Editor's note

Issue 625  September 2021

Follow IAB on twitter @WAI_News

Countries across the globe are looking for ways to open travel corridors to destinations where populations are similarly vaccinated. In a positive move, the UK Government has amended the rules for international travel to England by doing away with the much-maligned traffic light system and, from 4th October 2021, introducing a single red list of countries along with simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the globe. Similarly, the US has determined that from 1st November 2021, fully vaccinated visitors will again be welcome from the UK and most of Europe.

These welcome changes come just in time for the type of intensive travelling and shuttle diplomacy which will be required to deal with the two most pressing issues on the horizon. Firstly, the more immediate problem of a stifling spike in global gas prices, with a rise of 70 percent during August 2021 and, through this year in Europe, by 280 percent (Reuters). This is leading to a probable energy crisis in the coming months as a consequence of which there will be a near-time surge in inflation and is likely to push up winter fuel bills and endanger food supplies. The second is the need for accelerated action on climate change. Environmental issues will be under the microscope during the upcoming COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow from 1st November, with the main objective being to ask countries to come forward with achievable 2030 emissions reductions targets, that align with the aim of achieving net zero by the middle of the century.

IAB’s industry analyst Sarajuddin Isar has been quoted widely across global mainstream media such as BBC World News and Channel 4, for his opinion on the Afghanistan economy. He highlights that, as the Taliban Government remains unrecognised on the global stage to date, hence the IMF has blocked close to $400 million in emergency reserves. With the majority of Afghan Central Bank’s reserves, around $7 billion out of an estimated $9 billion, frozen at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, there are serious liquidity issues in the country. The consequence to all this has been a squeeze on household expenditure, with local banks putting a cap on retail customer withdrawals of $200 per week, bringing pressure to bear on livelihoods and payment for rent and food. With lack of clarity on the Taliban Government’s composition and intent over societal inclusivity, uncertainty will remain for local investors and FDI, for some time yet.

In this issue, ahead of the COP26 meeting, do read Chairman of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) Ian Carruthers’ discussion on the critical role of public sector accountants in addressing climate change; Sharon Veness at GovGrant comments on what accountants need to think about when supporting clients through R&D tax credit claims; in a collaborative piece, experts at Schneider Law Group PLLC and Abacus Worldwide discuss the outlook for M&A activity for private companies over the next six to 12 months; Andy Campbell at FinancialForce explores the scope for an organisation’s cash management processes; there are comments by specialists at Kroll speaking on upcoming changes to Capital Gains Tax (CGT), I speak to Doniyor Islamov, CEO and managing partner at Prom Audit, on the ‘ease of doing business’ and audit landscape in Uzbekistan, and Jim Leeves, Partner Consulting Manager at Xero, discusses how an ACA certification can lead to a diverse set of career experiences.

There are ranking reports and tables from Chile and Panama, with additional tables covering Columbia and Brazil. Do also catch up with the news round-up.

Do visit the Digital Accounting Forum and Awards 2021 events page and nominate your organisation to celebrate best achievements across the industry. Nominations close 4 October. We look forward to celebrating live on 4 November at the day’s Conference and Awards event at The Waldorf Astoria, London.