IN THIS ISSUE:
FROM THE HEAD OF ACCA SCOTLAND
Accountants for business
NEWS
New office, new team
New office bearers for ACCA Scotland
ACCA Economic Confidence Survey
Benefit from Common Purpose's learning programmes
FEATURES
Positioning your organisation to succeed
Resilience through a recession
Getting to know... the Aberdeen members' network
TECHNICAL UPDATE
ACCA and HMRC talk tax
Offshore disclosure
What's new on ACCA's website for SMPs?
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FROM THE HEAD OF ACCA SCOTLAND
Accountants for business
Welcome to the first issue of Scottish Outlook, a new e-newsletter from ACCA Scotland that will be published quarterly. The role of the ACCA Scotland office is principally to support the membership in Scotland and I hope you will find this newsletter to be valuable and informative and a useful link to our activities.
Welcome to the first issue of Scottish Outlook, a new e-newsletter from ACCA Scotland that will be published quarterly. The role of the ACCA Scotland office is principally to support the membership in Scotland and I hope you will find this newsletter to be valuable and informative and a useful link to our activities.

There has never been a more crucial time for accountants to continue to show their true value. Over the past 18 months, as a systemic banking collapse has evolved into significant worldwide recession in many countries, a range of presumptions about accounting, organisations and society has been questioned - and we believe that the role of the accountant will emerge as a champion of sustainable value in business.

In response, ACCA has adopted 'Accountants for Business' as its global theme for 2009-10. The campaign sees ACCA highlighting the important roles accountants play in both the private and public sectors, promoting their role as advocates of sound business practices, champions of sustainable business development and identifiers of value drivers which lead to high-performing organisations.

This is an agenda for business which puts sound financial management at its heart. It highlights the importance of accountants to fostering long-term corporate success. 

Corporate governance, regulation, asset pricing, risk management and remuneration design are all subject to root and branch examination. What organisations need now is the firm leadership and financial discipline for the immediate short term, and the confidence of knowing they possess a business model which is sustainable. As economic conditions continue to be uncertain, CFOs have every opportunity to emerge as leaders and to rise to the challenges ahead.

Learn more about the latest research, events and opinion on the 'Accountants for Business' theme from ACCA at our new microsite.

Andrew Leck - Head of ACCA Scotland





NEWS
New office, new team
As you will know, ACCA Scotland is now located in Glasgow, bringing together all the ACCA staff who support the membership in Scotland into one office.
As you will know, ACCA Scotland is now located in Glasgow, bringing together all the ACCA staff who support the membership in Scotland into one office.

The team has changed recently with Hannah Salvidge taking up the position of Service Co-ordinator and Fiona MacPhee moving from practice to take up the role of Business Relationship Manager, Scotland, to expand our Employer Relationships team.

The team in full is:
  • Andrew Leck Head of ACCA Scotland
  • Pam Gordon Services Manager
  • Hannah Salvidge Services Co-ordinator
  • Craig Vickery Business Development Manager, UK Regions (Employer Business Relationships)
  • Fiona MacPhee Business Relationship Manager, Scotland (Employer Business Relationships)
  • Ally Stokoe Business Relationship Manager, Scotland (Student Business Relationships).
 
In the short time that we have been in the same office, we have seen far greater linkages and a sharing of knowledge across the team including our work with members, students, the academic sector and employers.

We are always keen to hear from you, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or questions. Our email address is scotland@accaglobal.com






New office bearers for ACCA Scotland
ACCA Scotland elected Peter Fee as its president at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May.
ACCA Scotland elected Peter Fee as its president at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in May.

New ACCA Scotland president Peter Fee is the finance director of a specialist outsourcing credit control / debt recovery group. Having commenced his career in banking, he qualified as a member of ACCA in 1996 and was awarded fellowship in 2001. Since qualifying he has worked in a number of diverse industries and was also a part time lecturer in accounting.

