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News Article | November 17, 2016
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

NEW YORK, NY, November 17, 2016-- Access Group is re-positioning its hosting offering with a rebrand of its Stratogen business to Access Alto. The move further aligns the hosting division with Access Group and signals their position as a software and cloud services business with unmatched product breadth and technical capability.With this rebrand Access Alto is focusing on- Addressing market demand for providers who can plug internal knowledge gaps in understanding the potential of cloud technologies- Bringing best in breed experience to design and build bespoke solutions across a broad suite of cloud solutions: private and public cloud, Backup and Disaster Recovery- Provision of multi and hybrid cloud solutionsAndy Brown, Executive Vice President at Access Alto, said, "The name Access Alto reflects the bringing together of our cloud services offer, and more importantly, the needs of our customers. Over the past few years, we have evolved amidst a dynamic, ever-changing market. Our aim is to support our customers in staying ahead of these changes, bringing leading edge cloud solutions focused on unlocking opportunities, managing demands, and protecting our customers from disruptions, or threats. The level of technical expertise across the whole Access Alto team is unmatched. We want to use this expertise to deliver cloud solutions that help businesses across the globe to reach their potential."Access acquired StratoGen in December 2014 to add hosting and cloud services to its product portfolio, since that time the business has grown substantially.For more information on Access Alto visit http://www.accessalto.us.com/ For more information on Access Group's software portfolio visit http://www.theaccessgroup.com Contact detailsTim Cole (UK based)Head of PR01206 32257507786564902Alternatively, keep up-to-date by following Access on:Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/theaccessgroup LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/accessgroup YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/theaccessgrouptv Access Group is a leading author of fully integrated business management software. The portfolio spans solutions for ERP, finance, HR, Payroll, warehousing, business intelligence, professional service automation and manufacturing. More than 10,000 UK businesses and not-for-profit organisations use Access solutions to improve their performance, profitability and drive growth, unlocking their business potential through improved business insight.Access Group is one of the top five fastest growing UK software developers, on-going commitment to excellence, customers and employees has also placed the company among the UK's top employers in The Sunday Times' 100 'Best Companies to Work For' 2014, 2015 & 2016.Access Alto provides enterprise-level cloud services to businesses of all sizes around the world. They offer 100% up time guarantee, unbeatable level of customer service, and global reach with seven datacentres across five regions in Europe, US, and Asia. Access Alto has offices in the both UK and New York.- Microsoft Gold Certified Partner- Veeam Gold Partner- Zerto alliance partner- VMware Enterprise Service Provider- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)- Business Application Software Developers Association (BASDA)- Access' software is recognised by HM Revenue & Customs- Sunday Times Best Company to Work for 2014, 2015 & 2016


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.techrepublic.com

The recent ICAEW webinar, "The Future of Finance: What Does Successful Transformation Look Like?" reveals how you can reduce costs and improve efficiency, using technology built for today's vision of finance. Watch as experts from the ICAEW, Workday, PwC and King explore: Finance transformation: Why it's not happening Cloud Computing: What it is and how it can help you How the right technology can deliver finance transformation The way interactive entertainment company King uses technology to achieve finance transformation


Gillon K.,ICAEW | Lin C.-Y.,IBM | Mithas S.,University of Maryland College Park | Zozulia M.,Deloitte
Communications of the Association for Information Systems | Year: 2014

Business analytics systems are seen by many to be a growing source of value and competitive advantage for businesses. However, it is not clear if increasingly advanced analytical capabilities create opportunities for radical change in business or just represent an incremental improvement to existing systems. What are the key questions that researchers should be focusing on to improve our understanding of analytics? And are Information Systems (IS) programs teaching students the right things to be successful in this environment? This panel at International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2012 took stock of technological possibilities, practical experience and leading research to assess the current state and future direction of business analytics. In doing so, it brought together senior researchers and industry representatives to share the leading challenges, opportunities and good practice that they see. © 2014 by the Association for Information Systems.


