By Zoya Malik May 6, 2021

Digital Accountancy Forum 2021

The Digital Accountancy Forum takes place virtually on the 17th June 2021.

Speakers will discuss their experience with key issues impacting the sector and opportunities for growth. You’ll hear from Deloitte, Xero, INAA, Withum, INPACT, Delphi Alliance and Allinial amongst others.

Some session highlights will include:

  • ‘Post-pandemic World: How Covid-19 has Shaped and Influenced Client Behaviour’ by Deloitte
  • ‘Digital Diversity and Intentional Inclusion’ by INPACT
  • ‘How Learning and Development Programs can ensure Employees Deliver the Right Message Remotely’ by Allinial
  • ‘Productivity, Performance and Profit’ by CloudCapcha
  • ‘How can an Audit Firm Retain its Independence in the New Accounting Era’ by Delphi Alliance

If you haven’t already registered, you can easily do so here.

By Zoya Malik April 27, 2021

Accelerated payments to fund SMEs 

Accelerated Payments, an SME funding provider headquartered in Dublin has announced it plans to fund €100m by 2021-end.

The invoice financing provider foresees a difficult period for companies in the coming months but expects organisations with access to capital to conquer the challenges ahead and capitalise on new business openings.

Lynne Darcey Quigley, Founder & CEO of Know-it, commented: ““Unfortunately, the data highlights an increasing challenge when it comes to late payments. Despite the government outlining a route out of lockdown, many organisations on the receiving end of late payments will struggle to survive after the crisis with little choice for some but to carry on and work with businesses deemed bad payers, often to their own detriment.”

By Joe Pickard May 18, 2021

ACCA urges accountants to maintain fraud vigilance

A new report from the ACCA has warned finance professionals against over-confidence in trusting their ‘gut feel’ about clients and strongly recommends considering if digital technology checks could help.

Only 49% of respondents ran any form of online checks on new clients – preferring to verify passport and other identity details using traditional paper method; 65% still relied on manual record-keeping of physical documents.

Jason Piper, head of taxation, ACCA and author of the report Know your Customer: Is it time to digitalise the first line of defence? said: “For the majority of an accountant’s client base, the global economic downturn consequent upon the Covid-19 pandemic, will have increased the risk of non-compliance one way or another.

“As businesses struggle to survive and cash flow is squeezed, the temptation to cut corners will increase. Clients who two years ago might never have considered any unlawful activity may now present a significant risk of involvement in money laundering, whether wittingly or otherwise.”

By Joe Pickard May 18, 2021

UK’s FRC stresses importance of high-quality disclosures 

The UK’s Financial Reporting Council highlighted examples of good practice in company’s interim reporting and where improvements are required, ahead of the 2021 interim reporting season.

Overall, the FRC was pleased that the majority of companies took into account the regulator’s Covid-19 recommendations to enhance their disclosures, particularly in relation to going concern and the statement of cash flows.

The FRC found that for significant events and transactions taking place during the interim period, such as impairments, many companies provided detailed explanations and other helpful information normally reserved for the annual reports and accounts. However, improvements would be for better explanations to be provided on balance sheet movements.

By Joe Pickard May 4, 2021

IRBA granted additional powers

South Africa’s Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors’ (IRBA) investigation and disciplinary powers have been strengthened through the passing of the Auditing Profession Amendment Act (APA), to deliver more effectively on its mandate and removes some of the limitations of the Auditing Profession Act of 2005 before this amendment.

Multiple failures in the South African audit profession over the past four years has led to growing public distrust in the profession.

IRBA acting CEO Imre Nagy said, The IRBA approached National Treasury in 2017 with proposed amendments to the APA which would enable the regulator to address public concerns on the state of the profession and assist it in carrying out its mandate in a more effective and efficient way. “The Act was amended following a three-year parliamentary process that began with the proposed amendments being included as part of the Financial Matters Amendment Bill. Ultimately, these amendments were re-introduced in Parliament through the Auditing Profession Amendment Bill in February 2020.”