He has been on the ACCA Scotland Committee for approximately ten years, having previously been a member of the Glasgow and West of Scotland panel. He is also on ACCA's business law review committee.

Fee said: "I am thrilled to have been elected president of ACCA Scotland, which is a real honour, and very much look forward to working with my colleagues and the wider ACCA membership to further the interests of the accountancy profession in Scotland."

Graham Reid was elected deputy president at the same meeting. He became a member of ACCA in 1989 whilst with the Transport Development Group. After qualifying, Graham moved to London where he spent six years with Thomson Holidays in the operational audit team and as overseas finance manager.

Reid returned to Edinburgh, joining CALA in 1995 as finance manager for the homes division in Scotland and was appointed group financial controller in 1998. He was promoted to group finance director in 2001.

He has served on ACCA Council and is a member of the ACCA Scotland committee. He is currently chairman of the Scottish Finance Directors' Group and is a governor at George Watson's College in Edinburgh.

Reid says: "ACCA Scotland makes a significant contribution locally and l very much look forward to working to represent the interests of its members in Scotland."

Peter Fee Graham Reid2

Peter Fee
Graham Reid




ACCA Economic Confidence Survey
As finance professionals, managers and advisers to business, ACCA members and students face challenging times in 2009. Please help us to help you by taking part in our third, quarterly, economic confidence survey.

As finance professionals, managers and advisers to business, ACCA members (and students) face challenging times in 2009.

We appreciate that the current economic climate may have affected your personal business and career prospects as well as conditions in your local and national economy. Your views can help ACCA determine how best to support our members and students and advise policymakers around the world.

This is the third survey in our quarterly Economic Confidence series. First, we would like to say thank you to those who completed our previous surveys. The feedback provided some very interesting insight into how confidence is changing. 

I hope that you will take the opportunity to share your thoughts on these matters over the last three months, by taking part in ACCA's third Economic Confidence Survey. This will take about fifteen minutes of your time and your individual responses will not be disclosed to any third parties. All participants will receive advanced access to the results.

We will also publish the findings of this survey, and subsequent surveys on this topic, in accounting&business magazine and also on our dedicated microsite: www.accaglobal.com/economy.

I also hope that you will be willing to take part in future surveys as we continue to monitor developments around the world on a quarterly basis; if you choose not to, you will be able to opt out of future surveys on this topic simply by choosing the appropriate option at the end of the survey.

Please click here to launch the survey.

Please respond by Wednesday 19 August 2009.

Should you have any problems accessing the survey, or wish to make any other comments, please e-mail: memberssurvey@accaglobal.com

On behalf of ACCA, I thank you for your support.





Benefit from Common Purpose's learning programmes
Common Purpose runs experiential learning programmes which aim to give people the inspiration, knowledge and connections they need to lead real change - in the workplace and in the community.
Common Purpose runs experiential learning programmes which aim to give people the inspiration, knowledge and connections they need to lead real change - in the workplace and in the community.

"Of all the leadership programmes that I know of, those run by Common Purpose are by far the best, you only have to see the lasting effect on those who have participated in them to know that they work and work well."

Professor Charles Handy, Management writer and broadcaster

"I thoroughly enjoyed the programme. It was a truly mind opening, learning journey which has altered my views and opinions on certain things totally, and made me a more rounded individual. I have a more balanced understanding of problems/ issues/concerns, seeing things from others'  points of view. I've had the chance to meet and learn from people in organisations that I would never come across in normal life/ job. I have a greater understanding of my own leadership style and growing confidence in my ability to lead and effect change - both internally and externally. By working together collaboratively we can achieve a whole load more than we can ever do as individuals on their own."

Caroline Stuart, Business Development Director Scotland, Oracle Corporation

As a result, people who have been on a Common Purpose programme think bigger, network more effectively, challenge and stand out as leaders.

