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


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 ...

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


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 ...

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


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.

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


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 ...

Money Talk: Preparing for very interesting times ahead


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 ...

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


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 ...

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


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 ...

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


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 ...

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


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 ...

Money Talk: Why planning ahead makes good business sense


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 ...