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Today’s news in brief – 19/6/2024

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In May, England and Wales saw 2,006 company insolvencies, a 6% drop from April and 21% lower year-on-year after adjustments. Despite the decline, insolvency rates are significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. The figures include 271 compulsory liquidations, 1,590 creditors’ voluntary liquidations, 126 administrations, and 19 company voluntary arrangements. Over the year ending May 2024, 1 in 180 companies entered insolvency, up from the previous period. Experts warn of persistent challenges for SMEs, calling for initiatives to ease cash flow pressures and enhance support amidst a challenging economic environment.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is urging urgent audit and corporate governance reforms to restore trust in business and safeguard livelihoods. ICAS emphasises the need for robust regulatory funding, consistent oversight, and sustainable business practices. CEO Bruce Cartwright criticises government inaction since major corporate failures, advocating for legislative action to strengthen accountability and resilience. He stresses the societal impact of corporate collapses and calls for proactive measures to improve contingency planning and stakeholder confidence in audit processes. ICAS urges the next UK government to prioritise comprehensive reforms to support long-term economic growth and ethical business practices.

Cottons Group promotes Charles Hill to partner, recognizing his client-focused approach and strategic contributions to the firm’s audit and acquisition strategies. Hill aims to expand service offerings nationally, supporting compliance and business objectives for owner-managed and larger corporate clients. Luke Prout joins as a tax partner, bringing extensive experience in corporate and capital taxes. Prout’s appointment aligns with Cottons’ growth strategy, enhancing tax services and client relationships. Managing Partner Will Smart highlights their commitment to enhancing service quality and expanding market presence, reflecting the firm’s dedication to client-centric growth.

Cowgills Business Recovery facilitates the sale of A B Group Packaging Limited, preserving 41 jobs in Ebbw Vale, Wales. The company, facing financial strain exacerbated by the pandemic, conducted an accelerated sale of assets to sustain operations. Jason Elliott, head of Business Recovery, commends the directors’ efforts amid economic uncertainty. The transaction secures ongoing employment contracts and supports business continuity for the packaging supplier serving national and international retailers. Cowgills underscores its role in safeguarding jobs and facilitating business transitions during challenging economic conditions.

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