Technical and Insight
Making Tax Digital: one final push
Still time to share your views on MTD – but hurry!

Thank you to all ACCA members who have responded with your thoughts on the six consultations making up the Making Tax Digital suite. They close for comment on 7 November so please, if you have not already responded to HMRC, send them your views and ask your clients to also send their views on MTD to HMRC - even if it is just on mandation of quarterly reporting.

As previously highlighted, HMRC’s position is clear in the consultations and is illustrated by the statement ‘we believe that the full benefits of digital capability can only be delivered for all parties by mandating the use of digital record keeping software that links to and updates business’s digital accounts with HMRC’. 

HMRC proposes that MTD will apply for:         

  • income tax and national insurance in April 2018
  • VAT obligations in April 2019
  • corporation tax obligations in April 2020.


You have told ACCA that digital access for businesses and practitioners needs improvement, that the cost for businesses regarding the ‘quarterly returns’ and penalties were far too high, and that the MTD returns will, at a time when business needs to look at exporting, ‘take up management time and prevent businesses from looking at new opportunities’. 

ACCA has been ensuring your views have been heard through the local and national media, at events, the party conferences and at meetings with HMRC. Earlier this week Chas Roy-Chowdhury, our head of taxation, gave evidence to the Treasury Select Committee. You can watch a recording of this. 

ACCA will also be sending in a consultation response, drawn from your views and the views of the panels who represent you. We will publish this on our website here

Brexit: risk optimisation
Technical factsheet: effective risk management focuses on risk optimisation, and is an important reference as part of future Brexit planning.

Technical factsheet: effective risk management is concerned with risk optimisation, and is an important reference as part of future Brexit planning.  

It explains what risk management is and the principles that underpin it. The factsheet reviews the risk management cycle, including measurement and documentation, together with key risk concepts. It also provides an overview of the most influential risk management models available today – although there are no legal or regulatory requirements for organisations to adopt these models, the factsheet summarises the benefits of doing so. 

Most importantly, the factsheet encourages professional accountants to ‘think risk’. It shows through examples how effective risk management not only helps prevent loss and protect reputation but also enables better decision-making, thereby increasing the chances of meeting the business’s objectives. 

Download your copy of the factsheet now

 

FRS102 – brace for change
Think you’ve mastered FRS 102? We have news for you…

Think you’ve mastered FRS 102? We have news for you… 

Many practitioners have spent the last year getting to grips with the no longer ‘new UK GAAP’ requirements of FRS 102. The changes to the treatments of deferred tax, loans, revaluations etc have had us all scratching our heads but at least now we should be happy that we have conquered the new standard. All we need now is a nice long period of calm with no changes… 

So with Halloween in the air the frightening news is that the FRC is proposing changes to FRS 102 already! 

When the original standard was issued in 2013, the published plan was to review FRS 102 every three years, so consultations on changes are now technically due. Unfortunately, most of us have only recently adopted FRS 102, or in fact are only just about to do so, so the fact that it has already been around for three years has gone under the radar. 

The suggested amendments come from the fact that some of the full IFRSs have already been altered and so FRS 102 needs to fall in line. However, FRC also says that feedback received from existing users of FRS 102 is taken into account for proposed improvements. 

The FRC is due to publish two Financial Reporting Exposure Drafts (FRED) during 2017. These are known as phase 1 and phase 2

Briefly the changes proposed are:
 

Standard

Phase 1

Phase 2

 

 

 

IFRS 9 Financial Instruments

 

YES

IFRS 10 Consolidated Financial Statements

YES but limited changes proposed

 

IFRS 11 Joint Arrangements

YES but limited changes proposed

 

IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement

YES but limited changes proposed

 

IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customer

YES but limited changes proposed

 

IFRS 16 Leases

 

YES


Phase 1 changes are expected to be effective for accounting periods starting on or after 1 January 2019. 

However, phase 2 may be more challenging but its effective date is 2022. 

Briefly the phase 2 proposed changes (note they are not described by FRC as ‘limited’) which may be significant are: 

  • The expected loss model of IFRS 9 is widely regarded as an improvement on IAS 39, on which FRS 102 is based, and was developed in response to the financial crisis. It is this part of IFRS 9 that the FRC considers could be reflected in revisions to FRS 102. The major impact is expected to be on financial institutions.  However, the proposals may affect all entities that have to review and assess the recoverability and carrying value of debtors including loans
  • adoption of the principles relating to IFRS 16 Leases. This was issued in 2016 and is effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019. It has a single model for lessee accounting and requires more leases to be recognised as an asset and a liability than previously. The FRC initially notes that consistency with IFRS 16 would improve the information available to the users of financial statements regarding leases. It may also be more cost-effective than providing additional information to users when it is not included in the financial statements. Therefore the FRC proposes to amend FRS 102 to incorporate the requirements of IFRS 16.


The FRC is requesting comments on all aspects of this consultation document by 31 December 2016. In particular, comments are sought in relation to a number of questions set out on page 5 of the document

ACCA will be sending in its comments to FRC and we will publish these on our website

FRS 102: accounting for director loans and inter-group loans
When is a loan from a director a financial instrument?

When is a loan from a director a financial instrument? 

FRS 102 deals with accounting for financial instruments in section 11 ‘basic financial instruments’ and section 12 ‘other financial instruments’. 

Loans payable by the entity or receivable by the entity with a fixed interest rate or with no interest would normally be treated as basic financial instruments and come within section 11 of FRS 102. 

FRS 102 explains how these loans should be accounted for both in terms of the initial recognition and how they should be treated in subsequent reporting dates. 
Paragraph 11.13 deals with the initial measurement. This splits the treatment into the following three categories: 

  • If the arrangement is a financing transaction, the entity shall measure the financial asset or financial liability at the present value of the future payments discounted at the market rate of interest for a similar debt instrument.
  • Financial assets and liabilities that are measured at fair value through profit and loss. When such assets and liabilities are initially recognised, it is for the entity to decide whether or not to treat them as such designated items to be valued at fair value with changes in value going to profit or loss (paragraphs 11.27 to 11.32).
  • Other financial assets or financial liabilities should initially be measured at the transaction price (including transaction costs).


Paragraphs 11.14 to 11.32 deal with the subsequent measurement. These paragraphs have the following treatments for loans (or debt instruments): 

  • If the arrangement is a financing transaction, the entity shall measure the debt instrument at the present value of the future payments discounted at a market rate of interest for a similar debt instrument.
  • Debt instruments that are payable or receivable within one year shall be measured at the undiscounted amount of the cash or other consideration expected to be paid or received.
  • Debt instruments that meet the conditions in paragraph 11.8(b) of FRS 102 shall be measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method (paragraphs 11.15 to 11.20 provide guidance on this).


Examples 
For a long-term loan at a market rate of interest made to another entity, a receivable is recognised at the amount of the cash advanced to that entity plus transaction costs incurred by the entity.

