Leavitt Walmsley Associates

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Leavitt Walmsley Associates's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Leavitt Walmsley Associates is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Steve Collings,
audit and technical director
LWA is an award-winning firm of accountants and has
been providing a value-added accountancy and business
advisory service for over 20 years.Headed by directorsLes
LeavittandSteve Collings, the firm has a team of hard-working
and friendly accountants in itsManchester and Warrington
officesserving clients all over the UK. Steve discusses the
changing landscape of accountancy, the changes to tax in the
UK and the future of the firm.
We work with a diverse range of businesses of all sizes across the country including
manufacturing companies, solicitors and academy schools. As well as the author
of over 20 books and a nationwide lecturer, I, the firm’s technical director, am
a member of the UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice Technical Advisory
Group at the Financial Reporting Council, who are the UK’s accountancy and
auditing regulator. We thus understand the importance of reliable and correct
financial information; these are traits which have won us awards for achieving high
standards across the accountancy profession and high levels of praise from external
quality assurance reviewers. This reaffirms our belief that you do not have to be
a national firm to carry out certain types of work for clients, particularly when it
comes to specialist assignments such as academy schools.
Changing landscape of accountancy
The world of accountancy is going through a period of change at present with the
introduction of FRS 102,
The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and
Republic of Ireland
. The new accounting framework came into effect for accounting
periods starting on or after 1 January 2015 for companies and groups classed as
medium-sized and large in the eyes of the Companies Act 2006. The transition has
proved to be a challenge for many companies; not only in effecting the transition, but
also for finance staff and their advisers in understanding the detailed requirements
of the framework which, in turn, meant additional costs were incurred.
Businesses classed as small under the Companies Act 2006 were required to move
to FRS 102 for accounting periods commencing on or after 1January 2016. The
transition for smaller companies has, again, proved to be a challenge in many respects,
although from 2017 it is expected that this period of turbulence will begin to settle.
LWA works with training providers and presents accounting and audit update
courses for accountants to keep them up to date with developments in the
profession; this is where valuable feedback is received. An overwhelming number
of accountants expressed concern about the impact the new rules would have
on their firms and on their staff, questioning the cost of implementation over the
benefits they, and their clients, would receive. Since the transitions to the new
framework started in 2016 and 2017, most of these concerns have been alleviated
as accountants have developed a better understanding of the framework.
»Directors: Steve Collings and
Les Leavitt
»Established in 1985
»Based in Sale, Greater
Manchester, and Warrington,
»Services: A full spectrum of
accountancy and tax services
»No. of employees: 15
»Winners of British
Accountancy Awards and
Outstanding Contribution to
Leavitt Walmsley
Associates Ltd
LWA started to plan for these changes
in 2014 in recognition of the fact that
they were cited as being “… the most
significant change in accountancy for
a generation”. We also worked with
our software provider, IRIS, one of the
country’s leading provider of accounts
production software, throughout 2016
to ensure their software reflected the
new rules correctly. We also produced
various online products with IRIS to help
practitioners using the software to better
understand how the software handles
the move across to the new rules.
Of course, times change, business
evolves and it follows, therefore, that
the accountancy profession has to
adapt accordingly. In 2017, the Financial
Reporting Council (FRC) announced
changes to the framework, the majority
of which will come into effect for
accounting periods commencing on
or after 1 January 2019. While these
revisions are largely editorial and
clarification issues, it is crucial that
accountants keep abreast of such
changes to ensure that the standard
of financial reporting in the UK and
Republic of Ireland remainshigh.
It is now important that the
accountancy profession has a period
of stability as frequent changes to the
rules are both unhelpful and costly
to practitioners and businesses. The
FRC have confirmed that significant
changes to accounting standards
issued by the International Accounting
Standards Board will not yet be
reflected in FRS 102. However, listed
companies (e.g. FTSE 100 companies)
must adopt IFRS 15,
Revenue from
Contracts with Customers
for periods
starting 1 January 2018 and IFRS
for periods starting 1
January 2019
The 2014 version of
Financial Instruments
must be
adopted for periods starting 1 January
2018. LWA welcomes the fact that
these significant new standards will
not be reflected in FRS 102 for the
Tax continues to be one of the most
complex areas of business. LWA has a
dedicated tax department which deals
with all forms of tax for its client base.
Where complex tax issues arise, such
as in a complicated capital gains tax
transaction or a specific tax issues in a
business sale, LWA utilises the services
of a number of highly regarded tax
professionals to help ensure the client
pays the correct amount of tax and
takes advantage of all relevant tax
reliefs available in the transaction.
The subject of Making Tax Digital
(MTD) is one of the most topical issues
in the accountancy and tax professions
at present. In the March 2015 budget,
plans were announced to abolish the
annual self-assessment tax return and
introduce MTD, which will involve
a new quarterly filing regime for
businesses and landlords. MTD has
received widespread criticism from the
accountancy and tax professions due
largely to the costs businesses at the
smaller end of the scale will incur and
the original and ambitious timescale
for implementation (which has now
been delayed).
LWA continues to keep abreast of
developments in this important area
as MTD will eventually affect the vast
majority of businesses of all sizes in
Going ahead
Staying ahead of the competition and
developments in tax and accountancy
is a daily challenge. Embracing
that challenge and becoming more
innovative in the way that both LWA
and our clients work is a key driver to
both our and our clients’ success. In
the accountancy and tax professions,
2018 will be challenging, but LWA is
equipped with the skill and technical
expertise to overcome those challenges.
LWA has a team of
hard-working and
friendly accountants
serving clients all
over the UK
Of course,
times change,
evolves and it
therefore, that
profession has
to adapt


This article was sponsored by Leavitt Walmsley Associates. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister