10 things we learnt this week
A round-up of recent top content you may have missed from CA Today.
1. The Government vowed to make accessing the pension freedoms ‘easier’
The pension freedoms were introduced in April, but the Government has faced criticism of high exit charges and long transfer times. Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriet Baldwin vowed this week to remove “unjustifiable barriers’ to enable people to access their pensions how and when they wish.
2. Google defended its tax arrangements to MPs
Google executives and HMRC Commissioners faced heavy criticism at a Public Accounts Committee hearing yesterday regarding the company’s tax arrangements. While the tech giant insisted that its complex group structure had no impact on reducing UK tax, Donald Drysdale wondered if it’s time to review the principle of confidentiality.
3. Up to a third of the UK’s 1,500 oil and gas SMEs could disappear
EY warned this week that up to a third of the UK’s oilfield services SMEs OFS could disappear from the market completely, despite cost-cutting efforts. The industry is braced for a significant decline in profits this year due to the ongoing impact of low oil prices.
4. One in three accountants are looking for a new job
More than a third of accountants are actively looking for a new job, a study revealed this week. Just six per cent of those surveyed said they would like to stay at their current company for the rest of their career.
5. Love is important for the economy – and men are the biggest spenders
Romance is big business, with an estimated £1.9bn spent for Valentine’s Day. Research by the CA magazine also found that men spend more than women on 14 February – on average they shell out £70.47, compared to the £39.58 that women spend.
6. Accountancy is one of the most recession-proof professions
Accountancy has emerged as one of the most ‘recession-proof’ professions in the UK, along with technology professionals, social workers and nurses, according to a study. But it was bad news for management consultants, travel agents and retail workers, who were named as some of the least ‘recession-proof’ careers.
7. Pakistan’s accountancy institute gained international recognition
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) was awarded Associate membership by Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW) this week – the second institute to be admitted since the body launched in 2013. CAW, of which ICAS is a founding member, was established in 2013 to strengthen the role of chartered accountants globally.
8. Mazars posted a double-digit rise in profits and turnover
Mazars announced a 14% growth in turnover and a 10% growth in profits across its UK operations earlier this week. The top ten firm also expanded its presence in Australia, Italy, Mozambique, Cyprus, and the Philippines in 2015.
9. Is the government's Tax Consultation Framework broken?
That was the question posed this week by Donald Drysdale, who examined the way tax consultations are being handled by the government. An important role of the ICAS tax team is to influence developments by responding to government consultations, however not all consultations proceed as they should.
10. CAs were asked to show a little love…
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, CAs have been asked to show a little bit of love for the accounting profession by making a donation to the ICAS Foundation to help change the lives of young people.