Technical and Insight
ACCA statement on the UK EU Referendum result
ACCA is committed to ensuring our members are up to date on all the key developments as they occur.

Following the news that the UK has voted to leave the European Union, ACCA chief executive, Helen Brand OBE has reassured ACCA members and students that despite the uncertainty, it is business as usual for the global body: 

'ACCA recognises that there is now a period of uncertainty while the full implications of today’s result are worked through and understood. However, I can reassure our members, affiliates and students in the UK, Europe and around the world that there is no reason to anticipate any change to the global recognition and portability of the ACCA Qualification. 

'As with any period of change and uncertainty, professional accountants will play a critical and strategic role in bringing much needed stability to business and society. As always, we are ready to support our members and students as they carry out this vital function going forward. 

'Over the coming weeks and months will see changes to the UK’s relationship with Europe, and indeed the rest of the world. We are committed to ensuring our members and students are up to date on all the key developments as they occur.'


Further information on the process for leaving the EU is available on Parliament's website

We will be monitoring and reporting to you on key business areas here in In Practice over the coming months.

People with significant control (PSC)
The 30 June deadline for registering information in the PSC register is fast approaching.

The 30 June deadline for registering information in the PSC register is fast approaching. 

With just a few days to go, many companies and LLPs are likely to be still gathering in the information for the PSC register.  It is important that the register contains the official wording and is updated regularly. The information is then extracted for the annual confirmation statement which is sent to Companies House. 

The wording to be used in the register is: 

  • No PSCs or registrable RLEs
    The company knows or has reasonable cause to believe that there is no registrable person or registrable relevant legal entity in relation to the company. 
    The LLP knows or has reasonable cause to believe that there is no registrable person or registrable relevant legal entity in relation to the LLP.
  • Unidentified PSC
    The company knows or has reasonable cause to believe that there is a registrable person in relation to the company but it has not identified the registrable person.
    The LLP knows or has reasonable cause to believe that there is a registrable person in relation to the LLP but it has not identified the registrable person.
  • Unconfirmed particulars
    The company has identified a registrable person in relation to the company but all of the required particulars of that person have not been confirmed.
    The LLP has identified a registrable person in relation to the LLP but all of the required particulars of that person have not been confirmed.
  • Taking reasonable steps
    The company has not yet completed taking reasonable steps to find out if there is anyone who is a registrable person or a registrable relevant legal entity in relation to the company.
    The LLP has not yet completed taking reasonable steps to find out if there is anyone who is a registrable person or a registrable relevant legal entity in relation to the LLP.


ACCA has published
a guide and links to further information.

 

FRS 101: reduced disclosure framework election
Parent companies taking advantage of FRS 101 'reduced disclosure framework' need to notify shareholders.

Parent companies wishing to take advantage of FRS 101 'reduced disclosure framework' need to notify shareholders. 

Below is an example of the typical wording that they may wish to adopt. 

Notification to shareholders in accordance with FRS 101 – reduced disclosure framework
New UK accounting framework introduced by the Financial Reporting Council applies for the financial statements of UK companies. Under this framework, the company is required to prepare its parent company financial statements for its financial year commencing xxxxx on one of the new bases permitted. 

The parent proposes to elect to adopt FRS 101 ‘Reduced Disclosure Framework’ and to take advantage of the permitted election to the disclosure exemptions allowed under FRS 101.

The parent's decision to adopt FRS 101 does not require shareholder approval. This election allows the parent to take disclosure exemptions permitted under FRS 101, and accordingly the parent is required to notify all shareholders of this election. Any shareholder or shareholders holding in aggregate 5% or more of the total allotted shares in the parent may object. Objections must be served in writing and delivered to the company secretary at the company's registered office xxxxxxxxxxxx not later than xxxxxxxx. 

This notification will apply on a continuing basis until such time as the company notifies its shareholders of any change to its chosen accounting framework for the parent company financial statements.

Implementing FRS 102 – problem areas and how to account for them
This article highlights a number of FRS 102 issues raised by members where ‘new’ UK GAAP under FRS 102 is different from the previous treatment.

This article highlights a number of FRS 102 issues raised by members where ‘new’ UK GAAP under FRS 102 is different from the previous treatment. 

It shows the accounting entries (and exemptions from FRS 102 where applicable) and also explains the tax consequences of the changes. The article is split into two parts –Transition to FRS 102 and FRS 102 in subsequent years. 

FRS 102 is effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015. It requires the comparative and opening balance sheet at the date of transition to be restated in accordance with FRS 102; the date of transition being the beginning of the earliest period for which an entity presents full comparative information. However, the opening balance sheet itself does not need to be presented. 

For example, for an entity with a 31 December year end, the first year of mandatory application will be the year ending 31 December 2015. The entity will need to restate its opening balance sheet at the date of transition (ie at 1 January 2014) and comparative balance sheet (ie at 31 December 2014) in accordance with FRS 102, although the opening balance sheet does not need to be presented. The entity will need to prepare reconciliations of equity at 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2014 and of its profit or loss for the year ending 31 December 2014. 

ACCA members applying the transition rules have raised a number of queries relating to: 

  • actually applying the rules in practice – what are the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the accounting treatment?
  • what are the taxation implications of the changes once implemented on the accounts?


Transition to FRS 102
Paragraph 35.10 of FRS 102 provides a number of exemptions that entities may elect to use on transition to FRS 102. These aim to ease or remove the requirements of paragraph 35.7 of FRS 102 for the restatement of assets and liabilities at the date of transition.

Issues raised by members relating to the transition exemptions

1        Fair value as deemed cost 

This applies where assets are held at a revalued amount. One of the options available is to elect for the revaued asset to be treated as the deemed cost. An entity may elect for an item of property, plant or equipment, or an intangible asset that meets the recognition criteria and the criteria for revaluation, to be measured at its fair value at the date of transition and for that fair value to be used as the deemed cost of the item going forward. This option may be attractive to those entities which want to reflect the current value of their assets particularly where there is secured borrowing. The downside to this is that the higher deemed cost may lead to increased depreciation charges in subsequent years, adversely impacting reported profits and distributable reserves. 


For example an asset with original cost of £1,000 with a deemed fair value of £10,000 at date of transition. Depreciation to date has been £999. The accounting entries would be: 

DR Cost of asset £9,000
DR Depreciation to date £999
CR Profit and loss account reserves £9,999


Notes

1        FRS 102 does not recognise revaluation reserves on the balance sheet so where such a reserve is in existence on transition, this will be included in profit and loss account reserves (albeit non-distributable)

 

Taxation treatment

UK tax law departs from the accounting standards by disallowing depreciation and revaluations in respect of capital assets, and instead granting capital allowances (on some assets). Hence accounting changes from the transition and FRS 102 should not have a tax impact.

