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The big four

October 2018



Green group to talk sustainability at WCOA

The Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) project will promote sustainability at the World Congress of Accountants (WCOA). The A4S project, established by Prince Charles, challenges accountants to inspire action in the global finance industry and drive a fundamental shift towards resilient business models and a sustainable economy. Executive Chairman Jessica Fries, who will lead a session entitled “Can accountants save the world?” told Accounting Today: “The risks from environmental, social and economic crises are clear to see – not just for our planet and society, but also the future resilience of the global economy.” Attracting over 6,000 accountants and business leaders from over 130 countries, the WCOA will take place in Sydney, Australia from 5-8 November.

Vegan start-up seeks investors for possible IPO

Vegan food startup Beyond Meat has made plans to go public. According to CNBC, the company has sought help from investment banks including JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to lead the initial public offering (IPO), but has not specified the valuation amount. The IPO is the first of its kind for a company which makes vegetarian food products which appeal to meat-eaters. Now in its ninth year of operation, the Los Angeles-based company was founded by Chief Executive Officer Ethan Brown, and is most well known for its Beyond Burger, a burger patty made with plant-based proteins. Since 2016, it has sold more than 26 million burgers. Its list of investors includes billionaire Bill Gates and movie star Leonardo DiCaprio.

EY U.K. scraps final stage of interview process

EY in the United Kingdom is replacing its one-to-one interview with an assessment event for the final stage of its student recruitment process. The change is part of the firm’s plan to cut the process from nine weeks to five, and increase diversity among new employees. Announced this month, the assessment event will comprise of eight separate activities all in one day, with five appraisers then providing input on whether to offer the job. Research commissioned by the firm on perceptions of graduate and apprenticeship application processes at large organizations found that 28 percent were put off from applying as they thought the process was too stressful, while 21 percent believed it was too time consuming. KPMG also shortened their multi-stage interview process in 2016 for similar reasons.


Trump denies tax allegations

United States President Donald Trump has denied dodging a hefty tax bill, when he inherited money from his father in the 1990s. A detailed investigation by The New York Times on 2 October, found that Trump’s parents transferred more than US$1 billion in wealth from their real estate empire to their children, which could have produced at least US$550 million worth of taxes. The Trumps, however, have only paid back a total of US$52.2 million, or about 5 percent, according to Economia. Following the report, a spokesman for New York’s tax authority said, “The tax department is reviewing the allegations in the [Times] article and is vigorously pursuing all appropriate avenues of investigation.”