Zoya Malik 5 August 2021

Attract talent by offering more in the post-Covid world

Reed’s accountancy recruitment expert, Chris Willsher, has said that now is a time of opportunity for those in accounting to attract new talent.

Willsher said that although the coronavirus pandemic devastated the industry, with the number of accountancy jobs advertised falling by 83% between January and April of 2020, it is clear that the UK is returning to pre-pandemic rates as the economy reopens.

Since December 2020, the number of jobs advertised in the sector has increased by 39%, returning closer to pre-pandemic levels – reaching 72% of the number of jobs available in January 2020. This figure is increasing, with an 11% rise in the number of accountancy jobs advertised in the past two months.

Willsher added that the average number of applicants per accountancy job has now dropped to below January 2020 rates, despite almost tripling during the height of the pandemic. Similarly, within the past two months, 22% less applicants have been applying for each job in the industry. It is evident that employers no longer have a luxury of talent and must be willing to accommodate employee needs and wishes.

Joe Pickard 11 August 2021 (sponsored)

Call for international public bidding

The Corporación Dominicana de Empresas Eléctricas Estatales (Dominican Corporation of State Energy Enterprises – CDEEE) in compliance with the provisions of Act No. 340-06, on Public Procurement and Contracting of Goods, Services, Works and Concessions dated 18 August 2006, and its modification contained in Act No. 449-06 dated 6 December 2006, hereby summons all interested parties to submit proposals for contracting a firm of independent auditors to determine compliance with the financial aspects of the contract (EPC) for the construction of the Punta Catalina Thermoelectric Power Plant (CTPC).

Those interested in collecting the specific bidding documents should go to CDEEE’s Institutional Procurement Management Office, located at Av. Independencia, Centro de los Héroes, during working hours from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Monday to Friday, or download them from the Transparency section of the institution’s website (www.cdeee.gob.do) or from the DGCP Transactional Portal (www.dgcp.gob.do ) for the purpose of preparing their proposals. Bidding documents are free of charge.

Proposals will be received in sealed envelopes on or before 7 September 2021 until 5:00 PM at the Institutional Procurement Management Office of CDEEE, located at the corner of Av. Independencia and Av. Enrique Jiménez Moya, Centro de los Héroes, Santo Domingo, National District, Dominican Republic.

All interested parties must be currently registered and without restrictions in the Registry of State Vendors administered by the General Directorate of Public Contracting.

Joe Pickard 5 August 2021

Culture is key to more women in the boardroom

ACCA chief executive Helen Brand says changing culture is crucial in correcting the under-representation of women on boards.

“Of the Forbes 500 list of the world’s biggest companies, only 41 have CEOs who are women,” Brand said. “That’s 8%. That only makes sense if you believe that men are 12-and-a-half times smarter than women, are 12-and-a-half times more talented than women, or work 12-and-a-half times harder than women.”

Brand added: “Change is already happening too slowly. The biggest one is difficult to pin down and hard to measure, but it can be classed as cultural change. There is wider acceptance that women should have equal access to opportunity as men in their work – including in the boardroom, if that’s where their ambitions and skills take them. Old attitudes which discriminate against women are increasingly viewed as outmoded, outdated and just plain wrong. That has happened in our lifetimes. It is a generational change.”

She continued: “The best businesses know this. They know that to ignore the right of women to claim equal opportunities to men is to risk serious reputational damage. In that sense, the right of women to take the place which their abilities deserve is a business question as much as it is a moral question.”

Joe Pickard 8 August 2021

Digital tax overhaul: risk of non-compliance penalties

More than 2 million UK SME owners risk non-compliance penalties in digital tax overhaul due to the Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT reform coming into force in 2022, according to research from the Accountancy Partnership.

The Boom or Bust report revealed that more than a third (37%) of entrepreneurs use paper-based systems or a collection of photos to keep track of their finances, with one in 10 storing essential documents in an old shoebox or drawer.

As part of HMRC’s efforts to become more digitally advanced and to make tax easier for business owners, digital tax records will be mandatory for all VAT registered businesses from 1 April 2022.

As well as digital records, Making Tax Digital will require tax returns to be submitted every three months, as opposed to the current annual tax return. Over the next five years, MTD will expand to include income tax and corporation tax, as well as VAT.

Joe Pickard 11 August 2021

AAT calls for action on contradictory taxes to achieve climate goals

Ahead of the COP26 summit, which takes place this November in Glasgow, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has called on the UK government to take steps to make changes to tax policy in order to reach the goal of net zero by 2050.

In a letter to COP26 president Alok Sharma, AAT set out a number of steps the government could take to enhance its environmental credentials and make a more positive impact on reducing environmental damage. These include:

Reforming aviation tax in light of recent proposals to cut Air Passenger Duty on UK domestic flights;

A reduction in the use of plastic packaging and an increase in the proposed 30% threshold for recycled content in plastic packaging, using a roadmap of gradual increases in the threshold over the next decade;

Reinstating the timetable of introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for cans and bottles by 2023, or comprehensively studying the possibility of a digital DRS instead of a traditional reverse vending machine model;

Reversing the increase of VAT from 5% to 20% on low-carbon items such as domestic wind turbine systems and heat pumps;

Updating the Sustainable Development Impact Test pro-forma used by civil servants to assess policy options, with a view to reducing or eliminating policies that contradict environmental objectives.

Joe Pickard 5 August 2021

CIPFA partners with Eintech 

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has partnered with Eintech to introduce an online assessment platform for students of its professional qualifications.

The platform, called Rogo, is provided by Eintech and aims to facilitate a more rounded assessment model that will continue to test technical competency but in realistic, work-based contexts.

The introduction of Rogo is part of wider efforts at CIPFA to refresh its professional qualifications, with the aim of ensuring qualified public finance professionals are equipped with the skills they need for the future.

CIPFA intends for Rogo to be available to students for the December 2021 examination window.