MP calls for co-op accounting red tape removal

PROPOSALS to put smaller co-operatives’ accounting and auditing ‘on par’ with other companies has been put to Parliament.

Adrian Bailey MP has tabled a bill to highlight the difference between co-ops’ accounting, and that other types of organisation.

He is calling for:

  • The removal of the requirement for co-ops with a turnover of less than £5,000 to appoint lay auditors to scrutinise their accounts;
  • Increase the turnover threshold at which co-ops must apply full audit requirements, to £6.5m from £5.6m, putting them in line with other companies; and
  • Make the requirement on co-ops for an auditor’s report contingent on the amount of share capital raised by the co-op, rather than a turnover threshold

Bailey said in his speech to the house that the changes will give “further impetus” to the co-op business model, to help them achieve their “full potential”.

“I anticipate that these changes would benefit thousands of small co-operative societies around the country,” he said. The bill was supported in parliament, and will face its second reading in February 2017.

Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK, said that red tape held up smaller co-ops, and he was “delighted” Bailey had made the proposals.

“We look forward to seeing this bill move through parliament and, ultimately, make life easier for the thousands of small co-ops across the UK,” said Mayo.

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