Andrew Leck, Head of ACCA Scotland, has participated on the programme during this year and is pleased to announce that Common Purpose will be running the programmes for ACCA members in Scotland as follows:

  • Aberdeen commencing November
  • mid-Scotland from January
  • Edinburgh and Glasgow starting in February. 
ACCA has agreed a 10% discount on programme fees for its members, and your time on the programme can count towards your annual CPD.

Learn more about the programme then call Scotland Director Connie Young on 0141 341 3355 to talk through whether this programme is right for you.




FEATURES
Positioning your organisation to succeed
As part of the ACCA Scotland Annual Review and AGM we invited Peter Russian (CEO of Investors in People, Scotland) and Tony Osude (Head of Professional Develop, ACCA) to give us their thoughts on how important people are in developing your organisation in any economic climate.
As part of the ACCA Scotland Annual Review and AGM we invited Peter Russian (CEO of Investors in People, Scotland) and Tony Osude (Head of Professional Development, ACCA) to give us their thoughts on how important people are in developing your organisation in any economic climate.

During his presentation Peter suggested that in the current economic climate, organisations are looking at survival, increased efficiency, cost reduction and making sure that the future strategy is right. In doing so, organisations have to ensure they maximise productivity and this can only be done by keeping your people involved.

Peter went on to discuss the ways to get the best from your most expensive resources, ranging from matching the right skills to the right jobs to ensuring managers are aware of the impact they have on their team's productivity and performance. Staff involvement can be summed up as, recognition, development, communication, feedback and involvement.

Peter left the audience with a list of five things that could make a difference to their organisations:
  1. review your objectives and what you need from your people
  2. champion good management practice
  3. ensure CPD includes leadership and management
  4. find out more about what works
  5. ask yourselves how great are we?
Tony Osude's presentation was based on the recent ACCA Insight paper Perspectives on talent management in challenging times.

It is increasingly recognised that finance professionals and the roles that they perform are central to the performance of an organisation. This centrality means that a changing external business environment will have a direct impact on the roles accountants undertake and the skills, knowledge and experience of value to employers, but also it will shape the career aspirations they hold. Therefore, it's critical organisations get the recruitment, development, retention challenges right.

At the moment there is an understandable concern in businesses of all sizes regarding the current global economic conditions. ACCA's concern is that these businesses will react with short-term measures to cut cost rather than considering the businesses' long-term future.

Even in these difficult times, staff cuts should always be a last resort. Now is a good time for businesses to invest in their current talent pool and to add depth to that pool through continued investment in training and professional development.

Tony highlighted the economic challenges many organisations are facing right now are unprecedented, but experience tells us that those organisations that take holding positions or 'paths to growth' strategies with corresponding investment in people, typically are the fastest to recover and enjoy more sustainable commercial success over the longer term.

Getting talent management practices right is now more important than ever, particularly with renewed organisational focus on returns on investment - it needs to be a key business imperative for organisations.




Resilience through a recession
FCCA and West of Scotland panel member, Houston Ayre, has recently sold his consultancy firm to become a director of Stirling-based specialist business continuity consultancy, Teed Business Continuity.
FCCA and West of Scotland Members' Network Panel member, Houston Ayre, has recently sold his consultancy firm to become a director of Stirling-based specialist business continuity consultancy, Teed Business Continuity.

So what is business continuity and why is it important in the current economic climate? Why would companies consider additional investment in something perceived as non-core at a time when discretionary spending is under serious scrutiny?

We asked Houston for the answers ......

As an experienced finance director who has operated at a senior level in the public and private sectors, I have always taken risk management and corporate governance very seriously. Business continuity management, which sits within this framework, has emerged as a respected management discipline over the last 20 years, culminating in the development of British Standard BS25999 at the end of 2007.

Business continuity management is all about the effective management of threats to ensure that critical business activities continue and operational objectives are satisfied.

In times of economic downturn the type and level of threats change and the organisations that will come out the other side stronger will be the ones who fully understand their altered risk environment and control it effectively.

