PracticePeople In PracticeNews in Brief – 10 June

News in Brief - 10 June

Buchler Phillips sells for £12.4m

Buchler Phillips, the financial recovery and restructuring specialist, has been acquired by Kroll-O’Gara, the US risk mitigation firm, for around £12.4m. In 1997, the two firms set up Buchler Phillips Lindquist Avey as an independent forensic accounting practice. Buchler Phillips has 13 partners and 150 staff in the UK, and overseas affiliates in countries including Hong Kong and New Zealand. Kroll-O’Gara has a market capitalisation of $500m.

MDPs get US green light The American Bar Association was expected to recommend a major change in its ethics rules as Accountancy Age went to press that would to allow lawyers and accountants to share fees for the first time. Sources commenting on the report on multidisciplinary practices by ABA president Philip Anderson said it would mark a fundamental shift in attitude that could provide a green light for similar changes in the UK.

Revenue sets new targets More than 100,000 business taxpayers and 77,800 companies will be subject to tax enquiries if the Inland Revenue achieves its performance targets for the 1999/2000 tax year. As well as aiming to achieve efficiencies worth £91m, the targets, published last week, show an increase on previous years.

National Savings told to hire more accountants National Savings has been told to employ more qualified accountants to ensure there is no repeat of financial reporting failures which left it £4.6m short of the assets it needed to meet its liability to investors. The Commons Public Accounts Committee criticised the government agency for having a standard of financial accounting which ‘fell some way short of what would be expected in a commercial bank’.

CIPFA council election result CIPFA’s annual elections saw 21 members appointed to its institute council this week in the areas of local government, health, audit and other sectors.

The Audit Commission’s Chris Hurford received the most votes, with 2,783. Some 4,301 members voted in the elections.

/b> Companies have until 6 July to meet Inland Revenue rules over tax-free ‘golden handshakes’ for employees. The rules, for benefits such as company cars, require employers to notify the Revenue of employee benefits and payments made in the tax year ended 5 April 1999. The tax rules for employee benefits have changed over the last few years, but Andrew Burgess, tax partner at Mazars Neville Russell, said it may still be possible for companies to make tax-free payments of up to £30,000 to employees about to retire or change jobs.

PwC leads in charity audit PricewaterhouseCoopers has overtaken Binder Hamlyn as the leading charity auditor, according to a survey of 3,000 UK charities. The survey, produced by publisher CaritasData, found PwC audited 239 charities with a total income of £2.1bn, ahead of KPMG with 179 clients and a combined income of £1.3bn. Binder Hamlyn, last year’s number-one auditor, slipped to fourth in the league table. Among the mid-tier firms, Horwath Clark Whitehill and Buzzacott expanded fastest, with net gains of 23 and 17 clients respectively.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has acquired the French-based consulting organisation SV&GM Group and its software publishing subsidiary Cartesis. SV&GM Group has 400 staff, including 250 management consultants, and revenues of Fr275m (£26.9m).

Joint scheme for receivers The Insolvency Practitioners’ Association and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have launched a joint licensing and regulatory scheme for fixed-charge receivers in the property field. The voluntary scheme will regulate receivers who work in real property, which is not regulated under the 1986 Insolvency Act. A ‘grandfathering’ period will allow experienced practitioners to be licensed before December 2000. From 2001, admission will be by examination.

PwC leads in charity audit PricewaterhouseCoopers has overtaken Binder Hamlyn as the leading charity auditor, according to a survey of 3,000 UK charities. The survey, produced by publisher CaritasData, found PwC audited 239 charities with a total income of £2.1bn, ahead of KPMG with 179 clients and a combined income of £1.3bn. Binder Hamlyn, last year’s number-one auditor, slipped to fourth in the league table. Among the mid-tier firms, Horwath Clark Whitehill and Buzzacott expanded fastest, with net gains of 23 and 17 clients respectively.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has acquired the French-based consulting organisation SV&GM Group and its software publishing subsidiary Cartesis. SV&GM Group has 400 staff, including 250 management consultants, and revenues of Fr275m (£26.9m).

Joint scheme for receivers The Insolvency Practitioners’ Association and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors have launched a joint licensing and regulatory scheme for fixed-charge receivers in the property field. The voluntary scheme will regulate receivers who work in real property, which is not regulated under the 1986 Insolvency Act. A ‘grandfathering’ period will allow experienced practitioners to be licensed before December 2000. From 2001, admission will be by examination.

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