September 06 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Advisers urged to help clients with competition law by watchdog

The Competition and Markets Authority has called on accountants to make sure their clients comply with competition law.

The non-ministerial government department has made a 60-second video summary that gives an introduction to competition law in the hope of keeping the issue fresh in the minds of advisors.

Competition law knowledge

The new initiative reveals that over three quarters of businesses (77%) do not have a good understanding of what competition law entails and how they are required to act by it.

This means there is the potential for many firms, especially in the small business sector, to unwittingly break the law but nevertheless face the consequences of having to pay penalties.

The new summary gives advice for accountants about how best to familiarise themselves with common competition law risks and then be able to pass the information on to their clients.

Avoid risks

CMA head of compliance Judith Frame explained: "We hope this will help accountants put competition law on their clients' radars to help them avoid risks, and to benefit from competition."

"Research shows that many businesses, particularly smaller ones, could benefit from having a stronger understanding of how competition law affects them," she said.

The CMA produced the short video after working with ICAS and ACCA.

Head of practice support and international services at ICAS, Ken McManus said: "Accountants are trusted advisers and as such are ideally placed to put competition law on the radar of business clients."

"Many businesses might be breaking the law without knowing it, with serious consequences. We've worked in partnership with the CMA to produce this quick guide and would encourage all accountants to make business clients aware of their duty to comply with competition law," he added. 

Erin O’Neill

Erin O’Neill is an LSBF News Writer who reports on small business, careers, technology and education news.

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