We help management teams understand their organisation's current risk exposures and develop appropriate strategies to ensure that impacts will always remain within predefined acceptable levels during these challenging times. As organisations are under increased pressure, the financial impact may be immediate and obvious as a result of dramatic falls in sales and cashflow or more subtle and progressive as in the knock on effect of key suppliers being affected. 

So whilst most people's perception of business continuity is probably based on some appreciation of IT disaster recovery or the impact of flooding on high street businesses, many will not realise that supply chain continuity, for example, has emerged as a key component of any business continuity management programme in the last few years.

If you are called out in the middle of the night to find your only building burning to the ground, could you move staff to a suitable alternative location, communicate effectively with stakeholders, recover essential IT and data and identify key activities and operations that need to be continued? Would your customers remain loyal? Or would they move to a competitor if you were unable to maintain an appropriate level of service?

ACCA Scotland will feature business continuity awareness within the CPD programme in the second half of 2009. Key threats in the SME sector will be addressed: e.g. data protection, criticality of key individuals, financial threats linked with recession, resilience of service provision.

For many, a single location, restricted cashflow, dependency on a few key people and intense competition mean that a disruption could easily turn into a catastrophe if not managed effectively. Whilst appropriate insurance can provide part of the solution, it does not protect reputation or prevent loss of market share.

In essence, business continuity planning ensures that your organisation can continue to undertake its critical activities following a significant disruption. If you want to find out more about business continuity, why not attend our events in the Autumn? Further details are available on the ACCA Scotland website.





Getting to know... the Aberdeen members' network
In Scotland we have four members' regional networks, each of which is led by an elected panel. Ian Waugh, President of the Aberdeen Regional Network Panel, provides an insight into the network's recent activities.
In Scotland we have four members' regional networks, each of which is led by an elected panel. Ian Waugh, President of the Aberdeen Members' Network Panel, provides an insight into the network's recent activities.

The Aberdeen members' network's panel encompasses members from all business sectors and the current membership of Ian Waugh, Albert Fraser, Mairi MacIver, Shona Duncan, Derek Mitchell and Sarah Pumfrett continues to serve its members. 

After providing five years of fine service - including a term as president - Katrina-Anne Arbuckle decided to stand down. In her place, members were pleased to welcome Nathalie Kirk who works for Nexen in the oil and gas industry, one of Canada's largest energy marketing companies.

Professional development
CPD events in Aberdeen continue to be well received and well attended. 2008 saw a 14% increase in delegates from 2007 and 2009 has gone well so far. Programmes are generally tailored to reflect the diverse local membership base and stretch across the gamut of skills that accountants need in the modern workplace from technical subjects such as Excel 2007 Intermediate and Visual Basic & Pivot Tables to personal development areas such as motivation, mentoring and presentation skills.

Lectures
Back in February, members were treated to a lecture from John Wils on the subject of 'Understanding the Oil and Gas Industry'. The oil and gas industry and its support services are a major source of employment in the Aberdeen area and the Panel's membership continues to be representative of these interests.

With the oil price reaching a peak of over $150/barrel and a trough of $45/barrel, it has been a challenging time for some of the smaller companies. It seems that exploration and production companies have attempted, whenever possible, to retain contractors and staff in anticipation of an upturn. With the recent rise in the oil price to $65/barrel and direct tax incentives introduced to operators in marginally profitable North Sea fields in the March Budget, there appears now to be a renewed optimism in the industry.

Networking events
Aberdeen also continues to host its successful networking events. The recent network dinner at the Marcliffe at Pitfodels had over 100 guests and Mike Brown from Anderson Anderson and Brown gave an excellent after dinner speech.

Aberdeen Dinner 1

Andrew Leck - Head of ACCA Scotland, Mike Brown - Anderson Anderson Brown,
Hazel Burt - ACCA Scotland Past President and Ian Waugh President of
Aberdeen Members' Network at the Aberdeen Dinner.


On a lighter note, guests were also treated to the added bonus of Kevin McMahon of Channel 4's 'Faking It' fame who gave up his life as a PhD researcher to become a magician.

