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Viewpoints on the news during January 2020

Opinions and news analysis, covering the worlds of business and accountancy.

Work with insurers? The PRA wants these improvements

24 January 2020: the PRA has set out the practical improvements the regulator wants to see from the general insurance industry in its letter to Chief Executives of general insurance firms regulated by the PRA. Some topics are more familiar than others, says ICAEW’s Financial Services Faculty; but, interestingly for a prudential regulator, there is a firm emphasis on culture.

Flybe fallout: clear frameworks ‘vital’ if more intervention is on the cards

23 January 2020: the idea of a government stepping in to provide assistance to cash-strapped companies with significant regional importance has been much debated following the recent Flybe intervention. While such a policy shift should be welcomed, a clear framework and strong legislation is crucial to any new strategy’s success, explains ICAEW Director for Business and Industrial Strategy Iain Wright.

Beware of risk in the growing car finance market

22 January 2020: members working for banks and lenders in the car finance market need to be aware of its changing face and associated risks. These include the likely growth of consumer redress should there be a financial downturn.

Will Brexit result in more fraud?

22 January 2020: once the UK finally leaves the EU, businesses of all kinds will experience economic costs and opportunities. Will one of the costs be an increased risk of fraud? We asked two experts for their views.

Top accountancy influencers roar

22 January 2020: ICAEW has released a list of the top 40 online accountancy influencers – individuals tweeting about and discussing accountancy related topics.

Are challenger banks winning the war for customers?

22 January 2020: it’s the battle of the banks – big players vs all-digital challenger banks. We look at how neobanks like Monzo and Starling are tackling the big players and question who’s got what it takes to win the war for new customers.

LIBOR transition: five things all businesses need to do now

21 January 2020: LIBOR will no longer be allowed as a reference rate in loan agreements or derivatives from 2021 and its use is rapidly diminishing. Over the next year banks must contact businesses with loans that charge interest based on LIBOR to agree what their new rate will be.

Five reasons ICAEW attends the World Economic Forum

21 January 2020: as bookings for private jet charter soar in the build-up to Davos, many will ask: “What was the hype all about?” Here are five reasons our CEO, Michael Izza, attends the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Annual Meeting each year (and not on a private jet).

Why the new government must act on late payments

21 January 2020: overdue payments are the bane of small business, and it’s been estimated that 50,000 business failures in 2014 could have been avoided if everyone paid within 30 days. What can the new government do about it? Iain Wright, ICAEW Director for Business and Industrial Strategy, explains.

Will the BEPS initiative really work?

20 January 2020: the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has announced plans to shake up a century of international tax law. However, 12 EU states voted against rules to force big tech companies to reveal profits and tax payments in each member state. Are the Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS) proposals really the best chance of a successful global response to tax avoidance?

Is the McMafia law working?

20 January 2020: the McMafia law, introduced in 2018, is already being challenged. Is it fit for purpose, or will the government see its weapons blunted in the face of organised crime?

Are your clients ready for IR35 changes?

17 January 2020: changes to off-payroll worker rules take effect next spring. Practitioners need to be ready with timely advice. Find out how your clients could be affected by the changes.

Why AI can’t fully automate accountancy

17 January 2020: the term "automation" strikes fear into the hearts of many professionals, but Head of the ICAEW Tech Faculty Richard Anning explains why the limitations of technology mean accountants will always have a role to play in optimising their clients’ financial position.

Getting to grips with IFRS 16? No time to waste

16 January 2020: any company with a portfolio of leased assets will be working through the full implications of the new standard, IFRS 16 Leases, applicable for the first time in 2019. These changes have been a long-time coming and the impact on accounts is likely to be significant. Where should the focus lie?

Brexit Britain: are we facing a financial services talent drought?

16 January 2020: as the figures for net migration to the UK plummet to a 16-year low, will the financial services sector find itself short of talent? Fraser Vandal, a solicitor in law firm TLT’s immigration team, explains how Brexit will affect industry employment.

SMEs: are you professionally ready for climate change?

15 January 2020: viewing your business through the lens of climate change will produce surprising results. Relentless flooding, extreme coastal conditions and super-hot days that cause systems to fail are not just uncomfortable, they are a risk to business. Getting ready is a professional imperative.

How five countries have modernised their tax systems

13 January 2020: it’s time that tax goes online, and the UK has plans to digitalise the tax process from start to finish. How could the experience of other countries pave the way for future UK developments?

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