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Editor's blog

Editors Blog : Read CA Mag editor Rob Outram's online diary


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CA Magazine

Every article from your latest print edition of CA Magazine

March 2010

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Perception is hard to change

Getting politicians and the public to understand the way auditors work is a difficult challenge

Call this simplicity

Increasingly complex rules restricting retirement relief for higher rate taxpayers could put many others off making pension contributions

Making our point

Douglas Nisbet explains the thinking behind the pre-election briefing that ICAS is sending out to the UK’s political parties

ICAS puts cross-selling under the spotlight

The audit committees of listed companies should make clear and detailed information public to explain to shareholders how decisions regarding the provision of non-audit services by the company’s external auditor are made, and their process for ensuring the independence of the auditor

2010 a critical year for IFRS, says firm

This year will be critical for the progression of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), says Ernst & Young, with Canada, India and much of South America beginning their conversion to IFRS

Political interference ‘greatest risk to global banking industry’

The greatest risk now facing the banking industry is not financial but political, according to the Banking Banana Skins survey conducted by the Centre for Study of Financial Innovation think tank, in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers

Keep it simple, says GAA

The world’s leading accounting bodies have published a report calling for more “simplicity and usefulness” in financial reporting

Retailers frozen out in worst January for 15 years

Bad weather contributed to a grim January for retailers, according to statistics compiled by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG

Grant Thornton takes on media specialist

Grant Thornton UK has boosted its media sector team with the acquisition of specialist firm Aulren, the market leader in the film royalty auditing business

Accounting policies 'like Dr Who', report says

Three quarters of companies reported accounting policy changes in 2009/10, according to a study by Deloitte of half-yearly financial reporting

Mixed figures on corporate insolvencies

The latest figures from the Insolvency Service show that Scottish corporate insolvencies for the last quarter of 2009 were up 20 per cent on the last quarter, in contrast to a slight fall (1.7 per cent) in England and Wales

Sants to step down from FSA

Hector Sants will leave the Financial Services Authority in the summer of 2010, after three years as chief executive officer

French Duncan takes hit for offering free advice

French Duncan has been forced to ditch thousands of hours of chargeable time to clients to nurse them through the economic downturn and inevitably, this has had an impact on profitability, according to Robert Kerr, the Scottish mid-tier firm’s managing partner

FRC issues guidance for auditors on XBRL

The Auditing Practices Board, part of the Financial Reporting Council, has issued guidance for auditors where financial statements have been tagged for XBRL purposes.

Letters: Bonuses are bonkers...!

I was astonished to see that the “Bonuses defended…” letter from a CA (name and address withheld) was the winning letter in the February 2010 issue

Major trip, Minor car

ICAS assistant director of tax Donald Drysdale is taking on a major challenge this summer – a 2,000 mile drive across some of the highest roads in Europe in a 46-year-old Morris Minor

Business travel

Scanners go live

The enemy within

While legitimate businesses struggle in the recession, white-collar crime is booming. Richard Goslan reports on the rising tide of fraud

The agents of change

The 2010 Finance Director of the Year Awards demonstrate that an affinity with numbers is just one of many skills needed in this high-profile role

Bon voyage

It’s official – CAs are still travelling for business despite the challenging economy. Robert Outram outlines what’s important to many CA Magazine readers when it comes to living out of a suitcase for the company

Dont leave home without them

What’s the best part about business travel? Gary Atkinson reveals the joys to be had – not to mention envious glances

The key to success

The development of more employee-owned companies could help sustain business, writes Robert Outram

Dealing with loss

What happens to a small business when a co-owner or a key director dies or falls seriously ill? As Ian Harper explains, there is an insurance solution, but many firms are still unprotected

At your service

Serviced offices with short leases and flexible space are perfect for start-ups looking for a ready-made ‘home'

Interview: Lesley Watt

Protecting Scotland’s heritage means facing up to the challenges of the future. That’s the message from Lesley Watt, FD at the the National Trust for Scotland

The X files

eXtensible Business Reporting Language – or XBRL to you and I – is the way forward in financial reporting, but what does its adoption mean for accountants and auditors?

