The Week in Review 9-13 September

The Monday also saw the Department of Trade reveal that it would not report on its review of auditing and accounting standards until some time next year.

This emerged as the DTI published the terms of reference of its audit review, set up in response to the corporate disasters of WorldCom and Enron.

A consultation document is to be published in a month’s time, but the actual review of auditing in the UK will only report in January 2003. This could mean that actual reforms are potentially a long way off.

Tuesday was a rough day for accountants after Serious Fraud Office director Rosalind Wright chose to publicly remind the profession of its obligation to aid the fight against money laundering.

Wright called for radical change and demanded accountants and other professionals ‘be prepared to look long and hard at dubious transactions before accepting the money – no matter how attractive the business looks.’

Wednesday saw reveal that the UN and ACCA had launched a stinging rebuke of the International Accounting Standards Board for not backing the development of standards for environmental reporting.

A report launched by the two bodies at the Johannesburg summit on sustainable development called for ‘concerned professional bodies and the regional accounting organisations’ to pressure the IASB to put environmental reporting on its agenda.

Thursday saw the big story of the week as Accountancy Age magazine revealed that Lloyd’s syndicates are facing so much uncertainty over liabilities resulting from September 11, that their accounts for 2000/2001 will have to remain open indefinitely.

The ‘open accounts’ measure means Lloyd’s members have no idea what kind of profit or loss there will be for the year of the horrifying attacks on the US.

On the same day Accountancy Age also revealed that companies might in the future be forced to pay for their own fraud investigations before presenting an already prepared case to the police for prosecution.

The news followed warnings from Friday saw Lloyd’s members vote for the first stage of reforms that will see the accounting procedures at the insurance market completely overhauled.

There had been concerns that a mass vote against corporate governance reforms could scupper the accounting changes.

There was also the bizarre tale of Customs attempting to claim VAT for a war memorial to the Royal Marines in The Mall.

The conclusion saw Customs back out of the argument after it claimed that the memorial might be used for ‘busines purposes’.

Customs confirmed an agreement had been reached and that the government was looking at taxation issues surrounding public memorials.

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