News in brief.

Gas company BOC Edwards has warned it cannot rule out the possibility of job losses among its finance staff, after announcing it would be axing 150 of its workforce in the UK. A spokeswoman for BOC Edwards, the semiconductor business of BOC, said: ‘It is early days and we are still in consultation to decide exactly who and where the jobs will go. We haven’t decided at what level the jobs will go, but we cannot rule out cuts in the finance department.’

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– Tenon, the publicly quoted accountancy firm, claimed this week that Gordon Brown could get a 3p cut in excise duty on fuel by imposing a 20% tax surcharge on North Sea oil.The claim, from the firm’s head of economics, Maurice Fitzpatrick, came as controversy raged over speculation that the chancellor would introduce a windfall tax on oil company profits.Oil companies responded by threatening to cut investment if a levy was brought in.

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– Internal auditors with three to five years’ experience earn up to #30,000 a year, according to this year’s Institute of Internal Auditors employment survey. And 13% earn between #50,000 and #60,000 while 5% earn up to #70,000. The highest stated salary was #130,000, with the highest overall package at #215,000. Communication skills are the most important attribute required by internal auditors, according to a separate IIA paper. The next most desirable attribute in new recruits was experience of internal audit, with 39 respondents opting for this.

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– A North London man is to appear before Bow Street magistrates today with the the former chief executive of collapsed trade finance company Versailles, Carl Cushnie, and former finance director, Frederick Clough. John Black, 67, of Kenerne Drive, Barnet, has been charged by the Serious Fraud Office with assisting another to retain the benefit of criminal conduct and concealing or transferring another person’s proceeds of criminal conduct.

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– The government is to advertise for a new chairman of the Audit Commission in readiness for the departure of Dame Helena Shovelton (left), who stands down in November.Nick Raynsford, minister for local government, announced the search by heaping praise on Dame Helena and her term at the commission. Last year she resigned as chairman of the Lottery Commission following controversy over the rewarding of the franchise to Camelot.

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– International competitors taking part in this year’s America’s Cup Jubilee off the Isle of Wight could save millions of pounds by reclaiming VAT on expenses. Blick Rothenberg, the London-based accountants for the 150-year-old event, said it was encouraging participating companies, which are based outside the EU, to reclaim VAT. For more information

– Staff at Independent Insurance have been given #1,000 bonuses to stay with the collapsed insurer, it has emerged. A leaked memo signed by liquidator and PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Dan Schwarzmann reveals details of the payment, believed to have been paid to all remaining staff. Independent appointed liquidators from PwC in June following its decision to suspend the writing of new business. Concerns over the state of the insurer arose in May when external actuaries from Watson Wyatt found large claims had not been entered into the insurer’s accounting system. More details at

– Mid-tier firm Baker Tilly is to launch a service aimed at independent film producers. The firm will this month launch its ‘premier producer’ service complete with advice on financing commercial films. ‘Having a good script isn’t enough these days – getting your film finances successfully in place is fundamental,’ said Harry Hicks, Baker Tilly Media group executive producer. Baker Tilly merges with Harris Walters

– PricewaterhouseCoopers has praised the Accounting Standards Board for its open approach to the debate on the development of a UK standard on revenue recognition. No standard exists in the UK and it is believed this has given way to a growing trend in the UK to overstate company accounts.Peter Holgate, senior technical partner at PwC, said: ‘We particularly welcome the ASB’s open approach of not only inviting comments on the proposals but also requesting examples of particular problems of revenue recognition.’ Watchdog blasts aggressive accounting

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