Insight Associates provide outsourced accounting and Finance Director services to ambitious and growing businesses. We work as your only resource or with existing staff to give you complete financial support including monthly management accounts, high level financial advice, robust controls and financial systems, funding and business planning, payroll & compliance, VAT returns and statutory compliance.

Successful business leaders have all the information they need to make good decisions…Do You?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Prompt Payment Code!

Am I becoming an old cynic in my advancing years (feeling a bit old at the moment!!) but is this newly launched Prompt Payment Code just a complete waste of time?

The payment practices of many larger UK businesses and most Government bodies leave a lot to be desired, forcing unreasonable terms on their suppliers and then often through their own ineptness failing to pay them even then. The issue is serious, and we have seen many clients suffer the consequences in all sectors.

However, apparently according to Peter Mandelson (Secretary of State for Business) and many others (who should know better!) the Prompt Payment Code is “a critical step in tackling the issue of late payment”. Do they really believe that by getting a few high profile players to sign up to a code that says we will pay our suppliers on time, give them guidance on how they will be paid, and encourage good practice, it will make any difference? I think not!

The main issue surely is the lack of any effective mechanism in English Law to enable you to collect your overdue debts? If a debtor does not pay, what can you really do about it to make any real difference? Take them through a pretty impotent court process and then try and enforce a judgement (which all the while is costing you more money), or charge them statutory interest? Whoopee!

It strikes me that the whole issue of giving credit to customers is a pretty risky business, and no code is really going to change that. Something much stronger is needed.

As part of the Pre Budget Report last November the Chancellor Alastair Darling said that Government Departments would be instructed to pay suppliers on 14 days. That was 4 months ago, and apparently it still is not happening! Perhaps they should sign up to their own code!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

We are running a breakfast workshop ...


Insight Associates, in association with NatWest and Herts & Essex Observer is presenting the first in a series of finance workshops for small and medium sized, local, established businesses.

The downturn in the local economy is affecting businesses right across the UK, including those in our area. This seminar will answer key questions being posed by business owners in these difficult trading conditions, such as:

  • How do we improve cashflow and speed up payments from customers?
  • How can we avoid bad debts?
  • Can we change our supplier payment terms?
  • How likely is it that we’ll lose our overdraft facility?
  • Is anyone lending to businesses any more?
  • What government support is available?
  • What are our legal obligations regarding insolvency?

This is a unique opportunity to gain valuable information and tips on how to steer your business through these difficult times and beyond, from local business experts who understand your financial concerns.

The workshop will be held at Pearse House, Parsonage Lane, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 5BQ on Thursday 2nd April, 7.30am for an 8am start. It will finish by 10.30am. Over a working breakfast delegates will be able to listen to, and participate in, talks by Insight Associates’ Managing Director Garry Mumford and Bill Butler, Director, Commercial Banking at NatWest.

Insight Associates will also provide delegates with two weeks’ free telephone support and a practical workbook full of useful tips and ideas that delegates will be able to put to use in their business straightaway.

Call Insight Associates on 01279 647447


There is a nominal cost of £35 (inc. vat) which includes breakfast. Payment can be made by credit card or cheque.

Numbers are limited so you are encouraged to book soon.

Insight Associates, Insight House, Riverside Business Park, Stoney Common Road, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, CM24 8PL, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1279 647447 Fax: +44 (0)1279 814512
Insight Associates is a trading name of Financial Catalysts Limited. Registered in England and Wales Number: 5670047. Registered Office as above. Disclaimer | Cookies