UK accounting firms criticised by watchdog for ‘unacceptable’ work – The Guardian

Posted July 15th, 2020 in accountants, auditors, news, ombudsmen, standards by tracey

‘The accounting watchdog has hit out at the UK’s largest auditors, after its annual inspection uncovered an “unacceptable” number of poorly executed company audits.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 14th July 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Commercial Court dislikes pre-action disclosure in prof neg claims: even in mega-auditor’s negligence action – Hailsham Chambers

‘In Carillion v KPMG, the liquidators of this once substantial company sought pre-action disclosure from its former auditors. They intend to bring professional negligence proceedings for not detecting that the financial statements were unreliable. The Commercial Court refused the application. One might think that given auditors’ negligence claims in large part turn on professional judgment as to the audit procedures performed, the evidence obtained and the conclusions drawn, clear sight of the materials produced and relied on by the auditors would enable better focussed pleadings. Nonetheless the Commercial Court refused the application (which had admittedly spun into a substantial hearing with apparently more than £500,000 costs on each side). It pointed out that generally such applications were unlikely to succeed in Commercial Court cases and on the facts was not appropriate. The Judge seems to have been most impressed by the fact that Carillion had been able to articulate a detailed case in negligence already, rendering pre-action disclosure perhaps redundant and likely to be duplicated when it came to conventional disclosure.’

Full Story

Hailsham Chambers, June 2020

Source: www.hailshamchambers.com

Spending watchdog warns public bodies on challenge of managing end of PFI contracts as disputes loom – Local Government Lawyer

‘More than a third of public bodies expect to have formal disputes as PFI contracts come to an end, the National Audit Office has found.’

Full Story

Local Government Lawyer, 5th June 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Data watchdog relaxes regulatory function to prioritise guidance on complying with law during coronavirus public health emergency – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will stand down audit work, issue fewer fines and generally use fewer formal powers against organisations that are struggling to meet data protection standards as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.’

Full Story

Local Government Lawyer, 22nd May 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

A new code of audit practice – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted March 24th, 2020 in auditors, codes of practice, local government, news by sally

‘‘Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote/ The droghte of March hath perced to the roote’. So, in 1387, opened the prologue to Canterbury Tales. But if April inspired Chaucer’s characters to begin their famous pilgrimage, local authority lawyers and auditors will soon also find a new spring in their steps. For on 1 April 2020 there will be a new Code of Audit Practice.’

Full Story

Law Society's Gazette, 23rd March 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Audit firms face review by watchdog over climate risk exposure – The Guardian

Posted February 21st, 2020 in auditors, climate change, disclosure, news, ombudsmen by sally

‘The UK’s accounting watchdog has launched a major review into whether companies and their auditors are adequately reflecting the financial risks of the climate crisis in their accounts.’

Full Story

The Guadian, 20th February 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Professional liability round up of 2019 – 4 New Square

‘The 2019 professional liability case law was dominated by four core themes, which arose repeatedly in numerous contexts in claims against lawyers and auditors in particular:

-Multiple interlocking attacks on different aspects of the “loss of a chance” doctrine, anchored in both “lost litigation” claims and defective business deals. As we explain, the case law has been marked by various parties trying to opt out of parts of the existing Allied Maples doctrine, or bend the requirements to their particular circumstances.
-The continued adoption of “assumption of responsibility” as the appropriate test for duty of care to non-clients, and the extent to which the principle is relevant to the scope of duty owed to a client.
-The debate over how the distinction between “information” and “advice” cases plays out in the context of the respective duties of auditors and directors for the running of companies (both in the context of scope of duty and contributory negligence).
-The way in which a claimant’s wrongdoing should “taint” a claim against a professional. This theme emerged in the loss of a chance context, in respect of “ex turpi causa”, and in relation to the ever-challenging issue of attribution.’

Full Story

4 New Square, 7th January 2020

Source: www.4newsquare.com

MPs announce inquiry into Thomas Cook collapse – The Guardian

Posted September 27th, 2019 in auditors, company directors, holidays, inquiries, insolvency, news, select committees by tracey

‘MPs are to hold an inquiry into the role of “corporate greed” in the collapse of Thomas Cook, focusing on directors’ stewardship of the company, how much they were paid and how its accounts were prepared and signed off by auditors.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 26th September 2019

Source: www.theguardian.com

Home Office outsourcing to ‘exploitative’ contractor must be reviewed, say MPs and lawyers – The Independent

‘MPs and lawyers have called for an urgent review into outsourced immigration services after it emerged Home Office profits on UK visas had surged by millions of pounds a week since visa operations were contracted to a private firm accused of exploiting applicants.’

