PracticeConsultingAccountancyAge.com weekly news focus: Business

AccountancyAge.com weekly news focus: Business

Accountants are increasing their grip on British boardrooms. Technology giant Cisco is threatening to pull out of the UK if the government refuses to withdraw national insurance charges on share options.

A survey of the FTSE 100 last week found that the number of CEOs with finance qualifications has risen from under 10% in 1990 to 25% in 2000.

The results of the survey followed shortly on announcements of accountants taking top management roles at MG Cars and northern football clubs.

Despite their increasing influence, accountants are suffering from the curse of the long-hours culture among professional staff which seems to be taking a grip on the UK. This issue was discussed at an English ICA conference last week, which came after an Accountancy Age Big Question survey in which eight out of ten finance directors said they were working ‘too hard’.

A special AccountancyAge.com feature this week looks at the ongoing battle between the government and business representatives over the double tax changes announced in the Budget which it is feared could cost British-based multinationals billions in extra taxes. PricewaterhouseCoopers has been most prominent in the battle, which has taken an unusually personal tone, with both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown slating the firm’s calculations in public. The details can be found on our Gordon vs PricewaterhouseCoopers feature.

Meanwhile, another tax row is likely to be fuelled this week as Cisco announces that is threatening to pull the plug on hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investment in the UK over national insurance charges on share options. Visit the homepage today for more details.

Dot.com companies have already protested at the tax, which has landed some with multimillion pound NI bills even when they are making huge trading losses. Internet auction house QXL has been among the worst hit.

English ICA president Dame Sheila Masters has been made a Tory baroness in last week’s announement of a new batch of working peers in the House of Lords.

A new feature will appear later today looking at the expanding role of accountants in giving ‘seals of approval’ for websites.

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