  1. For goods sold to a customer on short-term credit, a receivable is recognised at the undiscounted amount of cash receivable from that entity, which is normally the invoice price.
  2. For an item sold to a customer on two years' interest-free credit, a receivable is recognised at the current cash sale price for that item (in financing transactions conducted on an arm’s length basis the cash sales price would normally approximate to the present value). If the current cash sale price is not known, it may be estimated as the present value of the cash receivable discounted using the prevailing market rate(s) of interest for a similar receivable.
  3. For a loan received from a bank at a market rate of interest, a payable is recognised initially at the amount of the cash received from the bank less separately incurred transaction costs.
  4. For goods purchased from a supplier on short-term credit, a payable is recognised at the undiscounted amount owed to the supplier, which is normally the invoice price.
  5. A director/shareholder lends the company a substantial amount interest free for a fixed term of three years. A creditor would initially be measured as the present value of the future payments discounted at the market rate of interest for a similar debt instrument.


Summary of accounting treatment
Some loans will initially be measured at 'the transaction price' and some will be measured at the 'present value of the future payments discounted at a market rate of interest'. 

At subsequent reporting dates, some loans will be measured at the 'undiscounted amount of cash or other consideration expected to be paid or received', whereas others will be measured at the 'present value of the future payments discounted at a market rate of interest'. 

When loans are measured at 'the transaction price' or the 'undiscounted amount of cash or other consideration expected to be paid or received' then there is no difference between the cash value and the recorded measurement of the loan. 

However, a difference may arise if the amount paid or received or carrying value of the loan is different to the 'present value of the future payments discounted at a market rate of interest'. 

Clearly where ‘terms’ exist the transactions will follow the requirements. Where terms do not exist written or verbal, for example a loan from a director with no terms that has been outstanding for a considerable time judgement will be required on the appropriate treatment following discussion with the director.

Here are seven further worked examples which consider these issues. 

You can view relevant extracts from FRS 102 

The tax treatment of these loans is dealt with in HMRC guidance in CFM33176 while this article in Taxation also explains the tax treatment of these loans.

Changes to tax relief for residential landlords
A quick refresher on the impact of the new finance costs restrictions.

It is now only six months until the changes to tax relief start to be phased in. Here is a quick refresher on the impact of the new finance costs restrictions. 

What’s changed?
In a nutshell, the tax relief that landlords of residential properties were able to claim for finance costs will be restricted to the basic rate of income tax. These changes will be phased in from April 2017. 

Who does this affect?
Landlords that let residential properties as an individual in a partnership or trust and also non-UK resident individual that lets residential properties in the UK. 

Who is exempt from the changes?
The following won’t be affected by the introduction of the finance cost restriction: 

  • UK resident companies
  • non-UK resident companies
  • landlords of furnished holiday lettings.


The above will continue to receive relief for interest and other finance costs in the usual way. 

How do the restrictions work?
The amount of income tax relief landlords can get on residential property finance costs will be restricted to the basic rate of tax. The finance costs referred to above that will be restricted include interest on: 

  • mortgages
  • loans – including loans to buy furnishings
  • overdrafts.


Other costs affected are: 

  • alternative finance returns
  • fees and any other incidental costs for getting or repaying mortgages and loans
  • discounts, premiums and disguised interest.


The reduction is the basic rate value (currently 20%) of the lower of: 

  • finance costs – costs not deducted from rental income in the tax year (this will be a proportion of finance costs for the transitional years) plus any finance costs brought forward
  • property profits – the profits of the property business in the tax year (after using any brought forward losses)
  • adjusted total income – the income (after losses and reliefs, and excluding savings and dividends income) that exceeds your personal allowance


Note that:

  • where the loan is for a dual purpose, say for both residential and commercial properties, the interest will need to be apportioned to work out the  finance costs for the residential properties as only these costs are restricted. This same approach applies where the loan was partly for a self-employed trade and partly for residential property
  • the tax reduction can’t be used to create a tax refund
  • if the basic rate tax reduction is calculated using the ‘property profits’ or ‘adjusted total income’ then the difference between that figure and ‘finance costs’ is carried forward to calculate the basic rate tax reduction in the following years.


How does the phasing in work?
The restriction will be phased in gradually from 6 April 2017 and will be fully in place from 6 April 2020. 

Some of your finance costs can still be deducted during the transition period. These deductions will be gradually withdrawn and replaced with a basic rate relief tax reduction. 

A proportion of the finance costs will be used to work out the property profits and use the remainder to work out the basic rate tax deduction: 

Tax year

Percentage of finance costs deductible from rental income

Percentage of basic rate tax reduction

2017 to 2018

75%

25%

2018 to 2019

50%

50%

2019 to 2020

25%

75%

2020 to 2021

0%

100%


The calculations using the new measures can be quite complicated so we recommend that members work through the examples that HMRC has published. There are three case studies which illustrate both the phasing in and the overall effects of the restrictions before and after they are operated. They use the following simplified figures: 

  • personal allowance: up to £11,000
  • basic rate: £11,001 to £43,000
  • higher rate: £43,001 to £150,000.


View these worked examples 

For further information, visit our website

HMRC launches R&D advance assurance scheme
Research & Development (RD) tax relief is a valuable help for many UK companies, usually involving a reduction in their corporation tax liability.

Research & Development (RD) tax relief is a valuable help for many UK companies, usually involving a reduction in their corporation tax liability. 

The rules have been around for a long time in various forms but one element that has not changed is the complexity of the rules on eligibility. The good news is that HMRC has launched an advance assurance scheme which allows a business to contact HMRC and get their advice before making a formal claim. 

The advantages of this can be considerable: 

  • when you apply for Advance Assurance you’ll have an HMRC specialist to help you understand and comply with the R&D tax relief conditions
  • Advance Assurance gives proof that the client will get R&D tax relief. This will take the uncertainty out of the process and may help them get funding
  • this means that for the first three accounting periods of claiming for R&D tax relief, HMRC will allow the claim without further enquiries.


Applying for Advance Assurance is voluntary and can be done at any time before the first claim for R&D tax relief. 

HMRC webinar
HMRC recently held a ‘talking points’ webinar on this subject. Here are some of the most interesting questions posed by accountants and HMRC’s responses: 

Q: How many advance assurance claims have been received so far?
A.  Currently just short of 200 

Q: Can an agent file the advance assurance form through the CT agents’ portal or does it have to be via the client's online service?
A. There are three versions of the form. One can only be accessed using the company login details, the other two are a print and post version.

Q: Are agents able to be contacted for the follow up phone call rather than the company directly?
A. Yes although we would always like to talk to the person at the company who has been involved in the R&D activity. We have successfully used conference call facilities so that everyone is involved.

Q: This does not apply to sole traders. Correct?
A. R&D relief is only available to companies. 

Q: If a company has sought advance assurance and subsequently commences a new R&D project, will the company have to seek further assurance with regards to this new project?
A. No, the Assurance relates to the company. HMRC will grant assurance when it is content that the company has understood the rules and is in a position to make a competent claim. The assurance is not project specific. 

Q: If an Advance Assurance case is withdrawn does that mean the client will be denied R&D on an annual basis?
A. If HMRC reject an application or withdraw Assurance this does not prevent the company from making R&D claims. These claims may be subject to a compliance check. This may depend on why the assurance has been rejected or withdrawn. 

