Insight / Economic trends: risky decision to raise interest rates

Raising interest rates amidst a climate of trade wars and stalling global trade is a high risk policy, particularly since the pace of economic growth is set to slow in the second half of 2018, argues Chris Williamson

Tax / Q&A: statutory maternity pay, redundancy and PAYE

When an employee is made redundant and is receiving statutory maternity pay (SMP), Lizabeth Lay, tax & payroll adviser at Croner Taxwise explains the employer liability for payments, tax code calculations and PAYE compliance issues 

Insight / Bogus accountant and tax cheat sentenced

A man who falsely claimed to be an accountant and convinced two friends to let him handle their tax affairs, going on to make a string of fraudulent repayment claims to HMRC, has been sentenced

Tax / Further updates to requirement to correct guidance

HMRC has supplied a further update to its guidance on the new requirement to correct (RTC) rule, which comes into effect from 30 September, with information about penalties and other sanctions, ways of making a correction and the information required when making a disclosure that no tax is due

Tax / Confusion over carer sleep-in payment rules

HMRC has been accused of ‘jumping the gun’ in its latest communication on back pay arrangements for ‘sleep-in’ carers, which at one point looked likely to create a £400m back pay liability for service providers, with a social care industry group calling for further clarification

Tax / HMRC consults on AML supervision fees

HMRC is consulting on plans to alter the way it charges fees to the businesses it supervises under money laundering regulations, saying its income from this needs to increase by 80% - 100% to cover the costs of a significant number of new staff

Insight / Number of administrations drops, reports KPMG

Despite high profile insolvencies continuing to hit the headlines, the total number of companies in England and Wales entering into administration during the second quarter of 2018 fell sharply, according to a study by KPMG

Insight / A third of UK SMEs fear post-Brexit disruption

Research suggests 47% of the UK’s SMEs have started planning for the various possible outcomes from Brexit, with a third predicting potential supply chain disruption, ahead of the government’s publication of a series of technical notices covering the potential business impacts in the event of a no-deal scenario

Insight / BoE chief economist warns of robot revolution

Andy Haldane, the chief economist at the Bank of England, has called on the UK to initiate a skills revolution, warning that the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) may make many jobs disappear

Insight / Trump calls on SEC to abandon quarterly reports

The US president has reportedly asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate the effect of relaxing the rules to allow businesses to move from a quarterly to a bi-annual reporting model

Technical Alerts

20 Aug 2018

Accounting / IFRS 16 Leases: discount rates and calculating net present value

Andrew Marshall FCA, senior technical partner at KPMG UK, considers the impact of discount rates when leases come onto the balance sheet under the new IFRS 16 Leases standard, effective from 1 January 2019

Audit / Internal audit: in-house versus outsourcing

As audit governance faces harsh criticism, Sarah Perrin ACA considers the use of internal audit and asks whether the increasing tendency to outsource this function is diluting the effectiveness of the process or introducing a level of independence

Insight / Regulator shuts military charity over fundraising concerns

The Charity Commission has signalled its intention to wind up Support the Heroes, following the conclusions of its investigation into complaints relating to the veterans charity’s fundraising activities

Audit / FRC fines KPMG £3m over ethical failures at Ted Baker

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has fined KPMG £3m and issued a severe reprimand for ethical failures in its auditing of fashion retailer Ted Baker, while Michael Barradell, senior statutory auditor and audit engagement partner, has been given a reprimand and a fine of £80,000

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 / Nine-year director ban for £1m false claims

A director from Birmingham has been banned from running companies for nine years after falsely claiming £1m worth of work to secure advance payments from lenders

Insight / Countrywide backs down over exec pay scheme

In the latest backlash over executive pay levels, estate agency group Countrywide has announced it has been forced to abandon plans to adopt a new remuneration policy worth potentially some £20m to its top team following opposition from major shareholders and representative groups

Tax / Treasury to use tax regime to cut plastic waste

The Chancellor has indicated he will be announcing proposals for new tax measures to reduce the use of plastics at Budget 2018, after the Treasury received 162,000 responses, the highest in its history, to a recent call for evidence on how the tax system can be used to reduce plastic waste

Audit / Blockchain startup aims to revolutionise auditing

Auditchain, a blockchain-based auditing system, will soon be launched for use in the audit sector to prevent fraud or error through a distributed network of accountancy professionals

Technical Alerts

17 Aug 2018

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

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