 
2        Revaluation as deemed cost

FRS 102 requires a tangible fixed asset to be measured initially at cost.

For a revalued item of property, plant or equipment, investment property, or intangible asset that meets the recognition criteria and the criteria for revaluation, an entity may elect to use as its deemed cost, its revalued amount either at or before the date of transition. Therefore the options would be: 

  • to elect to use the most recent revaluation as its deemed cost at that date and no further adjustment is required; or
  • it could restate the property to its original cost.


For example and using example 3 from the the FRC Staff education note on Transition, property A was acquired on 31 December 1980 at a cost of £1,000 and has been revalued on a regular basis, the last time being on 31 December 2010 when its value was recorded in the financial statements at £100,000 and its remaining useful life was 20 years. There has been no significant change in the value of Property A since that revaluation.

The company could elect to use the most recent revaluation from 2010 (being £100,000) as its deemed cost at that date and no further adjustment is required; or

if the property is restated to the original cost of £1,000 the following accounting treatment would apply: 

Dr Revaluation Reserve £84,660
Dr Accumulated depreciation £14,340
Cr Property, plant and equipment £99,000


Notes

1        FRS 102 does not recognise revaluation reserves on the balance sheet so where such a reserve is in existence on transition, this will be included in profit and loss account reserves (albeit non-distributable)

 

Taxation treatment

UK tax law departs from the accounting standards by disallowing depreciation and revaluations in respect of capital assets, and instead granting capital allowances (on some assets). Hence accounting changes from the transition and FRS 102 should not have a tax impact.

 

3        Dormant companies

There is no requirement for dormant companies to restate the opening balance sheet at the date of transition (nor any subsequent balance sheets) until there is a change in its existing balances or the company undertakes any new transactions.

Effectively this allows the company’s figures to remain the same while it remains dormant. There would be no accounting or taxation implications. However, it is recommended that the adoption of this treatment would be disclosed in the accounts.

 

FRS 102 in the years post transition

 

Issues raised by members relating to ongoing use of FRS 102:

1        Loans between a director and a company at nil interest

It is common for a fixed term interest-free loan to be made between a director and his/her company. The accounting for the measurement difference arising on the initial recognition of the loan will depend on whether the loan was made in the director’s capacity as a shareholder or for another reason. For example, in a situation where a director is the majority shareholder it can be presumed that the loan was made in the director’s capacity as a shareholder. This presumption can be rebutted, if, for example, loans between the entity and other third parties without an ownership interest in the entity (eg employees) are made on the same or similar terms.

 

Accounting treatment

If a fixed term interest-free loan is made between the entity and a director in its capacity as a shareholder the accounting treatment would be as follows:

 

A director provides a fixed term interest-free loan of £1000 on 1/1/2015 to his company. The present value of the loan using a market rate of interest for a similar loan is £900. The difference of £100 represents an additional investment by the director in the company. The company would record the following accounting entries in its individual financial statements:

 

Initial recognition

DR Cash £1000

CR Loan repayable to director £900

CR Capital contribution (equity) £100

After initial recognition the interest free loan is treated for accounting purpose as if it were a loan at a market rate of interest with capital and interest payable at the end of the term of the loan. Interest is accounted for applying the effective interest method.

 

Year

Carrying value 1 January £

Interest accrued (5.4%) £

Cash flow £

Carrying value at 31 December £

2015

900

49

nil

949

2016

949

51

1000

nil

 

2015 Year
DR interest (P and L)                   £49
CR loan                                     £49


2016 Year
DR interest (P and L)                   £51
CR loan                                     £51
DR loan (repayment made) £1,000
CR bank                                    £1,000

 

Notes

  • The present value of a financial liability that is repayable on demand is equal to the undiscounted cash amount payable reflecting the lender’s right to demand immediate repayment. Therefore the above treatment is not needed.
  • If the loan had a market rate of interest in the agreement then there would be little difference to the treatment under old UK GAAP.
  • The above treatment is similar to the accounting for a fixed term interest-free loan between a parent and its subsidiary. In the books of the parent, the amount shown above as an increase in equity would be treated as an increase in the investment in subsidiary.

 

Taxation treatment

The capital contribution of £100 will be recognised in the company’s statement of changes in equity and the finance expense of £49 (2015) and £51 (2016) will be recognised in its income statement. The computation of taxable amounts was amended by the Finance Bill 2015 to bring greater alignment with the usual (GAAP) approach for the computation of accounting profits. Tax will be based only on amounts recognised as items of accounting profit or loss rather than on amounts recognised elsewhere in the accounts.

 

2        Holiday pay accrual

Short-term employee benefits are employee benefits (other than termination benefits) that are expected to be settled wholly before twelve months after the end of the reporting period in which the employees render the related service.

 

Accounting treatment

A normal accrual would be provided for the undiscounted amount of short-term employee benefits expected to be paid in exchange for that service.

 

Tax treatment

In most cases it will the case that the holiday pay accrual adjustments in the profit and loss account will be tax deductible. However, it should be noted that the holiday pay policy of some employers may mean there is the possibility that the accrual will include some holiday periods that have not been taken/will not be taken within nine months of the year end which will mean that technically that part of the accrual would not be deductible for tax purposes.

 

3        Deferred tax

Where assets have been revalued, FRS 102 requires that deferred tax is recognised on all timing differences. Revalued assets will therefore now require deferred tax to be recognised on any revaluation gains or losses. Previously under FRS 19, no deferred tax was recognised on revalued assets unless there was a binding commitment to sell.

 

Accounting treatment

The treatment for the additional deferred tax expense (or income) will follow the presentation of the related transaction (as is the case under FRS 19). The presentation relates to what type of asset has been revalued. For instance, if the asset is an investment property, the revaluation movement is normally shown in the profit and loss account. Therefore, the movement in deferred tax arising from the revaluation of investment properties will be included as part of the tax charge for the year, whereas the deferred tax arising on the revaluation of properties (which is normally treated through the statement of comprehensive income) will generally be included in other comprehensive income.

 

Notes

  1. The transitional provisions in FRS 102 permit certain types of assets to be measured at ‘deemed cost’ which may be either the fair value of the asset or a revalued amount produced previously. This would mean that deferred tax would normally have to be provided on these amounts on transition.
  2. The inclusion of additional deferred tax balances may have an effect on the company’s credit rating due to the reduction in net assets.
  3. Movements on revaluation – investment properties v other properties

 

Accounting treatment

The treatment of movements on revaluation differs between those on investment and other properties:

Investment properties
FRS 102 requires revaluation each year to fair value (equivalent to open market value) of investment properties with value changes taken to profit or loss. The cost less depreciation model is used only if fair value cannot be measured reliably without undue cost or effort.