Q: Is the Advance Assurance available for SMEs who have previously claimed R&D on an earlier, different project?
A. No, the assurance is currently only for companies who have not previously claimed. 

Q: What proportion of the advance assurance requests lead to a claim (ie HMRC agree the company has a valid claim)?
A. Current figures show that more than 75% of applications have been granted. However, as previously mentioned lack of assurance does not prevent a company from making a claim: they just won’t have the assurance that the claim will be processed without detailed scrutiny. 

Q: What is the timescale on getting assurance from HMRC?
A. Initial contact will be made within 15 days. Depending on what additional information is required the assurance decision will be made at the earliest opportunity. 

Q: Will advance assurance be available for LLPs? 
A. Advance Assurance is given in respect of R&D reliefs. In order to claim R&D reliefs the claimant must be a company within the charge to CT in respect of profits charged to CT. Although an LLP is regarded as a body corporate, for tax purposes an LLP is normally treated as a partnership and the members of the partnership are charged to either Income tax or Corporation tax. Companies as members of the partnership may carry out R&D and the company can claim the appropriate proportion of the R&D relief. So no, an LLP cannot apply for Advance assurance but the companies within an LLP can. 

Q:  How far in advance can the assurance be obtained? Can it be when we are preparing the CT return?
A. Advance Assurance can be applied for as soon as the company has an R&D project. 

Q: Why are HMRC not able to give clearance rather than assurance with this scheme?
A This is a voluntary assurance process. 

Q: Is there advance assurance for SMEs over £2m turnover and 50 employees?
A. Not at present although HMRC will provide advice on specific questions in order to assist. 

Q: If you don't give Advance Assurance, can we appeal your decision?
A. No, this is not an appealable decision. 

For more details you can download ACCA’s guide to research and Development for SMEs. 

Find out more about future and past HMRC Talking Points, including Penalty for participating in VAT fraud: A consultation on the introduction of this new penalty which will take place on 3 November between 12:30 to 13:30.

New corporate offences to tackle tax evasion

New Criminal Finances Bill aims to help the authorities tackle tax evasion.


New Criminal Finances Bill aims to help the authorities tackle tax evasion. 

The Criminal Finances Bill was introduced on 13 October 2016. 

The Bill is in four parts:

  • Part 1 relates to the proceeds of crime, money laundering, civil recovery, enforcement powers and related offences. If enacted law enforcement agencies will have a range of new powers to request information and seize assets.
  • Part 2 will ensure that relevant money laundering and asset recovery powers will be extended to apply to investigations under the Terrorism Act 2000 in addition to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • Part 3 will create two new corporate offences to prevent facilitation of tax evasion.
  • Part 4 contains minor and consequential amendments.


Two new corporate offences to prevent facilitation of tax evasion 
The two new criminal offences being proposed which apply to corporations (companies and partnerships) are:  

  • failure to prevent facilitation of UK tax evasion
  • failure to prevent facilitation of overseas tax evasion.


There is currently a range of statutory offences of ‘fraudulently evading’ taxes. The proposed new offences extend these to make it a criminal offence for companies and partnerships to become involved in facilitating tax evasion. 

The new corporate offences cannot be committed by individuals - they can only be committed by ‘relevant bodies’, that is, legal persons (companies and partnerships). Moreover, they are only committed in circumstances where a person acting for or on behalf of that body, acting in that capacity, criminally facilitates a tax evasion offence committed by another person. 

Failure of relevant bodies to prevent tax evasion facilitation offences by associated persons
Clause 37, sub-section (1) creates the offence of corporate failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion in relation to UK taxes. The offence is committed by a relevant body where a person acting in the capacity of an associated person commits a tax evasion facilitation offence, that is, criminally facilitates another’s offence of tax evasion. 

Tax evasion facilitation offence is defined in sub-section (5) as any offence under the law of any part of the UK committed by facilitating a UK tax evasion offence. 

Guidance will be published to assist relevant bodies to devise reasonable prevention procedures (see clause 39 below). 

Failure to prevent facilitation of foreign tax evasion offences
Clause 38 creates an offence of corporate failure to prevent the facilitation of foreign tax evasion offences. This offence is broadly similar to the offence created in clause 37 in relation to UK taxes.  

Guidance about prevention procedures

  • Clause 39: Guidance about preventing the facilitation of tax evasion offences
  • Clause 39 requires the Chancellor of the Exchequer to publish guidance about the procedures that relevant bodies might put in place.


Offences: general and supplementary provision 
Clause 40: Offences: extra-territorial application and jurisdiction – this confirms that it does not usually matter where any act or omission takes place. It does not matter whether the relevant body is formulated under the law of another country, or that the associated person does their criminal act of facilitation overseas: the new offences will be committed. 

Thus, where a person acting in the capacity of a person associated to an overseas relevant body commits a tax evasion facilitation offence in relation to a UK taxpayer’s tax evasion offence the new clause 37 offence will be committed and can be tried by the courts of the United Kingdom. 

You can find a longer article taking a more in depth look at these issues on our website.

Economic crime: AML and Brexit
CCAB launches first Economic Crime Manifesto advising government to ‘lead by example’ to fight money laundering.

CCAB launches first Economic Crime Manifesto advising government to ‘lead by example’ to fight money laundering. 

The first Manifesto for Fighting Economic Crime has been published by CCAB, the collective of five accountancy bodies - ICAEW, ACCA, CIPFA, ICAS and Chartered Accountants Ireland - highlighting four key public policy areas for improvement to the effectiveness and capabilities of anti-money laundering (AML) in the UK. 

Including a clear and achievable four point plan to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing, CCAB is urging the UK government to take the lead in strengthening the AML regime, especially as the UK considers next steps regarding Brexit. 

While welcoming the government’s recently published action plan to counter such devastating economic crime, CCAB says that the government must adopt the best supervisory practices and not allow public money to become tainted. 
 

CCAB recommends:

  1. A central information resource able to provide evidence of identity would help safeguard the economy and eliminate unnecessary cost.
  2. An intelligence portal to share information on suspicious individuals or entities between regulators and law enforcement authorities, supported by better mechanisms for sharing skills and experience, would together help cement a true private-public crime fighting partnership.
  3. A system for prioritising suspicious activity reports, to sort the wheat from the chaff at an early stage of processing, would help target law enforcement resources.
  4. Giving statutory recognition to ‘accounting services’ could ensure that all accountants are appropriately qualified and regulated, promoting trust in the ‘gatekeepers’ of the economy by raising their skills and standards, and making sure that all ‘gates’ are guarded with equal vigilance.


Anthony Harbinson,  Former ACCA President, CCAB Chairman, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Task Force, and Director of Safer Communities, Northern Ireland Department of Justice says: 

'The bedrock of our economy and prosperity depends a great deal on the trust and integrity of financial systems. Economic crime undermines that trust – fatally so if we allow it. The government needs to strengthen the national AML infrastructure –which needs specialist advice and support to ensure this infrastructure is built on solid ground. Professionally trained and qualified accountants are part of the solution to tackling AML. In these uncertain times, we urge the government to take the lead in carrying these recommendations forward.’ 

