Insight / Financial services optimism plummets

Sentiment among financial services firms deteriorated further in the quarter to March, plunging sharply at the fastest pace since December 2008, according to the latest CBI/PwC survey

Insight / Scotland offers rates relief to boost full fibre for business

Telecommunications firms are to benefit from 100% non-domestic rates relief on new fibre broadband infrastructure in Scotland to help them make the business case for installations, the Scottish government has revealed

Tax / Investigations into apprenticeship levy underpayments double

The number of investigations launched by HMRC into the underpayment of the apprenticeship levy has more than doubled in a year to 84, up from 33 in 2017/18, according to analysis by UHY Hacker Young

Insight / HMRC updates ‘no deal’ EU trading advice

As Brexit negotiations continue to be poised on a knife-edge, HMRC has announced it is extending arrangements already announced for traders to use transitional simplified procedures (TSP) designed to make importing easier, in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement on the new date of 12 April

Accounting / Beyond the red flags – the alternative fraud triangle

The level of fraud in businesses is growing exponentially but the only way to get to grips with the scale of the problem is to drill down to the fundamental reasons why it happens and risk factors for finance departments, says Arun Chauhan, founder and managing partner of Tenet Compliance & Litigation

Accounting / CIPFA consults on first-ever financial management code

CIPFA is consulting on a proposed new financial management code (FM code), which aims to drive improvement in financial management for all local authorities in the UK, marking the first time many areas of local government financial management have been codified

Tax / Scrap metal company tops tax defaulter list owing £16.4m

HMRC’s latest list of major tax defaulters is topped by a scrap metal company owing £16.4m on £22.9m unpaid tax, followed by a restaurant owing £626,461, with a raft of takeaways and construction services also featuring

Insight / Giraffe restaurant closures as CVA agreed

The creditors of Giraffe Concepts Ltd, the operator of the Ed’s Easy Diner and Giraffe restaurant brands, have approved its proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which will see around a third of the sites close, putting hundreds of jobs at risk

Insight / Fraud total hits £1.2bn

Authorised and unauthorised fraud totalled £1.2bn in 2018, with the theft of personal and financial data through social engineering a major contributor to fraud losses, according to the annual report from UK Finance

Insight / Business funding: alternative finance for SMEs

Raising finance is one of the big concerns for businesses, particularly SMEs, who often face investment barriers, but there are alternative finance options, explains Dominic Buch, co-founder and managing partner, Caple

Accounting / Law firms probed on anti money laundering compliance

Solicitors’ firms are to be inspected to ensure they are meeting anti-money laundering obligations, with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) revealing it will be carrying out checks on a sample of 400 law firms

Audit / BBC criticised for cost overruns on EastEnders set

MPs have lambasted the BBC for ‘fundamental’ project management failures in the redevelopment of the set for its flagship TV series EastEnders, which is set to cost £27m more than budgeted and will be completed five years later than planned

Insight / European Council adopts contingency measures for no deal Brexit

The European Council has adopted a series of legislative acts as part of its contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit scenario

Insight / Regulator highlights lack of financial controls at London charity

A Charity Commission inquiry into a South London charity, the Khatme Nubuwwat Centre (KNC), has found that the trustees are responsible for a series of failings amounting to misconduct and/or mismanagement, which include a lack of adequate financial controls or policies

Insight / ICAEW set to launch pay-per-view system for guidance

ICAEW plans to open up some of the professional content currently available exclusively to faculty members with a new pay-per-view system, which will allow all members to buy one-off guidance without joining a faculty