Therefore a gain movement of £100,000 would be shown as:

DR Investment property £100,000
CR Profit and loss account £100,000
On the profit and loss account this might be shown as:

2016

2015

£

£

Gross profit

Distribution costs

Administrative expenses

Operating profit

 

 

 

Gain on revaluation of investment property

Interest receivable

Interest payable

 

Profit on ordinary activities before taxation

 

 

 

Notes

  1. The profit on revaluation of investment property will not be a realised profit available for distribution. An entity may choose to transfer such gains and losses to a non-distributable reserve, but there is nothing in the law to require this.

 

Other properties

If an asset’s carrying amount is increased as a result of a revaluation, the increase is recognised in other comprehensive income and accumulated in equity. However, the increase is recognised in profit or loss to the extent that it reverses a revaluation decrease of the same asset previously recognised in profit or loss.

The decrease of an asset’s carrying amount as a result of a revaluation is recognised in other comprehensive income to the extent of any previously recognised revaluation increase accumulated in equity, in respect of that asset. If a revaluation decrease exceeds the revaluation gains accumulated in equity in respect of that asset, the excess is recognised in profit or loss.

Therefore a gain movement (not a reversing one) of £ 100,000 would be shown as:

DR Investment property £ 100,000
CR Other comprehensive income £ 100,000

On the comprehensive income statement this might be shown as:

2015

2014

£

£

Profit for the financial year

Other comprehensive income

Gain on revaluation of land and buildings

Deferred taxation arising on the revaluation of land and buildings

Total comprehensive income for the year

 

 

 

Notes

  1. The deferred taxation is also shown on this statement following the presentation of the actual gain.

 

Tax treatment

Investment properties
Assuming the property is held, for tax purposes, as an investment, the income arising on the property is brought into tax as it is recognised in the accounts (for example rental income would be brought into tax as recognised in profit or loss). In this case, movements in fair value of investment properties are not taxable. The disposal of the investment properties will typically give rise to a chargeable gain.


Other properties
UK tax law departs from the accounting standards by disallowing depreciation and revaluations in respect of capital assets, and instead granting capital allowances (on some assets). Hence accounting changes from the transition and FRS 102 should not have a tax impact.

 

FRS 102: HMRC’s experience of the implementation of new UK GAAP
Free webinar will share some of the lessons HMRC has learnt from early adopters.

Free webinar will share some of the lessons HMRC has learnt from early adopters. 

A common issue for first time adopters of FRS 102 is that the accounts are not clear on which version of FRS 102 has been adopted and that the transitional statement contains both prior year and transitional adjustments. 

HMRC – as part of its talking points education sessions – is explaining what it has learnt from early adopters. 

Join the next session on Tuesday 28 June (13.00-13.45) entitled HMRC’s experience of the implementation of new UK GAAP:What HMRC have learned from early adopters. How to avoid HMRC asking questions by making a clear disclosure.

 

FRS 105: LLPs
'Amendments to FRS 105 The Financial Reporting Standard applicable to the Micro-entities Regime Limited Liability Partnerships and Qualifying Partnerships' has been issued by the FRC.

Amendments to FRS 105 The Financial Reporting Standard applicable to the Micro-entities Regime Limited Liability Partnerships and Qualifying Partnerships has been issued by the FRC and applies for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016 with early adoption allowed as long as the following applies: 

Paragraph 1.5 ‘Early application by a micro-entity that is an LLP or a qualifying partnership is:

a)    permitted for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015 provided that The Limited Liability Partnerships, Partnerships and Groups (Accounts and Audit) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/575) are applied from the same date; and

b)    required if the LLP or qualifying partnership applies The Limited Liability Partnerships, Partnerships and Groups (Accounts and Audit) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/575) to a reporting period beginning before 1 January 2016.’


The amendments set out the typical changes that are expected when describing format headings. For example ‘Called up share capital not paid’ shall not be used and ‘Loans and other debts due to members’ and ‘Members’ other interests’ shall be used instead of ‘Capital and reserves’

Although it is available for adoption early, software availability may be an issue. For those with FRS105 accounting software the headings as described above will need to be amended.

Tax irregularities – should I resign?
A step-by-step guide to dealing with possible tax irregularities.

A step-by-step guide to dealing with possible tax irregularities. 

Irregularities include all errors, whether they have been made by the client, the practitioner, HMRC or any other party involved in a client’s tax affairs. If a practitioner becomes aware of a possible irregularity in a client’s tax affairs, then they should inform the client as soon as they have knowledge of the irregularity. 

Overpaid tax
Where the irregularity has resulted in the client paying too much tax, the practitioner should advise the client about making a repayment claim, having regard to any relevant time limits. 

Underpaid tax
Where a practitioner suspects that an irregularity may have occurred resulting in an underpayment of tax, they should discuss this with the client to remove or confirm the suspicion. The member should take into account the fact that they may not be aware of all the facts and circumstances and may not be able to reach a conclusion.   

A practitioner must act correctly from the outset and keep sufficient, appropriate records of discussions and advice. When dealing with irregularities, they should: 

  • give the client appropriate advice
  • if necessary, so long as they continue to act for the client, seek to persuade the client to behave correctly
  • take care not to appear to be assisting a client to plan or commit any criminal offence or to conceal any offence which has been committed
  • in appropriate situations, or where in doubt, discuss the client’s situation with a colleague or an independent third party (having due regard to client confidentiality).


Although a member is not under a duty to make enquiries to identify irregularities which are unrelated to the work which they have been engaged to undertake, if they do become aware of any irregularity in a client’s tax affairs, they should consider the following: 

1.  The size of the tax effect
In the opinion of the accountancy professional bodies, in Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation paragraph 5.17, it is reasonable for a practitioner to take no steps to advise HMRC of isolated errors where the tax effect is no more than minimal – say up to £200 – as these will probably cost HMRC and the client more to process than they are worth to the Exchequer.

2.  Client’s authorisation  required to disclose the irregularity
If the client is unwilling to make a full disclosure to HMRC, the member should ensure that their conduct and advice are such as to prevent their own probity being called into question.

It is essential therefore to advise the client, in writing, setting out the facts as understood by the practitioner, confirming to the client their advice to disclose and the consequences of non-disclosure. 


If, despite being fully advised of the consequences, the client still refuses to make an appropriate disclosure to HMRC, the member must: 

  • cease to act
  • if relevant, inform HMRC of their withdrawal
  • consider withdrawing reports which they have previously signed in respect of the client
  • consider whether a money laundering report should be made to the MLRO/NCA
  • consider carefully their response to any professional enquiry letter (also known as professional clearance letter).


Ceasing to act
If it came to the attention of HMRC that a practitioner had continued to act after becoming aware of undisclosed errors the practitioner’s relationship with HMRC would be prejudiced. HMRC might, in some circumstances, consider them to be knowingly or carelessly concerned in the commission of an offence, or to be engaged in dishonest conduct. The practitioner should consider carefully whether it is appropriate to continue to act in relation to any non-tax matters of the client. Where the member must cease to act in relation to the client’s tax affairs they should inform the client accordingly, in writing.

