FASAC gains nine members

The US’ Financial Accounting foundation board of trustees has appointed nine new members to the Financial Accounting Standards advisory Council (FASAC) as well as reappointing 26 members for an additional one-year term.

The FASAC advises the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on strategic and technical issues, project priorities, and other matters that affect standard setting. The FASAC provides the FASB with diverse perspectives from individuals with varied business and professional backgrounds.

FAF board of trustees chair Kathleen Casey said: The FAF and FASB are pleased to welcome our new FASAC members, and we look forward to the diverse insights they will offer as they take on this important role helping to improve financial reporting for all our stakeholders. I would also like to thank the departing members for their expertise, commitment, and input to the standard-setting process.”

The new members are:

  • Todd Castagno, Head of Global Valuation, Accounting and Tax Research, Morgan Stanley
  • Jeremy Croucher, Partner-in-Charge, Department of Professional Practice, KPMG LLP
  • Debra Dial, Senior Vice President and Global Controller, AT&T
  • Saul Martinez, Founder, Cambio Consulting LLC
  • Dorri C. McWhorter, President and Chief Executive Officer, YMCA Metropolitan Chicago
  • Jonathan Nus, Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal, Global Transaction Advisory
  • Johnbull Okpara, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller, Citigroup Inc.
  • Richard G. Sloan, Deloitte and Touche LLP Chair in Accounting, Professor of Accounting, Finance and Business Economics, University of Southern California
  • Antonio Yanez Jr., Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

ISSB vice-chair and special adviser appointed

The trustees of the IFRS Foundation have appointed Sue Lloyd as vice-chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), effective 1 March 2022.

Lloyd currently serves as vice-chair of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and will step down from her current role to take up the new position. As Vice-Chair, Lloyd will support the Chair and will focus particularly on the ISSB’s work on technical standard-setting issues and developments.

Commenting on her appointment, Lloyd said: “I’m excited to take on this new challenge within the IFRS Foundation and about the opportunity to use my experience to assist in the creation of the ISSB and its delivery of sustainability standards for the global capital markets. I’ve enjoyed my time on the IASB and look forward to working closely with both old and new colleagues across the organisation in my new role.”

Additionally, current chief executive of the Value Reporting Foundation Jane Guillot has been appointed to serve as a special adviser to the ISSB chair. Guillot said: “The formation of the ISSB is a historic opportunity to establish a global sustainability disclosure standard-setter for the financial markets. The consolidation of the VRF and CDSB into the IFRS Foundation will provide a running start for the work of the ISSB and enable strong connectivity between the ISSB and IASB. I look forward to working with Emmanuel and Sue to help take comparable and reliable sustainability disclosure for the financial markets to a truly global level.”

IFRS foundation trustees chair Erkki Liikanen said: “Sue has been an exemplary Vice-Chair of the IASB, and we are delighted she will bring her skills and experience to helping Emmanuel establish the ISSB. Janine’s contribution will also be essential in guiding work to integrate the VRF and CDSB teams into the IFRS family. I congratulate both on their appointments.”

These appointments follow the appointment of Emmanuel Faber as chair of the ISSB.

Commenting on the appointments, Faber said: “Sue brings a wealth of standard-setting experience and technical knowledge that will be vital to the ISSB. She is already fully immersed in the topic, having been part of the working group developing the climate and general sustainability disclosure prototypes. Janine’s guidance on the integration of the VRF and her deep experience of global investors and US stakeholders will also greatly benefit the ISSB―I welcome her to the team.”

A further Special Advisor to the ISSB Chair from the Asia-Oceania region is expected to be appointed who will focus on the ISSB’s engagement with developing and emerging economies, as well as with smaller companies.

KPMG and Blue J launch AI tax tool

KPMG and Blue J have developed a suite of AI tax analysis tools for the UK. The tool will enable KPMG’s tax team to use AI to predict tax scenario outcomes with 90%+ accuracy and will reduce the time spent searching for and analysing tax legislation and case law.

