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Accountant raises intangible issue

Thinc Group has defended the inclusion of 13m trail commission as an asset in its last set of accounts.

The accounts for the year ended March 31, 2005 list trail commission to the value of 12,917,745 based on a multiplier of 7.5 times, which the directors say is industry-standard in the company accounts, approved by Kingston Smith.

But an accountant at one of the big four accountancy firms claims that listing trail commission as an intangible fixed asset is abnormal.

The accountant, who wants to remain anonymous, says: “This intangible asset appears very odd. This tends to happen only when another business has been acquired, which I understand took place much before these accounts should have been done.

“This company appears to own all its trail commission and has decided to value it. I do not understand why this has been done.”

FSA spokeswoman Sam Bennett says: “IFA firms should not include trail commission as an asset on the balance sheet unless it has already been earned.”

A Thinc spokesman says: “All our accounts have been logged and registered with the FSA and there have been no issues with anything so far.”

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