Informing HMRC
Where the practitioner had been dealing with HMRC on the client’s behalf or formally appointed as a tax agent, the practitioner should notify HMRC that they have ceased to act for that client. Because of the obligation to maintain client confidentiality, a member should not provide HMRC with an explanation as to the reasons for ceasing to act.

Withdrawing reports signed by the practitioner
Where a practitioner has undertaken work to verify or audit accounts or statements which carried a report signed by them which is subsequently found to be misleading, the same principles of client confidentiality apply. If the engagement letter provides the practitioner with the authority to notify HMRC in such circumstances, they should inform HMRC that they have information indicating that the accounts or statements cannot be relied upon.

If the practitioner does not have their client’s consent to the disclosure, they should write to the client and explicitly ask for permission to withdraw the report; if unsuccessful, they should then obtain specialist legal advice as to what action they should take.

They should not explain to HMRC the reasons why the returns, accounts, etc. are defective. To do so without the client’s consent is more likely than not to be considered by a court of law as a misuse of confidential information and an unjustified breach of client confidentiality.

Reporting to MLRO / NCA
In deciding whether a report should be made to NCA, the practitioner (or their MLRO) should take into account the various requirements of the legislation, guidance  and any reporting exemption which might apply.

Professional clearance
Before responding to a request for information from a prospective adviser, a member must ensure that he has authority from the former client to disclose all the information needed and reasonably requested by the prospective adviser to enable him to decide whether to accept the work.

Only to the extent that they are authorised to do so should the practitioner discuss freely with the prospective adviser all matters of which the prospective adviser should be made aware.

If the client refuses permission to the practitioner to discuss all or part of their affairs, the practitioner should inform the prospective adviser of this fact. It is then up to the prospective adviser to make enquiries from the client as to the reasons for such a refusal.

The rising costs of taking loans from your company
The tax implications of taking a director’s loan.

The tax implications of taking a director’s loan. 

HMRC introduced provisions a number of years ago which targeted company directors who took loans from their personal companies. Prior to these provisions they could effectively avoid income tax and national insurance charges by paying themselves through loans or advances instead of taking dividends or salary. 

The tax charge introduced was known originally as ‘section 419’ and later as ‘section 455’. The tax charge was set at 25% of the loan to ‘participators’. 

Where the loan is not repaid within nine months of the company’s accounting period, the rate of tax charged on loans to participators and other arrangements will increase to 32.5%. The Chancellor has specifically chosen this percentage charge to align it to the dividend upper rate.

Effect of the increase
Remember that the s.455 ‘charge’ is not actually a corporation tax charge similar to that on year end profits. The company pays it with regard to the amount of the outstanding loan but if the loan is repaid within the allotted time then the amount is repaid. The new tax on dividends may also impact on a director’s decision whether to repay their loans by way of distributions.

Points to remember:

  • It is often assumed that a director is also a participator – not necessarily so.  There are some exemptions for a director’s loan where that person does not have a material interest in the company. The full exemption details are available here.
  • The s.455 tax is due nine months and one day after the end of the accounting period in which the liability arises. This means that if the accounts are prepared, and the CT 600 produced, towards the end of the nine month filing deadline there will be a much higher cash outflow due to HMRC – made up of the normal corporation tax charge and also the s.455 charge. This might put a strain on the finances of the company.
  • If you’re a shareholder and director and you owe your company more than £10,000 (£5,000 in 2013 to 2014) at any time in the year, there will be a taxable benefit for the director and a P11d will be need to be filed. This will also mean additional entries on the director’s personal self assessment return.
  • When the loan is repaid either in full or in part, the s.455 tax is fully or proportionally repayable. The bad news is that this is not due back until after nine months and one day after the end of the Corporation Tax accounting period when the loan was repaid, written off or released. You won’t be repaid before this. This means that the charge paid to the government may be out of the company's working capital for many months.
  • For accounting periods which straddle 6 April 2016 different rates will be applied to separate loans made or benefits conferred before, and on or after, 6 April 2016.
  • Reclaiming the charge is not always straightforward. If the company is reclaiming within two years of the end of the accounting period when the loan was taken out, the details can be included on form CT600A when they prepare a company tax return for that accounting period or amend it online.


Form 2LP can also be used with the company tax return instead if either:

  • the tax return is for a different accounting period than the one when the loan was taken out
  • the company is amending the tax return in writing.

If the company is reclaiming two years or more after the end of the accounting period when the loan was taken out, you will need to fill in form L2P and either include it with your latest company tax return or post it separately.

Questions on the subject asked by ACCA’s members:

  1. Why not repay the loan just before the deadline, then immediately re-take the loan shortly into the new accounting period?
    Where a loan is repaid and then a similar sum advanced shortly after, there are measures that apply from 2013 that mean that the repayment may be matched to the later advance, the effect being that there is no actual repayment

  2. If there are two directors with one loan in credit and the other in debit can we amalgamate the two to avoid a charge?
    Two directors (possibly spouses) may agree between them to allow an offset so that one's loan credit is set against the other's loan debit. However, HMRC may not accept the offset unless there is evidence to prove the intention to create a joint loan account. Typical forms of evidence to use would be formal agreements and also board meeting minutes.

    Note that any agreements and minutes should be made at the time of the decision to offset and should not be back dated.


In addition, if one individual has two loan accounts that are accounted for separately for reporting purposes and one is overdrawn HMRC may try to resist aggregating them for tax and so will not treat the two as one net balance.

Summary
Due to the increased cost of borrowing and the interaction with the new dividends tax, companies and their participators must plan ahead so that they are aware of the tax liabilities and when they need to be paid.

Investment properties – practical issues adopting new UK GAAP
The main differences between FRSSE 2015, FRS 105 and FRS 102 and the new UK GAAP regime for transfers between investment properties and other classes of assets.

The main differences between FRSSE 2015, FRS 105 and FRS 102 and the new UK GAAP regime for transfers between investment properties and other classes of assets. 

Definitions
In substance, the definition of investment property under the old and new standards is broadly the same. In essence it is a property which is not held for use or consumption in the ordinary course of business; instead it is held for capital appreciation and rental potential, or both. 

FRSSE 2015
Key facts: 

  • movements in fair value of investment properties are recognised in revaluation reserve in equity
  • deferred tax is only recognised on revaluation gains and losses if the entity has entered into a binding agreement to sell the asset and has revalued the asset to the selling price.


FRS 105 for micro entities
Key facts: 

  • the standard does not permit the application of fair value accounting
  • the standard does not permit provisioning for deferred tax.


