8th April 2020

Our Spring Accounting Update seminars recently took place across the UK and, although the programme was cut short by Coronavirus, we managed to complete a webinar recording which is now available for members to watch online, for free, here.

Led by Lifecycle partner and compliance expert Val Steward, the webinar – which accounts for 1.5 hours CPD – covers: AML changes; GDPR nearly two years on; the impact of Brexit and a more general accounting update on the most current common practice issues along with some practical risk management tips for your firm.

Here, we catch up with Val who shares with us her top-line advice following feedback from the sessions.

Extended AML requirements mean greater responsibility and client accountability for accountants

Following the introduction of the amended Fifth European Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) in January, accountants now have more personal responsibility for their clients than ever before. Whatever your size and client base, we all have a much greater role to play in helping to reduce tax fraud and detect other money laundering issues.

Accountants have an obligation to report any concerns and discrepancies. Not doing so can have serious implications – commercial, reputational and criminal – on you and your practice, as well as those of your client.

Val talks member accountants through the changes, provides updates to CDD provisions and offers guidance on how to ensure practices and colleagues are compliant.

GDPR certainly wasn’t a waste of time and non-adherence can be costly

This opinion has been frequently expressed at each of the six Lifecycle seminars that were undertaken. Many accountants have freely admitted that nothing has changed and the whole exercise was a complete waste of time.

Let’s be clear. It wasn’t and accountants really must not let it slip – or worse, ignore it all together – as the potential penalties for failure to comply are huge.

Since GDPR was implemented in May 2018, the UK has had 22,000 personal data breaches reported under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – that’s the third-largest volume in Europe, after the Netherlands and Germany.

Infringements can be costly. As with 5AMLD, non-compliance can have a hugely negative impact, whether that’s through fines and legal fees, a damaged reputation or client distrust. It can even lead to professional indemnity cover being invalidated or refused.

During the Spring update seminars, Val discusses these points and runs through its guiding principles and the appropriate privacy policies that every accountant in practice should be working to in order to achieve compliance.

Brexit and its impact on how you should be managing your firm and clients

Guidance has recently been published for accountants confirming that there will be no substantive changes during the transition period post-Brexit, that’s due to end on 31st December.

In this series of Lifecycle seminars Val covers day-to-day Brexit-related issues and changes that impact on client services, which are relevant to practices of all sizes.

These include: Making detailed and entity-specific disclosures of Brexit-related risks and their impact, as well as considering a wider range of outcomes when reflecting market and company data on balance sheets. Val also poses the question: Is this necessary when reporting under FRS 102 1A?

These sessions also look at the most timely and topical updates to accounting and best practice management, including the main issues associated with the latest versions of FRS 105 and 102, which apply for the accounting period commencing on or after 1st January 2019.

Val is also providing advice – and a forum for discussion – on a wide range of other practical and legislative issues, to help Lifecycle members to provide the highest levels of client service.

The Spring Accounting Update 2020 webinar is now available on-demand for Lifecycle members so if you’re not already registered then click here. You can then access the recording, along with recordings of our previous seminars, via the Training and Events section of the Members’ homepage.

About the Lifecycle network

Lifecycle is a unique network for accountants – provided by Leonard Curtis.

It provides member accountants with a comprehensive range of specialist services – and the expert support required – to improve their client offering at every stage of a business’ lifecycle. From company formation to cessation and all stages in between.

Lifecycle is free to join and also offers members many additional benefits. These include access to competitively priced Professional Indemnity insurance cover, a regular programme of free training and education and discounts on products and services relevant to their business and clients’ needs.

Services offered by Lifecycle include: Company secretarial and formationequity finance for SMEsdebt advisory for SMEspersonal debt advicecorporate restructuring, insolvency and cessationdebt finance for SMEscashflow maximisationproperty solutions and legal services.

For more information on Lifecycle click here.

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