Governance & Regulation Archives - Emile Woolf writes

“Grasping the nettle: now or never for auditors!”

JUNE 2018 – “ACCOUNTANCY” GRASPING THE NETTLE – IT’S NOW OR NEVER FOR AUDITORS It has descended into predictable farce. Every time a corporate reporting clanger is dropped and auditors of a public company are mired in yet another scandal, the Financial Reporting Council responds by undertaking to investigate the accounts and audit of the […]

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“Understanding Economics in an hour”

UNDERSTANDING ECONOMICS IN ONE HOUR 1 – Overview Looking about us, what we see is the passing show. Despite every appearance of reality, it is ephemeral, ever-changing. It is Prospero’s “insubstantial pageant”. What we see is a “result” of something else, always a manifestation rather than a “cause”. It is difficult to discern the real […]

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Tackling the auditing malaise – at source

“ACCOUNTANCY” – APRIL 2018 – EMILE WOOLF “TACKLING THE SOURCE OF THE MALAISE” Deserved it may be, but the massive reputational battering of Big 4 brands does nothing for the profession’s standing. Since those firms appear to be quite capable of bearing the financial consequences of their errors – indeed, their own financial strength exceeds […]

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The FRC’s penal sanctions regime fails to raise standards

“ACCOUNTANCY” – FEBRUARY 2018 PENAL SANCTIONS REGIME THAT DOES NOT RAISE STANDARDS The main objectives of the Financial Reporting Council’s sanctions policy are to improve audit performance, protect the public from sub-standard work, maintain market confidence and uphold proper auditing standards. The policy emphasizes, however, that its purpose is not to punish, but to protect […]

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RECENT TAX HYSTERIA [Economic Perspectives – 25]

Economic Perspectives – 25 REFLECTIONS ON RECENT TAX HYSTERIA [Early December 2017] Where we are now on the subject of taxation – clueless and lost! Widespread “tax-dodging” is the surest sign that our “tax-raising” process is seriously defective! Why doesn’t our existing tax system raise enough money to meet all government commitments? The reason is […]

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HBOS, KPMG & FRC – a trio mired in scandal

“ACCOUNTANCY” – DECEMBER 2017 HBOS, KPMG & FRC – a trio mired in scandal How much credence can shareholders of public companies safely attach to financial statements that carry a “true and fair” imprimatur from their auditors? Big-4 firms hold the lion’s share of public company audit appointments, yet they are regularly found to have […]

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Economic Perspectives 22

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES – 22 Currency fables – the devaluation myth The notion persists that a particular country’s economic hardship may be alleviated by an official devaluation of its currency on the basis that this would make its exports cheaper to overseas buyers. Let’s therefore pretend, just for the sake of debate, that all countries in […]

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Institutionally Gullible – loan-loss provisions

“ACCOUNTANCY” – JUNE 2017 Banks, criminality and accounting: end of the road?  All those banks and other financial institutions that have gone bust, or been bailed out, over the past 20 years demonstrate that the sector’s corporate conduct has been wayward, to put it mildly. That these dodgy outfits are located in the UK, USA, […]

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Economic Perspectives 14 (April 2017) – Meaning of Free Trade

  ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 14 The natural condition of international commerce is unilateral free trade [I acknowledge the inspirational work of, respectively, Professors Don Boudreaux and Patrick Barron in preparing this instalment of EPs.] Preface In the above title, the words “international” (obviously implying ‘more than one’) and “unilateral” (meaning ‘one-sided’), may appear to be self-contradictory. […]

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