Accompanying the Manifesto are a series of case studies, showing how wide and varied economic crime can be. The case studies help identify and explain the ways where professional accountants may become unwittingly involved in economic crime, or even come into close professional contact with individuals and groups who are undertaken criminal activities. 

The case studies also include scenarios where readers are asked to consider the situation in which a professional accountant finds themselves – including cybercrime, money laundering and investment fraud. The document also includes a glossary so that readers can understand some of the terminology related to economic crime. 

Master trust pensions – regulations strengthened
Government bill strengthens the regulations in relation to schemes such as NEST and Now.

Government bill strengthens the regulations in relation to schemes such as NEST and Now. 

The Pensions Scheme Bill was issued by the government this month and contains provisions to strengthen the regulations relating to master trust pensions. Master trust pensions include schemes such as ‘NEST’ and ‘Now’ as well as other schemes which are often used by smaller employers. 

The main areas covered by the Bill are:
 

  • improved governance and administration
  • a requirement to submit annual accounts and supervisory returns
  • the introduction of a cap on exit fees.
Anti-money laundering changes
Consultation on 4th anti money laundering directive drawing to a close.

Consultation on 4th anti money laundering directive drawing to a close.

The consultation on the transposition of the Fourth Money Laundering Directive and the Funds Transfer Regulation draws to a close on 10 November. It is highlighted that the ‘government is keen to ensure that the UK’s AML/CFT regime effectively deters money laundering and terrorist financing activity, whilst being proportionate and managing burdens on businesses'. 

The government highlights that it will ‘only “gold-plate” [go further than] the Directive or the Funds Transfer Regulation where there is good evidence that a material ML/TF risk exists that must be addressed’. It is highlighted in the consultation that the new legislation, Money Laundering and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, will be made in order to transpose both the Directive and the Funds Transfer Regulation. It is also highlighted that the current Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2007 will be revoked, and that the new legislation will include a transitional provision. The new provisions will come into force by 26 June 2017 which is in line with Article 67 of the Directive and Article 27 of the Funds Transfer Regulation. 

Transparency of beneficial ownership of legal entities and the People with Significant Control (PSC) register are also highlighted as important measures in a strong regime with a specific question asked as to how the PSC register is working. 

The government has published a consultation that outlines its proposals or issues to be addressed for transposing the directive into UK law. All UK tax advisers in practice will be bound by the revised regulations, and we would welcome your input to ACCA’s response to the consultation. 

Please send your reply to condoccomments@accaglobal.com with TechCDR 1438 in the subject line. 

Anti-money laundering and sanctions
On 20 September 2016 the EU adopted a new legal framework to facilitate combating ISIL/Da'esh and Al-Qaida, as well as persons and entities associated with or supporting them (eg through terrorist financing). This affects all practitioners and businesses, who need to ensure that their policies and procedures are amended accordingly. 

It has been highlighted that when practitioners and businesses falling within the money laundering directive requirements undertake Customer Due Diligence, they will need to refer to the EU ISIS/Al-Qaida sanctions list as this might become more comprehensive than the list issued by the UN.  Entities and individuals subject to a travel ban or asset freeze will be listed in Annex I of COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2016/1693

This new framework also introduces the following whistleblowing obligation: ‘Any information that the provisions of this Regulation are being, or have been, circumvented shall be notified to the competent authorities of the Member States and, directly or through these competent authorities, to the Commission’ (COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) 2016/1686). 

You can find details of other regimes and designated persons subject to sanctions here

Badges of trade
A side by side comparison of badges of trade between circumstances pointing to trade or investment.

A side by side comparison of badges of trade between circumstances pointing to trade or investment. 

HMRC and taxation sources on the interpretation of badges of trade are many and extensive. With a view to summarising them and providing a quick reference concerning the most frequently considered badges of trade, we have prepared a side by side comparison between circumstances pointing to trade or investment. 

Badges of trade tests should be considered in their entirety and meeting one test without considering others is not conclusive.

You can read more about badges of trade on our website.
 

Trade

Investment

Intention to make a profit

  • Acquisition of investment was to realise a profit and that intention is based on facts rather than professed declaration
  • There is a commercial motive of the activities undertaken, irrespectively of whether profit or loss ultimately arises
  • Profit making is not a conclusive pointer and other badges of trade have to be present to determine that it is trade
  • Speculation does not count as intention

 

  • Acquisition may or may not have been made with a view to realise profit but there are no or hardly any other sufficiently significant badges of trade to suggest that it is trade
  • Acquisition of shares was speculative whereby a risk that the transaction(s) may not be as profitable as expected (or may indeed give rise to a loss) was recognised and the project nevertheless pursued
  • Profit making motive was not the main motive
  • The sole motive of trade was fiscal– to get a tax advantage (generate a loss in order to offset against profits and avoid tax) Overseas Containers (Finance) Ltd v Stoker [1989] 61TC473 page 536C. There was no other commercial purpose

Number of transactions

Generally multiple, frequent transactions are likely to indicate trade, whilst isolated transactions are likely to be investment. However, it is possible that this broad rule will not be conclusive. The nature of profit generated (capital or income nature) needs to be considered in this instance.

  • Many systematically repeated transactions at high frequency showing a continuous activity
  • Single transaction undertaken as adventure in trade, including speculative adventure which generates an unexpected profit which is of income, not capital nature. For example, a one off purchase of a commodity, at a volume which is in excess of what one would need for personal purposes, and re-sale of this large quantity of commodity. CIR v Fraser [1942] 24TC498
  • Scarce number of transactions, where the motive to set up a trade was not at first present but formed later (by the time subsequent transactions arose). In this instance later transactions are taken into account in assessing the nature of the first.

For example in Leach v Pogson [1962] 40TC585 an individual set up a driving school which was later sold. By the time the driving school was sold an intention had arisen to develop a trade of setting up and selling driving schools.

  • A single or scarce number of transactions, including those which were undertaken as a speculative adventure which generated a profit of capital nature
  • Repeated but irregular transactions in different types of property spread over several years

 

Nature of asset and how it generates income

  • Typical trading commodity
  • Assets which do not produce income until they are sold point towards trade

 

  • Financial asset - Generally assets which produce income (dividends on shares)
  • Assets which produce no income as they are designed so that no or little yield is generated during their life and the major part of the income is realised on sale (bonds, some stocks)

Is the asset for personal enjoyment?