Under FRS 105 the recognition of investment properties stays at historical cost and does not change, irrespectively of any actual changes in the market value of the property. This treatment will be more attractive to small companies with a small property portfolio, who will avoid costly revaluations and the burden of accounting for deferred tax.

FRS 102 and FRS 102 1A
Key facts: 

  • movements on revaluation recognised in PL, but treated as unrealised for distribution and tax purposes
  • deferred tax arises.


The rules applied to revaluation of investment property under FRS 102 are straightforward and simply require any changes on revaluation to be recognised in profit and loss, rather than revaluation reserve. In this case, movements in fair value of investment properties are not taxable. Instead, a deferred tax cost in profit and loss, and provision for deferred tax in the balance sheet, are recognised. It is only the disposal of the investment property that will give rise to a realised chargeable gain. 

How to transition
Investment properties need to be brought into the accounts by adjusting comparative figures in the first set of accounts prepared under the new UK GAAP. This means restating the comparative balance sheet and profit and loss, and may mean a retrospective valuation. 

The transition date to the new UK GAAP is the beginning of the comparative period. Creating a transition date balance sheet is important to bring in all the changes required by the standard into the comparatives, but that balance sheet is not included in the accounts themselves. 

For example, if the first year of accounts under the new GAAP is 31/12/2016, the transition date is 01/01/2015. 

In creating a set of account for 31/12/2016 the following values need to be established:
 

  • what was the FV of investment property as at 01/01/2015 – for example 500k
  • what was the surplus on revaluation as recognised in revaluation reserve in the last set of accounts per the old standard – for example 80k.


In the comparatives of the 31/12/2016 year end accounts the revaluation reserve of 80k will be moved from balance sheet to profit and loss. The carrying amount of the asset as at 31/12/2015 will be 580k. 

Any subsequent movements in FV arising in 2016 will be brought into profit and loss in 2016 and every subsequent year. 

Transfers from and to investment properties
FRS 102 brought in a change in the classification of investment properties from the group perspective. While under SSAP 19 investment properties that were let to and occupied by another group entity for its own purpose were included as part of fixed assets, under the new GAAP they may now be classified as investment property under section 16 of FRS 102. Hence a re-classification of in the group accounts may be necessary. 

However, transfers between investment properties and other types of assets are much more likely to arise due to commercial decisions of management, or a new availability of fair value which previously could not be reliably established. FRS 102 does not offer much guidance on these aspects, and therefore various accounting approaches are possible. The IFRS regime could be used as a guide here. 

The following transfers to and from investment property are considered below: 

From inventories to investment property
The carrying value of inventory at the date of transfer can be used as initial carrying value of the investment property. Any movement between the initial carrying amount and the fair value is subsequently taken to profit and loss. 

Owner-occupied property to investment property
Several options could be used: s
a)  Treat carrying value of PPE as initial carrying amount of the investment property. Difference between that and the fair value is recognised in PL in the year of reclassification.
b)  Similarly to provision of IAS 40 ‘Investment property’, owner-occupied property is first brought in line with the fair value as part of PPE, before it is re-classed as investment property. This results in recognising a revaluation surplus or deficit in other comprehensive income. 

Examples:
1)    FV is less than carrying value of the property: 

Before reclassification

  • Any decrease up to the previous revaluation surplus is offset against revaluation reserve in other comprehensive income (equity).
  • Any decrease over and above credit balances in previously recognised revaluation surplus is recognised in PL.


2)    FV is more than carrying value of the property: 

Before reclassification

  • Any increase up to any cumulative impairment losses recognised in relation to the property in PL, is recognised in PL as reversal of impairment.
  • Any additional increase is recognised as revaluation surplus in other comprehensive income.


After the transfer, all movements are accounted for in PL as per the standard treatment.

From investment property to owner-occupied property
The last fair value of the investment property becomes the deemed cost for initial recognition as PPE. Property is not restated to historical cost; however, a disclosure of the historical cost will be required.

Any revaluation surplus is moved from PL to other comprehensive income, if the transfer is made after the adoption of the new regime. Depreciation in PL is charged on the deemed cost, and in the event of a future revaluation (if there is a change in accounting policy from cost to revaluation method) the excess of depreciation over the original amount is charged against any revaluation surpluses accumulated.  

From investment property to inventories
There is a conflict between the standard and company law as applied to Companies Act accounts, with respect to the value at which the transfer should be made and recognised in inventories.

While the default position is that fair value of the property would become the deemed cost on transfer, and currently company law permits an alternative recognition of stocks at current cost, or fair value, other factors need to be considered:
 

  • from 01/01/2016 stock recognition at current cost is removed (SI 2015/980)
  • recognition at fair value would require re-measurement at each reporting year end. This is not usually permitted under FRS 102 2.2.


Preparers and entities affected could consider restating the carrying amount in inventories to the historical cost, less any impairment on transfer. A disclosure of true and fair view override from the law may be necessary.

Off-payroll working in the public sector
The IR35 consultation has been published.

The IR35 consultation Off-payroll working in the public sector: reform of the intermediaries legislation has finally been published. 

It sets out how the government intends to operate with the self-employed. It is possible that this method of working could apply to both the private and public sectors; however, the consultation emphasises that this is for public sector ‘off-payroll engagements of workers’. 

The consultation is open until 18 August. There will then be a period of post-consultation analysis and a further technical consultation will take place with legislation expected to apply from April 2017. This is clearly an ambitious timeframe that would leave many organisations and their software providers little time to change their systems. 

The key change is that the ‘liability to pay the relevant employment taxes will move to the engager or the agency supplying the worker. This means public sector organisations and agencies supplying workers to the public sector will be responsible for:
 

  • deciding if the rules apply; and
  • calculating, reporting and paying the relevant taxes if they do.’


HMRC can then decide whether it feels the rules have not been followed, and who is liable for any taxes and penalties. 

Automatic enrolment and small employers
Nobody to put into a pension scheme? You still have duties.

Nobody to put into a pension scheme? You still have duties. 

Businesses who employ only one member of staff (who is employed on a temporary basis, who earns under the qualifying earnings threshold of £10,000 and who does not need to be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme) will still have automatic enrolment duties. 

The Pension Regulator has highlighted to businesses what they need to do. 

Look out for a letter from the Regulator
The Pensions Regulator writes to all employers to alert them to their duties 12 months before their staging date. The staging date is when your legal duties start.  Go to TPR’s website and take five minutes to complete the online duties checker. This will help you understand how the law applies to you and what duties you have to do and by when – and to avoid the risk of a fine. 

Are you an employer?
You are an employer if there is a contract of employment – whether this is written or verbal between you and those who work for you. Even if someone who works for you considers themselves self-employed, you may still have employer duties. While deciding if someone is a worker may be clear-cut in many circumstances, it can be more difficult in others. A person may be a classified as a worker if they meet a number of criteria including:
 

  • whether you expect that person to personally carry out work for you,
  • if you provide what they need to carry out the work (for example tools)
  • if you bear financial cost for faulty work.


