Accountants in Business - Course Content

Presentations will be led by expert speakers covering a number of thought-provoking and insightful topics, including; Contract, Company and Commercial Law, Financial Reporting, Fraud and Cyber Threats, Tax and wider business updates including Employment Law and HR. 

John Selwood, Ralph Tiffin and Paul Gee
Financial Reporting update

This session gives you a complete overview of the "need to know" technical updates and regulator issues in financial reporting. It’s designed to help anyone involved in preparing and reviewing reports, whether under UK GAAP or IFRS, for a range of company sizes. Specifically, the 2020 financial reporting session will cover:

FRC focus areas and thematic reviews:
  • Brief overview of FRC focus areas including disclosure of judgments and estimates, expected impact of IFRS 16 Leases, income taxes, cashflow statements and narrative reporting
  • Implementation of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from contracts with customers
  • Application of FRS 102
  • Review of smaller listed and AIM quoted companies
  • Change to definition of business under IFRS 3
  • Changes to conceptual framework
  • Focus on IFRS 16  
  • IFRSs 9  & 15 – feedback from implementation
Smaller listed/AIM quoted companies
  • Issues from FRC review including Strategic Reports
  • AIM corporate governance disclosures
UK GAAP in practice
  • Changes arising from the FRS 102 triennial review  in practice
  • FRC January 2020 Annual review of FRS 102
  • Focus on FRC review issues including revenue recognition, investment property & related deferred tax
  • FRS 101 – where are we now?
Judgements and estimates
  • Focus on this high priority area for the FRC, with practical examples and discussion of findings from our review of published accounts
Mark Owen
Contract Company and Commercial Law update

Delivering the latest developments in contract, company and commercial law, this year’s update has had a full, fresh redesign.

Providing you with all the essential information and changes to legislation and best practice, the session will be delivered into two parts covering:

Part I:

Contract Law Update
  • Recent case law developments
  • Issues of interpretation
  • The duty of ‘good faith’
  • The irrelevance of hindsight
Company Law Update
  • Recent case law developments
  • Corporate Governance
  • Directors’ duties and liabilities
Vicarious Liability
  • ‘Morrisons Makes It’ a brace of precedents
  • Acting in the course of employment
  • The ‘field of activities’ test
  • The importance of insurance
Litigation Privilege
  • Scope and application
  • Sole and dominant purpose test
  • Practical implications
Settlement Agreements
  • Protected conversations under S 111A ERA’96
  • The drafting and enforcement of agreements
  • PENP; its calculation and tax treatment
  • NDAs; silencing whistle-blowers
Restrictive Covenants
  • Non-compete, non-deal or non-solicit?
  • Assessing the reasonableness of the restraint
  • Tactical considerations and remedies

Part II

  • Labour pains; clarifying the law on employment status
  • False self-employment/disguised employment
  • Personal Service Companies and IR35
  • Recent case law developments
  • Varying contracts post transfer
  • Some practical considerations
  • Implementation to date
  • Lessons learnt on SARs
  • Guidance for the future
Equality Diversity & Equal Pay
  • Sexual harassment at work; ‘you too’?
  • Gender pay reporting requirements
  • Pay transparency and equal pay
Sentencing of Corporate Defendants for Regulatory Offences
  • Reflections on the Definitive Guidelines
  • Implications for businesses
  • Enabling a culture of compliance
Dr Stephen Hill
A Closer Examination of Fraud & Cyber Threats in 2020

‘Fraud is not a victimless crime. Fraudsters are often part of serious organised criminal gangs, who use the money to fund other crimes such as human trafficking and terrorism.’ - Lord Goldsmith

Our awareness of fraud may be greater through news and press coverage, but statistics show that the problem is still there with new methods appearing all the time.  Fraud, or the use of deception to dishonestly acquire a personal gain, is a global problem affecting economies, businesses and individuals. Bribery, corruption, identity fraud, tax evasion, and investment scams are all examples of fraudulent activities. 

Today fraud is a particularly serious threat to the financial services industry – and according to the headlines is on the increase. Many successful fraud schemes are hard to detect so it is critical that employees at all levels have a basic knowledge of how these schemes work and how to recognise the warning signs.

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in 2018 the most common internal control weakness that contributed to fraud in the Accounts & Finance Department was a lack of internal controls particularly in relation to technology.

There is nothing new or unexpected about the way today’s technology empowers the fraudster. Historically it happened with money and the earliest financial products, then came along the telephone and most recently the internet has seriously impacted our fraud defences.

This session is aimed at highlighting the current fraud risk facing organisations today with a focus on technology.  Some of the areas covered include:

  • What is fraud? - a brief introduction 
  • Types of Fraud – payroll, expenses, debtor, cyber scams
  • Threats and benefit of technology
  • How to prevent and reduce fraud 
  • Where to go for help
Mark Wearden
The Ethical Accountant - Expectation, Behaviour and Reputation

Mark Wearden looks at the exponential growth of narrative reporting and the stakeholder expectation of the story behind the figures, as told by the directors of a business. The aspiration is greater transparency, but can we really achieve this in our increasingly litigious world?

As accountants, we need to choose our words with care, mindful of the diversity of our readers, trying to out-think the potential meanings that will be ascribed to the words.

We will consider formal narrative reporting requirements including:

  • the enhanced Companies Act 2006
  • the Wates Principles
  • the Directors’ Report and the Strategic Report
  • performance metrics
  • the FRC UK Corporate Governance Code

We will also consider how we can use words most effectively within our regular management reporting.

Underpinned by a reminder of the expectation and the requirements, this practical and interactive session will use multiple examples of good and bad reporting, challenging you to write, interpret and critique the real meaning of the words being used.

Patrick O'Brien
Comprehensive Tax Update

Successful business are those which can quickly adapt to and cope with change and few would argue that UK business is not currently undergoing a period of change. These changes come in a variety of forms, including changes to UK taxation.

Patrick will provide an update on a number of tax topics which are likely to be of interest to growing and successful businesses. Topics will include, but are not limited to, preparing a subsidiary or business activity for sale and exit planning with reference to entrepreneurs’ relief, reconstructions and demergers, the substantial shareholdings exemption and stamp duty land tax to name but a few.

Even if there are no immediate plans for a disposal of a business or part of a business, taking preparatory action now can often pay dividends in the future. Patrick will help guide you through the tax maze and identify some of the main opportunities and potential pitfalls.

Amanda Chadwick
Employment Law and HR Update

Many businesses are unaware of how to manage their obligations under the ACAS Code of Practice - a main component of confusion being around employment contracts.

Join Amanda Chadwick to learn about the top five features you must include in your employment contracts.

We will also cover:

  • Employment entitlements, such as personal leave
  • Contract and policies - what’s the difference?
  • Unfair dismissal and how to avoid a claim
  • How to reduce sickness and absence