Practice & Industry

Tax / HMRC criticised over 'stretched' resources and helplines

The standard of service on HMRC helplines and 'stretched' resources remain major concerns for taxpayers, exacerbated by the additional pressure due to Brexit, according to the latest research into attitudes to the tax authority

Insight / Global fraud costs balloon to £3.89 trillion

Fraud is costing businesses and individuals in the UK £130bn each year, while the cost to the global economy is put at £3.89 trillion, with losses rising by 56% in the past decade

Insight / Haines Watts’ acquisition policy sees 13% rise in revenues

Top twenty firm Haines Watts has reported turnover of £96m for the year, up from £84m, recording a 13% hike in revenues  from both organic growth and an active acquisition strategy

Insight / Pension scheme negligence lands insurance boss seven-year ban

An insurance boss who caused his company to be negligent in its responsibilities while administering a pension scheme has been banned for seven years, after concerns were raised about some £13m of members’ funds

Insight / Government crackdown on economic crime

The government has launched an Economic Crime Plan, a joint initiative with law enforcement, business and professional services firms, to share data and pool resources, in a bid to crack down on fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption

Insight / Smith & Williamson revenue hits £278m as profitability rises

Smith & Williamson, the financial and professional services firm, has reported 4.3% growth as operating income hits £278m and confirmed it is still planning to list in 2020

Insight / Mazars builds North America alliance

Mazars plans to expand its presence in the US and Canada with the creation of the Mazars North America Alliance in a tie-up with five major accounting firms to challenge the Big Four in the region

Insight / O'Connor: using fintech to increase practice profitability

Advances in fintech could transform the accounting profession if firms leverage the technology to help growth their practices and offer extended services to their smaller clients, explains Sam O’Connor ACA, co-founder & CEO of smart banking app Coconut

Audit / AQI 2019: Grant Thornton’s auditing branded ‘unacceptable’

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has labelled Grant Thornton’s audit quality as ‘unacceptable’, citing its failure to improve as a ‘deep concern’ after finding a quarter (26%) of all audits assessed over the past five years have required significant improvements, reports Pat Sweet

Insight / Baldwins acquires long-established West Country practices

Baldwins accountancy group, a member of CogitalGroup, has acquired two additional long-established practices as part of moves to build up its presence in the West Country

Insight / FCA tightens controls on peer-to-peer lending rules

As the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) releases its latest rule book for loan-based, peer-to-peer platforms, Kam Dhillon, principal associate at Gowling WLG, explains the regulator’s latest attempts to improve investor protection

Insight / BA faces record £183m GDPR fine

British Airways (BA) is facing a potential fine of £183.39m for infringements of the general data protection regulation (GDPR), following an extensive investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) into a cyber incident the airline notified in September 2018

Insight / CMA raps Barclays over SME account ‘bundling’

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has told Barclays to improve its practices after the bank broke rules designed to protect small businesses by requiring some to open bank accounts they did not request or need, in a process known as ‘bundling’

Insight / PwC teams up with British Athletics to drive Olympic gold haul

PwC has taken a leap into the sporting world signing a partnership with British Athletics to improve how the Olympic and Paralympic world class programmes work with performance data and analytics in a bid to increase the medals haul at next year’s Olympics

Insight / CIOT and ICAS link up for joint qualification

CIOT and ICAS have signed a strategic partnership and a launched a joint qualification in accountancy and tax, which will be available from September 2019