Insight / Big Four need to learn from their competitors

Big accountancy firms need to pay attention to the way their smaller competitors operate and take it on board, says David Grunberg, founding partner at Grunberg & Co

Accounting / FASB issues insurance standard for US reporters

The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued the revised lease accounting standard, changing the way insurance contracts report under an Accounting Standards Update (ASU) that improves financial reporting for insurance companies that issue long-duration contracts, such as life insurance, disability income, long-term care, and annuities

Tax / 1.2m first-time buyers open Help to Buy ISAs

Since the launch of the Help to Buy ISA in 2015, 146,753 property completions have been supported by the scheme with 67% of first-time buyers being between the ages of 25 to 34, according to recent statistics from HMRC

Insight / Cryptocurrency fraud leads to £2m in losses over two months

Between June and July 2018, 203 reports of cryptocurrency frauds totalling £2m were reported to Action Fraud, who has warned the public about fraudsters advertising ‘get rich quick’ investments

Insight / People in the news: Grant Thornton, Mitchell Charlesworth, RSM

In the latest accountancy careers news, Grant Thornton appoints a head for its cyber security consulting practice and an audit partner, two tax managers join Mitchell Charlesworth, RSM appoints a risk assurance partner

Insight / Tax consultant jailed for £6.9m payroll fraud

A tax consultant, and former HMRC employee, who fled the UK before he could be arrested for masterminding a conspiracy to steal £6.9m from construction workers’ pay packets has been jailed for nine-and-a-half years

Tax / HMRC issues letters warning of overseas crackdown

As part of HMRC’s ongoing crackdown on undeclared foreign income, thousands of taxpayers are receiving letters warning them to disclose information by 30 September or face penalties

Technical Alerts

16 Aug 2018

Tax / IR35: when is contracting employment in disguise?

Government plans to extend the offpayroll working rules to the private sector as early as April 2019 will create difficulties for contractors and business so it is essential to review contracts to ensure there are no unexpected disputes with HMRC over tax liability or accusations of disguised employment. Andrew Brookes, head of employment solutions at Menzies LLP, considers the proposals

Insight / Accounting apprenticeships on the increase

With A level results due out today, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is reminding those leaving secondary education of alternative routes into work which do not require a degree, arguing that experience counts for a lot in the employment market

Audit / MPs challenge ex-BHS owner over going concern issues

Following publication of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) report on PwC’s 2014 audit of BHS and Taveta, the work and pensions select committee has challenged Sir Philip Green to publish the basis for the ‘going concern’ assessment which is central to many of the regulator’s criticism

Insight / CMA to investigate celebs’ online endorsements

Celebrities who fail to disclose commercial relationships with suppliers of products are coming under the microscope from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is investigating concerns that social media stars are not properly declaring when they have been paid, or otherwise rewarded, to endorse goods or services

Insight / Banks required to publish customer service scores

From today, following action by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), consumers and small businesses will have better information about the services offered by current account providers, with banks required to publish details of their customer service ratings

Insight / Deloitte says AI to overturn financial services ‘ecosystem'

Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to make rapid changes to the way financial services institutions attract and retain their customers, and will overturn traditional operating models and call for new collaboration amongst competitors, according to a report by the World Economic Forum based on research from Deloitte

Insight / Financial services below average at supporting women’s careers

The financial services (FS) sector is falling behind other sectors when it comes to supporting women’s progress into senior positions, according to a global report from PwC

Insight / HMRC reaches customs declaration service milestone

HMRC has successfully implemented the first software release for its new Customs Declaration Service (CDS), which will have a critical role to play post-Brexit

Technical Alerts

15 Aug 2018

Audit / FRC judges PwC ‘inaccurate and misleading’ over BHS audit

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has finally made public an excoriating report on PwC’s audit of BHS which describes the firm’s reporting as ‘incomplete, inaccurate and misleading’ and reveals the senior audit partner recorded only a handful of hours’ work on the retailer’s accounts shortly before it was sold for £1

Tax / PAYE withholding tax for gig platform workers too confusing

The Office of Tax Simplification has proposed changing the tax rules for self-employed platform workers with the introduction of a sector-specific PAYE withholding tax but how would it work? David Williams-Richardson, partner in the employer solutions team at RSM, considers the pros and cons

Insight / SEC fine for fraudulent initial coin offering

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has slapped a $30,000 penalty and barred the founder of a company who perpetrated a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) to fund oil exploration and drilling in California, amid warnings over blockchain-related scams

Tax / HMRC clarifies higher SDLT rules for partnerships and companies

HMRC has updated its guidance on higher rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) when buying an additional residential property to clarify how the rules affect companies and partnerships

Insight / Treasury’s £2m tech boost for generation rent

The Treasury is providing £2m to back three tech start-ups investigating ways to make it possible for people renting who lack a credit rating to quality for a mortgage, and so get onto the property ladder

Insight / Steel fabricator breaks down into administration

Blair Nimmo, partner, and Alistair McAlinden, director, of KPMG have been appointed as joint administrators of Rippin Ltd, a leading structural steel fabricator, with the loss of 25 jobs

Insight / FTSE CEOs experience 11% pay hike

Despite public pressure and a government commitment to clamp down on executive pay levels, median pay for a FTSE 100 CEO leapt 11% in 2017 according to research from the High Pay Centre and the CIPD

Tax / VAT: missing traders and carousel fraud

Stan Dencher, senior technical writer at Croner-i, provides advice on avoiding ‘missing’ traders who try to disguise VATable items in order to defraud HMRC

Technical Alerts