News in Brief – 14 May

Moore staff go to Chiltern

Chiltern Group has poached another four staff from Moores Rowland. The staff from Moores’ Commodities and Securities Group will be working under three ex-Moores partners whose defections were reported in Accountancy Age last week. In all, 12 staff have moved from Moores to Chiltern in the last two months.

Accountant jailed for nine years

Accountant John Duggan, formerly a director of Hereford United, has been jailed for nine years for cheating an elderly widow out of her #668,000 life savings. He was found guilty of procuring the execution of securities by deception.

KPMG allies with Microsoft

KPMG Management Consultancy is to set up a 21st Century Solutions Centre with software giant Microsoft as part of a business consultancy alliance. The agreement, the first of its kind in the UK, follows a series of strategic alliances between Microsoft and Big Six firms in the US. The alliance is designed to speed implementation of Windows NT-driven business systems from companies such as SAP, JD Edwards and PeopleSoft.

MP champions tax credits

Conservative MP Nick Gibb has tabled an amendment to the finance bill designed to help pensioners claim back tax. Chartered accountant Gibb wants the government to allow 300,000 non-taxpaying pensioners to be able to claim back tax credits on dividends, worth an average of #75 each, but paymaster general Geoffrey Robinson ruled out any changes.

New tax law’s ‘wild effect’

New tax legislation in the finance bill will have a ‘wild arbitrary’ effect on the business community’s retirement plans, the UK 200 Group claimed this week. David Whiscombe, the group’s tax panel chairman, said interaction between capital gains tax retirement relief and its replacement – taper relief – would create problems.

CPS wasted #19.6m on IT

The Public Accounts Committee has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for wasting #19.6m on an unfinished computer system for tracking cases. The estimate for installing the system in all of the 96 CPS offices was #8m, but by the time it was decided to stop rolling out the system, 53 branches had been linked up and costs had reached #10.6m plus another #9.6m on running costs.

Top barrister quits Deloittes

Deloitte & Touche has lost one of its senior tax barristers, Reg Nock, to national law firm Eversheds where he will head its London tax department. Arthur Andersen’s law firm, Garrett & Co, has poached the head of financial services at Birmingham-based Edge & Ellison, Tim Winn.

Queens Moat sues auditors

Queens Moat Houses, the hotels group which suffered #1bn losses in 1992, is suing its auditor at the time, Essex-based chartered accountants Bird Luckin, for damages. The company accuses Bird Luckin of negligence in respect of its 1990 and 1991 audits which, it claims, overvalued properties that eventually led to the losses.

UK managers to help Euros

UK fund managers are poised to take advantage of the needs of workers in continental Europe, according to Deloitte & Touche. Henry Sless, a Deloitte’s financial services tax partner, said UK fund managers’ expertise would appeal to Europeans who have recognised the ‘desperate need’ to save for the future.

High pay rises reported

Newly qualified accountants reaped pay rises of up to 14% over the past year, due to a continuing skills shortage, revealed research by Reed Accountancy Personnel. Newly qualifieds in London can expect well over #30,000, and those in the rest of the UK an average of #26,000. Pay rises across the profession averaged 3.8%, with the City enjoying almost 5% and the public sector just 3%.

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