 

  • Asset is not used for enjoyment and of no use to the owner unless sold
  • Wisdom v Chamberlain [1968] 45TC92
  • Asset used for enjoyment (pride of possession) - there is a presumption that there is no trade even if acquired in the hope or expectation of value appreciation, unless there are clear indications that it was acquired in order to carry on a trade

Quantity purchased

  • High quantity purchased indicative of trade for a profit (see: Number of transactions above)
  • CIR v Fraser [1942] 24TC498
  • Low quantity indicative of personal use

Connection with existing trade

  • Transaction is similar to those already undertaken
  • Transaction undertaken by someone and is similar or related to his existing trade
  • Purchase and sale of asset which is unrelated and dissimilar to any activity undertaken to date

 

Organisation of operations and sale transaction

  • Transaction, even a one off, is carried out in the same manner as it would be carried out by ordinary traders
  • There is absence of any typical of trading activity such as establishing a sales office, employing people, advertising

Link to the purpose for which the entity was formed

  • Transaction is related to the purpose for which the organisation was formed
  • Activity is incidental or unrelated to the purpose for which the venture was started

Interval of time between purchase and sale

  • Sale takes place soon after purchase, even if there is no admitted or demonstrable intention
  • There was an intention to sell quickly
  • Asset was contracted to be sold before it was acquired
  • There was an intention to hold the asset for a long term investment, even if it was actually sold soon after purchase due to changing circumstances

Way and purpose of the acquisition of the asset

  • Asset is obtained as a gift or inherited but it can be demonstrated that it became an item of stock (intention to trade was formed later and circumstances point to it)
  • Work was done to the asset in order to enable it being sold
  • Asset is gifted or inherited and is not resold as part of a trade
Relief for trading losses
Guidance and worked examples of tax relief for trading losses.

Is this the end of carry-forward loss relief for companies as we know it?  
In 2016 the government announced a consultation process on changes to the treatment of losses for corporation tax purposes. With the consultation exercise now completed, we are expecting the draft legislation to be announced in the Autumn Statement, ahead of its enactment in the 2017 Finance Bill. 

Current rules on carry-forward loss relief 
Currently unrelieved trading losses can be carried forward indefinitely and offset against total income from the same trade. While for many companies this results in a reduction or complete elimination of corporation tax liability in profitable years, for others the restriction of the relief to the same company and the same trade as that which gave rise to the loss may be seen as limiting. This is particularly true in circumstances of corporate reconstructions or turnarounds, where previous loss making trade ceased and was replaced by new or significantly changed commercial activities. 

When will the new rules affect your company?
The potential changes are likely to affect companies once losses to be carried forward exceed £5m (total allowance for a company or group). Losses affected by the changes are: trading losses (including the company’s share of partnership profits), non-trading loss relationship deficits, management expenses, UK property losses and non-trading losses on intangible fixed assets. Capital losses are excluded from this regime, and continue to be ring-fenced to be offset against future capital gains only. 

What is potentially changing?
Losses arising before 1 April 2017 unrelieved by 1 April 2017 will be offset against the maximum of 50% of income from the same trade. 

Losses arising after 1 April 2017 will be offset against the maximum of 50% total income (not necessarily from the same trade as that which gave rise to the loss) of the company or the group. The changes apply only if the amount of losses c/f exceeds 5m. 

Impact on companies

Start-ups and small companies 
Due to the £5m threshold a significant majority of SMEs will remain unaffected.

Medium and large companies
Bigger companies with profits exceeding £5m will still benefit from full carry forward loss relief, but the benefit of the loss will be spread over more accounting periods before the whole loss is fully relieved. 

Anti-avoidance
Anti-avoidance rules are expected to be put in place alongside the legislation, for example to prevent companies from accelerating profits or shifting profits into companies with carried forward losses arising before 1 April 2017 to accelerate carried forward loss use. 

Change of ownership
The extent to which a group should be able to benefit from acquired carried forward losses arising after 1 April 2017 may be restricted to profits of the same trade, despite the greater flexibility of the new rules introduced. The lost benefit of losses on cessation is also expected to be unchanged. 

Calculation 
Step 1: Calculate the amount of profit to which the restriction applies

  1. Calculate total profits for the year, dividing them into trading and non-trading profits
  2. Calculate the proportion of each in total profit
  3. Calculate any relief available against total profits (for example, non-trading loan relationship deficits or current year group losses surrendered to the company)
  4. Apply the reliefs to trading and non-trading profit in the proportion calculated.
  5. Allow up to £5m of profit be relieved by carried forward losses (allowance per group)


Step 2: Allow up to 50% of remaining trading and non-trading profits to be relieved by brought forward losses of the company

  1. Establish Total Relevant Profit (50% of trading and non-trading profit available after Step 1)
  2. Use pre-April 2017 b/f trading and non-trading losses subject to streaming rules
  3. Use post-April 2017 b/f trading and non-trading losses if relevant profits still remain
  4. Any remaining Total Relevant Profits can be used to offset available management expenses, UK property losses and non-trading losses on intangible fixed assets that were unused during the previous accounting period.


Step 3: Allow post-April 2017 losses to be relieved against the profits of different activities and/or different companies within the group

  1. Offset any remaining Total Relevant Profit still available after Step 2 by carried-forward losses of any type that have been claimed from other companies in the group


To illustrate the changes, we have reproduced two of the simpler examples from HMRC’s consultation document, to show how the rulesare understood to apply.  

As more detail is expected in November, this guidance will be expanded at a later date, to demonstrate the more complex aspects of the new legislation.

Defining the role of the small business commissioner
SMEs should benefit from the introduction of a commissioner to champion their interests.

SMEs should benefit from the introduction of a commissioner to champion their interests. 

The role of the Small Business Commissioner was established by the Enterprise Act 2016 (the Act). The role is to support small businesses to resolve payment disputes and avoid future issues by encouraging a culture change in how businesses deal with each other. Their output is intended to be: 

  • to publish and provide general advice and information to small businesses, for example, related to dispute resolution and contract principles, including options for resolving disputes
  • to direct small businesses to appropriate services, such as relevant sector ombudsmen or regulators, existing independent advice services or, for business-to-business disputes, to approved alternative dispute resolution providers
  • to provide an in-house complaints handling function, in respect of payment issues between a small business supplier and a larger business.


The consultation is open until 7 December
. One of the key areas is making sure that the balance is right for small and large businesses while giving enough power to the Commissioner so the role has a purpose. 

The tax gap
HMRC has issued its annual Tax Gap report.

HMRC has issued its annual Tax Gap report. 

HMRC’s Tax Gap report says: 

‘The tax gap is the difference between the amount of tax due and the amount collected. It is impossible to collect every penny theoretically owed in tax, so a “tax gap” will always exist. For example, we cannot legally collect taxes from companies that owe tax and are insolvent. 

'We estimate the 2014 to 2015 tax gap was 6.5% of total tax and duties due to HMRC – a reduction from 6.9% in 2013 to 2014. This equates to £36 billion, after we deduct the money we secure through our compliance activities. This indicates that more than 93% of tax due was paid in the tax year 2014 to 2015.

'There is an overall downward trend from 8.3% in the tax year 2005 to 2006 to 6.5% in the tax year 2014 to 2015, although the tax gap has levelled out in recent years. 

'The tax gap estimate of £36 billion is £11 billion lower than it would have been if the percentage tax gap had remained at the 2005 to 2006 level of 8.3%.’

Getting to grips with money laundering
Ten things that a practitioner should know about money laundering.

Ten things that a practitioner should know about money laundering. 