By Joe Pickard April 28, 2021

AICPA to launch new model accounting curriculum

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) will unveil the new CPA Evolution Model Accounting Curriculum during a launch event which will be hosted with the American Accounting Association (AAA).

The online event, which is being held June 15-16, will give attendees a thorough overview of the Model Curriculum.

During the event, task force members who developed the curriculum will address how accounting programmes might prepare students for the Information Systems and Controls, Business Analysis and Reporting and Tax Compliance and Planning disciplines.

The curriculum is tied to the CPA Evolution initiative, which the AICPA Governing Council and NASBA Board of Directors voted in 2020 to advance and culminates with a new Uniform CPA Exam in 2024.

By Joe Pickard May 4, 2021

ICAS appoints president for 2021/22

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) has appointed Bruce Pritchard as its president for 2021/22 who in 2001 became a council member for ICAS and has since chaired the Members Board and the London Area Network. He served as the deputy president for 2020/21.

Pritchard said: “Our thought leadership, professional guidance, expertise and ethical reason helped navigate a course through 2020, and to inform decisions made by governments and businesses around the world.

“ICAS must now ensure that we continue to influence recovery and shape the future, one that embraces new technology, is focused on sustainability, ethics and equality, is more heavily invested in the value of human capital, and with leadership which actively seeks out diverse perspectives.”

By Zoya Malik May 18, 2021

April 2021 monthly insolvency statistics

Christina Fitzgerald, Vice President of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3, responds to the publication of the April 2021 corporate and individual insolvency statistics for England and Wales:

"The monthly fall in corporate insolvency numbers shown in the figures has been driven by a drop in Compulsory Liquidations and Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidations.

"On the personal insolvency side, the month-on-month drop in numbers is a result of a reduction in all types of personal insolvency processes.

"We now have a year’s worth of pandemic insolvency figures, and it’s clear the Government’s support measures have prevented a significant number of businesses from becoming casualties of the economic consequences of Covid-19.

“Government has a challenge on its hands in terms of managing the exit from lockdown and the withdrawal of its financial support measures. How it handles this will help to determine if there is a sharp spike of business failures or simply a smoother return to pre-pandemic insolvency levels.

“And company directors need to make the most of the time they have left before these support measures finish to plan for the future, and work out how they will manage without state support.

“The temporary ban on winding-up petitions is due to finish at the end of June, and other Government support schemes are due to be withdrawn in the next few months, which will clearly increase pressure on financially struggling firms.

By Zoya Malik 18 May, 2021

Tide and Sage streamline Small Business Tax and Accounting

Designed for people taking their first steps towards business reality, Tied and Sage’s partnership will provide UK self-employed and business owners with a new product that combines banking and accounting – all in a single digital environment. By connecting banking data and Tide's existing finance and admin tools to Sage's accounting and compliance services, Tide members will be able to streamline financial and compliance processes, such as self-assessment and year-end accounts.

Research shows that financial constraints and worries are the most common barriers preventing people from starting their own business. Many start-ups and small business owners worry about getting their tax and accounting wrong, resulting in facing penalties for making mistakes. With upcoming legislation like Making Tax Digital potentially impacting four million businesses in the UK, many don’t have an accountant, and are now looking to their banking providers for support and advice.

Having simple accounting and taxation built into Tide’s mobile and web platforms will give start-ups confidence that they are doing all they need to stay compliant and avoid any penalties.

Tide will trial their accounting and compliance solution with its 340,000 members later this year.

By Zoya Malik 18 May, 2021

FCA sends staff on cyber-crime courses 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has sent 4,430 of its employees on compulsory cyber and information security courses over the past two financial years – (FY 19-20 and FY 20-21) – to help combat the growing threat of financial crime, such as money laundering and fraud, according to official figures.

As well as the ‘Cyber and Information Security’ eLearning course, which is compulsory for all staffers to complete, 217 participants were also enrolled into locally organised security courses for more advanced training. These included Cyber Security training with a Counter Threat Unit; Software and Cyber Security development programmes, and additional courses titled ‘The Cyber Security Degree: the Next Step in Cyber’, and ‘The First Byte’.