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?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Will your business be impacted by Government cuts?

There has been a huge amount in the media recently about the new UK Government wanting to make very dramatic cuts in spending. It's clearly going to come, and it's clearly going to hurt (some more than others).

However ...have you seriously sat down and considered what impact it may have on your business?

A report published yesterday by Graydon, the credit reference agency, suggests that nearly two thirds of credit professionals believe that business failure rates will rise on the back of the public sector slow down. Yet, it seems businesses are just not monitoring the potential impact on their own operations.

At Insight Associates, we have already seen one client almost fail (it still might) because of reduced Government spending in its sector.

The impact may not be obvious however. It could be like a domino effect ...with difficulties in areas which seem remote from your own business flowing down and causing big issues for your customers, suppliers or business partners.

Earlier this year I heard what seemed like an amazing statistic until you think about it a bit. Apparently, 30% of all new shoes sales in the UK are purchased by the Government!  When you add up all the various services, military, health, police etc. it is perhaps not so surprising. Now think about the businesses that are perhaps in some remote way dependant on that spend without maybe even realising it!

Take a long hard look at your business, your trading relationships and your market. Understand what will happen when Government spending reduces by perhaps up to 40% ..and be prepared. You may be surprised by what impact it could have on you and your business.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Withdrawal of Bank notes – Did you miss the deadline?

You may have missed the fact that the older style £20 notes with the portrait of Sir Edward Elgar on were withdrawn from circulation on 30th June.

Most banks, building societies and Post Offices will, for a few months, accept the Elgar £20 notes for deposit into accounts and other customer transactions so now is a good time to check those petty cash tins and piggy banks.

We recently came across some of the older version £20 notes with Michael Faraday on them and our local NatWest branch very kindly accepted these too.

If, you are not so lucky with your bank don’t forget you always claim the face value of any notes if you present them directly to The Bank of England.

This can either be done in person or by post (at the sender’s risk) to: Dept NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH. You can obtain further information from the Bank of England website

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Checking out time for cheques

The Payments Council recently announced that the target closure date for UK cheque clearing is 31st October 2018 heralding the end of centuries of cheque use.

Cheques have been around in various guises since Roman times although the first pre-printed forms printed on cheque paper to prevent fraud were introduced by the Bank of England in 1717.

The final decision on the closure date will be made in 2016 and will depend on a clear consensus across all interested parties.

Although these dates seem a long way off something that you must consider before then is that the use of guaranteed cheques (i.e. presenting a cheque together with the cheque guarantee card which assures the vendor they will be paid up to a certain value such as ₤100) will cease from 30th June 2011.

So now is a good time to think about what your company policy is for accepting cheque payments.

We actively encourage our clients to accept and make BACS payments as it speeds up the accounting process, is more accurate, is economical beneficial and less time consuming than cheques. Alternatives are credit card terminals and of course old fashioned hard cash!

If you would like to discuss any aspect of these changes do get in touch!


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