JDS highlights conflicts of interest in accountancy firms
In its final report, the former accountants' disciplinary body, the JDS, has highlighted the difficulties in finding accountancy expert witnesses to act in high-profile regulatory cases or litigation due to the near monopoly of the Big 4 in FTSE 350 audits and the spread of non-audit work across other Big 4 firms meaning that all four are almost inevitably conflicted out of large cases.
In terms of forensic accounting work, a growing number of boutique operations have been snapped up by larger organisations. Truly independent firms such as Financial Forensics therefore have an advantage, particularly when coupled with decades of experience.
Ros and Angus had a great day running the Exmoor CTS marathon on 16 April, one of the toughest in the UK with over 5,250 feet of ascent. Perfect weather and fabulous weather made for an unbeatable day (with no lasting damage sustained). Thanks to all who sponsored us - including Gift Aid, we raised a total of over £2,000 for the East Africa Children's project of which Ros is a Trustee.
UK Bribery Act
Guidance on the UK Bribery Act has finally been published and the Act itself will come into force on 1 July 2011. The guidance sets out the key offences and describes the six principles considered to underlie proper anti-bribery procedures as well as providing a series of case studies.
Much fuss is being made about the extent to which corporate hospitality will or will not fall foul of the guidance. We suggest that if one focuses on the phrase 'improper performance of duties' then perhaps it's not such a conundrum as is being made out. Time and the Courts will tell.
You can find the guidance here.
Record fraud levels in 2010
11 January 2010
KPMG's annual Fraud Barometer has measured a record volume of fraud in 2010 with 317 cases coming to court (with a value of almost £1.4bn), around 16% up on 2009.
SFO prosecution of BAE
22 December 2010
A judgment at Southwark Crown Court on 21 December 2010 brought to a close the long running saga of the SFO's investigation and prosecution of BAE. Following BAE's guilty plea to one count of failing to keep adequate accounting records under S221 Companies Act 1985, the court essentially upheld the SFO's plea agreement with BAE and fined BAE £500,000 plus costs of £225,000, to be deducted from the £30 million compensation payment which BAE had agreed to pay to the people of Tanzania.
No escape for SOCA
27 July 2010
Following hot on the heels of the proposed shake-up in financial regulation and the prosecution of economic crime affecting both the FSA and the SFO come proposals from the Home Office for a National Crime Agency (NCA) which will replace the relatively recently formed SOCA.
Treasury consultation on new regime of financial regulation
27 July 2010
The Treasury has produced a consultation document setting out the Government's vision for a new regime of financial regulation in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis. The consultation heralds a plethora of related consultations in relating to proposals for a new Economic Crime Agency (ECA) and a new Companies Regulator.
The future of plea-bargaining agreements
25 May 2010
A debate organised by the Fraud Advisory Panel casted doubts on the future for plea-bargaining agreements in fraud cases following the recent cases of Innnospec and Mr John Dougall of Depuy where the SFO was criticised for tying the hand of the Court by agreeing with the defendants the sentences and fines to be levied in return for co-operation.
New body to tackle serious economic crime
16 June 2010
The formation of a new body to tackle serious economic crime was announced by the Chancellor George Osborne in his Mansion House speech today.
Fraud Advisory Panel proposals on a unified fraud prosecution office
16 March 2010
A working group of the Fraud Advisory Panel's legal and investigation process group has prepared a report considering whether the UK should adopt a unified fraud prosecution office as was recommended by Roskill in the Fraud Trials Committee report over 20 years ago.
Ros and Angus ran the Brighton marathon
15 April 2010
Ros and Angus ran the inaugural Brighton marathon on 15 April and raised a total of more than £2,900 for Great Ormond Street hospital. Thank you to all our donors.