Find Accountancy, Audit and Tax expertise in United Kingdom
The UK accountancy and audit profession is one of the largest in the world. As in most developed countries, the UK accountancy and audit sector is dominated by the ‘Big Four’ which audit most of the leading PLCs on the London Stock Exchange (FTSE 350). Under the Companies Act of 2006, all companies are required to commission an annual audit with the exception of small, dormant and non-profit making companies. Adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards is considered complete, with all listed companies in the UK required to follow the guidelines in the preparation of their financial reports. The World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index ranks the UK 6th in the world in relation to resolving insolvency, with the US coming in at number 15 (2011). According to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report the UK scored 5.9 out of 7 in strength of auditing and reporting standards, comfortably above the world mean of 4.6 (2012-2013). The Accounting Standards Board (ASB) established in 1990 is an independent body that sets Financial Reporting Standards (FRSs) in the UK. Auditing standards are governed by the Auditing Practices Board (APB), which was established in 1991.
Accountancy is a popular career choice in the UK; in 2012 there were over 200,000 qualified accountants working in the country. There are five main accountancy bodies in the UK: Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland; Association of Chartered Certified Accountants; and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. They all offer globally recognised and highly respected qualifications.
Income tax is charged progressively 10% to 50% and personal capital gains at 18%. Value added tax (VAT) is 20%. Corporation tax and capital gains tax can rise to 28%. Smaller companies are taxed at the lower level of 21% on taxable profit. There are a number of financial incentives available in the UK with a particular focus on promoting small and medium sized companies whose research and development expenditure comes in for 175% tax relief or 130% for large companies. There are also special ‘enterprise zones’ with a tax relief allowance of 100% for commercial buildings, although it must be noted that ‘enterprise zones’ measures are being phased out. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013) ranks the UK 67th out of 141 countries worldwide in terms of total tax rates, above the US which was placed in 103rd position. According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index the UK comes 24th out of 183 countries, above the US once again (2011).
|Accountancy, Audit and Tax organisations in United Kingdom|
|Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)||
|Chartered Institute of Management Accountants||
|Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales||
|Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland||
|Serco Group Plc||