The authoritative guidance by which accountants and their firms may be judged, ultimately, by disciplinary tribunals and the courts of law is issued by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB) and can be accessed here

1. What is a ‘money laundering offence’?
Any person will commit a money laundering offence if they deal, in any of the ways, with property that they know or suspect is the result of criminal conduct as committed either in the UK or elsewhere (provided it would amount to criminal conduct here). A person will also commit a money laundering offence if they attempt, conspire or incite a person to commit one of the offences, or aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission of any of them. 

2. What is ‘criminal property’? 
Property is defined as any sort of property, wherever it is situated, including money, all forms of property (real, personal and intangible) and things in action. Property is ‘criminal property’ if it constitutes or represents a person’s benefit from criminal conduct AND the alleged offender knows or suspects that it constitutes or represents such benefit. Examples of the offences that will be caught by AMLR are: 

  • tax evasion
  • theft
  • bribery
  • fraud
  • smuggling, including drug trafficking and illegal arms sales.

3. What are an accountant’s responsibilities under the law?

  • the duty to carry out client due diligence (CDD)
  • the duty to put in place in-house policies and procedures to guard against money laundering
  • the duty to report known or suspected involvement in money laundering
  • the responsibility to seek consent to act in respect of actual or possible involvement in money laundering activity
  • the duty not to ‘tip off’
  • the duty to report known or suspected involvement in the financing of terrorism


4. What is Client Due Diligence (CDD)?
Client due diligence (CDD) is the procedure whereby a practising accountant takes steps to identify a prospective client, the purpose of which is to ensure that accountants are able to comply with the dictum ‘Know your Client’ (KYC). Accountants should not only know who their clients are but should also understand the motives of the client and the nature of his business. CDD checks are made expressly subject to the assessment of risk. What this ‘risk-based approach’ means is that firms are expected to weigh up the perceived risk of dealing with particular clients. Based on this assessment they should determine the extent of information that is needed in order to enable them to satisfy themselves about the identity of the client concerned (and, indeed, in deciding whether or not they wish to act for that client at all).   

5. Which clients are considered ‘high-risk’ for the purpose of AML? 
There are two specific types of ‘high-risk’ situation where the AML actually require accountants to carry out ‘enhanced’ due diligence: 

  • where the new client has not been physically present for identification purposes
  • where the new client is a ‘politically exposed person’ (PEP) – a PEP is someone who is or has in the last year exercised a prominent public function in a foreign country, an EU institution or an international body, or a family member or known close associate of such a person.

6. Can I place reliance on CDD carried out by others?
The Regulations say that you are not obliged to undertake all the CDD work yourself, and that you may seek to rely on the CDD checks that have been carried out by another person, such as, for example, the new client’s previous accountant. Any decision on whether to seek to rely on someone else’s CDD work is your own to make, but you should remember that, if you do place reliance in this way, you will remain liable under the Regulations for any failure to comply with the CDD requirements. Reliance can only be made on certain classes of person, namely those that are covered by regulation 17 and Schedule 3 of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. 

7. How long CDD records should be kept? 
CDD records must be retained for a minimum of five years from the end of the business relationship or the date of any occasional transaction which might have been carried out. 

8. What are an accountancy firm’s compliance responsibilities?
Firms are required to implement in-house systems and controls to ensure that Money Laundering is prevented as far as possible. These should include:  

  • the appointment of a Money Laundering Reporting Officer
  • the adoption of detailed policies and procedures for complying with the Regulations
  • relevant employees of firms must be given regular training to ensure awareness of the law and ability to recognise suspicious transactions.


9. When should a report to National Crime Agency (NCA) be made?
Accountants in practice must report to NCA as soon as possible if: 

  • they know or suspect that someone is engaged in ML or TF; and
  • the information has come to them in the course of their business; and
  • they can identify or assist in identifying the person or people under suspicion.


Suspicion may fall short of actual knowledge, but is more than a vague hunch. 

There is no threshold of materiality for either the nature of the criminal activity or the amount of the associated proceeds. Reporting a suspicious activity to NCA does not in itself prevent an accountant from continuing to provide services to the client who is the subject of the report. Accountants are not obliged to report if they have a reasonable excuse for not doing so (this might involve a threat of violence) or professional legal privilege applies.

10. What is ‘tipping off’? 
An accountant in a practising firm must not: 

  • disclose that a disclosure has been made of information obtained in the course of the practice either to an MLRO or to NCA, where the disclosure is likely to prejudice any investigation that might be conducted following the disclosure referred to
  • disclose that an investigation into allegations that a money laundering offence (which came to light in the course of the accountancy practice) has been committed, is being contemplated or is being carried out, and the disclosure is likely to prejudice that investigation.


An offence will not be committed if the person making the disclosure does not know or suspect that it is likely to prejudice any resulting investigation. There are a number of exceptions as follows:

  • if the disclosure is made to a member of the same firm
  • if the disclosure is made to another relevant professional adviser or to an ‘independent legal professional’ where both are based in the UK (or another EAA state or a state imposing equivalent AML requirements)
  • if the disclosure is made to a ‘money laundering supervisory authority’ under the Money Laundering Regulations  or for the purpose of detecting, investigating or prosecuting a criminal offence in the UK or elsewhere
  • if the disclosure is made to the client for the purpose of dissuading the client from engaging in conduct amounting to an offence.


Further guidance and future developments 
Further guidance on anti-money laundering for accountancy sector can be found on ACCA website, on Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) website, National Crime Agency (NCA) website and HM Treasury website 

As previously highlighted, on 1 September 2016 NCA issued changes to the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) glossary codes and clarification of reporting routes, which set out new requirements that all under the reporting regime must adopt. 

Enterprise Finance Guarantee
Facilitating lending to the UK’s smaller businesses.

Facilitating lending to the UK’s smaller businesses. 

Since its launch in 2009, the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) has supported the provision of £2.7bn of finance to more than 26,000 smaller businesses in the UK (as at October 2016). 

EFG facilitates lending to smaller businesses that are viable but unable to obtain finance from their lender due to having insufficient security to meet the lender’s normal security requirements. 

In this situation, EFG provides the lender with a government-backed 75% guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes'. 

EFG is managed by British Business Financial Services Limited on behalf of its sponsoring department, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 

How does EFG work?
The British Business Bank has launched a new video which explains how EFG works and outlines why this is such an important option for smaller businesses that need finance in order to grow. 

Working with business advisers and practitioners
The British Business Bank is partnering with stakeholders such as ACCA to raise awareness of EFG, with the aim of helping smaller businesses that may have inadequate security to meet a lender’s normal requirements but have a robust business plan and a sound borrowing proposal. 

Raising awareness through advisers and Member Practitioners will help to ensure viable businesses know to enquire if they are eligible for an EFG-backed facility and how to apply. 

EFG: The facts
EFG supports a wide range of business finance products, including:

  • Term loans
  • Revolving facilities, such as overdrafts
  • Invoice finance facilities
  • Asset finance facilities.


