IN THIS ISSUE:
FROM THE HEAD OF ACCA SCOTLAND
A word from the new head of ACCA Scotland
EVENTS
Book now to attend June’s events
Members compete to represent Scotland in ACCA golf challenge
NEWS
Meet the ACCA Scotland team
Connecting you with ACCA
Helping you link in
FEATURES
ACCA launches a blueprint for sustainable recovery
IFRS for SMEs – what happens next?
TECHNICAL UPDATE
New PAYE system explained
The Budget: what will be available?
HMRC guidance toolkits
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FROM THE HEAD OF ACCA SCOTLAND
A word from the new head of ACCA Scotland
Craig Vickery, head of ACCA Scotland, talks about his immediate plans for the coming months.
I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead ACCA Scotland at this time. The Scottish economy has suffered over the past few years and our members are key to securing a prosperous future for Scottish businesses and the economy.

Our Scottish presence is thriving and growing all the time. I intend to make sure ACCA is well-placed to articulate the voice of the Scottish business community throughout and beyond these difficult times. To this aim, I am already working with our press and marketing team to further develop our media links.

Key to the success of ACCA Scotland is the need for members to feel engaged with ACCA. I am looking forward to meeting many of you at ACCA events or in the workplace over the coming months. I am particularly interested in understanding what you want from ACCA and how ACCA can support you in your day-to-day employment.   

I am a graduate of Glasgow Caledonian University, and I trained and worked at Coopers and Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), qualifying in 1994, before joining ACCA in 1997 as a training consultant. 

My experience to date with ACCA has focused on the employer market, growing our student base and working with employers to ensure the best training for their ACCA students. I know that many of us have met in this context.

My promotion follows a two year term as ACCA UK business development manager with specific responsibility for the UK regions (particularly concentrating on ACCA’s employer relationships with the SME and SMP sectors across the country). I fully believe that this experience will enhance my work as head of ACCA Scotland.

I want to lead ACCA Scotland in recruiting the best finance trainees, ensuring they work hard to pass their examinations and become members. But most of all I want to lead an ACCA Scotland that our membership is proud of. An ACCA Scotland that provides the support members need in their business lives.

Please drop me an email, or give me a call. I look forward to speaking.

 

Craig Vickery
Head of ACCA Scotland





EVENTS
Book now to attend June’s events
It’s not too late to join us at two events taking place on 23 June in Glasgow.
ACCA Scotland organise various events throughout the year for ACCA members, students and members of the local business community. The following events both take place on Wednesday 23 June in Glasgow.

ACCA/PKF Budget Breakfast
29 Royal Exchange Square, 7.30am, Wednesday 23 June 2010
Cost - £10 (inc. VAT)

PFP Logo

(Kindly sponsored by Professional Fee Protection.)

Find out what the first Budget from the coalition government will mean for you and your clients, with expert analysis from PKF partner, David Jenkins.

To attend, simply download this booking form and return it to Vicky.gallagher@uk.accaglobal.com

 

Glasgow & West of Scotland Members’ Network Quiz Night
National Piping Centre, 6.00pm, Wednesday 23 June 2010
Cost - £10 (inc. VAT)

Whilst participating in the quiz you will be served a welcome drink and finger buffet. There will also be a cash bar open for guests. The event will close no later than 8.15pm; however, the cash bar will remain open until 9.00pm.

The format of the evening will be teams of 6 – you can enter a full team, book individually or enter any number of guests and be allocated a team.

There will be a prize for the winning team!

To attend, simply download this booking form and return it to Pam.Gordon@uk.accaglobal.com





Members compete to represent Scotland in ACCA golf challenge
Scottish heat selects top golfers to represent Scotland in the ACCA UK and Ireland Golf Challenge.
The Scottish heat of the ACCA UK and Ireland Golf Challenge, sponsored by Hays Senior Finance, took place at the Cawder Golf Club on 20 May 2010. Over 40 participants were rewarded with a fine warm day to enjoy.

The Cawder course is a great test of golf, with stunning views afforded over the Campsie Hills and holes that test the best of golfers. With its mixture of lush fairways, woodland and water features the Cawder has a wide variety of holes presenting constant new challenges for the golfer.

