The Big Question – FDs support LLPs

The government’s decision to introduce limited liability partnerships for accountancy firms has won the backing of finance directors.

This week’s Big Question, carried out by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel, found that 59% of FDs believed innocent partners in accountancy firms should be allowed to protect their assets by setting up LLPs. When asked earlier this year, just 51% of FDs backed LLPs.

Among the FDs who supported the introduction of limited liability, Roger Catto, of outsourcer Itnet, said: ‘The existing firms, particularly the Big Five, are already operating as neo-corporates.

They shouldn’t just enjoy the protections of a limited public corporation but also the obligations of openness and disclosure.’

A sizeable 25% of FDs, however, opposed the prospect of LLPs. ‘It is the essence of professionalism that individuals are responsible for their own performance. They should not be protected against incompetence,’ said George Sutherland, of the Edinburgh university.

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