‘Perfect storm’ for expats in 2010

In 2010, a combination of events may leave employers with expatriates facing the “perfect storm” as they experience the impact of tax, pension, immigration and regulatory change. In its wake, companies are likely to face increased costs, a resistance to relocation in the UK, and additional pressure to be competitive and retain the best staff

Cautious welcome for reform of CFC rules

The UK Government’s recently published discussion on the reform of the controlled foreign company (CFC) regime has been cautiously welcomed by business

Don’t expect any tax favours in the Spring Budget

Entrepreneurs and small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are unlikely to find any respite in the Spring Budget, with proposed changes likely to increase the tax burden

Pensions changes boost alternatives

The latest changes in how pension benefits are taxed for high earners could have much broader implications for the wider employee group

Revisions to OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines welcomed

Since last year’s high-profile case involving the retailer Dixons (the first UK case on substantive transfer pricing issues to be litigated), transfer pricing has been grabbing its share of the headlines

New benefits for R&D

A review of research and development (R&D) taxation by HM Revenue & Customs could mean increased benefits for many companies

Disclosure is answer to conflict fears

Robert Outram reports on recommendations from the ICAS Working Group set up to look at whether the provision of non-audit services by firms to their audit clients represents a threat to professional independence

FRC begins consultation

Focus on stewardship code for institutional investors

ASB amendment to FRS 25

The Accounting Standards Board has issued an amendment to FRS 25 (IAS 32) Financial Instruments: Presentation, Classification of Rights Issues

APB issues guidance for auditors on XBRL tagging

The Auditing Practices Board (APB) has issued guidance for auditors where financial statements have been tagged for XBRL purposes

Access arrangements to IFRS

From 31 March 2010, members may notice a small change when clicking on the link to international financial reporting standards (IFRS) from the ICAS website. Instead of linking through to the IASB’s “e-IFRS” service, it will take you directly to the main body of the standards, which are now freely available

TPR takes tougher approach on poor record-keeping

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a consultation paper setting out standards for member record-keeping and requiring schemes that fall short to take steps to improve their performance

Severe trimming for hedge funds

A European Union directive threatens to place heavy burdens on the UK’s financial services industry, warns Michael Wylie

Dealing with bad apples

Simon Norris explains the thinking behind HM Revenue and Customs’ latest proposals on working with tax agents

Goodbye to GAAP

Karen Shaw outlines the ICAS response to proposals to roll out international financial reporting standards for a much wider range of UK entities, and call time on GAAP as we know it

The countdown to NEST starts here

Auto-enrolment of workers into a pension scheme with compulsory contributions from the employer begins in 2012. Jim Boyle reviews the position in the light of the latest regulation and stated policy. This article follows on from his previous CA Magazine article in July 2009

‘No more box ticking’

More “thoughtful regulation” is required, not more box-ticking, if the lessons of the financial crisis are to be learned says David Wood, executive director, technical, with ICAS

Paterson Brown: transparency and disclosure vital

Greater transparency and disclosure are needed to tackle the perception that the level of non-audit services provided by external auditors to their audit clients compromises their independence

Making sure policy adds up

Robert Outram talks to ICAS President Douglas Nisbet about Beyond the Numbers, a briefing paper that argues for political debate to be grounded on a clear understanding of finance

In memoriam: Charles 'Harry' Wilken

Harry, who was born in Elgin, Moray, was educated at the local Academy

In memoriam: Henry 'Cunnie' Rankin

Henry Cunison Deans Rankin MA LLB CA FTII, known as “Cunnie”, died on 4 January 2010

Timetable too tight

Plans to adopt a three-tiered structure for financial reporting in the UK, based on a concept of public accountability, are sensible, but the proposed timescale in which to do so is unrealistic
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