PracticeConsultingWebTrust faces legal minefield

WebTrust faces legal minefield

An assurance service for websites launched by the English, Scottish and Irish ICAs could find itself in a legal minefield, electronic commerce experts have warned.

WebTrust, pioneered by US and Canadian accountancy bodies, will allow ICA members to give their seal of approval to companies selling goods on the World Wide Web. Security will be the main concern for any validation, but the scheme – which charges small firms around #7,000 – will also look at how goods are ordered and delivered from a website.

The institutes claim 30 firms have expressed an interest in the scheme.

But Jonathan Fowler, services director at JCP, an information security specialist, questioned whether the quality guarantee would satisfy online consumers: ‘If you have a seal of approval from accountants, it’s not something a consumer will take into account when making a purchase online.’

Fowler said the assurance service should shoulder some liability costs resulting from security breaches on company sites. ‘If something goes wrong will I be able to get my cash back?’ he asked.

Big Five consultants, including KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, are involved in the not-for-profit project.

Bill Hutchison, a director of KPMG’s e-commerce practice, accepted the forum still had to resolve liability issues but said a BSI-type Kite mark for websites meant that internet commerce was being taken more seriously.

Related Articles

5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

Accounting Software 5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

Consulting Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

Accounting Firms Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

Business Regulation Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

Audit Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

Accounting Firms New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

1y Stephanie Wix, Writer