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Tax scandals 'not bad for accountants'

31/05/13

It has been a fairly uncomfortable few years for the financial sector in the UK, with the industry facing the full glare of media speculation following a number of scandals and the concept of tax evasion entering the public lexicon.

However, experts have told London Loves Business that this is not actually bad news for many people who work in financial services, including accountants.

Greater awareness of the issues around tax and financial reporting are a Damascene sword, in the sense that while they may make the industry appear less attractive from the outside, they ensure accountants are kept busy by companies newly-aware of the need to follow strict regulations.

While the famous names that have hit the headlines will no doubt be regretting the attention, for people with financial compliance skills and a good reputation in the industry the increased focus could result in more work.

Mike Kerridge, a tax expert of Charter Financial, told the news provider that he has seen levels of enquiry grow because of the regulatory changes and glaring headlines.

"The industry is certainly buoyant as the legislation is becoming even more complex and requires more people to have an understanding of it; take for example the proposed new law regarding anti avoidance, GAAR," he explained.

Although the scrutiny the tax industry has been placed under - not to mention the criticism it has received, some of it unwarranted - may be draining for practitioners, the reforms being made are likely to keep them busy.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at the Association of Chartered Accountants, added that the industry as a whole has not came out of the recent controversies too badly.

"Most accountancy firms recruit on an annual basis and intake remains as buoyant as ever. We expect to see similar levels of new recruits as in the previous year," he argued.

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