All Money talk articles

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    Money Talk: Yes, petrol retailers are open, but it’s a struggle...

    2020-05-12T00:00:00Z

    Over a month into ’lockdown’ and we’re used to the new ’normal’: only essential public-facing businesses remaining open, meanwhile those that can operate without visitors try to do so by phone and online. Roads much quieter than anyone can remember and more people on bikes or on foot than there ...

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    Money Talk: Our discussion on the Budget has been overtaken by world events

    2020-04-07T00:00:00Z

    We had expected this month to be looking at the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s first Budget. However, as we’re all aware, the Budget was overtaken by events so rapidly that it had become largely irrelevant almost before the ink was dry. The UK realised that Covid-19 could do as much damage ...

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    Money Talk: Demand versus supply in the limited labour pool

    2020-03-10T00:00:00Z

    In late February the Home Office floated its ’Post Brexit immigration plans’ and immediately found itself on the receiving end of cries of alarm from employer organisations across the economy: farming, hospitality, healthcare and retailing among them. The major bone of contention is the intention to severely restrict effectively stop ...

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    Money Talk: Stay alert, be vigilant - it’s a sensitive time for scams

    2020-02-10T00:00:00Z

    Let’s start with a quick update from last month’s column, where we mentioned that a well-known High Street fashion retailer had admitted that it may have overstated the value of stock on its balance sheet by "some £25m". Following a preliminary investigation by external auditors, the company issued a statement ...

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    Money Talk: Stock shock - and what you can do to avoid it

    2020-01-13T00:00:00Z

    There was a news story last month about a well-known, publicly quoted fashion retailer which announced that it may have overstated the value of stock on its balance sheet by some £25m and the consequent appointment of lawyers and accountants to investigate and determine what happened and just how big ...

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    Money Talk: Getting into the festive spirit - in the right way

    2019-12-16T00:00:00Z

    Although we’re in the middle of an (unseasonal) election campaign, and there’s so much else going on news wise, it’s here again Christmas a season that raises a few business issues. Stock, cash and insurance First up, stock, cash and insurance. Many forecourts today sell alcohol; some sell ...

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    Money Talk: Why it’s so important to keep an eye on your bank account

    2019-11-15T00:00:00Z

    There’s a common history relating to almost every major IT project especially those undertaken by government departments: they take far longer to implement than planned, cost several times more than they were budgeted for, and usually create havoc when they go live. So with that sort of background the expectations ...

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    Money Talk: Preparing for very interesting times ahead

    2019-10-10T00:00:00Z

    In general, accountants try to stay away from looking at politics and world events. We tend to leave those matters to economists, who like to speculate on the eventual effects of what they call ’macro’ events right down to the ’micro’ level ie particular business sectors and consumers. However, unless ...

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    Money Talk: The big squeeze that’s affecting supplies across the board

    2019-09-09T00:00:00Z

    There’s been a common theme emerging over recent months in one conversation after another with independent fuel retailers: the word ’pressure’ crops up quite regularly, but one very experienced retailer simply called it ’the squeeze’. He described a slow, inexorable process whereby it seemed that his options in how to ...

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    Money Talk: Time for a reality check of your stock and the start of a routine

    2019-08-06T00:00:00Z

    It’s always nice to actually get down to working with a new client. Those weeks, or months, of discussions and planning beforehand are necessary: deciding on the most appropriate accounting system; designing any new procedures to integrate with it while minimising unnecessary disruption to tried-and-tested practices, even picking the right ...

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    Money Talk: Can anyone say, with any confidence, what the true price of loyalty is?

    2019-07-09T00:00:00Z

    With the recent major changes involving fuel brands and their associated loyalty schemes, many consumers might be forgiven for being confused. After the shake-up we now have: Esso associated with Nectar (having dropped Tesco Clubcard); BP offering BPme Rewards (having dropped Nectar); and Shell going with Go+ instead of Drivers ...

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    Money Talk: Family-run businesses have advantages... and disadvantages

    2019-06-07T00:00:00Z

    It often seems that we live in an age of multinational mega-corporations which control so many familiar trading names, to the extent that it’s easy to forget that in reality a large proportion of small/medium businesses are still basically family-owned and run enterprises and this is particularly the case when ...

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    Money Talk: Why planning ahead makes good business sense

    2019-05-06T00:00:00Z

    It’s very easy to sympathise with the view that planning ahead is basically pointless. Technological and social change seem to happen at an ever-increasing pace and to threaten the basic way in which our industries work, and indeed in how our lives are organised. As if that didn’t make it ...

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    Money Talk: Were you aware that Minimum Wage Rates have risen again?

    2019-04-08T00:00:00Z

    Being very busy people, you may have missed the fact that on April 1, the National Minimum Wage/Living Wage rates were raised again. For the record, the rates that you should now be paying are: Age 25 Over £8.21/hr 4.9%from £7.83 Age 21-24 £7.70/hr ...

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    Money Talk: VAT returns are changing very soon: is your business prepared?

    2019-03-11T00:00:00Z

    You may have heard the phrase Making Tax Digital (MTD) a few times in the last couple of years. Admittedly not the catchiest of terms, so far it hasn’t had much impact outside the accounting journals in fact it’s hardly caused much in the way of comment even in the ...

  • News

    Money Talk: Don’t worry, it’s only the auditors and they offer genuine benefits

    2019-02-11T00:00:00Z

    A year on from the meltdown at Carillion, quite apart from the immense fallout in practical terms, one consequence is that serious questions have been raised about the role of that company’s auditors. The same questions have arisen after almost every subsequent corporate failure the latest being at Patisserie Valerie, ...

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    Money Talk: Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to HMRC

    2019-01-11T00:00:00Z

    There’s a saying that there are two people with whom you should always be completely open and honest: your doctor and your lawyer. Of course, we’d add accountant to that select number particularly at this time of year. That’s because while much of the business world seems to go into ...

  • News

    Money Talk: We’ve had a rare outbreak of common sense...

    2018-12-19T00:00:00Z

    At a time when the main news channels seem permanently occupied with the political quagmire around Brexit, it’s tempting to believe that everything else in business and politics is in a state of paralysis and terminal decline. That may of course still be the case, but at least two recent ...

  • News

    Money Talk: Data, information - or what we call the ’Bigger Picture’

    2018-11-12T00:00:00Z

    Petrol retailing is fundamentally a high-turnover, low-margin business. It isn’t unique in that respect, of course, but it is somewhat unusual in that the major component of that turnover (fuel in case anyone has forgotten) is subject to almost daily price volatility and in the short term that includes the ...

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    Money Talk: How an unrelated business on your premises could still affect yours

    2018-10-08T00:00:00Z

    There are two topics which never seem to go away as far as the forecourt retailing industry is concerned: fuel prices and hand car washes; and certainly both receive regular coverage within Forecourt Trader in general and within this column in particular. With hand car washes, the problem relates to ...