PracticeAccounting FirmsTUC defends high street firms

TUC defends high street firms

The finance director of the Trades Union Congress has defended the reporting regime under which UK trade unions operate, after a leading forensic accountant criticised the use of 'high-street auditors'.

Link: Forensic accountant helps nail trade union

Mike Jones, financial director of the TUC, said trade unions in the UK already made use of a small base of accountants with specific experience in the sector and were subject to ‘stringent regulations’. He added: ‘The existing system works perfectly well.’

His comments came in response to suggestions by Kay Linell, the forensic accountant responsible for the first-ever prosecution of a UK trade union for reporting failures, that trade unions should only use auditors ‘preapproved by the certification office’, rather than be allowed to select an auditor ‘from the high street’.

But Jones rejected this suggestion saying: ‘If trade unions are forced to choose auditors from a preapproved list, then why aren’t businesses required to do the same.’

Currently all trade unions have to submit annual reports by a due date to the certification office, the body responsible for ensuring that trade unions and employers’ associations keep proper accounting records.

Linell, a partner at Morley & Scott and a certified fraud examiner, was appointed in September 1999 to investigate the financial affairs of the Hospitality Association of Northern Ireland. Her findings, that HANI had failed to keep proper accounting records and maintain a satisfactory system of controls of its accounting records, and a number of other complaints that she made, led to the successful prosecution of the employers’ association by the Belfast police.

HANI pleaded guilty to the charges and was forced to pay a fine of £500 plus costs of £5,000. In addition, it has also been forced to submit a revised annual return.

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Certification Officer said HANI would be prosecuted again if it failed to submit these documents.

A HANI representative declined to comment.

Related Articles

BDO’s global revenues pass $8bn

Accounting Firms BDO’s global revenues pass $8bn

4d Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Top 40 International Networks, Associations and Alliances: Finding growth amid uncertainty

Accounting Firms Top 40 International Networks, Associations and Alliances: Finding growth amid uncertainty

7d Philip Smith, Reporter
Top 40 International Networks, Associations and Alliances 2017: Big Four tussle for top spot

Accounting Firms Top 40 International Networks, Associations and Alliances 2017: Big Four tussle for top spot

1w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
BDO reports revenue growth of 5.7%

Accounting Firms BDO reports revenue growth of 5.7%

2w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Taylorcocks announces merger with Surrey firm

Accounting Firms Taylorcocks announces merger with Surrey firm

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Kingston Smith reports 7% gender pay gap

Accounting Firms Kingston Smith reports 7% gender pay gap

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
RSM announces two partner promotions

Accounting Firms RSM announces two partner promotions

3w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Backsourcing: The latest accountancy trend?

Accounting Firms Backsourcing: The latest accountancy trend?

1m Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman