News in brief.

John Wiggins, a UK member of the European Court of Auditors, has downplayed allegations of widespread fraud in the commission. Writing exclusively for Accountancy Age this week Wiggins said: ‘Year after year we find high levels of errors in payments financed by the EU. But relatively few are made in Brussels, or can be described as fraud.’ He went on to say that often it is in regional and local authorities within the European Union that errors occur mostly due to the complexity of EU rules.

To read Wiggins’ column in full turn to page 15

– The Inland Revenue said last week that between 6 April and 30 September this year 41,395 returns has been successfully received over the internet. This figure at the halfway point in the year for tax returns due on 31/1/02 already exceeds the number sent over the internet for the whole of last year.

For more on self-assessment see page 4

– Vijay and Biku Patel of prescription medicine supplier Waymade Healthcare have won Ernst & Young’s UK Entrepreneur of the Year award. EasyJet chief Stelios Haji-Ioannou won young entrepreneur of the year award and Carphone Warehouse’s Charles Dunstone walked off with the consumer services entrepreneur award.

More on this story at

– Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries has announced the resignation of group finance director Jim Taylor after just a month on the job. In a statement the company said Taylor, a former director of corporate finance at PricewaterhouseCoopers, had resigned for ‘personal reasons’ and had left the board with ‘immediate effect’.

More on this story can be found at

– Salary increases for the services sector, including accounting firms and financial advisers, have fallen for the last three months of the year, according to the Confederation of British Industry (left). The CBI’s databank survey found pay awards within the sector increased by just 3.7% for the three months to September, compared with 4.1% in the three months to June, and 3.9% a year ago. Pay awards were kept low in the service sector because of low profits and an inability to increase prices.

More on this story can be found at

– The registration of auditors with the chartered institutes has dropped significantly over the past year. Figures reveal 8,282 auditors registered this year against 8,626 in 2000. The ICAEW alone has seen its registrations fall from 7,061 last year to 6,759 in 2001.The statistics follow news last week that public sector accountancy body CIPFA is attempting to become a recognised qualifying body for auditors. CIPFA believes its members would have particular skills as auditors when dealing with the growing number of public-private partnerships.

For more on CIPFA and audit go to 1125412

– Saffery Champness has moved into a new central London office ‘to accommodate the continuing growth of the practice’. The firm has taken on a 15-year lease in Red Lion Street, WC1 after it was sourced by mid-town specialists, Farebrother Chartered Surveyors. Clive Nicholson, Saffery Champness’ managing partner, said: ‘Lion House will provide us with about 10,000 square feet of expansion space to accommodate future growth.’

For more information on the firm go to

– Profit warnings for September and the first week of October were up more than 200% on last year, according to information from the London Stock Exchange. A total of 108 warnings were issued compared with just 32 a year ago. In the first week of October, the difference was staggering with 35 companies expecting results to fall below expected levels, compared with five last year.

For more on this story go to

– The Centre for Business Performance at the ICAEW has published a report on how UK companies should report on key intangibles, market-based assets and brand equity. Market Metrics – What Shall We Tell The Shareholders? analyses the information currently within financial reports on marketing and brand equity and puts forward best practice recommendations for disclosure in the future.

Click on for more information

– Seats are selling out fast for this year’s Accountancy Age Awards for Excellence. To be part of the celebrations at London’s Natural History Museum on 7 November call 0207 316 9762 or 0207 316 9251 or email A single seat costs #140 or table for ten costs #1,350.

For more information go to

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