Why an “us” culture adds to the bottom line

As my work often involves helping improve business processes I am all too aware that having staff “buy in” is an important factor in achieving change.  Conversely, the way that change is managed can impact (for good or bad) on staff morale. In my view a key factor in motivation and positive change is the […]

Why businesses need 13 week vision

It may seem bizarre but when training to become an accountant, I was never taught how to manage cash.   I am sure that there are thousands of other accountants with a similar gap in their formal education; although there are some like me who have learnt through experience. While accountants have conventions for preparing accounts, […]

Is it time to take the “Corporate” out of “Governance”?

Corporate Governance has been described as “the system by which companies are directed and controlled”.   Clearly this applies to all businesses.    However Corporate Governance as a subject tends to be the ambit of public companies, charities and other public interest organisations.  On line conversations in the Corporate Governance community seem to mostly relate to larger businesses. In […]

Subsidiary audit exemption – four things to consider

There are various requirements for a subsidiary to become exempt from audit under recently published legislation; these most significantly include a statutory guarantee to be given by the parent company of all of the liabilities of the subsidiary at the financial year end. I believe that taking advantage of the exemption will require careful consideration.  Here […]

Is more audit exemption a good idea?

Last week the Government announced a further expansion of the audit exemption rules.  In addition to extending the exemption for some so called “small” companies, it will be available to most subsidiary companies provided the parent company guarantees their liabilities. Arguably I should be welcoming the relaxation in rules, perhaps more businesses will want internal […]

Tone from the top – ethics, integrity and…profits & cash

The term “tone from the top” is usually used to describe the way that directors create the atmosphere in which an ethical approach to business is promoted or where dodgy behaviour is allowed to exist. Not actively encouraging ethical behaviour can lead to turning a blind eye. Where there is a highly driven approach to the […]

Bonuses the good the bad and the downright ugly

It is people’s abilities and behaviours that drive business success (and also failure). Training, leadership and motivation are critical to success. For people to perform well they should understand the purpose of what they are doing and its relevance to the organisation as a whole;  it is also important for them to have feedback.  Something […]

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 […]