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JUNE  2018

Following the change to the timing of the parliamentary process for tax legislation, the tax team are being kept busy with Finance Act courses. We are expecting draft clauses for the next Finance Bill to be published in early July and we will keep you informed of pertinent announcements. 

It has been a big month for publications on practice assurance and audit quality reports, further fuelling the debate around the quality and value in the audit sector, as well as the purpose of audit and role of the FRC. See more on this, the withdrawal of FRC guidance on smaller entity audit documentation, and updates to the financial reporting and governance requirements for academy trusts in the A&A section below. 

Each month we work hard to make sure our newswire is useful and informative and we trust you find it a valuable communication. If you have any feedback on how we could improve it, please share by replying to this email. You may be pleased to know I am a real person and not a bot!


Nicola Hurley Managing Director
Mercia Free download

The 6 essentials for effective branding

An infographic detailing the importance of branding. 

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Missing your Tax cards?

Our range of tax rates products are available in various formats to suit your firm. 

July Run - Order deadline: Friday 13 July

View products


Ethics Update Professional Ethics – An introduction

NEW - Help your entire team understand the technical requirements and practical application our two online training options.


ICAEW Audit and Practice Assurance Findings

ICAEW has published the results of its 2017 audit monitoring activities in Audit Monitoring 2018.  The document summarises results from ICAEW reviews; common issues from its reviews of FRS 102 financial statements; and the main reasons that audit monitoring reviews result in a report to the Audit Registration Committee.

ICAEW has also published key findings from its Practice Assurance reviews carried out in 2017 in Practice Assurance Principles 2018.  The report highlights findings and tips in relation to the Quality Assurance Department’s 2017 focus areas of client take-on, marketing and trusts.  The report also notes that focus areas in 2018 will be preparation, procedures and compliance with updated Money Laundering and Data Protection Regulations.

Smaller entity audit documentation

The FRC has withdrawn Practice Note 26: Guidance on Smaller Entity Documentation (PN26) citing that:

  • PN26 no longer supports documentation requirements of a high-quality audit;
  • FRC develops principles based standards and guidance, and setting out example documentation for audits is not principles based;
  • smaller entities are unlikely to be public interest entities, the audits of which are directly overseen and inspected by the FRC; and
  • further guidance on small entity audit documentation may better fall with UK Professional Accountancy Bodies to develop.

The removal of practical, albeit dated, FRC guidance that sought to encourage proportionate audit documentation is set in a wider context of European calls for simplification of standards for small or non-complex entities,  reviews of the standard setting process internationally and the future role of the FRC.

Independent review of the FRC

Earlier this month the independent review of the FRC, led by Sir John Kingman, launched a call for evidence on areas that will drive an assessment of whether the FRC and the current regulatory structure are as effective as they need to be in the current circumstances and for the future.


FRC Audit Quality Inspection Reports

The FRC has published its Audit Quality Inspection Reports for eight firms subject to its review activities in 2017 to 2018.  The reports highlight principal findings of Audit Quality Review team, with Stephen Haddrill, CEO of the FRC noting that improvements were required to the levels of auditor challenge and scepticism, bank audits, group audits and the audit of pensions balances.

Academies Accounts Direction and Financial Handbook

Earlier this month the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) published its Accounts Direction 2017 to 2018 which contains the updated reporting requirements and guidance applicable to academy trusts reporting for the period to 31 August 2018.

The ESFA has also published the Academies Financial Handbook 2018.  This document contains the updated financial management, control and reporting requirements that apply to all academy trusts from 1 September 2018.  It also signposts changes to requirements on related party transactions that take effect from 1 April 2019.  Read more about these changes in our blog


EMI options

HMRC have passed comment on the European approval of EMI options. To read more please click here.

HMRC extend RTI late filing easement until April 2019

HMRC will not charge a penalty if an FPS is late but all reported payments on the FPS are within three days of your employees’ payday (this applies from 6 March 2015 to 5 April 2019). To read more please click here.

Low tax gap results in £71 billion for UK public services

The latest tax gap figures show the success HMRC has had in reducing revenue lost to the public. To read more please click here.

Draft clauses for Finance (No.3) Bill

The government will publish draft clauses for Finance (No.3) Bill on Friday 6 July 2018, along with accompanying explanatory notes, tax information and impact notes, responses to consultations and other supporting documents. For more information click here.


MTD For VAT And The Digitally Excluded

Emma Gilbert-Smith

Money Laundering Series

Money Laundering: Criminal Record (DBS) Checks For BOOMs

By Julia Penny

Businesswoman using laptop at desk

ESFA Introduce Related Party Transaction Monitoring And Pre-Approval For Academies From 1 April 2019

By David Smith



Movers and shakers

This month we welcome some fresh faces to Merica Group. We are all delighted to have them on board. 

  • Claire Shuttlewood - Commercial Director 
  • Stephen Wiggins - Product Marketing Executive  
  • Nisha  Lalani - Client services/Administrator 
  • Sarah Maguire - Client Advisor
  • Polly Jones - Digital Marketing Executive 

Mercia Communications Day - July 2018


We are looking forward to our whole team (Mercia, SWAT UK and Quorum) communications day on Thursday 26th July. These bi-annual events give us the opportunity to share results and news across all areas of our business and have some fun too. The fun element is always kept as a surprise so we can't share more until next month.

Our Leicester, London and Plymouth offices will be closed on Thursday 26th July and will re-open for business at 8.45am on Friday 27th July. 

Get in touch

0116 258 1200



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