LSBF Blog - Global Matters

Materiality and governance should be focus of 2015 annual reports, says FRC

December 16 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has written a letter to audit committee chairs in larger listed companies to highlight areas they want directors to focus on in annual reports.

The move, which comes ahead of the reporting season, puts an emphasis on corporate governance and reporting risks that a company may be exposed to as part of a process of disclosure.

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UK house prices are increasing faster, reveals ONS

December 16 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

October saw annual house prices increase at a faster rate for the third month in a row, according to the latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the news came with a warning that there could be a surge in buy-to-let purchases before April when new regulations covering landlords come into force, which may have serious knock-on effects for the wider UK economy.

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£80.5bn tax bill paid by big UK business, analysis shows

December 16 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

The Treasury's coffers gained £80.5bn in tax contributions from big business in the UK this year, according to analysis by Big 4 firm PwC.

The report, which was made for the 100 Group of finance directors, noted that companies are paying higher rates of tax in spite of the continued reduction in the rate of corporation tax.

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HMRC launches personal tax accounts

December 15 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has officially launched the new system of personal tax accounts that will lead to the end for annual tax returns.

The new accounts will offer greater flexibility to taxpayers and be similar to online banking, says the authority.

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Fall in confidence will hit UK economic growth, says ICAEW

December 15 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) expects the UK economy to have grown by 2.4% this year before slowing to 2.1% in 2016.

The accountancy body warns that a slowdown in the wider economy could undermine Government plans for public spending and the aim to hit a budget surplus by 2020.

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‘Stealth tax’ will cost contractors £16.6bn, shows research

December 15 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Contractors in the UK will suffer under new plans to scrap tax relief on travel and subsistence expenses, claims a national accountancy firm.

Research by Danbro shows that more than one and a half million workers could be affected, leading to negative effects for the continued growth of the UK economy.

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Four qualities essential for graduates to become successful entrepreneurs

December 14 ,2015 | by Prof Maurits Van Rooijen

In the US, graduation is called ‘commencement’, as it is perceived as the beginning of the rest of your life. The end of study, the start of reality.

For many, commencement - or indeed graduation - marks the beginning of the traditional job hunt season for thousands of people. Of course, there is always the option to startup your own business, however, to be a successful entrepreneur, academic knowledge and professional skills alone are not enough. In my eyes, there are three main ingredients for entrepreneurial success.

 

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Invoice malware warning for finance departments

December 14 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Unsolicited email attachments in the form of unpaid invoices could pose a danger to finance departments, cybersecurity analyst Graham Cluley has warned.

The threat is part of a malware campaign being waged by hackers and online criminals who are targeting businesses computer accounting systems.

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Wear and tear allowance for landlords reformed in Finance Bill 2016

December 13 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The draft legislation announced in clauses of the Finance Bill 2016 confirms that new rules will operate in regard to the wear and tear allowance for let property.

Clause 40 of the Bill and its accompanying schedule shows that the allowance will be replaced by a deduction for the replacement of furniture for both corporate landlords and for individual landlords who let residential property that is not a qualifying furnished holiday letting business.

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Bank of England votes to hold rates at 0.5%

December 11 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The nine member Bank of England panel that decides the interest rate have voted to leave it unchanged at 0.5%.

The members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted 8-1 to keep things as they were and also predicted that inflation in the UK would remain below 1% until the second half of 2016.

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Scottish tax authority praised by Audit Scotland

December 11 ,2015 | by Helen Gould

The introduction of the new Scottish land and property tax regime has been handled well by The Scottish tax authority, says Audit Scotland.

According to a report, which considered how Revenue Scotland performed in delivering the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) and the Scottish Landfill Tax, Revenue Scotland had successfully managed the process and dealt with all the problems that occurred.

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Rise in new companies due to landlord tax changes

December 10 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

According to research from Kent Reliance, there has been a surge in the number of people incorporating a new company, with the main reason being the changes to the tax treatment of buy to let landlords.

The third 'Buy To Let Britain' report from the lender claims that changes in the Budget earlier in the year had already caused more landlords to incorporate. It cites an immediate increase in applications from limited companies following the July Budget.

