Daily Insight: Carillion probe, women in finance, and MTD gets heated (again)

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Morning all… Before we get into the serious stuff of Daily Insight, I hope you enjoy today’s cartoon. It was one of many splendid caricatures drawn by our Accountex Summit North special guest Robert Duncan. And the good news is that Robert will be literally on hand to sketch for you at Accountex London 2018 on 23-24 May.

OK, to the news. Carillion is back in it (up to its neck?). The FRC will be investigating two former finance directors of the outsourcing group that so spectacularly collapsed in January.

The accounting regulator is looking at ICAEW members Richard Adam and Zafar Khan, and their role in preparing financial statements in 2014, 15 and 16.

As quickly as possible

The watchdog says the probe will take place “as quickly as possible”.

Adam quit as FD in 2016 after 10 years in the job and received a payout of about £1.1 million. Kahn replaced him and lasted just over a year. He stood down four months before the collapse. His payout was £425,000.

Economia reports that 45 more companies have backed the Women in Finance charter, taking the total to 200 groups – after a bit of apparent initial  reluctance to get involved.

BNP Paribas, Close Brothers, Crowdcube, Goldman Sachs, Invesco, Metro bank, QBE and UBS are the latest to sign up to the charter, which sets and monitors equality targets.

Fresh thinking and new perspectives

PM Theresa May has put her weight behind the Treasury initiative, saying it’s a good move towards giving women equality in the workplace.

She says: “Time and again, I have seen first-hand how women can bring fresh thinking and new perspectives. And I know the commitment that women put into their jobs on a daily basis.

“But, of course, there is still more to be done and I look forward to seeing these companies really delivering on their targets over the next few years.”

Meanwhile, Accountex sales manager Rachel Gregory has joined the equality debate with a blog in Accounting Insight News. Check it out here.

Finally, I was interested to read the comments section at the bottom of accountingWEB‘s story about the latest HMRC move on MTD – that is to expand the pilot to the self-employed. Unanimous, shall we say, ‘scepticism’, from all 30-plus correspondents…

See you tomorrow.