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

A former chief executive of the Co-operative Bank has agreed to a six-year ban from membership of a key accountancy body after admitting to misconduct during his tenure at the top of the troubled bank. Barry Tootell – who has already been banned from holding senior roles in the City – will not be able to describe himself as a chartered accountant after his exclusion from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). The Financial Reporting Council, which oversees investigations into misconduct and has made the recommendation to the ICAEW, will receive £20,000 from Tootell to help recoup costs. It is not clear how much the investigation cost. Other bans recommended by the FRC, which had considered a seven-year ban for Tootell, have ranged from three to 10 years. Tootell, who could not immediately be reached for comment, was finance director and then acting chief executive of Co-op Bank for 14 months. He took on the role full-time in September 2012 but was placed on gardening leave in May 2013 after the bank was downgraded to junk status. The bank, then fully owned by the Co-operative Group, later had to be bailed out by hedge funds when a £1.5bn hole appeared in its books in 2013 . Gareth Rees, FRC executive counsel, said: “The period of exclusion imposed in this case sends a clear message to accountants of the high standards of professional conduct expected of them when undertaking important roles within business. “The sanction reflects the significance of the misconduct by a CFO [chief financial officer] and CEO of a major UK bank, and the need to promote public and market confidence in the accountancy profession and the quality of corporate reporting in this sector. Mr Tootell engaged in the FRC’s settlement process by accepting his misconduct, which has led to a considerable saving of time and cost.” Tootell was banned by the Bank of England – along with Keith Alderson, who ran the Co-op’s corporate and business banking division – in January by its Prudential Regulation Authority. They were not found to have deliberately or recklessly breached the rules and the regulator did not make findings of dishonesty or lack of integrity. The FRC said the Bank of England’s conclusions were “conclusive evidence of misconduct”. The Bank found Tootell contributed to a culture that focused on the short-term financial position (pdf) and did not adequately oversee the corporate loan book that the Co-op took on when it merged with Britannia in 2009. The period of censure covered January 2009 and May 2013. At the height of the Co-op bank’s crisis, the then chancellor George Osborne announced an independent investigation into what went wrong. The review has not yet started as the Financial Conduct Authority’s investigation into individuals remains ongoing. The FRC said its investigation into the bank’s auditors, KPMG, was also ongoing. Co-op bank, which reported a £177m loss for the first six months of the year, said the FRC’s ruling was related to the way it had operated in the past. “We have said before, the investigations by the regulators into what went wrong at the bank are very important. They indicate the extent of the previous problems at the bank and emphasise that the turnaround is a lengthy and difficult process,” the bank said. “The findings relate to previous management and the current management team has, over the last three years, progressed the turnaround, having raised additional capital, achieved considerable de-risking, delivered mobile and digital banking capability and strengthened the bank’s appeal to customers.”


News Article | November 7, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

British manufacturers have fanned fears that the economy is heading for a slowdown in 2017 after a survey showed a rise in factory bosses putting off plans to increase investment. Since the EU referendum there has been a sharp rise in the proportion of executives saying political uncertainty is putting them off raising spending, according to a poll by the manufacturers’ organisation the EEF. It found a quarter of manufacturers cited this as a reason when asked in the wake of the vote, up sharply from 6% when the referendum campaign was getting under way in March. The report comes days after the Bank of England renewed warnings that the British economy would slow next year, although it was forced to admit that its earlier fears of a severe near-term slowdown had proved unfounded. It also warned that slower corporate spending and a squeeze on household incomes would hit growth further out. The EEF’s report found manufacturers would be likely to pare back their investment in plant and machinery over the next two years in response to growing worries about the prospects for demand as well as the spike in political uncertainty. According to the survey, 60% of manufacturers planned to spend the same or less over the next two years, up from 54% in 2015. The poll of 306 companies was conducted in August. Since then, the Conservative party signalled at its October conference that the government would go for a hard Brexit deal that leaves the UK shut out of Europe’s single market. The EEF report, carried out with the bank group Santander, also echoed other surveys that have pointed to an export boost for some firms as the pound’s sharp fall since the referendum has made their goods more competitive in overseas markets. Manufacturers’ views of export prospects improved between March and August on the back of better demand in Europe and the United States, the EEF said. But that was offset by firms becoming more pessimistic about the prospects for the domestic outlook. The EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said fears of an immediate collapse in business investment appeared to be unfounded for now and that UK manufacturers had been investing at a “healthy pace” in recent years. She added: “But the spike in political risk should not go unnoticed. There is caution amongst businesses, which will inevitably make it more difficult to get big decisions across the line.” The threat to business investment and companies’ hiring intentions increases the onus on the chancellor, Philip Hammond, to use his autumn statement later this month, when he will set out the government’s tax and spending plans, to shore up confidence. Hopley added: “It’s over to the autumn statement now to press ahead with policies that further enhance the UK business environment for spending on modern machinery and increasingly important intangible investment.” Economic indicators since the referendum have largely defied early predicions of a post-vote slowdown as consumers have continued to spend, unemployment has remained low and the housing market has held steady, for now. The Bank of England followed City economists last week in revising away its forecasts for the economy to grind to a halt in the run-up to Christmas. But many experts warn that this is merely the calm before the storm and the real effects of the landmark vote to leave the EU will be felt after Brexit negotiations begin in earnest next year. The Bank is more optimistic on the near-term than it was in August and expects GDP growth of 2.2% this year but still expects a stretch of relatively subdued growth of around 1.5% each year between 2017 and 2019 (pdf). A separate report on Monday underscores the scale of unease among businesses over the UK’s longer-term prospects. Businesses are preparing for a slowdown in profit growth and domestic sales in the next 12 months, according to a regular check on corporate confidence from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Confidence remained fragile in most sectors and business services and financial firms had seen the largest drop in sentiment on the back of growing fears of a hard Brexit, according the report, which used responses from 1,000 chartered accountants given from 26 July to 21 October. With the weak pound pushing up inflation, thanks to higher import costs in the UK, companies are wary about raising pay and taking on new staff, the poll found. The average total salary growth expected in the next 12 months was just 1.6%. That compares with the Bank’s forecasts for inflation at a much higher 2.7% next year. If both forecasts prove correct, it would mean earnings fall in real terms. Michael Izza, the ICAEW chief executive, said that a likely squeeze on households put companies in a difficult position. “The chancellor should be under no illusion at the pressure UK businesses are experiencing. Inflationary burdens are pushing up costs but companies know that customers will not accept higher prices,” he said.