Once you have decided who is a worker for automatic enrolment purposes, you must then check what your duties will involve and if any of them must be put into a pension scheme. 

If you decide you are not an employer (eg you are a sole director company with no other staff) and so you do not have duties you should use the duties checker to let TPR know this is the case.  

If you do not have any workers to automatically enrol in a pension scheme, you still need to write to them to tell them about automatic enrolment and how it applies to them. Template letters that you can use are available on the Regulator's website. 

Complete and submit a declaration of compliance
Whether or not you have workers who must be put into a pension scheme, you need to complete a declaration of compliance and submit it to The Pensions Regulator to let them know you have met your duties. The declaration of compliance shows TPR what you have done to meet your duties and must be completed within five months of your staging date – if you don’t do this on time, you may incur a fine. 

Bringing your staging date forward
If you don’t have anyone who needs to be put into a pension scheme, you can bring your staging date forward to any date, so that you can meet your duties at a time that suits you. You will need to tell TPR either on or before your new staging date and you’ll need to provide all of the information below:
 

  • your PAYE reference – found on letters you have received from TPR about automatic enrolment
  • your letter code – a 10 digit reference that appears on all correspondence from TPR about automatic enrolment
  • your current staging date and your new staging date
  • employer’s name, address (including postcode) and email address
  • if you have one, your Companies House registration number or equivalent, eg registered charity number, VAT registration number or industrial and provident society number.


Complete your declaration of compliance at the same time
You can choose to complete your declaration of compliance at the same time as you bring your staging date forward. Completing your declaration early means you can get this task out of the way and don’t need to think about it any more. If you decide not to do this, you must complete your declaration within five months after your new staging date. 

Popular questions
I do not have any staff to put into a pension scheme. Can I bring my deadlines forward?
If you do not have any staff to put into a pension scheme, you can bring forward your staging date and complete your declaration of compliance early. If you plan to bring your staging date forward you must notify The Pensions Regulator. 

We’re a family business – do automatic enrolment duties apply to us?
Whether you have duties will depend on your roles and if you have employment contracts in place. To find out if you have automatic enrolment duties, and what to do if you do not, complete the duties checker on TPR’s website. 

I'm the only director of my own company – do automatic enrolment duties apply to me?
If you are the sole director and you have no other staff working for you, the company does not have automatic enrolment duties. If you believe you don’t have any automatic enrolment duties you will need to tell TPR that you’re not an employer – you can do this by completing the duties checker on TPR’s website.

Unlock access to competitive funding
Act quickly to apply for funding for additive manufacturing and connected digital manufacturing.

Act quickly to apply for funding for additive manufacturing and connected digital manufacturing. 

Innovate UK is the UK's innovation agency, an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. 

There are a number of ‘funding competitions’ from Innovate UK which are regularly highlighted on its website. For example, for projects making a ‘significant innovation step’ in additive manufacturing and connected digital manufacturing, Innovate UK will provide funding of up to: 

  • 70% of your eligible project costs if you are a small or micro business
  • 60% of your eligible project costs if you are a medium sized business
  • 50% of your eligible project costs if you are a larger business.


To enter, you must register by 20 July and complete your entry by 27 July. Full details on Innovate’s website

NEWS
Our recommended broker for PII
New insurer appointed to manage ACCA's PII scheme.

Lockton Companies LLP – the recommended broker for professional indemnity to ACCA members – has been a partner to ACCA for many years and manages an exclusive scheme facility for members delivering cover benefits and protection that satisfy the obligations of certificate and licence holders.  

Lockton has conducted for ACCA members a thorough insurer tender to ensure that the insurance company that underwrites the scheme is delivering the best cover and premium benefits for members. 

A number of major composite and specialist insurers were invited to participate in the tender process. Lockton examined responses including insurer solvency, commitment to the accountancy profession, current and future premium rating and scope of cover. The conclusion of this exercise was that Hiscox Insurance Company Ltd has been chosen as the successful insurer to underwrite ACCA UK’s professional indemnity insurance scheme, replacing RSA. 

The decision to change insurer was based on a range of factors. These included Hiscox’s ability to satisfy the evolving insurance needs of members including the growing risk of cyber and privacy, broad scope of insurance protection within the scheme policy, a commitment regarding current and future premium rating, their proposed innovation especially in the area of online service / guidance and their commitment to the long term sustainability of the ACCA PII scheme. For all of these reasons Hiscox offered the most cost effective package for the profession. 

Lockton will continue to provide a high level of day to day service to ACCA firms, including advice and assistance on insurance, which is important and much valued by members.  

Hiscox will commence underwriting the exclusive ACCA PII scheme with effect from 1 August 2016. The renewal process for members will continue to be managed by the dedicated ACCA team within Lockton and the policy and service will be unaltered. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: 

Please contact:
 
Catherine.davis@uk.lockton.com

Tel: 0117 906 5069

 

‘Shaping your ACCA’ focus groups
We’ve been consulting with practitioners across the country. What did you tell us?

We’ve been consulting with practitioners across the country. What did you tell us? 

Executive summary
ACCA UK’s Practitioners' Network has been holding focus groups around the country with practitioners since 2002 at the request of ACCA’s Council. These focus groups enable us to keep in touch with practitioners, spread the word about how we support them, and gain valuable information to share with other departments. 

To facilitate benchmarking, focus groups are held annually in five locations, and then further focus groups rotate every year between two or three locations. In 2016, focus groups were held in Birmingham, Manchester, London, Leeds, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Exeter, Chelmsford, North Wales and Glasgow. 

The key issues and points raised were: 

Local economy

  • The national economy is mixed – for example Birmingham, Exeter, Nottingham and Milton Keynes are booming; Leeds, Manchester and Bristol are improving; London is stable; but North Wales and Glasgow are still struggling. There are geographical factors involved – high rental and living costs in London; and planning inspectors making property development in Birmingham more difficult – that are causing the economy to flatten in those locations.
  • Where the economy is finally improving, barriers to growth – mostly relating to the national minimum wage, employment law and government regulation such as auto-enrolment - are preventing owner-managed businesses from taking on staff and moving up to the next stage. Companies that are willing to take on more staff are finding themselves unable to do so due to a labour shortage. Practices themselves are unable to grow despite there being plenty of new clients available because they cannot recruit staff to service potential clients.
  • A potential Brexit is a concern in London, Leeds, Exeter and Milton Keynes where attendees fear a loss of overseas investment,and international companies moving their European headquarters out of the UK. The economy feels finely poised at the moment and a vote to leave Europe could result in a downward turn.


