Financial Power List 2019: 16-20 revealed

Financial Power List 2019: 16-20 revealed

Our Financial Power List 2019 ranks the 50 individuals who we believe will make the biggest difference to the accountancy industry over the next 12 months

Compiled by the Accountancy Age editorial team, the Financial Power List 2019 ranks the 50 individuals who we believe will make the biggest difference in the accountancy industry over the next 12 months.  Individuals considered for the list span government, practice and business. Their status or role does not guarantee their position in this ranking, but rather we have chosen individuals who we think will have an impact in one way or another based on what changes they are predicted to spearhead, whether that be in government policy, tax changes, regulation, firm growth, or industry diversity.

Make sure you check back to view the full rankings, which will be released on 15 February, with five individuals announced every day between now and then.

Here, we reveal the individuals who have made positions 16-20 on this year’s list.

20. Jim Harra, Second Permanent Secretary, HMRC Deputy Chief Executive 

Harra has been a key figure in Brexit preparations for customs, ensuring that HMRC is ready in case of a no-deal Brexit. He has also been instrumental in Making Tax Digital preparations, which goes live in a matter of months.

Key to HMRC’s plans to turn the UK into one of the most advanced tax collecting nations in the world, Harra will be poised to make an important contribution as the UK aims to remain competitive and open for business post-Brexit.

This will be balanced with the deepening pressure to collect revenue from companies such as international digital giants.

 

19. Michael Izza, CEO, ICAEW

A trusted and respected voice in the industry, Izza’s guidance in a year of substantial change for the industry will be critical. He has been in the chief executive role at ICAEW since 2006, and has been key to its increased prominence and international relevance.

Often acting as a spokesman for the accounting industry, his regularly meets ministers and regulators globally to facilitate ICAEW’s activity and is a regular media commentator on issues facing the profession and business community internationally.

18. Andrew Tyrie, Chair, Competitions and Markets Authority

Some doubted that any robust reform would arise from the Competitions and Market Authority’s audit review. Yet many proposals, from a market cap to the idea of joint audits, were both imaginative and far-reaching.

CMA chairman Tyrie has acted swiftly and decisively, and this will be an important year for him as he seeks to satisfy all stakeholders – including the general public, who are increasingly clamouring for change.

In the year of Brexit, competition regulation which previously fell to Brussels will now go back to the CMA, including the supervision of mergers and acquisitions. The challenge is on to make Britain a competitive place to do business. To that end the CMA has had a budget uplift and increased staff, signs of its greater importance in a post-Brexit UK.

 

17. John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor

Throughout 2018, Labour’s Chancellor has carried out a balancing act. Critical of the government’s handling of Brexit while keen to appease Leave voters, former Marxist McDonnell has attempted to reassure the City that measures such as capital controls would not be introduced should Labour win a snap general election.

What does seem likely should Labour gain power is greater regulatory control. McDonnell has voiced his support for breaking up the Big Four, meaning those in the accounting world will watch with interest to see if McDonnell takes up residence in 11 Downing Street this year.

 

16. Derek MacKay, Scottish Finance Minister

Mackay has set himself apart from England’s Chancellor Phillip Hammond since he was appointed in 2016, creating new bands of income tax in 2018 which saw higher earners pay more.

Although some critics warned this could impede investment north of the border, Mackay points to economic growth in Scotland as evidence that the Scottish National Party is not hostile to business.

His budget in December 2018 saw below inflation increases in business rates and a freeze on the threshold for higher-rate income tax at £43,430, putting the nation at odds with England. Further growth has been predicted for Scotland’s economy this year, though the impact of Brexit has yet to be determined. Whatever happens, it seems indisputable that Scotland’s Finance Minister will play a key role.

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