Full Story

The Independent, 18th August 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Home Office used ‘confused, misleading, incomplete and unsafe’ evidence to revoke visas of tens of thousands of international students, report finds – The Independent

‘Tens of thousands of international students had their visas revoked after the Home Office used “confused, misleading, incomplete and unsafe” evidence, MPs have said. The department ignored expert advice and relied on “dodgy” evidence when it accused almost 34,000 students of cheating in English language tests in 2015, according to a new report published by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on the Test of English for International Communication (Toeic).’

Full Story

The Independent, 18th July 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Governance under the spotlight – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted July 2nd, 2019 in auditors, government departments, local government, news, standards by sally

‘As Roman satirist Juvenal was always asking down the pub: ‘Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?’ (But who guards the guards themselves?). For the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) the answer is the redoubtable House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC).’

Full Story

Law Society's Gazette, 1st July 2019

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

MPs and lawyers call for investigation into privatised visa system which allows firms to make millions – The Independent

Posted June 24th, 2019 in auditors, contracting out, immigration, Law Society, news, parliament, visas by tracey

‘Cross party politicians back demands for urgent review into Home Office partnership with French firm Sopra Steria following warnings legal migrants risk being ‘thrown into the hostile environment’

Full Story

The Independent, 23rd June 2019

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Investigation into the response to cheating in English language tests – National Audit Office

Posted May 24th, 2019 in auditors, examinations, fraud, immigration, press releases, statistics, visas by tracey

‘The National Audit Office (NAO) has today published its investigation into the Home Office’s response to widespread cheating by international students in English language tests. Clearly widespread cheating did take place but some people may have been wrongly accused and in some cases, unfairly removed from the UK.’

Full press release

National Audit Office, 24th May 2019

Source: www.nao.org.uk

Lydia Banerjee Writes “The Professional Obligations Owed By Auditors Have Been Under The Spot Light in Two Recent Case” – Littleton Chambers

Posted February 19th, 2019 in appeals, auditors, building societies, mortgages, negligence, news by sally

‘On 30 January 2019 the Court of Appeal gave their judgment in the case of Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP [2019] EWCA Civ 40. The following day judgment was handed down by the Honourable Mr Justice Bryan in AssetCo Plc v Grant Thornton UK LLP [2019] EWHC 150.’

Full Story

Littleton Chambers, 14th February 2019

Source: www.littletonchambers.com

SAAMCO revisited: information, advice and assumption of responsibility – Hardwicke Chambers

Posted February 19th, 2019 in appeals, auditors, building societies, mortgages, negligence, news by sally

‘In Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton UK LLP [2019] EWCA Civ 40, the Court of Appeal yet again had to consider the application of the SAAMCO principle. Perhaps most significantly, the decision underlines the need to distinguish between ‘information’ and ‘advice’ cases when assessing the extent of a defendant’s liability for professional negligence.’

Full Story

Hardwicke Chambers, 14th February 2019

Source: hardwicke.co.uk

Accountancy watchdog criticised over legal services procurement – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted December 19th, 2018 in accountants, auditors, competition, legal services, news, ombudsmen, public procurement by sally

‘The accountancy regulator should adopt a more open procurement policy when tendering for legal and professional services, a review assessing its clout has found.’

Full Story

Law Society's Gazette, 18th December 2018

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Patisserie Valerie auditor Grant Thornton faces probe over financial irregularities – The Independent

Posted November 21st, 2018 in auditors, fraud, inquiries, news by tracey

‘The accounting watchdog has launched an investigation into Grant Thornton’s audits of Patisserie Valerie over the three years from 2015 to 2017, after financial irregularities were uncovered at the cafe chain earlier this year.’

Full Story

The Independent, 21st November 2018

Source: www.independent.co.uk

UK accounting regulator fines KPMG £2.1 million after misconduct admission – OUT-LAW.com

Posted August 21st, 2018 in auditors, financial regulation, fines, news, professional conduct by sally

‘The UK’s accountancy regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has fined KPMG £2.1 million after an investigation into audits of fashion company Ted Baker.’

Full Story

OUT-LAW.com, 20th August 2018

Source: www.out-law.com

Watchdog berates PwC over ‘misleading’ BHS accounts – The Guardian

Posted August 16th, 2018 in accountants, auditors, financial regulation, news, reports by sally

‘BHS’s accounts were misleading and featured unrealistic forecasts before Sir Philip Green sold the now collapsed department store chain, according to a report into the role of the retailer’s auditor, PwC.’

Full Story

The Guardian, 15th August 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

R (Taveta Investments Ltd) v Financial Reporting Council – Blackstone Chambers

Posted August 9th, 2018 in auditors, injunctions, news, sanctions by sally

‘Following an investigation in relation to an audit of BHS, the FRC reached a settlement with the auditors whereby they admitted misconduct and accepted the imposition of fines and other sanctions. The FRC and the auditors entered into a settlement agreement which included a 38-page “Particulars of Fact and Acts of Misconduct” setting out the “facts” as agreed between these parties.’

Full Story

Blackstone Chambers, 29th June 2018

Source: www.blackstonechambers.com