What’s happening below your business radar?

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitterBelow the radar of other businesses Yearly private sector losses through fraud are estimated at £140bn in a recent survey*.  Many fraud prevention measures also reduce losses through innocent error or sloppiness; the total cost of not ‘minding the back office’ must be mind boggling. With the potential to reduce leakage in its various forms, […]

Getting spreadsheets to add value as well as numbers

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitterSpreadsheets can be used in almost any part of a business. While accountants feature highly among users, Excel’s ease of use at a basic level means that most people can create a spreadsheet.  Having said that Excel is very powerful and a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. A contact of mine Steve Randall recently […]

Ethics by Design – smaller business reflections

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitter   I recently attended a thought provoking conference, Ethics by Design, on the topic of fostering ethical culture in organisations. Ethics pays The morning session was led by Jonathan Haidt, a Professor at NYU Stern School of Business.  One takeaway for me was something that I had only partly rationalised – that is that […]

Management accounts – do yours ‘speak to you’?

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitterMy work includes supporting SMEs through due diligence to eventual sale.   Buyers want to gain an understanding of business drivers and expectations of future performance.  A Sale leads to a heightened focus on the numbers and the quality of the management accounts can create a good or bad impression. While great management accounts can help a business sale, they are good sense for any business. […]

Risk indicators for smaller businesses

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitterWhen things go pear shaped in business people look back and often see that there were warning signs.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Especially in a smaller business. Smaller businesses v larger ones Small and medium sized businesses are very different to larger ones – here are a few examples: Bosses are likely to be more involved in […]

Ethics & policies. On the tongue, are they on the lung?

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitterI was struck by a recent headline, “55% of small firms don’t have an ethics policy”.   The article referred to a survey of ‘SMEs’  and I must say I was surprised that there are as many as 45% that actually have an ethics policy! Does the lack of an ethics policy mean that a business lacks […]

Fraud should be seen as a business opportunity!!

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitter ‘It’s not going to happen to us’ From time to time a major fraud scandal hits the headlines, the latest one being Toshiba. Frauds in smaller businesses are less likely to receive public attention but they still happen. Common characteristics are a high degree of trust in staff and more informality than in a large […]

No internal audit? It needs a business case!

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitterA red flag  In a recent article Richard Chambers Global President and CEO of The Institute of Internal Auditors rightly described the lack of an internal audit function as a ‘red flag that should cause an investor’s antenna to go up’. In the UK, fully listed companies are not obliged to have an internal audit function, […]

10 internal audit qualities for smaller businesses

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitterRecent UK governance changes are likely to lead to smaller quoted companies looking more closely at the way they manage risk and how they ensure that business practices are effectively supporting their organisation. More companies are likely to look at having some sort of internal audit function, although resource is likely to be limited. With […]

How do think about risk?

LinkedinGoogle+FacebookTwitterTaking risk is an everyday fact of business life and entrepreneurs who take risks that come off are often admired. Risks can arise from adverse events, such as something giving rise to a legal claim/bad publicity or the loss of a key member of staff. There can also be risks of something good not happening, such […]