The Patisserie Valerie case I believe will be the biggest shock to the profession in living memory. It won't be the biggest in terms of monies or value but I reckon will show that the tick-box culture of auditors is no longer enough in order to sign off accounts. Is it really a coincidence that the CEO is stepping down now?
The forthcoming investigation must be a dream come true for forensic accountants. Were the overdrafts created by understating outgoings in the accounts or were they created by transferring monies to the "declared" bank accounts? If the latter how were they coded?
Unless I've missed something I'm not sure why Patisserie
might be suing the auditors. Surely it should be the shareholders who may be the losers in this affair.
Grant Thornton will be quaking in their boots once the ICAEW impose a fine on them. No doubt it would be a tiny percentage of their turnover unlike their treatment of small practitioners who are fined totally disproportionate
amounts for similar transgressions.
The best decision I've ever made in my career was to walk away from that shower.
Agreed. Good to get more of the history from the horse's mouth.
What a joke of an organisation. Whilst not condoning the chap's actions a £40K bill for actions that weren't dishonest is clearly a figure that has been plucked out of the air (albeit halved from what the disciplinary committee wanted).
Were there 5 complaints or 4? Number 3 looks the most serious but I don't recall past transgressors being fined on this scale. These sorts of penalties should be based on a percentage of turnover but of course the ICAEW would have to raise their subs.
Item 1 should have been sorted with his co-director who's obviously blown the whistle. Item 2 is effectively a director's loan with no evidence that client money was involved. Item 4 was incompetence which could be rectified by resubmitting the accounts.
It would be interesting to measure fines given to the big 4 as a percentage of turnover compared to this chap.
Wow! So digitising records may now even lead to additional VAT recoverable. Are there no limits to the benefits of MTD?
Agree and I may even fill the dishwasher today.
The Institute are so far up their own backsides that they can't see the greater picture. The crime was to bring the profession into disrepute but Mr Singleton was fined by the Institute, ergo the Institute equals the profession. The whole concept of a subscription based organisation imposing a monetary penalty on its members is wrong and demonstrates that it is done to raise revenues.
The fact that they agreed to reduce the (internally generated?) legal costs by 32.5% shows that the figure was arbitrary in the first place - on that score they are the ones bringing the profession into disrepute. I'm all for a disciplinary process which has some sort of warning system for less serious offences and membership removal for the worst cases but arbitrary monetary penalties will merely result in more members jumping ship as I did.
It's interesting that apart from one contributor most people seem to agree.
Yes, he shouldn't have acted that way but how many of us have had a bad day and said or done things that we regretted afterwards. I can't see the point in small practitioners leaving themselves open to the Institute's disciplinary processes (and it's usually the Institute rather than the Association that we seem to hear about). As someone who left the Institute 13 years ago I've certainly got one less thing to worry about.
Agree with you entirely First Tab.
That seems a bit harsh - the inference is that they're damned if they do and damned if they don't. These cases are not always easy to get convictions due to slimy defence barristers e.g. in the Lunn case.
Save your breath Ann - I agree entirely with you. From my 53 years in the profession I've seen most of it, if not all. I shan't shed a tear for any of these people but do agree that HMRC should have been more proactive a lot earlier.
They'd rather spend their time challenging a few agents about their tagging processes for company accounts (see recent post on the subject).
I also found out yesterday that umbrella companies are still alive and kicking. You know, these are the ones that pay a load of money in the form of motor running and subsistence to enhance the contractor's take home pay.
I also sleep well at night knowing that all of my clients are paying the correct amount of tax without creating fancy trusts and artificial loans. There again most of my clients would be delighted to be paying higher rate tax.