The signature 18th hole, a par three of 209 yards, overlooked by and downhill towards the clubhouse, brought a wonderful round of golf to a perfect end and a fitting challenge for the nearest the pin competition which was won by Alan Taylor. The longest drive competition was won by Mathew Thorburn.

The four members who will represent Scotland at the final, which will take place at the Foxhills Golf Club, Surrey on Friday 17 September 2010, are pictured below:

Golf 

First place:             Iain Jeynes (top left)
Second place:        Craig Wright (bottom left)
Third place:            Mark McGlone (top right)
Fourth place:          Mark Kelly (bottom right)

We wish them luck in their endeavours to bring the trophy home to Scotland.





NEWS
Meet the ACCA Scotland team
The ACCA team in Scotland is happy to assist members in developing their teams or personal careers, with dedicated staff who can offer specialist advice on training, recruitment, continuing professional development and the ACCA syllabus.
The ACCA team in Scotland is happy to assist members in developing their teams or personal careers, with dedicated staff who can offer specialist advice on training, recruitment, continuing professional development and the ACCA syllabus. 

For any student and member enquiries, please contact ACCA Connect on 0141 582 2000. 

For advice on how ACCA can work with your business or how to serve on our network panels please contact a member of the team. 


Head of ACCA Scotland

Craig Vickery FCCA CA
Tel: 0141 534 4072
Fax: 0141 534 4141
E-mail: craig.vickery@uk.accaglobal.com  


Services Manager

Pam Gordon
Tel: 0141 534 4812
Fax: 0141 534 4141
Mobile: 07885 328772
E-mail: pam.gordon@uk.accaglobal.com


Services Coordinator

Vicky Gallagher
Tel: 0141 534 4810
Fax: 0141 534 4141
E-mail: vicky.gallagher@uk.accaglobal.com


Business Relationship Managers, Scotland

Student Business Relationships

Ally Stokoe

Tel: 0141 534 4099
Fax: 0141 534 4141
E-mail: ally.stokoe@uk.accaglobal.com

 

Employer Business Relationships
Fiona MacPhee
FCCA
Tel: 0141 534 4568
Fax: 0141 534 4141
E-mail: fiona.macphee@uk.accaglobal.com

 





Connecting you with ACCA
Need to contact ACCA? ACCA Connect can help you.
Need to contact ACCA? ACCA Connect can help you.

ACCA Connect is a dedicated global customer service centre for all our members and students around the world and provides a personal response to enquiries six days a week, Sunday to Friday.

Located in Glasgow, ACCA Connect acts as the first point of contact for most people calling ACCA and the extensive opening hours ensure that we meet the needs of our varied and international customer base. It is important to us that we provide the best possible service to all our customers.

ACCA Connect is open from 9am to 5pm on Sunday, re-opening at 11pm. It then provides unbroken service until 8pm on Friday, with a three hour break between 8pm-11pm each night for maintenance and administration. The centre is closed from 8pm Friday until 9am Sunday.

These extensive opening hours mean that customers calling from Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas should be able to speak to customer advisers at times which are convenient to them, for example, outside their office or college hours.

The service is provided by a number of team members, who work in shifts and aim to be as flexible as possible. ACCA Connect advisers will deal with enquiries from people wishing to study with ACCA, existing students, and members – with calls routed to them as quickly as possible.

We aim to deal with all the enquiries that our students and members may have; however, any queries which cannot be dealt with by ACCA Connect immediately will be sent to the appropriate department or international office in ACCA – again with a commitment to answer questions as quickly as possible.

ACCA Connect can be contacted by telephone on 0141 582 2000, by fax on 0141 582 2222 or via email at either members@accaglobal.com or students@accaglobal.com.





Helping you link in
Online networking is an essential part of your personal and professional development. That is why ACCA has launched its very own members' only group on Linked In.
Online networking is an essential part of your personal and professional development. That is why ACCA have launched our very own members only group on Linked In.

We've also developed a range of free online seminars, working with Kintish Ltd, that help you develop your Linked In skills, starting from a beginners level moving up to advanced.

Simply go to the ACCA UK website to access these resources and the ACCA official members' group.




FEATURES
ACCA launches a blueprint for sustainable recovery
Find out more about how ACCA’s technical experts are seeking to influence the new coalition government’s reform of the SME sector.
The challenges facing the UK economy as the new coalition government begins its work are significant and require a bold, decisive response from the very beginning of the Parliament.

