as ‘major financial and accounting irregularities’

Insight / People in the news: Crowe, KPMG, Ayming

This week's news of professional moves in the sector includes a tax partner appointment at Crowe, KPMG appoints an international tax director in its London office, ex-KPMG partner joins Ayming

Insight / Boss jailed for fraudulently moving £51k in funds

The boss of a personal injury claims business has been jailed for 21 months and banned for seven years after fraudulently removing company funds in the months before the courts would make a winding-up order resulting in the closure of the business

Technical Alerts

15 Nov 2018

Tax / What you need to know: annual investment allowance increased to £1m

The £1m annual investment allowance (AIA) limit could translate into an effective annual limit of less than £17,000 due to straddling periods, explains Will Silsby, technical officer at the Association of Taxation Technicians

Tax / Changes to tax liabilities on termination payments create complexity

An overhaul of the rules on taxation of termination payments has directly affected the tax treatment of payments in lieu of notice (PILONs) and foreign service relief (FSR), creating complicated questions for businesses when applying them to redundancy situations. Tim Stovold, head of tax at Kingston Smith, explains 

Tax / HMRC steps up MTD letter campaign

HMRC has issued another 180,000 letters, following on from the 20,000 sent last week, to businesses affected by Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT, explaining the change and what they need to do to prepare for April 2019

Insight / Brexit deal proposals prompt Cabinet resignations

A proposed agreement between the UK and the EU, including single market access for Northern Ireland and a five-year post-transition commitment to VAT, has prompted resignations from Cabinet ministers Esther McVey and Dominic Raab

Tax / BBC still to resolve tax issues for freelancers

The BBC has unresolved issues relating to the tax status of dozens of its on-air presenters and others hired through personal service companies (PSCs) which may have future financial implications for the broadcaster, a National Audit Office (NAO) inquiry has found

Accounting / IASB confirms one-year deferral for IFRS 17

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is proposing a one-year deferral of the effective date for IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts, under which insurance contract liabilities will be calculated as the present value, to 2022

Insight / 55% of charities fail to assess board financial competence

A survey of 200 charities suggests that the governance competency of charities continues to be deficient in financial matters and are failing to take advantage of available guidance and training

Audit / FRC announces audit monitoring priorities

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has indicated it plans to focus on the use of audit quality indicators (AQIs) and applying technology in audits during its inspections for 2019/20, as the regulator released details of its thematic reviews, priority sectors and audit areas of focus

Tax / Government caves in to pressure on fixed odds betting changes

The government has been forced into a U-turn over the planned timetable for reducing the stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which will now be introduced in April 2019 following public and political outcry and a ministerial resignation

Insight / Jail term for London grocer’s £120k VAT fraud

A London man who set up fake companies, including a jewellery shop and a holiday villas firm, as part of a £120,000 VAT fraud has been jailed for three years, following an HMRC investigation

Technical Alerts

14 Nov 2018

Insight / Charities: what needs to change in the Charities SORP? - part 6

Sarah Perrin ACA looks at the key questions being considered in the governance review of the Charity SORP committee and process now under way, including whether the SORP-making process commands confidence

Tax / OECD progresses on BEPS anti avoidance measures

Mark Cawthron LLB CTA, tax specialist at Croner-i, examines the developments in the OECD’s framework package on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) over the 12 months to June 2018 and the progress that has been made in the UK's approach to the 'digital challenge'

Insight / Interserve hit by outsourcing worries

FTSE 250 company Interserve is the latest outsourcer to come under financial scrutiny following the collapse of Carillion earlier this year, and has been forced to issue a statement quelling rumours of potential difficulties after its share price slumped by up to 30%

Accounting / Standards setters start work on corporate reporting alignment

The Corporate Reporting Dialogue (CRD), a group of major international corporate reporting standard setters and framework providers, has announced a two-year project focused on driving better alignment in the corporate reporting landscape

Audit / Technology driving corporate reporting change, says EY

Smart technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), increased use of non-financial data and innovative approaches to recruitment are changing corporate reporting, enabling companies to offer greater transparency and so increase public trust in business, research by EY has found

Tax / N Brown faces £9m VAT recovery challenge

Fashion group N Brown, which owns the Simply Be and JD Williams brands, faces paying up to £9m in additional VAT from 2020, after the company was told by a First Tier Tribunal (FTT) it is likely to lose its long-running dispute with HMRC

Accounting / Samsung BioLogics accused of accounting violations

South Korea’s financial services regulator has ruled that Samsung BioLogics, the biotech drug arm of Samsung Group, the country’s biggest family-run conglomerate, ‘intentionally violated accounting rules’ and has imposed sanctions on its auditors

Insight / Berketex Bride chain in administration

Sheffield-based insolvency firm Wilson Field is acting for Bridal Fashions Ltd, t/a Berketex Bride, after the fifty-year old wedding dress chain collapsed into administration, becoming the latest retail casualty on the high street

Tax / HMRC sees 62% hike in disputed tax collected through mediation

HMRC saw a 62% rise in disputed tax collected through the use of mediation last year, collecting £40.8m, up from £25.2m in 2016/17, according to analysis by RPC

Insight / Charity guidance issued on changing financial year

The Charity Commission has published guidance on the circumstances and procedures for charities wishing to change their financial year, which vary according to whether or not the charity is incorporated as a company

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