To be eligible for support via EFG, the small business must:

  • be UK based, with turnover of no more than £41 million per annum
  • operate within an eligible industrial sector (a small number of industrial sectors are not eligible for support)
  • have a sound borrowing proposal and robust business plan, but inadequate security to meet a lender’s normal requirements
  • be able to confirm that they have not received other public support or state aid beyond euro 200,000 equivalent over the previous three years


EFG guarantees loans to fund the future growth or expansion of a business, from £1,000 to £1.2 million. 

Finance terms are from three months up to 10 years for term loans and asset finance and up to three years for revolving facilities and invoice finance. 

Note: A limited number of further eligibility restrictions apply. 

How does a small business apply for an EFG-supported borrowing facility? 
It’s simple to apply and should take no longer than a standard loan application. 

Any small business interested in EFG should, in the first instance, approach one of the 40+ EFG accredited lenders with their borrowing proposal. 
If the EFG lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of EFG, they will do so. Where the small business has a sound borrowing proposal but has no (or inadequate) security, the lender will consider the small business for support via EFG. 

Decision-making on whether a small business is eligible for EFG is fully delegated to the 40+ accredited EFG lenders. These lenders range from high-street banks, to challenger banks, to asset based lenders, through to smaller specialist local lenders.  

Full details on EFG eligibility criteria and a list of participating EFG lenders


Please note:

  • As with any other commercial transaction, the borrower is always responsible for repayment of the full value of any facility supported by EFG
  • The EFG guarantee is to the lender and not the small business
  • All small businesses supported via EFG are required to pay a 2% annual fee to the government, as a contribution towards the cost of the scheme
  • This fee is payable on a quarterly basis and is collected by direct debit, directly from the small business’s bank account


The British Business Bank 
The British Business Bank is a government-owned business development bank which aims to ensure that finance markets work effectively for smaller businesses, enabling them to grow, prosper and build UK economic activity. Using research, expertise and government money, the British Business Bank designs and delivers programmes that benefit start-ups, high growth, or simply viable but underfunded smaller businesses. 

The British Business Bank operates through a number of subsidiaries. Neither British Business Bank plc nor its wholly owned subsidiary, British Business Financial Services Limited, is authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). British Business Bank plc and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such.

Budget IPT rate rise announcement
The standard rate increased to 10% from 9.5% on 1 October 2016.

The standard rate increased to 10% from 9.5% on 1 October 2016. 

In his budget the Chancellor increased insurance premium tax (IPT) from 9.5% to 10%. This is the second IPT rise in under a year following the increase from 6% to 9.5% in November 2015. The justification for the rise is that it will be used to help fund flood defences. 

The UK rate is still below the European average. The new rate applies to policies starting from 1 October 2016. 

To prevent the use of artificial arrangements to avoid the IPT increase HMRC has anti-avoidance rules in place which you need to be aware of. 

Speak to your usual Lockton contact to discuss the implications for your business. We can help you: 

  • review your insurance programmes to ensure that they remain efficient and appropriate for your business; and
  • comply with HMRC’s IPT anti-avoidance rules.


How the rate rise will work
Transitional arrangements will apply for this change in the rate of tax. Almost all insurers use the special accounting scheme where there is a ‘transitional period’ which this time started on 1 October 2016 and ends on 1 February 2017. 

During this period, 9.5% tax will apply to taxable premiums received under contracts in which the insurance became operative before 1 October, provided that the premium is written in the insurer's books before 1 February 2017. 

The new rate of tax will apply to all taxable premiums received under contracts with an inception date on or after 1 October 2016. All taxable premiums, regardless of the inception date, that are written by insurers after 1 February 2017 will be subject to the new 10% rate. 

Additional premiums
If there is an additional premium added to an existing policy, IPT will be due at the old rate of 9.5% provided the policy started before 1 October 2016 and it is reported to the insurer by 1 February 2017. 

This will only apply where the additional premium is not considered a 'new risk' that would normally be the subject of a new policy. In such cases, IPT will be due at the new rate regardless of whether the additional premium is reported before 1 February 2017. 

Anti-forestalling/anti-avoidance provisions
There are anti-avoidance measures in place to limit the opportunities to avoid paying tax at the new rates. These include pre-payments in circumstances where it is not ‘normal practice’ for the insurer to create a tax point before the contract cover begins. 

For example: 

  • they prevent new risks which would normally be the subject of a new policy being added to existing contracts and so benefiting from the old tax rate rather than the new rate
  • unless it is normal practice to write policies of more than 12 months, they require that policies longer than 12 months be apportioned so that the cover 12 months after the rate change is at the new rate.


Refunds of premiums
If any adjustment to a taxable insurance policy results in a refund, a refund of IPT will also be due, and the insurer should repay the overpaid tax at the original rate charged to the customer and accounted for to HMRC, not at the new rate of tax. 

Premium paid on a monthly basis
If the premium is written by the insurer as a single amount at inception of the contract then tax will all be at the original rate even if the option of payment by instalments is offered. Where the monthly premiums are treated as separate contracts then the new 10% rate will be due on payments after 1 February 2017.

Lockton Companies LLP. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. A Lloyd’s broker. www.lockton.com

Lockton Companies LLP is ACCA’s recommended broker for Professional Indemnity insurance. For information, please contact Lockton on 0117 906 5057.

 

Suspicious activity reports
Guidance on submitting better quality Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).

Guidance on submitting better quality Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs). 

This document aims to provide all reporters with guidance on how to submit better quality SARs to the NCA. It should be read in conjunction with guidance found on the NCA website (from the home page navigate to About us/What we do/Economic Crime Command/UK Financial Intelligence Unit.

NEWS
2017 UK/Irish practising certificate renewals
You can renew your practising certificate online now.

You can renew your practising certificate online now.  

The 2017 renewal process is now underway. Members who hold practising certificates valid in the UK or Ireland can renew them online now.   

How to renew online

For individuals
To renew online, simply log into your myACCA account – you will need your ACCA membership number and passcode to access this service.  If you do not have your passcode you can request help   

For firms
Firms’ renewals can also be submitted online. If you are the nominated contact partner/director you can renew by logging into myACCA using your firm’s ACCA reference number and passcode. This will be different from your own passcode. If you do not have your firm’s passcode you can request help   

How to pay
Submitting online is the easiest and most effective way of providing your renewal and payment information securely, and ensuring you hold a valid certificate from 1 January 2017. You can provide your credit/debit card details when completing your online renewal or you can select the ‘invoice’ option and we will send you an invoice for the fee once your renewal has been fully processed. Please ensure your payment is submitted no later than 31 December 2016.  

If you fail to submit your renewal, or pay an invoice raised in respect of a renewal, by 31 December 2016, you will be subject to a late renewal submission penalty fee of £65.00 in addition to the standard renewal fee and may become liable to disciplinary action. 

Please don’t leave your renewal until the last minute – you can submit online now. 

Further information
Before submitting your renewal online please read the guidance on our website   

If you require any assistance with your renewals please contact Authorisation via email or 0141 534 4175.

IFAC Global SMP Survey 2016
Help IFAC understand the challenges and opportunities faced by SMPs and SMEs.

