Monthly Archives: September 2017

Being Extraordinary

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Drummond Laurie Chartered Accountants ICASWe were delighted to be a part of the ICAS and Stirling University’s “Step into Accountancy” event that was held on Monday 25th September 2017.  This event was well attended by many of the University’s Accountancy & Finance students.

Drummond Laurie was amongst seven Accountancy & Finance employers, all with the aim of promoting the profession and providing valuable information to the interested students who attended.

ICAS were also in attendance and provided an insightful presentation to aid those who hoped to pursue a career in Accountancy and, with this, undergo the prestigious CA qualification with the well-respected professional accountancy body.

This event provided a great chance for us to spend time networking with the students and share our experiences with them from stirling unibeing a CA Trainee all the way through to becoming a qualified accountant. We were also able to offer an interesting insight into what a day in the Drummond Laurie office may entail!  We were able to use this as an opportunity to inform students of our upcoming available vacancies for the 2018 Summer Internship programme, an 8-week placement over the summer months, along with our Graduate vacancies for graduating students in 2018.

It was great to meet the enthusiastic students and we hope that the information we provided can assist them in the next step of their career path!

ACCA Approved Employer

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acca

Drummond Laurie Chartered AccountantsWe are delighted that this week we’ve been accredited as a Platinum Approved Employer Trainee Development firm by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). ACCA is a worldwide professional accountancy body with more than 198,000 fully qualified members and 486,000 students. Within Drummond Laurie we are delighted to have seven of these qualified members and five students. We are committed to the development of our team and this accreditation recognises our commitment to providing high standards of staff training and development.

Drummond Laurie look forward to celebrating this great achievement along with their 4th Birthday at the beginning of October.

TEAM JUMP

 

 

 

Pension Auto-Enrolment: don’t pay the price for non-compliance

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Ae law As pension auto-enrolment enters a critical stage, thousands of small and micro Drummond Laurie Chartered Accountantsbusinesses will now be thinking about their employer duties. With enforcement action for non-compliance on the rise, employers should ensure that they fully understand their new responsibilities.

Responsibility to enrol employees into a pension scheme lies with the employer.  Employers are required to automatically enrol eligible workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme and pay a minimum contribution into the fund. Eligible workers are those aged between 22 years and the State Pension Age who have qualifying earnings above the earnings trigger for automatic enrolment.ae3

It’s the Law, the penalties for non-compliance include a Fixed Penalty Notice of £400, and statutory notices with a prescribed daily rate of £50 to £10,000, depending on how many individuals a business employs.

The Pensions Regulator may also issue a civil penalty in cases where the employer fails to pay their contributions. These can range from £5,000 for individuals and £50,000 for an organisation. Where an employer fails to pay a penalty and remains non-compliant, the Regulator may seek criminal prosecution.

More information can be found on the Pension Regulator’s website at www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk.

At Drummond Laurie we are helping our clients with this contact us now for more  details, email gillian.niven@drummondlaurie.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

Beware…Ransomware

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Drummond Laurie Chartered Accountants

ransomware2Whilst fraud is one of the risks associated with emails, the recent outbreaks of the WannaCry! Ransomware virus and it’s derivatives are a reminder of another, potentially more damaging one, as the primary route for the spread of such viruses is usually by way of an email attachment which then infects your system with the virus when opened or viewed. As the number of such outbreaks will only increase then we thought it would be useful to give a brief reminder on how to reduce the damage they could cause to your business.

In the case of Ransomware, the virus encrypts the majority, if not all, of the files on the hard drives of the machines it infects, and demands a ransom is paid to reveal the encryption key. Whilst there have been some reports that paying the ransom does work, it’s not guaranteed, and as the encryption sequence is highly effective then the only really effective way of recovering from a ransomware attack is to restore from a clean backup and re-create any missing files.ransom3

Therefore an effective backup solution that covers all of your data and is tested regularly is a must, so if the worst does happen then at least you have something to fall back on.

Given the disruption that restoring from backup will normally entail, it’s better to not be infected in the first place, and therefore it’s very important to have procedures in place to try and eliminate or reduce the risks of infection.

Although some viruses can infect a computer via a network connection (including a connection to the internet), most systems have any connections to the internet or outside world fairly tightly locked down and this means that this method of infection is pretty rare.

It’s not impossible for your system to be infected this way though, and for this reason it’s important to make sure that you pay attention to the settings on your router or modem or other device connecting your pc and network to the internet and make sure that you apply any updates to it’s settings and software as recommended by the manufacturer.

It’s also vitally important to apply any updates your computers operating system (i.e. Windows, macOS and even Linux as it’s a common myth that Linux computers cannot get infected) on a regular and speedy basis as ransomware viruses often make use of faults or holes in the operating system and therefore can be completely prevented if the operating system is kept up to date.

ransom4For example, the Wannacry virus struck on 12th May 2017 but used a hole in Windows that had been patched on 14th March 2017 and so the majority of systems infected had not applied a security patch that had been released nearly 2 months earlier. Keeping your computer up to date in this way means that even if a virus does get through your router or network connection, then there is much less risk of it being able to infect your system.

As mentioned above, the primary method of infection tends to be via an email attachment which the recipient then runs, infecting a system from the inside and therefore bypassing any external security measures. If the affected machine doesn’t then have up to date anti-virus software, or the internal network is not properly secured, then such infections can very quickly infect most of the network, and especially NAS devices and other similar systems whose purpose is purely to store files and that therefore don’t always have anti-virus etc. running on them.

It’s therefore vitally important to be aware not to open attachments from any unknown emails, and to exercise caution even when opening ones that appear to be from someone you know and trust, especially as their system could have been infected without their knowledge. If you aren’t 100% sure then DO NOT open the attachment.

To summarise

Backup regularly, keep your systems (including routers and firewalls) up to date, and don’t open suspicious or unexpected attachments.

The above, however, is only a summary of what’s involved, and therefore to ensure you are adequately protected, please speak to your IT support company or other IT adviser for more detailed advice.

For any general queries, please email ross.nicol@drummondlaurie.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Back Shona

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Drummond Laurie Chartered Accountantsshona3I’m back! After being a summer intern at Drummond Laurie last year I was really happy to be given the opportunity to return when I was offered the graduate position.

I graduated from Stirling University in June and I spent the summer au-pairing in a small Spanish town before starting my real job! After running around after two young boys and putting on Velcro shoes for five weeks it’s really good to be back to adult conversation and be able to use my brain again.

Later this month I will start attending ICAS courses in Edinburgh and life as a CA trainee will begin! You’ll be able to follow my progress when I take over Twitter @Drummond_Laurie very soon.

 

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