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Revenues leap in China for global accountancy services network BDO

December 10 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

BDO, the global accountancy and advisory services network with a firm of more than 8,500 employees in China, has seen its revenues in the country grow by 28% in the year to 30 September.

The company also reported growth across the rest of Asia Pacific, especially in India where revenue was up 50% over the year.

 

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Tax transparency in listed companies' annual reports encouraged by FRC

December 10 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has said that UK listed companies should be clearer about their tax reporting to ensure that it is done as transparently as possible.

They recommended that the link between accounting profit and tax paid should be a part of a company’s annual reporting process. This should be presented in a way that helps others understand how the relationship between the two could change.

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UK retail sales slowed in November, reveals BRC

December 09 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

A survey by the British Retail Consortium and Big 4 accountants KPMG has found that retail sales fell 0.4% on a like-for-like basis in the UK in November.

In the same month last year, they had increased 0.9% from the previous year. However, on an overall basis, total sales were up 0.7% last month, but that is to be measured against a 2.2% rise in November of last year.

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Construction work demand falls to lowest level this year

December 09 ,2015 | by Thiago Kiwi

According to new data from Big 4 firm KPMG and Markit, last month saw the lowest demand for workers in the construction industry since May of this year.

The permanent workers index for the sector fell to 54.9 in November, marking the lowest level for the past six months.

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Cyber security is critical business risk, says ICAEW

December 09 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

According to research from The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), company auditors are reporting that companies still do not recognise cyber security as a risk to their business.

The ICAEW report 'Audit Insights: Cyber Security' uses observations and the expertise of auditors from across the spectrum of industry to highlight the need to close the gap between business operations and cyber security strategy.

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New Scotland tax rates may be bad for employers, say advisors

December 08 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

The new rates of income tax for those living in Scotland will apply from 6 April 2016, and their introduction will cause headaches for businesses, say financial advisors.

Corporate clients need to adapt their payroll procedures to deal with the changes, and many are still unsure of exactly what is in store.

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FRC consults on changes to the Audit Firm Governance

December 08 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

The Audit Firm Governance Code, which oversees transparency and quality, is undergoing a consultation by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

This new consultation reflects feedback from investors and other respondents who took part in the first consultation review earlier in the year.

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Potential impact of Storm Desmond is costly, says PwC

December 08 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

The recent decision by the Met Office to name storms follows the American trend, and some feel it takes away the serious nature of the consequences that can follow in their wake.

With Storm Desmond being the latest to bring torrential rain and flooding to areas of the UK, Big 4 firm PwC has commented on how weather incidents such as this can impact on the wider UK economy.

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Fax phased out by HMRC for SA302 tax calculations

December 07 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Agents who still use faxed copies of SA302 tax calculations from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as evidence of a client’s income for mortgage purposes will soon need another method.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has been working with HMRC to define what documentation is acceptable as evidence for mortgage and loan applicants to prove their income. This will mean an end for copies sent by fax.

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Green light for employment review

December 06 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

The Office of Tax Simplification’s call for a task force with the job of coming up with a universal definition for employment status will be met, Treasury secretary David Gauke has confirmed.

A departmental letter made the announcement that is likely to be welcomed by both freelance contractors and those working in the UK accountancy sector on their behalf.

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Network Rail plans assets sale to pay debts

December 05 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

Network Rail has asked Big 4 firm KPMG to look into the viability of selling off electricity assets in order to tackle the state-backed group's mounting debts.

The organisation, which was set up to look after the nation's Victorian-era railways infrastructure, could make as much as £2bn from a sale of assets.

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5 incredible cities where you can find a career in accounting

December 04 ,2015 | by LSBF Blog Staff

One of the best things about a career in accounting is the wide variety of places around the world you could choose to work in; accounting certainly stands as a global profession.

Although some aspects of accountancy will vary from country to country, the basic principles remain the same - that means a CIMA qualification can take you almost anywhere! Here are just a few of the fantastic cities you could work in...

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UK self-employed turn away from personal pensions

December 04 ,2015 | by Hari Sri

With the self-employed sector continuing to grow in the UK, new research shows that millions are risking their retirement by ignoring their pensions.

According to a new analysis from insurance specialist Prudential, the number of self-employed workers who contribute to personal pension pots is at its lowest since 2001.

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