Negligence & Liability Archives - Page 5 of 5 - Emile Woolf writes

End hypocrisy: only a culture change will achieve G-20 goals

  In the midst of G20 euphoria who can assess the effectiveness of its efforts to stabilize the economic turmoil? When the dust settles it will be people, not governments, who decide how successful the sweeping measures have been. Confidence, after all, is a feeling – and it’s beyond government control. Only when confidence returns […]

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Time for a reformed regulatory framework – auditing included

Time for a reformed regulatory framework – auditing included   The economic collapse is merciless in its revelations of failure, whether evidencing spineless regulation, ignorant policy-making, ineffective auditing, incompetent rating or wimpish governance. There’s nowhere to hide – as Warren Buffett puts it, when the tide goes out you can see who’s been bathing naked. […]

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The great credit collapse: what have we learnt

  Sir Thomas Gresham was a formidable figure in the late 16th Century. He built the Royal Exchange, the most fabulous commercial building of its day. Modeled on the Antwerp Bourse, it contained 150 small shops, making it one of the world’s first shopping malls. Yet its chief virtue was that, for the first time, […]

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Regulators, rating agencies, accountants, economists: they haven’t a clue.

Accountants are mere recorders, whereas forecasting lies within the province of chartists, economists and strategists. Yet accountants must share at least some of the blame for the lapse in forecasting reliability. After all, investment strategists require indicative source material in the form of financial statements prepared and audited by accountants. The principal justification for today’s […]

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Demise of the Independent Insurance Company – Lessons galore

The criminal findings against former directors of the Independent Insurance Company were of particular interest to me: a large slice of my firm’s primary layer of professional indemnity insurance was carried by the Independent at the time of its collapse in mid-2001 and had to be replaced in a hurry. Secondly, a small team from […]

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Prescriptive accounts? I’d rather they were understandable

Interpretation of those magic words “true and fair” has long been the subject of philosophical debate.  International Accounting Standard (IAS) 1 requires companies merely to present their accounts “fairly”, which has always been the US formulation.  The IAS regime does, however, insist that any international standard which the EC is proposing to adopt must not be […]

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The consequences of mindless regulation are always heartless

The Institute recently announced its decision to open its disciplinary and appeals hearings to the public and press.  It is said that this accords with the practice of other professional bodies.  Does this mean it is the right decision? I question whether the interests of the member or firm subject to the complaint were adequately […]

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The European Commission must be called to account

The subject of Europe polarises any otherwise rational debate.  Obsessional prejudice, whether pro or con, induces deafness and drives out reason.   More inflammatory even than party politics (where spin and expediency have blunted the ideals), passions over Europe (the Union, not the continent) have taken on the trappings of a belief system, susceptible to […]

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Spicing up the Audit Report will end in tears

A study of the evolution of the form and content of UK audit reports over, say, the past 50 years would make nostalgic but intriguing reading because it would at the same time reflect changing public and investor expectations of the audit function.   Under the Companies Act 1948 audit reports were required, positively, to […]

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“What the expert witness expects of his legal team”

Having acted as an accountancy expert in a wide range of disputes over nigh on 25 years, I recognise the critical nature of the relationship between expert and legal team in ensuring the smooth running of the litigation process from start to finish. It is obvious that like-minded personalities, particularly if they have worked together previously, have […]

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