Bonuses the good the bad and the downright ugly

It is people’s abilities and behaviours that drive business success.  While training, leadership and motivation are critical to success, bonuses can also help improve performance. However, the impact of bonuses can be good, bad or downright ugly: One client who operated a number of depots was having problems in promptly collecting money from customers. The credit…

Put your head in the Cloud – but keep your feet on the ground!

A lot of the work I do is around the information that comes out of a computer or the processes before data is entered. What happens in between is to me, quite frankly, a bit of a dark art. I recently attended a seminar Cloud Accounting for the 21st Century Debunking The Myths hosted by…

Double dip or not – 5 tips for steering through uncertain conditions

When the credit crunch hit I was struck by how many businesses adopted a slash and burn mentality. Doubtless many businesses had been complacent and there was fat that could be trimmed, but also there was a reluctance to spend money on the things that would take them forward, whether it was marketing, skills, IT…

News of the World – an unanswered question

My initial reaction to the recent News of the World revelations was that the people at the top must take responsibility.  I took the view that senior management are ultimately responsible for the organisation’s culture and when there is a serious breach of ethics they should resign. As mentioned in my last blog I have…

Is audit an emotive term?

For many people their experience of audits is of external audit, which to a large extent is a forced purchase required by law. For the uninitiated an external audit is carried out by an independent firm of accountants and its main focus is forming a view on whether the annual accounts give a true and…

Benefits and pitfalls of invoice discounting

Invoice finance is an increasingly popular form of funding. To some extent it’s been associated with distressed businesses, but it can also be a good way of funding growth. What is invoice finance? In broad terms the funder provides finance up to an agreed percentage of outstanding customer balances. Typically cash can be advanced the…

How fraud prevention can improve profits and cash flow

In my last blog I spoke about the increased risk of fraud in the current climate and the challenges of SMEs in preventing fraud.  Whilst businesses can thrive on friendliness, informality can also result in loose procedures that leave a business exposed to fraud or error.  Here are some tips which should not only help…

Fraud could your business win the lottery?

Whilst we are technically past recession and (depending what commentator you listen to) things are looking up, in reality things are still tough for many businesses and there could well be a few bumps and scrapes on the way to recovery. Many businesses’ main concerns are about generating business, managing costs and the bank balance. …

Lord Sugar’s new year message “Success it’s down to you all the way” – yes but don’t take it to extremes.

Lord Sugar’s new year message Success? It’s down to you all the way was published in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph. Whilst he gave some excellent down to earth advice about the banks: “”They are not a charity and they do not have to lend money to any Tom, Dick and Harry” and “Forget them unless you…

Football and Business: Promotion brings challenges – how can small teams cope?

In my last blog I talked about how both football and business teams need a balance to perform well and spoke about how a team of strikers (eg: sales people) or a team of defenders (eg: finance people) would not perform well and in a worst case scenario could end up be being relegated (or…