Law Archives - Emile Woolf writes

Accounting clarity – or regulatory clutter?

APRIL 2017 – ‘ACCOUNTANCY’ MAGAZINE The impediment of accounting clutter Management accounts have never been subjected to the rigorous straightjacket of regulatory standards because people running businesses base their internal accounting systems on utility, or relevance to their needs. In an ideal world, users of published financial statements would be consulted on utility before involving […]

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Useless Sanctions against Banks

‘ACCOUNTANCY’ – JANUARY 2017 MONETARY SANCTIONS? USELESS ON THEIR OWN Unfortunately for our profession, the ‘Big 4’ label may equally be taken to refer to HSBC, RBS, Lloyds and Barclays, which between them have incurred an eye-watering £50 billion in fines and lawsuits since the financial crisis began ten years ago. Their misdemeanours relate mainly […]

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Legitimising corrupt practices

February 2017 “ACCOUNTANCY” Legitimising corrupt practices In last month’s column I commented on the huge fines levied on financial institutions guilty of violating securities laws, noting that natural justice would be better served if these vast penalties were applied to compensate victims, rather than enriching culprits’ lawyers – while leaving the transgressors’ obscene levels of […]

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Economic Perspectives 9 – Regulatory extortion and legitimising corruption

News media gloat over the eye-watering levels of retribution (in the form of fines and penalties) finally being meted out to aberrant banks found guilty of having violated securities laws leading up to the last financial crash. I find it astonishing, firstly, that it has taken close to 10 years to identify, formulate and punish […]

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Pension fund audits: time for a rethink

November 2016 “Accountancy” The central bankers’ obsession with interest rate cuts as a means of stimulating economic recovery reminds me of the “dare” games we played as children, such as “how long can you keep your finger in the candle flame?” Or, in banking terms, “how close to zero can you fix interest rates before […]

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Post-Brexit opportunities – and regulatory failures

“Accountancy” Magazine: September 2016 In the wake of Brexit, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is urging companies to engage in dialogue with their auditors on whether specific disclosures are needed in their annual strategic report. This, for many companies, will provide a key focus for members, potential investors and financial journalists. Drafting its section on […]

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Economic Perspectives 3: Interest Rate Suppression

The importance of interest rates I have written many times of the persistent but forlorn attempts by central bankers to “stimulate” growth in their countries’ flagging economies by applying the twin practices of quantitative easing (QE) and lowering interest rates. It has been clear for years that these policies simply do not work. The only […]

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Audit Committees’ Demanding Role

Woolf: clamping down on share of non-audit services As new audit regulations take effect with the introduction of the EU Audit Regulations and Directive (ARD) into UK legislation, Emile Woolf FCA emphasises the need for renewed rigour in governance and auditor oversight 29 Jul 2016 Emile Woolf FCA, chartered accountant View profile and articles. Governance […]

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Audit Committees: coming of age

Governance is more than regulation, which is its servant. Every public interest entity (‘PIE’), operating for the benefit of stakeholders and employees, functions within a regulatory structure that balances operational freedom, risk and cost. Finding and maintaining a lasting balance between these potentially competing elements is the province of good governance, and ensuring its effectiveness […]

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