News in Brief – 29 October

MP calls for island action

Austin Mitchell MP has called on home secretary Jack Straw to opt for speedy implementation of the Edwards report into financial regulation in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. He claimed the report ?found regulators are promoting the development of financial services, and business is being conducted in maximum secrecy with those involved repelling outside enquiries, as in the case of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International?.

Robinson asks for PFI union Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson has called on Private Finance Initiative bidders to work more closely with trade unions.

Treasury task force guidelines are designed to encourage transparency and openness which Robinson said were an essential part of the procurement process.

ACCA backs pension plan ACCA has backed limited reforms to current UK accounting principles on final salary pension costs. Responding to an Accounting Standards Board discussion paper, ACCA said the UK should move to market values for assets and urged the ASB to wait for guidance from actuaries before finalising its position.

Jenkins made CAF chairman Sir Brian Jenkins has been appointed chairman of the Charities Aid Foundation, the body which works on behalf of donors and charities across the world. Sir Brian, chairman of Woolwich and CAF?s Investors In Society, has been a CAF trustee since 1995. He was a senior partner with Coopers & Lybrand and is a past president of the English ICA.

Small firm changes begin The first steps towards the government?s goal of improving financial management in the small business community have been taken, with the launch of the Financial Management Working Group chaired by Andrew Godfrey, head of growth and development at Group A firm Grant Thornton. The group, which includes representatives from banks, small business organisations, accountants, the Treasury and the DTI, has been tasked with examining concerns from industry and government about the poor quality of financial management skills among smaller firms.

IPA registry scheme The Insolvency Practitioners Association has linked up with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to work on a scheme for registering and monitoring fixed-charge receivers. Fixed-charge receivership was excluded from the 1986 Insolvency Act, but the move would see a further step toward standardisation of regulation across the insolvency profession. The scheme will allow chartered surveyors to be regulated by RICS, while other professionals involved in fixed-charge receivership will be able to apply to the IPA.

English ICA exam results The results of the first sitting of the English ICA?s six-paper Technical Core 1 examination revealed an 85% pass rate. TC1, which replaced the Conversion Course (or Test of Accounting Competence), originated in the institute?s education and training strategy document ?Safeguarding the Future?. It is designed to increase flexibility by allowing students to sit all papers at one time or spread them over two sittings. TC1 also provides an ?early hurdle? by allowing students to sit two or more papers early in their training contract.

Scot business poor on fraud Only 22% of Scottish companies participating in a Deloitte & Touche survey have anti-fraud policies in place, Ralph Adams, partner in charge for Scotland and Northern Ireland, revealed this week. Scottish finance controllers are also less involved in implementing management techniques than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

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