Access to finance

  • Banks are lending again in some locations but only very carefully and after significant amounts of information have been provided. Even where such information is provided, banks are refusing to lend in some locations unless the business has a long trading history or significant capital. Overall there is some lending but it is extremely cautious. 
  • Alternative finance is widely used in some locations such as Milton Keynes, Exeter and Bristol - in Milton Keynes it is the only source of finance – but in other locations it is mostly self-funding if any finance is needed. Finance is not sought in some locations where businesses are either cash strong or do not wish to borrow because of uncertainty about the strength of the economy and the future. 


Auditing 

  • Feedback at this year’s focus groups was very similar to last year – in most locations there are still some auditors but a significant number have withdrawn from audit – mostly because they no longer had the critical mass of audits to make the cost of audit work justifiable, but also because many clients do not see the value of an audit.
  • A minority of practices have seen the potential and are building up their audit portfolio by picking up audits from those exiting the audit field or from mid-tier firms, but it is seen as a specialist field of work now. Audit automation software has made audit work easier and less time-consuming, removing the need for bespoke software.
  • The difficulty training or recruiting audit staff has become more acute in the past 12 months and is now a bigger concern than at last year’s focus groups. .


HMRC

  • The feedback from this year’s focus groups was similar to last year with continued deterioration of service from HMRC. In some locations, the time spent dealing with HMRC and the mistakes it makes with clients is considered the biggest issue facing practices that do not feel that they can charge clients for such work. Repayments are taking too long and HMRC will not offset tax liabilities against refunds due. HMRC is quick to call in the bailiffs even when there is no proven tax liability – in the worst cases, HMRC has been reported to the police for attempting to obtain funds by deception.
  • HMRC’s proposals for quarterly tax returns and making tax digital are causing serious concern given its inability to function now. Practitioners want agent online prioritised so that they can do tax work for clients more efficiently, and they need to be able to communicate with HMRC through more dedicated agent helplines and email communication.

 

Students and recruitment

  • Very few practices now recruit graduates because they cannot compete with the Big Four for them. Some practices would prefer graduates because of their perceived maturity and readiness to enter the working world but graduates are snapped up by the biggest practices. The bias towards recruiting school leavers last year has now become the preferred option. Many practices consider it the only option given the difficulty recruiting graduates and it brings the benefits of lower salary expectations and the ability to mould the recruit to the needs of the practice. However, some practices caution against recruiting too many school leavers – parents and schools want children to go to university and school leavers require different support to graduates because of their lack of maturity. There has been a significant increase in apprenticeships in practices over the past 12 months, and some work placements are being offered.
  • As with last year, recruitment was cited as being difficult in every location with qualified staff being virtually impossible to recruit. Some locations have said that recruitment is their biggest concern, and the inability to recruit suitable staff is preventing practices from growing.

 
Competition

  • As with previous years, unqualified accountants are a source of annoyance at best and competition at worst. There is still a strong desire for protection of the term ‘accountant’ or, in the absence of that, education of the public as to the difference between qualified and unqualified accountants. The focus has moved on slightly this year with some locations questioning the value of protecting the term ‘accountant’ as the profession needs to move towards being business advisers rather than number crunchers.

 
Support from ACCA

  • The technical advisory helpline is considered in some locations to be the best resource that ACCA provides its practitioners. The free tools that ACCA provides – such as model accounts – are very useful and practitioners would welcome more tools and checklists.
  • In some locations, ACCA was asked for benchmarking information so that practices can make an informed decision on where to position themselves in the market place in terms of fees. ACCA could also help practices save research time by providing information on what professional indemnity insurance should cost, the cost of different software packages, and suitable hardware.
  • Succession planning has become a concern in the past year and there is a dual role that ACCA could play in educating its members – information on exit options should be given to members nearing the ends of their careers whilst the benefits of partnership should be sold to younger practitioners.

 
Marketing activity and social media

  • Word of mouth continues to be the biggest source of new work and is the preferred method of gaining clients. However, the use of social media is seen in an increasingly positive light in some locations where it is seen as a means of brand promotion rather than a direct marketing tool. More practitioners are embracing it and writing blogs, tweeting, and maintaining a social media presence. The majority of practitioners are still unable to find the time to do it properly but most see some value in it.

 
ACCA’s monitoring regime

  • The attendees were largely positive about ACCA’s monitoring regime and the majority had found their monitoring visits to be constructive and useful.


Recommendations

  • ACCA should run an education campaign on succession planning that provides information on different exit routes and sells the role to younger practitioners. It should also partner with finance providers so that incoming partners can finance the purchase of goodwill.
  • Advisory and consultancy work is widely regarded as the future for practices and ACCA needs to position practitioners as sellers of planning services.
  • Members feel that ACCA has a responsibility to stand up to HMRC on their behalf. If HMRC will not listen to ACCA and the other professional bodies then ACCA should consider leveraging the press to encourage HMRC to improve its performance.
  • Attendees would like specialised or practical training - attendees want practical CPD from which they can take away skills to apply to their jobs.
Entrepreneurs are missing vital financial skills
Entrepreneurs are missing vital financial skills to ensure the success of their businesses.

Entrepreneurs are missing vital financial skills to ensure the success of their businesses. 

ACCA addresses the financial literacy skills gap with a new guide for anyone starting their own business, new to financial management or simply seeking to improve their knowledge. 

Financial management is at the heart of running a successful business. Yet many entrepreneurs are not equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to make informed and effective decisions about their financial resources.  

ACCA has addressed the issue through a brand new guide, Financial management and business success - a guide for entrepreneurs, designed to help small businesses understand the importance of financial literacy and guide them through the basic elements. It’s reported that up to 36% of business failures are caused by inadequate financial management (Turnaround Management Society, 2014). Understanding financial information is vital for offsetting this risk as it reveals the early warning signs of impeding problems. 

The guide stresses the importance of business planning at every stage of business life, helping to assess and identify opportunities directly, and avoid mistakes through applying correct financial knowledge. 

Featuring quotes, case studies and statistics that support skilled financial management, the ACCA guide demonstrates how to make sure individuals have the financial capabilities needed to ensure their organisation achieves its full potential.

Rosana Mirkovic, ACCA’s Head of SME Policy, says, 'Having the right financial capabilities remains vital throughout the life of a business, whether you are just starting out, have an established business or are looking towards a final exit from a firm. Businesses are changing and innovating more rapidly than ever and the financial management needs of organisations must continue to evolve alongside their developments. Recognising the right financial management capabilities is therefore imperative to their success.'

CPD
CPD: High quality events for practitioners
Our Professional Courses events provide high quality training for practitioners.

Our Professional Courses events provide high quality training for practitioners. Find the right event for your CPD requirements now.

