Accountancy in focus - March 2024

Welcome to the first edition of Ashfords’ quarterly bulletin, written for the accountancy profession and focussing on the legal and regulatory issues relevant to the sector.

In this quarter’s edition we explore the recently updated ICAEW guidance on the ‘duty to report misconduct’, we have a reminder of the rules in relation to post-termination restrictions and consider how enforceable they really are, there’s a quick look at the simplification of holiday pay for workers, we consider cyber security good practice and we reference a radical shake-up of court debt collection procedures, which may well see a movement towards the outsourcing of businesses’ credit control departments.

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A guide to reporting and investigating professional misconduct

Most professional bodies, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) included, have introduced obligations, both on firms and on members, to report workplace and other wrongdoing.

This article investigates what the ICAEW guidance includes and what to do if wrongdoing is reported.

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Shadow Of People Behind Office Blinds

Simplifying holiday pay: a guide to government changes to holiday pay and entitlement in 2024

On 1 January 2024, the government introduced changes to the working time regulations. This article looks through the changes and highlights the important steps employers need to take to comply with the new regulations.

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Our latest insights and articles

Post-termination restrictions for partners and senior team members

If an employee or partner has knowledge of your clients, your confidential know-how and techniques, your strategic plans and staff data could be attractive to a competitor within your sector. 

This article explains the types of restrictions that firms can implement to protect such information, as well as important points to consider when taking action.

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Office Block

Hacked off: good practice for cyber security

Professional services firms who hold significant and sensitive data are at particular risk of a cyber security breach, according to stats from a recent government survey.

This article reviews these stats and a recent high profile case, to provide advice for organisations to minimise the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches.

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Cyber Security Concept On Circuitboard

Debt recovery changes – ‘fixed recoverable costs’ for court claims

On 1 October 2023, new rules were introduced which govern how claims with a value between £10,000 and £100,000 will be dealt. These changes have potential significance for businesses which regularly pursue debt claims against their own customers and third parties.

Under the new regime, known as the fixed recoverable costs regime, for the first time, claimants are entitled to recover pre-set costs for the various stages of the litigation process, in addition to the debt and interest. The ‘recoverable costs’ vary according to the value and complexity of the case and the stage of proceedings that is reached before the claim is concluded.

Ashfords has developed a ‘streamlined’ FRC Debt collection service under which it is able to undertake debt collection, and other claims, at the fixed recoverable rates – giving the potential for a costs neutral debt collection function for businesses.

The firm is now undertaking external debt collection processes for a number of companies with an expectation that further businesses will dispense with internal credit control teams in favour of an externally operated model.

Click below to visit our Fixed Recoverable Costs page for more details.

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Ashfords’ partnership advisory team is led by Andrew Perkins (Exeter) and Rory Mac Neice (Bristol), who between them have nearly 50 years’ experience of advising in relation to partnership and LLP issues - representing partnerships, partners, LLPs and members across a whole range of disciplines including accountancy, legal, architecture, medical, veterinary and other professional practices as well as trading and property owning ventures.

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