IR35 will be destroyed[QQ] Dawn Primarolo’s announcement ‘that officials are to give the benefit of the doubt where businesses make genuine mistakes when trying to comply with the rules’ (p13, 11 May) is totally inadequate. The ‘rules’ for IR35 are punitive, arbitrary and unfair, and should be abandoned forthwith. Moreover, where she ‘also promised to reconsider the position of oil workers forced by North Sea operators to use service companies because the operators …’, she is demonstrating yet again the stupidity of IR35. Why, for heavens’ sake, should oil workers be treated differently from say IT workers, simply because the operators have moaned at the government? A classic case of legislation which is arbitrary, unfair and ill-considered. These are some of the reasons why IR35 will be destroyed by the Judicial Review being launched by the Professional Contractors Group (PCG). Richard Marriott, Redditch Value for money is key Nick Whittaker’s comments (Paying for a Lack of Resources, 4 May) raised many points about the new privatised fraud investigation pilot scheme. I agree there is difficulty in a two-track civil and criminal parallel investigation with most of the evidence being provided for both prospective proceedings by the victim of the crime. However, the Metropolitan Police and the SFO are behind the pilot scheme and are very experienced in managing multi-agency, disciplined, and jurisdictional investigations. The victims in these cases are mostly able to fund and undertake the civil asset tracing and evidence gathering processes. For these cases, the pilot scheme may be effective. My concerns are that with E&Y, D&T and PwC, as the first selected accountancy firms to provide investigations services in the scheme, some might say that a Rolls Royce will be used for those major victims, in say, the FTSE-250, who might already employ these firms as auditors or advisors, but for those companies which have failed, or now have inadequate assets through fraud to pay for their own investigation, will the panel firms work pro bono or offer the same charge rates as the victims’ own professional advisors? I think not. There is a clear case for all prosecuting agencies and the police to substantially increase their budgets to expand the use of work undertaken by firms who have previously acted for the police and the CPS HQ – Fraud Investigation Group – or even in legally aided cases for the defence. Selection of firms will take into account the nature and size of case and cost sensitivity. Value for money is the key. Step forward, the Group A firms! David Roberts, Farnborough Stress the point of winding down after work Vigilant self-policing is much easier said than done when professionals care about their standard of work! (opinion p22, 11 May). I speak as someone who gave up a consultancy job with nice car etc after five months because I was travelling about 1,000 miles a week, mostly in my own time, and had to book a day’s holiday to get a weekend. It was the job or my health and sanity, so I chose the latter. But now working for a college with generous holiday entitlement and flexitime, I’m suffering the same problem to a lesser extent: difficulty keeping appointments and keeping to the 37 hours a week I get paid for. Perhaps we all need assertiveness courses in looking after ourselves! My stress-relief mechanisms are things like running and rock-climbing, but I rarely get away early enough at night to do anything except eat and sleep on a weekday. More fool me? There is definitely a strong culture of work in this country, but I can’t help the feeling maybe we would all work better if we stopped trying to be superhuman and just got on with the possible. Fiona Wright, Hope Valley.
The second largest improvement in ‘significant’ levels of financial distress since the EU Referendum was in professional services, found research from Begbies Traynor
Just one half of UK practices have implemented a pricing structure around auto enrolment implementation and advice - with many suffering increased costs
Deloitte's north-west Europe foray; BDO, Smith & Williamson investment paths; Shelley Stock Hutter; and Wilkins Kennedy discussed by editor Kevin Reed on our Friday Afternoon Live broadcast
Accountants should alter their perspective on auto-enrolment to maximise business opportunities, according to Eric Clapton.