FSA moves to cut compliance for small firms

High street accountants who provide financial and broking services to clients
have received a boost from the Financial Services Authority as the regulator
unveiled plans to cut the compliance burden for small firms.

Small accounting firms are all required to complete an annual questionnaire
for the FSA as accountants at such firms often provide broking and financial
advisory services to their clients.

The form, known as the annual questionnaire for authorised professional
firms, has always been complex and difficult to complete, but the FSA claims
that the new revised questionnaire cuts away a significant amount of red tape.

‘The FSA is committed to providing help to small firms and making it easier
to do business with the FSA,’ a spokeswoman said.

The new form will reduce the amount of disclosure required for business
activities and total income. The professional indemnity insurance section has
been updated and sections on pension transfers have been deleted.

The move from the FSA, however, will be just a small consolation for
practitioners who still feel restricted and over-burdened by red tape.

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