Corporate Business

 

We’re big enough to offer the breadth of technical expertise your business needs and yet still able to provide a genuinely partner-led service… That’s what makes Francis Clark different.

 

At Francis Clark we engage with our clients throughout the year so that we can help address issues as they arise, rather than dealing with them only as part of the year end audit. Our objective is to anticipate and identify matters that might be problematic so that the audit process is one of “no surprises”. Read more

We’re big enough to offer the breadth of technical expertise your business needs and yet still able to provide a genuinely partner-led service… That’s what makes Francis Clark different.

 

At Francis Clark we engage with our clients throughout the year so that we can help address issues as they arise, rather than dealing with them only as part of the year end audit. Our objective is to anticipate and identify matters that might be problematic so that the audit process is one of “no surprises”.

We provide a fully integrated service. We have local specialists whose expertise we can call on as needed for VAT, tax (UK and international) or corporate finance for example. As part of our integrated service we have facilitated workshops for audit clients with the audit partner and other specialists to help brainstorm strategic or management issues and develop “joined up” solutions.

Our range of clients means we can deal with complex accounting issues for AIM-listed companies and those that are part of an international group as well as for smaller private companies. We are equally comfortable dealing with IFRS and UK GAAP and our in-house technical experts on financial reporting help us keep our audit clients up to date with the latest developments, whether through client-specific briefings or our six monthly seminars

Your  Experts

Stephanie Henshaw

BA (Hons) FCA

Corporate Audit Partner

T: 01392 667000

  Download Stephanie 's contact card

Communicating with you

Not all businesses are structured the same way and the variations aren’t simply a product of size.  We deal with wholly owner-managed companies where the shareholders and directors are... Read more

Not all businesses are structured the same way and the variations aren’t simply a product of size.  We deal with wholly owner-managed companies where the shareholders and directors are the same small group of individuals, through family companies where not all shareholders are directors to much broader-based organisations where there are both executive and non-executive directors and non-director shareholders.

We recognise that information needs differ and so we work with you to develop communication methods for the audit which suit your needs and are fit for purpose, not “one size fits all”.  For example, many of our wholly owner-managed companies find that face to face discussion with the partner at a board meeting works best.  For larger companies, particularly those with non-executives we might present a formal report to the board following the audit.  Where there is an audit committee this may also extend to formal written reporting at the planning and completion stages as well as attendance at a couple of audit committee meetings during the year.

An audit is inevitably something of a backward-looking process, but we use the audit to help you identify and manage future challenges.  These could include highlighting where your systems have not kept pace with business growth, identifying transactions or events that could affect your covenant compliance or suggesting ways to improve your narrative reporting.

Whatever format we agree with you, we know that no board likes to be “ambushed” with major issues at the last minute.  Our partners will raise potentially significant problems with you as they arise during the audit, making sure that we have the full story and you have the opportunity to consider your response.  Our promise to you is “no surprises”.

 

Supporting you technically

Busy FD’s face so many challenges every day that finding time to keep up to date with developments in accounting, tax and finance can be difficult.  Our popular six-monthly seminars... Read more

Busy FD’s face so many challenges every day that finding time to keep up to date with developments in accounting, tax and finance can be difficult.  Our popular six-monthly seminars across the region pull together key changes in all these areas, helping you focus on what you need to know and highlighting commercial opportunities and threats for you to take back to your board.  Our knowledgeable and engaging speakers are all specialists in their subject but they work with clients on a day to day basis so they have practical experience not just theoretical knowledge.

Our specialists are based in an office near you so you can access their expertise as and when you need it.  Expanding your business into new premises? Talk to our corporate finance team about funding but make sure you speak to our VAT specialists, too. VAT on property can be complex and mistakes can be expensive.  Will the property be held in a separate company?  Our tax specialists can advise you on the capital tax implications but make sure you discuss the financial reporting consequences. And don’t forget the importance of maximising the capital allowances – our specialists can help you here too.

We can help you co-ordinate the advice you need, whether it is for a one-off project or a broader strategic issue. We can even facilitate a workshop to help your board, or the shareholders as a group, brainstorm options and develop a detailed plan.

 

Providing assurance

Whether you are subject to statutory audit, regulatory reporting requirements or just want some assurance on a specific aspect of your operations, we offer assurance services to suit your business... Read more

Whether you are subject to statutory audit, regulatory reporting requirements or just want some assurance on a specific aspect of your operations, we offer assurance services to suit your business needs.

We make your annual audit as efficient as possible, agreeing timetables and deliverables and keeping in regular contact with you throughout. Our audit systems are automated and we make use of computer-assisted techniques to interrogate and analyse your data to focus on anomalies and risk areas. As part of our “no surprises” promise, we raise issues with you on a timely basis to make sure we have our facts straight and give you time to respond.

Changes in EU legislation mean the threshold for statutory audit is likely to rise significantly in the next couple of years. Will you be eligible for audit exemption? If you are growing it may only be a short term option, so is it worth it? Do you have external shareholders who regard the audit as an important part of good governance? Does your banking agreement specify audited accounts? Are you thinking of selling in the next few years so a history of audited accounts might mitigate the warranties you may be asked to give?

We can help you decide whether continuing with an audit is appropriate, but our audit skills mean we can also offer alternative forms of assurance. You might like to consider a targeted review of aspects of your systems or account balances, or a negative assurance report to give comfort over your annual accounts. We can also work with you to develop a limited scope report to address specific concerns for an identified third party.

We regularly provide other forms of assurance report, including grant claims, periodic reports to regulators (FCA, ABTA), industry rebates (e.g. bus service operator grants, renewable fuel transport certificates) and a variety of client money reports. If you need an independent opinion, we can help.

 

Helping you manage a new financial reporting regime

The financial reporting landscape in the UK is changing and this will affect all sizes of companies.

The current accounting challenge for many UK companies is to effect the transition from... Read more

The financial reporting landscape in the UK is changing and this will affect all sizes of companies.

The current accounting challenge for many UK companies is to effect the transition from the old UK GAAP regime to the new FRS 102 regime, introducing new assets and liabilities to balance sheets, potentially increasing volatility in results and having a knock-on impact on covenant compliance and distributable profit.

Members of listed groups have a further choice: they can either apply FRS 102 or adopt international standards (IFRS) and take advantage of disclosure modifications under FRS 101.

We advise on the implications of the alternatives and already have experience of reporting under FRS 102. Our specialists can help you work through the practicalities of the change and support you in communicating them effectively to stakeholders.

Later in 2015 new regulations will increase the thresholds at which companies qualify as small or medium-sized. Small companies will be required to apply FRS 102 from 2016 but will be able to take advantage of significant disclosure exemptions.

Directors will need to consider whether those disclosure exemptions are of benefit to the company or could potentially unsettle users of the accounts suddenly deprived of data they regard as relevant. We can help you decide whether the more restricted regime is suitable for you.

More broadly, your annual accounts are used by a range of stakeholders (credit rating agencies, potential customers and suppliers, providers of finance etc.) and the impression they receive may be a significant factor in how they deal with you. Poor accounting presentation or inadequate explanation could create an unintentionally negative impact. We don’t just “run the numbers”, we provide the necessary independent challenge to help you achieve your commercial objectives and fulfill your legal obligations.

 

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  • Exeter - 01392 667000
  • New Forest - 01425 610166
  • Plymouth - 01752 301010
  • Poole - 01202 663600
  • Salisbury - 01722 337661
  • Taunton - 01823 275925
  • Torquay - 01803 320100
  • Truro - 01872 276477
 
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