View Post

Goldman Sachs boss defends ‘fair value’ accounting

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

18 April 2009 The US authorities on April 2nd decided to suspend fair value or “mark-to-market” accounting – whereby banks and other financial institutions must attribute market values to financial instruments that they do not intend to hold to maturity, including collateralised debt obligations, rather than pursue their former course …

View Post

Are ‘Big Four’ accountants a waste of space?

In Blog by Ian Fraser4 Comments

Updated 5 April 2009 From the evidence submitted to the Treasury Select Committee’s inquiry into the banking crisis, one might conclude that the profession of accountancy as practiced in the UK is past its sell-by date, clinging to the vestiges of power and influence by its fingernails and in urgent …

View Post

Firms fear future as feast turns to famine

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Financial Times Date: 31 October 2008 The humbling of Scotland’s once proud and buccaneering banking sector, coupled with the near certainty of a recession in Scotland and the UK as a whole, spell hard times ahead for many in the country’s professional services sector. Before the …

View Post

Listed firms urged to have in-house audits

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: The Sunday Times Date: 19 October 2008 Chairman of Scottish & Southern Energy and Weir Group and senior accountant has hardened his stance and feels that all companies would benefit from in-house audits Rebuilding trust and integrity is critical to Scotland’s economic future, according to Lord Smith …

View Post

Burt blasts accountants

In Article Library by Ian Fraser1 Comment

By Ian Fraser Published: The Sunday Times Date: 10 August 2008 Sir Peter Burt, the former chief executive of the Bank of Scotland, has fired a broadside at proponents of “fair value” accounting, including Sir David Tweedie, and accused them of exacerbating the effects of the credit crunch. Tweedie, chairman …

View Post

Into the moral maze

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: The Herald Business Date: 26 June 2008 Chartered accountants are being advised to live by ethical codes, not just pay lip service to them BUSINESS ethics, or the lack of them, are once again coming to the fore in business circles. This is hardly surprising. The …

View Post

Bank auditors need cojones

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

3 January 2008 Why do auditors and regulators continue to turn a blind eye to the dodgy accounting practices that are widely used by British banks? The answer is probably that the banks have simply become too powerful. For example, it is impossible to get a credible law firm to sue …

View Post

Accountants face up to the moral maze

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Financial Times Date: 3 January 2008 David Molyneaux was leading an ethics course for senior Vietnamese accountants and regulators in Hanoi in August when one participant asked him a tricky question. The delegate had earlier been given a pirated copy of the latest Harry Potter novel …

View Post

Creative accounting

In Blog by Ian Fraser0 Comments

4 December 2007 The hall of shame of those deemed responsible for the subprime mess has been extended. Until now, those mainly blamed for engendering the current crisis, which could yet tip us into a global recession, have included the ratings agencies, market participants (notably Bear Stearns, Citigroup and Merrill …

View Post

ICAS ethics course helps students to shine

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: The Herald Date: 3 December 2007 The first batch of students to complete the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland pioneering business ethics course are to be unleashed upon the world early next year. The course is unique among accountancy training programmes in that it exposes …

View Post

Move to tackle Big Four a ‘damp squib’

In Article Library by Ian Fraser1 Comment

By Ian Fraser Published: The Herald Date: 22 October 2007 Measures designed to tackle the continuing dominance of the Big Four accountancy firms in the UK audit market are, “a total damp squib that will do nothing to enhance competition or choice in the market,” according to a leading professor …

View Post

Healthy mix of global, national and local firms

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: Financial Times Date: 20 September 2007 Contrary to expectations, the inexorable decline in Scotland’s base of quoted companies has not slowed demand for professional services in Scotland. Indeed, the country continues to punch well above its weight in most professions, including law, accountancy, actuarial consulting and …

View Post

ICAS keen to meet demand in China

In Article Library by Ian Fraser0 Comments

By Ian Fraser Published: The Herald Date: 16 July 2007 One of the biggest challenges facing China’s fast-growing economy is to ensure the reliability and transparency of the country’s financial reporting and corporate accounting. To achieve this, the People’s Republic recognises that building a cadre of responsible, ethical and properly-trained …