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[12 Oct 2011 | No Comment | ]
Tighter expenses rules ‘harming MPs’ mental health’

I was fascinated to see this report on the BBC web site earlier today!

What amazes me is the apparent level of disconnect between MPs and ordinary people! As I said in a tweet at breakfast time today (12 Oct 2011):
“They should try running a business and dealing with
HMRC and VAT and Companies House!”
I imagine that the amount of record keeping and protocol that owners of small businesses have to follow, makes the MPs rules on expenses seem rather modest. And I say that as an accountant and as a business …

finance »

[10 Sep 2011 | No Comment | ]
He who pays the piper calls the tune!

On Friday 9 Sep 2011 I had a most puzzling experience when I attended an event run by event professionals for event professionals.

There was no internet. Not only had the wifi failed, the location was in a known 3G blackspot. In this day and age most delegates would expect an internet connection at big conferences, expecially at a conference which claimed to be at the cutting edge of technology. if somebody is paying you, then you have an
obligation to give them what they have paid for.
Some people have not yet …

finance, headline »

[17 Jan 2011 | No Comment | ]
Solving the problem of financial illiteracy

Are you happy with the way the banks have been working? The way they treat you? And the way they seem to make extraordinarily large sums of money, seemingly at the expense of the poor man in the street, and small business owner?
What can we do about it? What can they do about it?

On Tuesday 11 Jan 2011 I picked up a copy of CityAm, the free newspaper that circulates in London. This article entitled Financial Illiteracy by @AllisterHeath caught my eye. Should the banks do something which will both …

finance »

[31 Dec 2010 | No Comment | ]
Happy New Year

2010 was a great year in the way that 2009 was not!
Do you remember the depths of recession in 2009? It sorted out the men from the boys! And along with many other businesses which managed to stay the course in 2009 and actually make it into 2010, my business has become leaner and stronger as a result. Truly, 2009 was dire! A fair proportion of my clients went out of business, and I lost about 30% of my income. I have a feeling that I have almost got back …

finance »

[25 Aug 2010 | No Comment | ]
iPhone app developers and the VAT question!

VAT law is weird – it talks about “supplies”!

How do you account for VAT?
I’ve had this question a number of times recently. The problem applies to all suppliers of downloadable software, so I’ll give you the general picture, and then at the end, there’s a bit specifically for app developers who get paid by Apple.
You’re in business right? And you’re based in the UK, with a UK VAT number? If you just said “yes and yes” that’s good, read on, otherwise contact a local accountant in your part of the …

finance »

[25 Nov 2009 | No Comment | ]
Cash, Systems, People

More Profit in Less Time – The Wednesday Tip
Cash, then Systems and then People. That’s the way to grow a business.
It’s true that more than 50% of small businesses fail before they reach their 3rd anniversary. And the biggest reason that businesses fail is a lack of cash. So in order to give yourself a sporting chance, your new business has to focus on bringing in cash.

If you can’t do that in the early days, then you really don’t have much of a business.
Once the theory starts working in practice …

finance »

[24 Nov 2009 | No Comment | ]

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Tuesday Financial Focus
If you’re starting out in business, you could be one of the thousands of people who see their own business as a replacement for a previous job. And you may be thinking “if I can only earn £40,000 then that’ll be enough”. Substitute 30K or 50K or whatever figure you first thought of.
If that’s your approach to business, then you don’t own a business, you own a …

finance »

[15 Nov 2009 | No Comment | ]

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Personal Development on Sunday
I have just had a look around the news web sites. The Times is reporting in Monday’s paper that Sainsburys is loosing shoppers to all of its rivals.
The Times attributes this to shrewd plans, marketing and promotional gimmicks at other leading supermarkets. No I don’t think so! It’s down to stupidity at Sainsburys.
I gave up visiting my local Sainsbury Hypermarket, because the staff love the PA …

finance »

[28 Oct 2009 | No Comment | ]

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More Profit in Less Time – The Wednesday Tip
October has been an extraordainary month, with far reaching changes at Royal Mail, at Companies House, and to my own e-mail servers. You can read about all of that elsewhere in this blog. There has also been a knock on effect which has led to fundamental changes in my business calendar and to co-incidental modifications to my regular social calendar.
And, if …

finance »

[15 Oct 2009 | No Comment | ]

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Technology Thursday
When was the last time you bought a newspaper? I haven’t bought one for many months now, and I read all of my news on line. I hardly ever watch TV either, because now I can get my news at whatever time I want it.
For 30 years I have been a Times reader, and I have watched BBC news at 9pm (and then they moved it to 10pm). …