This week’s blogs: honourable members?

MPs do not pay tax on their reimbursed expenses ­ and that’s right as long as
those expenses were properly incurred. With no obligation to retain receipts as
evidence of the expenses they have incurred, there is no proof the expenses were
properly incurred. And that’s exactly what the taxman says to all self employed
taxpayers, all employees, all directors and all entrepreneurs. If you want to
avoid becoming liable to pay tax on reimbursed expenses then you must retain
receipts and proper records.

Mark Lee, Tax Advice Network

Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers are all duly
name-checked on the Fortune 100 best companies to work for list ­ but each is
outranked by another firm, Michigan’s Plante & Moran.

P&M is the 12th largest firm in the US. But it’s good to see a relative
minnow outswimming a bigger fish.

The firm believes it has a secret. ‘We strive to be 100% jerk-free,’ says
managing partner Bill Hermann.

Whether KPMG et al continue to be considered jerk-free by employees after
various redundancy, reduced hours and part-pay options are pursued remains to be

Damian Wild, editor-in-chief and publisher of
Accountancy Age

‘…Investors deserve and expect high standards of financial reporting,
transparency, and disclosure… along with a standard-setter that is free from
political interference and that has the resources to be a strong watchdog,’ said
Mary Schapiro the newly-appointed head of the SEC.

All this sounds encouraging for US adoption ‘and by implication global
acceptance’ of IFRS. However (isn’t there always a caveat?) she went on to say:
‘At this time, it is not apparent that the IASB meets those criteria, and I am
not prepared to delegate standardsetting or oversight responsibility to the

Hopefully this means that the SEC will work with others to enable the IASB to
meet these criteria; and hopefully EU and other Governments will recognise the
need to support these efforts and ensure the IASB is seen to be ‘free from
political interference’; and hopefully the IASB will respond to this challenge
and act in a way that demonstrates it can meet these criteria; and hopefully we
can find a mechanism to make resources available.

A lot of ‘hopes’ but I am feeling positive and also encouraged by Schapiro’s
statement that she doesn’t believe fair value was a significant factor in the
financial crisis.
So here’s hoping.

Jeremy Newman, CEO, BDO International,

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