Honours update: Former KPMG chief knighted
Contrary to previous versions of this story, a prominent accountant was knighted in the 2012 New Year's Honours (see comments below - Ed).
The very first name on the published list of honours was that of former KPMG UK senior partner Gerry Acher "for charitable services".
After retiring from KPMG at the end of 2001, Acher became treasurer for the trust that oversaw the Queen's golden jubilee celebrations in June 2002, for which he was made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO). He was made a CBE in 1998 for his work with charities including Motability.
Nigel Eastaway, BDO's Tax partner, received an OBE for services to taxation law.
Otherwise accountants were hard to spot in this year's honours list, but one who was recognised was PKF East Anglia’s partner Michael Muskett, who got an MBE for services to social enterprise aid and to the local community. Muskett, who celebrated 50 years with the firm last year, helped raise thousands of pounds for local and regional charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support and the Royal British Legion. The PKF partner also served as chairman of NWES for 25 years, helping start-up businesses with finance, advice, training and premises.
David Ashman, partnership chairman at Reeves, was also awarded an OBE for his voluntary work as national honorary treasurer of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA). Ashman, who is one of Reeves' charity and not for profit sector specialists, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be recognised with this honour and for being part of such a deserving charity. The work SSAFA does is amazing and really makes a difference to people’s lives.”
The most controversial award was probably the CBE bestowed on property tycoon Gerald Ronson, who was sentenced to one year in prison in 1990 for his part in the Guinness share-trading scandal and fined £5m for false accounting and conspiracy to contravene the 1958 Prevention of Fraud Act. He served six months and always maintained his innocence. The CBE was for his work raising more than £100m for charities and his personal donations of more than £30m to the Community Security Trust, the NSPCC and the Prince’s Trust that he received the award.
Further controversy arose over the MBE awarded to businessman Rod Aldridge, who resigned from his role as chairman of Capita in 2006 after it was revealed he secretly lent the Labour party £1m in the “cash for peerages” scandal. He was given a knighthood for his work as chairman of The Aldridge Foundation, which helps young people through entrepreneurship and education.
Despite HMRC hitting the headlines in December with the damning Commons Public Accounts Committee report, the government rewarded 18 HMRC employees with honours. The compliance area of the scooped half the awards with personal tax accounting for the rest. The list of awardees include Mike Wells, HMRC's director of risk and intelligence; Roderick Stone, HMRC's MTIC deputy national; and Gordon Smith, director of Debt Management & Banking.
Do you know anyone else within the profession who was honoured this year? If so, let us know by commenting below.