Insight / 500,000 businesses in ‘significant’ financial distress

Almost half a million businesses are now in significant financial distress, a 40% increase in the three years since the EU referendum, according to Begbies Traynor, which warns that Brexit stagnation and macroeconomic factors are creating a ‘perfect storm’

Accounting / FCA seeks improvements in climate change disclosures

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said it wants to see improvements in the climate change disclosures made by companies, as well as clearer information for consumers on green financial products and services

Insight / Cost overruns sink Grand Design housing funders

Liquidators from KPMG have been appointed to a clutch of companies within the property group founded by Kevin McCloud, presenter of the TV refurbishment show Grand Designs, which have failed following project and cost overruns

Insight / Regulator orders pensions trustees to check data

The trustees of hundreds of pension schemes are to be ordered to urgently review the data they hold as part of a crackdown on poor record-keeping by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), which could result in fines of up to £50,000 for those found to be non-compliant

Insight / Irish firms in €8m merger

Two Irish accountancy firms, both members of the DFK International association, are to merge to create a combined practice with an annual fee income of over €8m (£6.9m)

Insight / Queen’s Speech: pensions, employment and airline insolvency changes

Changes to the financial services regime to prepare for Brexit, new airline insolvency rules, and a ‘pensions dashboard’ for savers were among the measures in the Queen’s Speech outlining the government’s programme for the year ahead

Tax / Facebook’s UK tax payments under fire

Facebook’s UK tax payments have been branded ‘outrageous’ by a former chair of the public accounts committee (PAC), after the tech giant’s accounts revealed it paid £28.5m in tax in 2018, while revenues hit a record £1.65bn

Insight / Equity crowdfunding and due diligence requirements

Raising finance is always a challenge and taking the equity crowdfunding route requires additional due diligence. John Auckland of TribeFirst sets out key pointers for start-ups and growth stage companies 

Insight / Accountants most popular professional advisor with SMEs

Two-thirds of SMEs have hired an accountant – making them the most popular professional adviser with this group – but a quarter says they only did so when faced with a crisis, according to research from Direct Line for Business

Insight / Margate witnesses launch of Turner £20 note

The design for the new £20 polymer note featuring artist JMW Turner has been revealed by the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, at the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate

Insight / Links jewellery chain in administration

Upscale high street jewellery chain Links (London) Ltd has collapsed, putting around 350 jobs at risk

Audit / RSM warns of governance ‘ticking timebomb’

Following a string of high profile corporate collapses, almost all company boards expect an increase in legal and regulatory action over compliance failures

Audit / Audit regulator shakes up leadership team

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has overhauled its leadership team with the appointment of Simon Dingemans and Sir Jon Thompson as chair and chief executive

Tax / No deal Brexit to add £15bn to UK-EU trade red tape

HMRC has published an revised assessment of the potential cost to business of a no-deal Brexit, which estimates the ongoing administrative costs for UK-EU trade at £15bn a year with worst case scenario of up to £56 per declaration

Insight / PwC tops list for action on social mobility

PwC and KPMG have come top of a list of 75 leading UK employers who have done the most to promote social mobility in the workplace