News Article | December 15, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

Company Welcomes Andrew Bligh as Senior Vice President, Finance & Operations and CFO; Chris Glass Joins as Sales Director CHESTER, PA and LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Dec 15, 2016) - Optymyze, a worldwide provider of enterprise cloud applications and services for improving sales and channel performance, today announced its expanded presence. Addressing the increasing demand for its award-winning sales performance management and sales operations solutions from businesses in the U.K. and throughout the larger Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, Optymyze has extended its footprint in the U.K. and added key experts to its team. "Optymyze has welcomed new clients seeking to transform how they manage, engage and drive optimal performance from their sales teams while improving sales operations," said Mark Stiffler, CEO of Optymyze. "Given particularly high demand in the U.K. and EMEA, we saw fit to expand our local presence, which enables us to capitalize on new opportunities and provide additional support to our existing clients across the region." The U.K. expansion follows the company's recent expansion into the APAC region, adding sales and product leadership in Australia. Supporting this growth are two new U.K.-based executives managing company operations in the region: Andrew Bligh as senior vice president, Finance & Operations and CFO, and Chris Glass as sales director, EMEA. In leading financial operations for Optymyze, Andrew Bligh leverages his extensive experience in helping tech companies achieve global growth. He most recently served as vice president of Finance, EMEA & APAC for business intelligence and visualization software provider QlikTech, in addition to serving as an advisory board member for Implied Logic Limited. He also held the role of CFO for Xchanging, turning around the business by providing valuable guidance and implementing a new sales strategy. In addition, Bligh has held several high-level finance roles at Cisco Systems and Motorola, working in the U.K., China and Singapore. Bligh holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Durham University and is an ICAEW chartered accountant. Throughout his career, Chris Glass has been responsible for sales, business development and leadership roles in a diverse range of businesses. He previously spent over a decade at InterCall, holding various leadership positions, including senior director, Unified Communications EMEA. In this capacity, he was responsible for sales and product strategy, achieving 130 percent year-on-year growth, as well as developing the company's alliance strategy. Earlier in his career, Glass served as an e-Business consultant for Microgen, developing solutions that delivered financial and business process improvement to clients. In addition to his professional experience, Glass earned a degree from Royal Agricultural University. "Key to our success in EMEA is having the best resources in place to lead our growth," commented Stiffler. "We're pleased to welcome Andrew Bligh and Chris Glass to our global team." About Optymyze Optymyze helps companies improve sales force and sales operations performance with its award-winning enterprise technology platform and business process management services. Optymyze helps companies align sales goals and compensation; efficiently execute sales strategies; drive greater sales results, faster; and gain visibility into sales performance. With Optymyze Sales Operations as a Service, clients turn sales operations into a strategic business advantage through agility, innovation and continuous improvement.


Barua A.,University of Texas at Austin | Brooks L.,Brunel University | Gillon K.,ICAEW | Hodgkinson R.,ICAEW | And 3 more authors.
Communications of the Association for Information Systems | Year: 2010

Spending on IT continues to show long-term growth throughout the economy, reflecting an apparent belief in the economic benefits of IT. However, we also see organizations struggle in practice to demonstrate such benefits. Conventional thinking suggests that individual organizations can improve their performance in this area through better financial analysis of opportunities. But does this characterization of the solution reflect the real problem? Is there more value that can be achieved through IT at a macro level or are we simply seeing market competition with winners and losers? And will better understanding of the detailed financial consequences of IT systems enable businesses to improve decisions and achieve greater returns? This 2009 ICIS panel session reflected on the literature on IT value over the last thirty years, the future direction of research and the relationship between research and the needs of business in this area. © 2010 by the authors.


