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Today’s news in brief – 15/1/2023

Buzzacott has partnered with integrated HR consultancy firm Buck to deliver its AAF report, evaluating internal controls. Buzzacott’s successful delivery of the AAF report within the agreed timeframe and budget, after establishing a strong rapport with Buck, solidifies a long-term relationship. Buck, founded over 100 years ago and recently acquired by Gallagher, comments Buzzacott’s ability to understand processes, offer diligence, and communicate effectively throughout the audit. The partnership follows Buck’s search for an alternative AAF auditor with shared values, showcasing Buzzacott’s impressive collaboration.

Hurst’s multi-disciplinary team has advised on Panicium’s undisclosed-sum acquisition of The Bury Black Pudding Company (BBP). The corporate finance team, including Ben Bradley and Isabelle Bennett, provides M&A and debt advisory expertise to Panicium, facilitating growth opportunities. Lauren Roberts, Danielle Tierney, and tax partner Liz Gallagher advise BBP. The acquisition marks Panicium’s strategic move, allowing BBP’s previous owners to de-risk while fostering growth under new ownership. Funding is provided by Shawbrook Bank and Frontier Development Capital, aligning with Panicium’s acquisition strategy, with further deals anticipated.

Azets has appointed partners David Houghton and Kate Beckett, along with director Aaron Pegg, to bolster its Forensic Accounting and Valuations team. The move aims to meet growing demand for expert evidence, independent analysis, and advice across various legal claims. With expertise spanning loss of profits evaluation, forensic technology processes, and extensive forensic accounting skills, the team enhances Azets’ national forensic capabilities. The appointments signify Azets’ commitment to becoming a market leader in the North of England, providing exceptional results and deepening forensic and valuation expertise.

The FRC has published an update to its Ethical Standard for auditors, effective from December 15, 2024, aligning the UK with international standards. The revised standard simplifies existing ethics guidelines and includes additional clarity, responding to feedback from auditors. A targeted restriction on fees from entities related by a single controlling party addresses issues identified through FRC audit inspection and enforcement cases. The FRC emphasises high ethical standards for auditors to enhance trust in financial information. Revised proposals are targeted and proportionate, reflecting adjustments based on feedback, ensuring clarity and consistency.

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