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Professional Company Secretarial Solutions

Failure to prevent tax evasion

On 30 September 2017 a new law drops onto the statute book and it is well for businesses to be prepared. Applying to all companies and partnerships, the offence of failing to prevent tax evasion sits within the Criminal Finances Act which received Royal assent in April. Essentially, the new legislation is intended to stop businesses from ignoring activities carried …

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Corporate Governance – a cautionary tale

The UK may have one of the strongest and most flexible corporate governance regimes in the world but even that cannot prevent governance going awry from time to time. And when it does, the consequences can be significant both for the reputation and long-term prospects of the company. Two such instances have come to light in the past week, acting …

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Annual report time for the FRC

On 19th July the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued its annual report and accounts for 2016/17.  Although, as you’d expect from an annual report, this was primarily a chance to review and report on the year in question, the FRC also followed its own reporting best practice recommendations and took the opportunity to look forward.   Launching the report the …

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Cyber security awareness

How cyber–secure is your business? If online security is something which you have traditionally assumed is covered by your IT department or contractor then you may need to think again.  Cyber security is as much your responsibility as a director as any other form of risk management or oversight.  And it’s no good thinking that ‘it won’t happen to me’.  …

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A Queen’s Speech for Brexit

Given that the forthcoming Parliamentary session will usher in one of the most significant governance transformations in modern times, the June 2017 State Opening of Parliament was a strangely subdued affair.  Thanks to its proximity to the Queen’s Birthday Parade the decision was taken to curtail some of the ceremony, with the Queen not donning her usual robes of state, …

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Disclosure and communication

If there was one key rule for effective communication it would be to know your audience. Without that one basic level of understanding whatever you attempt, whatever medium you use, it is unlikely to have the impact that you intended. It was with interest therefore that we noted a forthcoming Financial Reporting Council (FRC) event entitled ‘Better Communication – Seeing …

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Overseeing governance

Who watches the watchmen? It’s a question which comes up in so many different guises and yet it is one which we rarely stop to ponder, unless something goes wrong. And yet one of the fundamental planks of our system of governance is that every official body has some form of review, helping to ensure that it continues to deliver …

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Filing smaller company accounts

Companies house has issued a reminder for small companies to effect that changes to UK company law has removed the option for filing abbreviated accounts for accounting periods starting on or after 1 January 2016.  That doesn’t mean, however, that small and micro-entities have to prepare and submit a full set of accounts; although that option is open to them. …

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Diversity on the back foot

The director-general of the CBI, Carolyn Fairburn, has warned businesses that workplace diversity is in danger of going backwards in the face of competing priorities. Speaking at a recent CBI event in London Carolyn Fairburn called diversity “one of the defining issues of our age.” However she cautioned that in times of great change it can be easy to let …

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Time to act on Corporate Governance

It’s time for directors “to take more seriously their duties to comply with the law and the Code relating to corporate governance.”  That’s the opinion of Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee as a result of its review into corporate governance.  Whilst acknowledging the continuing benefits of the comply or explain code, the committee is concerned both about the …

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