RESIDENTIAL CONFERENCE FOR PRACTITIONERS 
1-2 July, Derby 


EAST KENT FRIDAY CONFERENCES

Commercial, employment and company law update 16 September, Ashford 


PRACTICE WORKSHOPS Guide to practical audit compliance for partners and managers 

20-21 September, London

12-13 October, London 

13-14 December, Manchester 


Practical guide to ISQC 1 for partners and managers

22 September, London

8 December, London


SATURDAY CPD CONFERENCES FOR PRACTITIONERS 

Saturday CPD conference two for practitioners 

25 June, Sheffield 

09 July, London   



Saturday CPD conference three for practitioners

08 October, Glasgow

15 October, Birmingham

22 October, Bristol

29 October, Manchester

05 November, London

12 November, Swansea

26 November, Sheffield

03 December, London 


SUMMER AND AUTUMN UPDATE CONFERENCES FOR PRACTIONERS 

Accounting conference: Accounting standards update 
1 October, London  


Business advice conference: HMRC and the practitioner
12 November, London   

Taxation conference:
Topical tax update
9 July, London

3 December, London


ISLE OF MAN SEMINARS FOR PRACTITIONERS
 


Inheritance tax and trusts
20 September 2016, Douglas 

Financial crime: anti-bribery and corruption/anti-money laundering
20 October 2016, Douglas 

Accounting and auditing refresher
27 October 2016, Douglas 

VAT refresher
22 November 2016, Douglas


Aberdeen Saturday CPD Conference Two
25 June, Aberdeen 

Aberdeen Saturday CPD Conference Three
19 November, Aberdeen


CPD webinars for practitioners - in partnership with 2020 Innovation
Our partnership with 2020 Group allows practitioners to benefit from a suite of CPD webinars at a 50% discount. 

Upcoming webinars include: 

  • FCA update – 24 June
  • Latest VAT news & developments – 5 July
  • Monthly tax update – 20 July.


Visit the dedicated 2020 Group webpages to find the right webinar for your needs. Further information is also available from the 2020Group via email or telephone 0121 314 1234. 

Tick ‘2016 CPD’ off of your to-do list today
Save up to £200 with access to 130 high quality online CPD courses for accountants.

This month, you can save up to £200 and get extended access to over 130 high quality in-depth online CPD courses designed specifically for accountants and finance professionals.

But hurry! These fantastic offers are only available until 30 June 2016.

Preparing for the future
Take your career to the next level with new courses on business partnering and convincing communication.

Are you prepared for the future? Take your career to the next level with these fantastic new courses: 

Business partnering and risk management – 20 course pack

Accountants are the new business partners. They are expected to provide insight and be able to spot and effectively manage risks. Be proactive and involved in decision making, develop the forward-thinking expertise needed to be a leader in your organisation. Explore this and many more exciting new learning programmes from BPP: book now on members’ BPP online centre. 

Preparing a convincing communication 

Did you know the key to a successful career is closely linked to your ability to build meaningful relationships with colleagues and stakeholders? Book this course and master the art of effective communication. Explore this and many more exciting new learning programmes from CrossKnowledge: book now on members’ BPP online centre. 

CAREERS
Making tax digital
Your views and a short poll on this critical issue.

Updated engagement letters tool now available
Purchase your copy of our updated product now.

Purchase your copy of our updated product now. 

There are times when problems can arise in practitioner-client relationships. By setting out terms of engagement, which clearly state the exact terms of agreement, you can avoid legal disputes later. 

ACCA in partnership with VS Consultancy has produced engagement letter templates which can form the basis of a contract between practitioner and client for a variety of different scenarios. These are available for ACCA members to purchase for £30 + VAT. 

This time-saving tool consists of self-loading Microsoft Word engagement letter files, which you can then tailor to your needs. The product consists of standard letters of engagement for a series of different business types and services. 

It also offers guidance on the following: 

  • What an engagement letter should cover to clarify the scope of your services
  • How to confirm the agreement with the client.
  • Writing a framework for how the work will be performed
  • Establishing an appropriate working relationship
  • How the engagement letter should address fee arrangements.


This product will run on systems using Windows XP and subsequent versions. 

The product can be purchased online

 

 

 

Why you should enter the British Accountancy Awards 2016
Your practice and staff deserve recognition. Start planning your entry to the British Accountancy Awards now.

British Accountancy Awards celebrate excellence across the profession. Start planning your entry now. 

Here are just three good reasons why you should enter the awards: 

  • Confirmation of your greatness … and a morale booster for staff, current and to-be: winning an award creates a feeling of well-being among your staff, and makes your firm more attractive to prospective talent and clients.
  • Marketing opportunity – Speaking of clients, you get to present your firm – in the region in which you work, your sectors, as the best in the field.
  • The discovery process - You’d be surprised at how few firms review their progress or really have a grasp of what they do best. Entering awards forces you to take stock of your situation.


ACCA is proud to regularly see our members and their firms honoured at the awards. 

Recognition often comes in the form of one of the best independent firms within six regions across England, as well as Scotland and Wales (with the overall ‘independent firm of the year’ drawn from this list) and individual awards including ‘practitioner of the year’ and ‘new practitioner of the year’. New awards for 2016 include ‘most innovative practice’ and ‘most socially responsible practice’. 

The deadline for entering the British Accountancy Awards is Friday 29 July – award-winning entries take time to craft, make sure to start yours today. 

If you have any queries about the entry process, ACCA is here to support you. Just email us at supportingpractitioners@accaglobal.com


Here are some practical dos and don’ts of the awards process: 

Do tell a story – Where were you, what journey have you started, and how have you achieved in that process?

Do include financials and KPIs - Where applicable to support your story

Do make it easy for the judges! - The British Accountancy Awards judges will look at between 20 and 30 entries each. They can take 10-15 minutes to do so. Do the maths. Make your language and points clear

Do think about people, clients and staff – If your practice is doing well, then your staff must be happy. Do you know? Do you measure? Let them tell the judges. The same goes for client testmonials

Do understand the category criteria, and entry criteria - If you been given word counts, stick to them. If certain info has been requested, supply it

Do watch our video with more award-winning advice – Available online at Accountancyage.com. My interview with award-winning former Price Bailey head Peter Gillman is worth ten minutes of your time

Do go to the awards, with hope rather than expectation! - There are no guarantees you will win – but making the shortlist is worth celebrating itself, and something you should leverage in your marketing

Don’t leave your marketing head, or PA, to write the entry in isolation – The main protagonists in your firm’s success – at least as far as your entry is concerned – should be involved in putting the entry together. Of course have help, but avoid being dislocated from the process.

Don’t go over any word counts proscribed in the awards - You risk the wrath of the judges. Alongside word counts for the main entry, you are often allowed to include some supplementary information, but again don’t overburden them – the more you include, the less chance you’ll have of the important stuff being absorbed. 

Visit the British Accountancy Awards website for details of all our categories, including Most Innovative Practice and Most Socially Responsible Practice – new for 2016.