Remembering dementia

The Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity and provides essential services to those with the disease and their families. For Robert Butler FCCA, that was a good reason to join as its CFO. “I spent most of my career in the commercial sector,” he explains. “I came late to the not-for-profit sector four …

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Sue Gray: shaking up Northern Ireland’s Civil Service

In her role as the Cabinet Office’s director general of propriety and ethics, Sue Gray was dubbed ‘the most powerful woman in Britain’ by the ConservativeHome website. Today, though, she has a very different role as permanent secretary of Northern Ireland’s Department of Finance. https://www.accaglobal.com/uk/en/member/member/accounting-business/2020/02/interviews/sue-gray.html

BEPS

Profit shifting costs countries $100bn to $240bn in lost tax revenue each year, estimates the OECD, with developing nations particularly losing out. In response, the OECD is leading on the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting – BEPS – initiative to reduce the loss in tax revenues. BEPS is proposed through two measures. Pillar One addresses …

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Public sector innovation

Participatory budgeting is being used by public bodies around the world to address some of the critical challenges they face. These include lack of trust in the public sector, corruption, the democratic deficit and demands for citizen empowerment. Participatory budgeting – PB – offers the opportunity for community involvement in decision-making, while providing financial transparency. …

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Derry waits

First, the good news. Derry is one of the most improved small cities in the UK’s devolved nations, according to the 2019 Good Growth Index published by the Demos think-tank and accountancy firm PwC. The bad news, though, is that Derry remains firmly at the bottom of the list as the worst performing small city …

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Boris wins

Boris Johnson has at last won a vote in the House of Commons in favour of a withdrawal agreement. How significant the passing is of the second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill we will have to wait to see – but it feels very important. As things stand (without promising it will be the …

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Wrightbus survives

Subject to the t’s being crossed and the i’s being dotted, Wrightbus is to be saved. A rather ill-tempered negotiation between Jo Bamford’s company Ryse Hydrogen and the Wright family appears to have ended with smiles rather than tears. Bamford said that while the deal was not yet concluded with the administrators, terms had been …

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Thomas Cook

More than 150,000 holiday makers had to be repatriated following the collapse of travel agents Thomas Cook.  The business failure could lead to the loss of the firm’s 21,000 employees’ jobs – 9,000 of these in the UK – unless the administrators can sell at least part of the business as a going concern.  While …

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Europe made me

It was 45 years ago that I left Britain for the first time, to hitch-hike around Western Europe.  I was a different person and the continent was a different place.  Today, Europe is about to become a different place again.  Brexit – assuming it goes ahead – will change the EU, as well as changing …

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Funding the arts

Harvey Weinstein promised $5m to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts as an endowment for women filmmakers.  As allegations surfaced about the Hollywood producer’s sexual abuse of women, the University decided this was a gift they could do without. Charitable donations may reflect a desire to do good in the world.  But for …

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