BPP on the importance of its new technical courses for ICAS Members
ICAS partner BPP has a range of new technical courses to help keep CAs up to date with their changing role. Julie Burniston speaks to three key figures about the need to stay on top of issues such as tax and sustainability
As we move away from the lockdown restrictions, a new series of technical courses from ICAS’ CPD partner BPP offers an opportunity for members to learn from expert trainers. The importance of keeping abreast of the changing role of the CA is not lost on BPP’s Head of Tax, Michael Steed.
“My own expertise is tax, and that subject is ever-changing,” he states. “With a new prime minister there may well be a change of tone and direction, so we tailor our courses to cover both annual tax updates principally determined by the Budget, and more specialised subjects that reflect the needs of the ICAS membership.
“The government’s Making Tax Digital for Income Tax will affect most unincorporated businesses and property owners from April 2024, and the teaching builds on the already established MTD-VAT course. As the date approaches and more detail is known, we will build this into our update courses, so members are clear about the scope and detail of the changes.
“The above runs in parallel with other significant changes for unincorporated businesses – the change of tax basis from current year to tax year (also in 2024) and the new corporation tax landscape from April 2023. We are already lecturing on these changes within our Corporation Tax – Refresher and Update course which we run for ICAS about four times a year.”
As the debate on electric cars heats up, BPP is beginning to include this in its courses too, keeping ICAS members clear about the tax implications for both employers and employees. The company is also keeping an eye on devolution matters, as reflected in its courses, which cover the effect on income tax and PAYE, land and buildings transaction tax, and carbon credits in Scotland.
Continues Steed: “One of our key autumn courses is Current Tax Issues for Practitioners, which covers a wide range of tax topics such as hybrid working, property tax highlights, trusts, the new NICs and health and levy landscape and contractor taxation, plus VAT and international trading post-Brexit. There’s also a half-day Finance Directors’ Update which is designed to keep FDs abreast of the latest tax and finance issues.”
VAT courses remain popular with ICAS members and BPP will be running its usual VAT Refresher and Update course and a one-day course on international VAT and customs duties post-Brexit.
“As many ICAS members are advisers for owner-managed businesses (OMBs), we run a regular course Tax Efficient Extraction of Profits for OMB Companies, Their Directors and Employees,” adds Steed. “The course covers incorporation, salary and dividend combinations, and benefits, such as pensions, phones, cars and vans. We also run a half-day course on contractor taxation.”
John Moffatt CA, a freelance trainer for the joint ICAS BPP courses, confirms that autumn will be a very busy period, in keeping with the developments in audit. “Audit quality has never been more important, and I am anticipating a large uptake for the coming courses, with the BPP courses supplementing firms’ own training,” he says. “We have a variety of courses to help with the crucial task of keeping up with developments in both quality management (encompassing ISQM 1 and ISA 220) and audit standards (including fraud, ISA 240, and the risks of material misstatement, ISA 315).
“As a freelance trainer for BPP I think it’s important for training to be engaging, and face-to-face courses are really beneficial for openness and sharing of experience.”
Meanwhile, for BPP Head of Programme, Andy Wilkes, sustainability will be a key focus this autumn. “Courses which help people manage through these volatile, uncertain times are absolutely essential,” he states.
“In today’s world the only certain thing is uncertainty. This means courses such as Financial Modelling, Cashflow in Uncertain Times and Strategically Focused Accountant are even more relevant at the moment. But my long-term passion is sustainability. The companies that are really moving forward have sustainability at their very soul. There’s evidence that Gen Z will not buy from, work for or invest in a company that’s not sustainable.
“The Sustainability Reporting course is about making sure you are doing what you have to do. I recommend ESG: Decision-Making and Management, which covers what you need to do to ensure you are around in the future. This course will change almost daily as people are working out new ways of doing things, new ways of reporting. But it underlines the fact that you cannot greenwash. Sustainability has to be an integral part of your vision and your values.”