As we emerge from the financial crisis with an unprecedented deficit, we face also an onerous regulatory burden, pensions and tax systems in urgent need of reform, and a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector calling out for support. In the immediate future, policymakers must also broach the serious issues of financial sector governance and regulation, and mitigate the potential negative impact on public services of the efficiencies required to aid financial recovery.

In order to open our engagement with the new government and Scotland Office as it commences its work, ACCA’s technical and policy experts have produced a blueprint for a sustainable recovery which provides recommendations for policy-makers on key topics including:

  • the public sector
  • pensions
  • tax
  • sustainability
  • SMEs
  • regulation
  • education.

If implemented, these measures would, we believe, improve the UK economy’s performance and prospects over the long term in a sustainable fashion, both in terms of the environment but also for small and large businesses, for the public and private sectors and for other stakeholders affected by taxation and other legislation.

You can download a copy of the complete blueprint from our website.





IFRS for SMEs – what happens next?
We are only a few months away from confirmation of what will be the single biggest shake-up of UK financial reporting in our lifetime.  UK GAAP as we know it will be withdrawn and replaced by IFRS for SMEs.

We are only a few months away from confirmation of what will be the single biggest shake-up to UK financial reporting in our lifetime.  UK GAAP as we know it will be withdrawn and replaced by IFRS for SMEs. 

ACCA Scotland will, together with Deloitte, be running breakfast sessions on this topic in Edinburgh (Wednesday 29 September) and Aberdeen (Tuesday 5 October) to inform members of the impact of the changes. 

In the article below, Edinburgh and East of Scotland panel member Paul Copland, a senior manager for Deloitte, discusses what happens next.

 

IFRS for SMEs – what happens next?

As has been well covered in the accountancy press over the last 12 months, we are only a few months away from confirmation of what will be the single biggest shake-up of UK financial reporting in our lifetime. UK GAAP as we know it will be withdrawn and replaced by IFRS for SMEs. 

There are many questions companies are asking right now. What is driving this change? What exactly is IFRS for SMEs? When does it come in? What does it mean for my company? What should I be doing now?  What happens next?

Along with most of Europe’s capital markets, the UK’s listed groups adopted full IFRS in 2005. They were joined in 2007 by those companies on AIM and the public sector is already well down its own route towards full IFRS adoption. IFRS is quickly becoming the most widely recognised accounting framework in the world, with many countries either mandating or permitting its use. Even our colleagues in the US have started down a path that is likely to lead to their full transition towards IFRS over the next five years, a move that would have been unimaginable a decade ago.

Not least after some of the events of the last two years, lenders, investors, analysts, financial journalists and other commentators are increasingly looking for greater consistency and comparability across global accounting rules. Unsurprisingly, and not unreasonably, they wish to extend this to private companies not least as it is not practical or sustainable to have two different overall frameworks.

IFRS for SMEs is in some ways the IASB’s compromise solution. It puts forward a simpler and less onerous regime which better aligns some of the current accounting rules, whilst allowing certain opt-outs where the cost and effort of compliance with full IFRS would be disproportionate and excessive for privately owned companies.

The accounting principles of IFRS for SMEs are set out in one single document, as opposed to the current maze of SSAPs, FRSs and UITF statements under UK GAAP. IFRS for SMEs is also helpfully organised by topic and only runs to around 10% of the length of full IFRS so it’s difficult to argue that the IASB has not listened and simplified wherever practical and sensible to do so.

The proposals published last year require that, other than those small companies (as defined by the Companies Act’s size criteria) which at least in the short term can continue to follow the FRSSE, most current UK GAAP reporters are likely to have to adopt IFRS for SMEs for their first year end accounts on or after 31 December 2012. 

This is likely to extend to certain unlisted but ‘publicly accountable’ entities forced to adopt full IFRS, including certain investment trusts, co-operatives and credit unions.

December 2012 may seem like a long way out but, since comparatives will be required, this means having a clean starting position at 1 January 2011 – just over six months away. Since the proposals were published last year there has been a high level of responses and public lobbying, from corporates as well as from HMRC which is itself mandating a number of challenging changes, such as the introduction of XBRL tagging of financial information, over a similar timescale.

