Week in review: 31 March – 4 April

On Monday, in a last minute u-turn, Deloitte & Touche decided to scrap plans to split off its consultancy arm due to ‘economic uncertainty exacerbated by the war in Iraq’, surprising its Big Four rivals and the accountancy industry in general.

And an Inland Revenue tax ruling forced Mohamed Al Fayed, the charismatic Harrods owner who has been seeking British citizenship for over a decade, to pack his bags and relocate to Geneva.

Tuesday, any doubt about who would lead the City’s chief financial watchdog was put to rest, when Callum McCarthy was officially appointed as the new chairman of the Financial Services Authority.

Yet another football club joined the financial casualty list after corporate recovery partners from insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor were appointed joint administrators at second division club Huddersfield Town

Wednesday saw ICAEW president Peter Wyman come to the rescue of Derek Higgs, defending his increasingly under-fire proposals for corporate governance and shifting the blame to the government.

Across the pond, a new US watchdog insisted on supervising accountancy firms in Europe, Asia and the Middle East if they audit any company whose shares are traded in the US.

On Thursday Accountancy Age exclusively revealed that with less than a week to go until the Budget, Gordon Brown is facing a devastating court action which could see the UK Treasury out of pocket to the tune of more than £1bn.

And adding more pressure on Brown, the Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question showed that finance directors believe strongly that the chancellor should not raise taxes on Budget day in order to fund war with Iraq.

Friday saw the week end with doom and gloom predictions from the Institute of Directors who said Sunday, 6 April would be a black day for UK businesses with the introduction of what it calls ‘time consuming red tape and an ever increasing tax burden’.

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