Kevin is regarded as the most successful faker the show has ever had, convincing not only a panel of judges into believing he was a professional magician but also fooling Paul Daniels with his sneaky sleight-of-hand! Now a professional magician, Kevin managed to amaze a room full of eagled eyed accountants with his bag of tricks.

Aberdeen Dinner 4


Kevin McMahon lights up the evening

Professional courses
Back in the real world, Aberdeen played host in May to a Saturday Professional Courses event at the Palm Court Hotel where a full house heard updates on employment law and accounting standards and received insights into tax investigations and opportunities for tax planning. Given its overwhelming success plans are afoot to bring another event to Aberdeen in the autumn.

For more information visit www.accaglobal.com/aberdeen





TECHNICAL UPDATE
ACCA and HMRC talk tax
ACCA and HMRC have joined forces to produce a vodcast introducing practitioners to the new self-assessment toolkits from HMRC.
ACCA and HMRC have joined forces to produce a vodcast, a video version of a podcast, introducing practitioners to the new self-assessment toolkits from HMRC.

The vodcast Sharing of information: new ways of working is presented by Glenn Collins, ACCA UK's head of advisory services and Brian Redford, deputy director in HMRC who is responsible for working with agents and employers.

The vodcast gives an overview of HMRC's new self-assessment toolkits, the timetable for their introduction and highlights some of the benefits to clients, agents and HMRC.

The toolkits are designed to:

  • increase your understanding of risk and highlight areas where errors occur
  • help to reduce the need for HMRC to carry out compliance checks
  • link you directly to the latest guidance notes so that you can be confident that your work is focused to the high tax error areas
  • help demonstrate to your clients that you have taken reasonable care.

The vodcast, accompanying PowerPoint presentation and full transcript are available on ACCA's website.





Offshore disclosure
What can we expect from the new offshore disclosure plan?
The points below provide an overview from HMRC on what you can expect from its new offshore disclosure plan:

  • the New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO) is for people with unpaid tax connected to an offshore account and will run from the autumn 2009 until March 2010. It will give the offshore account holders one final opportunity to disclose, and put their affairs in order
  • penalty of 10% for full disclosure if no previous opportunity. Higher for full disclosure if you had the chance under previous opportunity
  • HMRC is seeking to obtain details of offshore accounts and assets from hundreds of financial institutions. This ensures HMRC will be able to pursue those who choose not to disclose tax owed as quickly as possible
  • during the disclosure period, all account holders will know that HMRC has, or will soon have, their details. We have already successfully applied to get details from a number of banks
  • although offshore account structures can be complex, HMRC will make it as simple and straightforward as possible for people to disclose
  • in addition, HMRC want to work with financial institutions and customer representative bodies to further simplify the disclosure process.

If people do not disclose
  • the NDO is a final opportunity to disclose in advantageous circumstances - there will not be another one
  • anyone who has, or thinks they have, unpaid tax connected to an offshore account, should not wait for a further opportunity - it still makes sense to come forward now
  • they will be disappointed and face the likelihood of HMRC contacting them after the disclosure window has closed. If there are unpaid liabilities, this will almost certainly mean a higher penalty at the very least
  • we have plans to risk assess all information we receive and we will identify people who we believe have undeclared liabilities but who have not disclosed through NDO
  • we will use our enquiry and inspection powers to approach customers in this group and we will vigorously pursue all outstanding liabilities.

Once agreement has been reached the full details of the latest offshore disclosure campaign will be available on ACCA UK's website.






What's new on ACCA's website for SMPs?
ACCA UK's website for small and medium sized practitioners (SMPs) is designed to meet the needs of members in practice and their clients. View a summary of recent additions to the website.

ACCA UK's website for small and medium sized practitioners (SMPs) is designed to meet the needs of members in practice and their clients.

Visit www.accaglobal.com/advisory to access a wide range of information prepared by qualified accountants and ACCA's advisory services.

Latest updates to the SMP site include:

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