There is a current view that when the final exposure draft is published, probably in the summer or autumn of 2010, the implementation date may slip by at least a year. Even so we would urge companies to start thinking about the likely impacts over the coming months. IFRS for SMEs is coming. The IASB and ASB are not likely to turn back now.

So what are some of the lessons learned by the thousands of companies who have already transitioned away from UK GAAP?

Get ahead of the game early - assess the impact during 2010
None of us likes late surprises. The impact on no two companies is the same and therefore it is important that you set up a team or at least allocate a senior finance team member with primary responsibility for assessing the likely impact. If you currently capitalise development costs, revalue your land and buildings, amortise goodwill over 20 years or have forward currency contracts and interest rate swaps off balance sheet then your results could be significantly affected. In some simple cases the only change of any substance might be the need to include a cash flow statement in your accounts. Get ahead of the game and find out which camp you are in as early as possible so that you can start informing and educating the various interested parties.

Understand your choices and make the right decisions
Whilst many of the rules are fairly prescriptive, IFRS for SMEs does offer a number of choices across certain topics. If you have associates or joint ventures, for example, you could be spoiled for choice and may be able to use the cost, fair value or equity accounting model. IFRS for SMEs also reminds companies of the existence of the ‘true and fair over-ride’ and that might be something to bear in mind if you think that the proposed accounting treatment under IFRS for SMEs simply makes no sense. 

Don’t forget that there already is an option to adopt full IFRS and this remains the case. In certain cases, for example, if an IPO is planned in the near future this is something worth seriously considering. Where there are genuine choices it is important to understand these, consider the pros and cons and then agree on the route that best suits your own situation.

Document your assessment and engage the auditors throughout
The Financial Reporting Review Panel paid a lot of attention to the processes followed by listed companies in transitioning to IFRS and we would expect the same level of interest this time round. It is important that you clearly document the thought process, references used, any assumptions applied and your overall conclusions. In many cases you will want to prepare a summary paper and have this considered and endorsed at Board level. Whilst interpretations under IFRS have clearly settled down compared with where we were back in 2005 we would also urge you to share your initial thoughts and conclusions with your auditors just in case they see some things differently. 

It’s not just the numbers that are affected
As well as ensuring your IT systems can accommodate the changes, don’t forget to check whether these changes might result in a need to reset bank covenants, revise earn-out arrangements or restructure bonus schemes where these are driven off headline numbers that might be about to change or become more volatile.

The devil is in the detail
This can often be the case. A number of listed companies were caught out by very subtle differences in the detail or tripped up by unwelcome additional disclosures around areas such as related party transactions, segmental disclosures or management remuneration. Whilst there is a lot less detail to digest under IFRS for SMEs, it’s important that you consider the disclosure requirements and identify any potential issues or sensitivities at an early stage so that any fallout, internally or externally, can be properly managed.

You can’t always manage the process from the centre
Tempting though it may be, where you have diverse operations either within the UK or beyond it is not always possible to assess the impact of the transition from your group headquarters. Depending on the size and complexity of your group you should look at following a fit-for-purpose approach which could range anywhere between having a global steering group down to developing a short one-page checklist to help flush out any obvious differences worthy of further attention. In many cases your overseas subsidiaries will continue to have local reporting requirements which are not yet aligned with IFRS for SMEs.

Don’t overlook the impact on tax
The tax rules under IFRS for SMEs differ from UK GAAP in a number of areas and many of the accounting differences could also have an impact on your tax bill as well as your deferred tax position and overall effective rate. It is critical that the potential tax impacts of these changes are carefully thought through, together with any necessary changes which need to be made to your tax planning.

The IFRS for SMEs material is available to be downloaded free of charge from the IASB website.  Even if it doesn’t quite make it onto your summer beach reading list we would urge you to track it down over the next few months before it catches up with you.


Paul Copland FCCA
Deloitte LLP





TECHNICAL UPDATE
New PAYE system explained
ACCA's new PAYE penalties podcast tells you everything you need to know about HMRC's new payment penalties for employers paying PAYE.
Glenn Collins, ACCA UK’s head of advisory services, and Brian Redford, head of the business engagement team at HMRC, discuss the introduction of the new late payment penalties for employers paying PAYE.