This survey is designed to be completed by senior professionals of small- and medium-sized practices (SMPs), whose clients are predominately small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs). It is intended to take a snapshot of key issues, and track important trends and developments, facing this sector. The survey helps IFAC and its members gain an understanding of the specific challenges and opportunities faced by SMPs and SMEs globally, and as a result, better serve this critical constituency. 

In 2015, you helped us collect over 6,700 responses, our largest response yet (see 2015 summary and report). As an individual working in practice, your input is very important to IFAC for monitoring the global developments affecting SMPs. This year the survey includes new questions on staffing and personnel issues, technology, as well as key practice benchmarking indicators. 

The survey contains 11 primary questions, as well as 5 demographic questions. It should take about 10 minutes to complete. At the end of the survey, please provide your name and email address to be notified of the results. Please note that all individual responses are confidential and will not be attributed to you.

 

 

Professional conduct in relation to taxation
The PCRT bodies are expected to issue revised professional conduct in relation to taxation guidance in November.

The PCRT bodies - ACCA , Association of Accounting Technicians, Association of Taxation Technicians, Chartered Institute of Taxation, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners - are expected to issue revised professional conduct in relation to taxation guidance in November. 

When issued it will be available on our website and will replace Technical Factsheet 166 and is part of a regular update which incorporates legislative changes, case law and current views on conduct.

CPD
Implementing value pricing
ACCA event could help you implement value pricing.

How to implement value pricing in your practice

15 November (18:00-20:00)
Sheffield
2 CPD Units | Free

Special promotion from Accountingcpd.net

Choose from 10%off, Pick n Mix and Pick n Mix Bundles. 


Accountingcpd.net promotional codes offers on all courses


Choose from 10%off, Pick n Mix and Pick n Mix Bundles - these offers are too good to miss. ACPD has an array of courses and bundles tailored to meet your development needs. Browse the selection of ACCA members’ only offers and get started on your future today. 

CPD skills webinars
Brush up on key skills in these free webinars.

CPD skills webinars 

Join us for an exciting series of free webinars. Highly informative and packed with useful skills our innovative new programme of CPD skills webinars aims to provide you with a flexible and bite-sized approach to develop your expertise, enhance your employability for the future and gain free verifiable CPD,

CAREERS
Alternative forms of finance
New factsheet will help businesses find finance.

New factsheet will help businesses find finance. 

Technical factsheet: Alternative Forms of Finance has been issued. It provides guidance on the alternative forms of finance available to businesses. 

The free factsheet will consider the most prominent sources of alternative finance, their main features and the amounts that can be obtained. We then look at the process of accessing the funding, fees and terms, and the application and listing process. 

Online platforms now give companies alternative sources of term lending, short-term finance against outstanding invoices, and equity funding by making offers directly to the general public. We consider how these newer sources of finance are giving business owners greater choice and flexibility than more traditional fundraising exercises, and explain how they differ from conventional products such as bank loans, overdrafts and factoring facilities. 

Finally, we look at the options open to investors using these alternative forms of finance and how supply chain finance, a form of the more traditional receivables finance, can provide working capital to smaller companies. 

Download Technical factsheet: Alternative Forms of Finance now.

Employment law factsheets
Suite of employment law factsheets refreshed.

Our employment factsheets and model contract and checklist have been updated. 

The suite of employment law factsheets, modal contract, terms and policy have been fully updated for legislative changes and case law. The factsheets are updated twice a year and look at the employment issues that may arise. 

The factsheets are free to members and comprise: 

  • Contract of employment (with a modal contract, statement of terms and computer use policy)
  • Probationary employee
  • Working time
  • Age discrimination
  • Dealing with sickness
  • Managing performance
  • Disciplinary and dismissal procedures
  • Unlawful discrimination
  • Redundancy
  • Settlement offers
  • Family friendly rights.
Building a better practice
Sign up now for one of three technical webinars to benefit your practice.

We will be holding three technical webinars in November, all designed to help practices grow. Register now to watch live, or on demand at a time that suits you.

The webinars will cover:

  • top 10 things to come out of monitoring visits
  • building a better practice
  • preparing for success - the path to partnership



Technical webinar - Top 10 things to come out of monitoring visits
Hosted by ACCA's Audit Compliance Team
8 November  10.00-11.00
CPD units: 1 

BOOK NOW


ACCA is required to undertake a comprehensive programme of monitoring visits to firms. This work is undertaken by ACCA’s Monitoring department and is designed to examine compliance with auditing standards, ACCA’s Global Practising Regulations (GPRs) and the Code of Ethics and Conduct. ACCA uses risk factors to determine whether a firm should be visited within the normal cycle of every six years, or earlier. Risk factors taken into account include the outcome of the previous visit and the number and types of audit clients. In some cases firms that hold auditing or investment business certificates but who do not undertake any regulated work may be subject to desktop monitoring instead of monitoring visits. This may also apply to firms that do not hold certificates but have principals who are ACCA members. Last year ACCA carried out monitoring visits to over 500 firms in the UK holding audit registration. In this webinar, Rob will discuss the top 10 issues emerging from monitoring visits.

Speaker: Rob Mukherjee FCCA, Compliance Manager at ACCA – Rob is a Compliance Manager within ACCA's Audit Monitoring department. He joined ACCA 13 years ago and oversees a team of compliance officers. 

Technical webinar: building a better practice

15 November 10.00-11.00
CPD units: 1 

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Many practices fail to take control of their business and allow their clients and staff to dictate the direction that the business will take. In this webinar, Val will discuss what it means to be a captain of your ship and plan where you want to be in the future. She will also discuss the key factors in managing your practice – how to solve lock-up, billing, debt collection, cost management and staff management.

Speaker: Val Steward FCCA - For over 20 years Val has worked with accountancy practices, helping them to develop their businesses and remain compliant. She is the author and co-author of a number of technical guides and work programmes including the CCH Industry Audit and Accounting Guide on Clubs and Associations, and the Practice Society Anti-Money Laundering Procedures and Training Manual. She enjoys helping firms to develop, advising on training and staffing policy and all aspects of practice management. She also lectures widely on auditing, management skills and assurance services. 

Preparing for success – the path to partnership 

30 November 12.30-13.30
CPD units: 1 

BOOK NOW 

We all need a plan – both for ourselves and for our businesses. For the lucky few, success lands in their lap, but for most of us, we are more likely to succeed if we plan a long term pathway for the career we want. Smart employers are also preparing for the long term success of their business through succession planning – yet only 37% of accounting firms have a formal succession plan in place (Crowe Howarth, 2015). In this webinar, Tara Aldwin will share her experiences of her own pathway to partnership at Foxley Kingham. Tara will explore all the practicalities – planning, objectives, finances, operations and timescales – that needed to be thought through for Foxley Kingham’s succession planning, and how this dovetailed with her own plan for success.

Speaker: Tara Aldwin, Director, Foxley Kingham Chartered Accountants - having started her career in a similar firm, Tara qualified with a large PLC and then joined Foxley Kingham as an Audit Senior in 1999. Tara became a Director in 2010.