News Article | November 23, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

Philip Hammond has pledged to retrieve £2bn lost to the exchequer via tax avoidance, continuing the recent tradition of chancellors using set-piece speeches to target aggressive planning schemes. A combination of new and previously announced initiatives will account for the haul, as Hammond also promised to press ahead with new sanctions on advisers who facilitate tax avoidance. In his autumn statement to the Commons, Hammond said: “The government is committed to tackling tax evasion, avoidance and aggressive tax planning … but we must constantly be alert to new threats to our tax base, and be willing to move swiftly to counter them.” He said he would close salary sacrifice schemes where employees are allowed to pay for perks such as gym memberships out of gross earnings, “shut down inappropriate use of the VAT flat rate scheme” and “introduce a new penalty for those who enable the use of a tax avoidance scheme that HMRC later challenges and defeats”. The government also said it would “clarify the application of the VAT zero-rating for adapted motor vehicles to stop the abuse of this legislation, while continuing to provide help for for disabled wheelchair users”. “These measures, and others set out in the autumn statement document, raise around £2bn over the forecast period,” Hammond said. The measures received a mixed reception from the tax profession, especially those targeted at advisers on avoidance schemes. Frank Haskew, the head of the tax faculty at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), said: “The public is rightly concerned about tax avoidance, and we support efforts to tackle it. “ICAEW already has a professional code of conduct in relation to tax advice and we have been working with the government to ensure that our code continues to be fit for purpose and retains confidence. “Although we do not have the details yet, the government needs to ensure any new rules are properly targeted only to tackle those advisers that promote aggressive tax schemes. “If the measures are too widely targeted, there is a danger that reputable professional advisers could still end up being caught in the crossfire when advising on legitimate tax planning, while the real targets escape any penalty.” The chancellor also attacked so-called “disguised earnings” – often known as perks – which are payments made to an employee so as to bypass the payment of PAYE and national insurance. Hammond said: “At the budget we committed to removing the tax benefits of disguised earnings for employees, and I am now going to do the same for the self-employed and employers, raising a further £630m over the forecast period.” He also attacked salary sacrifice schemes, where costs such as the cost of gym memberships are taken out of gross earnings, thereby providing the employee with a tax saving. Sue Robinson, an employment tax partner at the accountancy firm EY, said: “People who use such schemes for benefits such as health screening and mobile phones and tablets will be among those who see their tax bills rise. “Many of those benefits in kind are often portrayed as ‘perks’ for the higher paid, but the expansion of the salary sacrifice model over recent years will mean that large numbers of basic rate taxpayers will be impacted, particularly in sectors such as the health service.”


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

OCTOPUS AIM VCT 2 PLC (the "Company") 14 December 2016 Disclosure in accordance with Listing Rule 9.6.13(6) As previously disclosed, Andrew Raynor, a director of the Company, was chief executive officer of RSM Tenon Group plc between 2003 and January 2012.  On 13 August 2012 the Accounting and Actuarial Disciplinary Board (AADB) part of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) announced an investigation into the conduct of certain members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as auditors of RSM Tenon Group plc in respect of the preparation, approval and audit of certain published financial information relating to RSM Tenon Group PLC in respect of the period to 30 June 2011. The FRC investigation has now been concluded in respect of Mr Raynor and resulted in Mr Raynor receiving a fine and reprimand, and being required to contribute to the FRC's costs. It was noted that the conduct in question was not dishonest, deliberate, lacking in integrity or reckless. For further enquiries, please contact: Andrew Buchanan/Kate Tidbury Octopus Investments Limited Tel: 0800 316 2295


Gillon K.,ICAEW | Brynjolfsson E.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Griffin J.,Deloitte | Gupta M.,IBM | Mithas S.,University of Maryland University College
International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2012 | Year: 2012

Business analytics systems are seen by many to be a growing source of value and competitive advantage for businesses. However, it is not clear if increasingly advanced analytical capabilities create opportunities for radical change in business or just represent an incremental improvement to existing systems. What are the key questions that researchers should be focusing on to improve our understanding of analytics? And are IS programs teaching students the right things to be successful in this environment? This panel aims to take stock of technological possibilities, practical experience and leading research to assess the current state and future direction of business analytics. In doing so, it will bring together senior researchers and industry representatives to share the leading challenges, opportunities and good practice that they see.

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