For organisations having to navigate the increasing pace of legislative change, the tool aims to accelerate their technical analysis to support decision making on complex tax issues.

The tool provides a structured approach for checking tax legislation and case law, which would have been previously done manually. KPMG says this means clients can easily evidence good tax practice and provide documentary evidence. KPMG UK chief technology officer, tax & legal, Stuart Tait said: “Our tax teams are dedicated to providing the best service to our clients, which is why we are passionate about investing in advanced technologies like those developed by Blue J to improve the speed and accuracy of our advice. We are delighted to be the first adopters of Blue J in the UK and cannot wait to take advantage of this amazing technology. The tool will allow us to be completely transparent and trusted by following a better tech-enabled structure to evidence our high quality of work.” 

IFA: Submit HMRC AML supervision evidence now or face code suspension

The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA) has warned its members that they risk having their tax agent codes revoked by HMRC should they fail to provide up to date documentation concerning anti-money laundering legislation (AML).

This comes as a number of agents were suspended by HMRC in December and their tax codes invalidated, for failure to provide evidence on time; something which HMRC reserves the right to do without further warning.

IFA CEO John Edwards said: “We have been made aware that some members have had their tax agent codes suspended even though they have supervision with the IFA. This means that firms have been unable to file any returns on behalf of their clients until the codes have been re-instated which can take five working days or more.”

HMRC now insists on documentary evidence as proof of supervision for all tax agents. Accountants have been made aware of this via a letter from HMRC, asking them to complete and return a form with details of their firm and supervisor. They must also send evidence that they are a member of a Schedule 1 professional body and that their membership includes AML supervision.

Edwards urged: “If you receive a letter from HMRC, do not ignore it. Make sure that you return the completed form along with the required information to the address provided immediately. Having tax codes suspended can be hugely frustrating at the best of times, but now with tax season in full swing, it could be disastrous for your firm and your clients. Membership of the IFA constitutes appropriate supervision, but you must still provide evidence of that supervision and we are unable to do this on your behalf. In this instance, HMRC is immediately revoking tax agent codes due to the high risk of money laundering crimes, so it is essential you act immediately.”

Should codes get suspended, agents are being advised to get in touch with the compliance team at compliance@ifa.org.uk.

Hong Kong’s FRC deputy CEO resigns

Hong Kong’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) deputy CEO and head of oversight, policy and governance Florence Wong has resigned, effective 18 February.

FRC CEO Marek Grabowski said: “Ms Wong joined the FRC in June 2009 and has since made tremendous contributions to the FRC. I am grateful to have her staunch support in formulating and implementing the strategies for the development of the FRC and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”

The FRC will commence a recruitment exercise to search for a successor. Ambrose Wong, director of oversight, policy and governance will take up the role as the acting head of the Department, pending the completion of the recruitment exercise.

FRC chair Kelvin Wong said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Ms Wong for her significant contributions to FRC. She leaves with our best wishes.”

ICAEW launches maths resources for GCSE pupils

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has launched free maths resources for GCSE pupils based on real-life scenarios such as planning a summer holiday or analysing business performance.

ICAEW partnered with online education company Nebula learning to launch the resources which are designed to make GCSE maths more relevant to teenagers’ lives.

The resources will also help pupils prepare for their exams; a quarter of GCSE maths questions involves the application of maths to real-life settings.

These teaching resources have been mapped against the national curriculum for Key Stage Four pupils and cover a wide range of topics. These including using algebra to compare mobile phone contracts, analysing business performance with statistics, and using geometry to budget a home renovation.

ICAEW director of global marketing, brand and belonging Sharon Spice said: “These new resources will help teachers provide an engaging approach to maths lessons by bringing the subject to life, so young people can use maths in the situations they may face in the real world.

“Given that a quarter of GCSE maths exam questions are set in a real-world context and cause pupils the most struggles, we were keen to ensure that our resources cover these scenarios and link back to the national curriculum and exam content. We hope teachers and pupils find them useful.”