This podcast is one of a series from ACCA focusing on the key challenges that businesses are facing. You are welcome to share the link and discuss the contents of this podcast with your clients.

During this PAYE penalties podcast Glenn and Brian discuss:

  • The taxes that are included as part of the new system, who will be affected and the other changes that employers should be aware of.
  • The timeframe for introduction, how the penalty system will work and examples of the penalties for late payments.
  • The safeguards available for employers, HMRC’s definition of reasonable excuse and the process of penalty notification.
  • HMRC’s improvements to the coding process and top tips for employers on avoiding PAYE penalties.

The PAYE penalties podcast is available to download here.



Sound financial management podcast

As part of a series of podcasts from ACCA focusing on the key challenges that businesses are facing, this podcast sees three panellists talk about how SMEs can survive the current climate, while recognising that access to finance is a huge issue for SMEs and for the accountants representing them.

The contributors are:
  • John Davis, director of local business at Barclays  
  • Sara Harvey, director and business adviser at Hines Harvey Woods, a chartered certified practice  
  • Glenn Collins, ACCA UK's Head of Advisory Services
John Davis from Barclays offers the bank's perspective, and talks about small businesses and borrowing.

Sara Harvey explains how, as an accountant and business adviser, she provides guidance and support to clients so that they are ready to kick-start the economy. She also explains how small businesses can apply fundamental business principles to manage their finances as well as the different sources of finance available to them.

Glenn Collins comments on the current economic climate and provides an overview of the issues small businesses face, as well as practical, valuable advice.



What is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio recording in different digital formats such as MP3, MP4 and WAV. There are different ways of accessing these files. You can listen to them live over the internet, also known as ‘streaming’. You can also download the files onto your computer to listen to at a later date or transfer them to an MP3 player. Finally you can subscribe to podcasts so that they are automatically downloaded onto your computer.




The Budget: what will be available?
The first Budget under the coalition Government has been announced for 22 June. Described as an emergency Budget, the Government will seek to address the Budget deficit.

As with previous Budgets, ACCA is on hand to guide you through the key announcements. Together with an in-depth analysis of the major changes announced on the day, there will be a number of resources available to prepare you, your employer, your business or your client's business for these changes. Our support tools will include:

  • our regular comprehensive 'Budget special' issue of our In Practice e-newsletter (published on the afternoon of the day following the Budget)
  • guidance summarising key facts and figures which you can personalise with your contact details to share with colleagues and clients
  • a chance to have your say
  • details of upcoming courses providing in depth analysis of the Budget.

To make sure you will receive your 'Budget special' copy of In Practice, or any other electronic communication from ACCA, please check that your contact details (in particular your email address) are correct and up-to-date by visiting MyACCA

ACCA UKs Budget resources, along with In Practice, will be available on our website.




HMRC guidance toolkits
HMRC has released its first toolkits, which provide guidance on private and personal expenditure, marginal small companies’ relief, CGT for land and buildings, capital allowances for plant and machinery, trusts and estates and CGT and estates (supplement).

HMRC has released its first toolkits, which provide guidance on private and personal expenditure, marginal small companies’ relief, CGT for land and buildings, capital allowances for plant and machinery, trusts and estates and CGT and estates (supplement).

The toolkits will:

  • provide guidance to help reduce error
  • help practitioners by highlighting the key tax risks HMRC have identified
  • provide users with a tool that can be used to demonstrate reasonable care.

The aim of the toolkits is to assist practitioners preparing tax returns, but they can be used by anyone completing a self assessment return. They are formed of a short explanatory note, guidance on risk areas and a short checklist. They can be used as stand alone support, incorporated into existing checklists or used as a simple educational tool.

The toolkits have been developed by HMRC and ACCA has participated in their development. It is recognised that the toolkits will not be suitable for everyone, that they are only an additional form of supplementary guidance, that use is entirely voluntary and should be used if they add value to practitioners’ work.

We will welcome your assessment of whether the toolkits save you time, are a useful reference, help you identify or reassess tax risks, whether they are flexible and easy to use and whether HMRC ask if you have used them. Please send your comments and observations to advisory@uk.accaglobal.com

Download the toolkits now.

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