Monthly news roundup with Lucy Skoulding

Monthly news roundup with Lucy Skoulding

Accountancy Age's Lucy Skoulding provides a roundup of all the key new stories in the accountancy industry from the month of July

Every month Accountancy Age are bringing you the top stories that have impacted the accounting industry, so make sure you tune in to keep up to date with everything that’s going on.

BT Group’s accounting error was big news. The telecoms giant underestimated their pension deficit by five hundred million pounds due to human error by the group’s independent actuary, Willis Towers Watson. KPMG took over from PwC as its auditor last year after the FRC found out that BT Italia had been overstating its earnings for a number of years.

In other audit news, KPMG was investigated for its Conviviality audit and the firm’s South Africa business lost yet more clients as a result of its recent audit scandals surrounding the Gupta family. PwC was also ordered to pay six hundred and twenty five point three million dollars following its failure to detect two billion dollars of fraud at Alabama’s Colonial Bank. All in all, the FRC has had a busy year, with research from Thomson Reuters showing its fines have increased by 24% on last year.

Big Four firms also won some high-profile insolvency cases last month. Deloitte will manage Gaucho’s administration, which may see hundreds of jobs at risk depending on whether the restaurant group finds a buyer. EY is also poised to administer the potential collapse of high street giant House of Fraser, as their seventy million pound investment promise from the Chinese owner of Hamleys toy shop fell through last minute.

In accountancy careers, technology was a major focus of our discussions this month. A report by The Association found three fifths of businesses believe whole sections of their operations could be automated within the next five years, but 8 million workers have not participated in any workplace learning in the past year. There is a skills gap growing in the UK and businesses need to fix this or risk falling behind. In addition, EY expanded their blockchain strategy through a cryptocurrency acquisition and, as the IFRS 16 deadline approaches, we shared tips on how to be ready for January 2019.

On the lifestyle side, we heard from partner Rachel Nutt at MHA Macintyre Hudson for our new Day in the Life series and we celebrated London Pride by looking at Pride in the workplace and interviewing head of the LGBT network at KPMG. The Women Count 2018 report revealed there has been no progress on gender parity among FTSE 350 businesses in the last three years, so businesses will be expected to address this.

In movers and shakers, we saw PwC appoint 54 new equity partners and its rival EY make 71 new equity partner appointments as part of its path to growth. Blick Rothenberg acquired Westleton Drake and CogitalGroup also secured the acquisition of top 20 firm Wilkins Kennedy.

As we navigate another busy month ahead Accountancy Age is gearing up to release this year’s Top 50+50 Rankings. Data is rolling in and we will be closing the survey for submissions this Friday, ready to release the results in September. We are also preparing for the annual British Accountancy Awards, which this year is being held in London’s Grosvenor House. We’ll be celebrating the best of the best in the accountancy profession so make sure you head to our website to watch our interviews with last year’s winners.

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