Monday, January 16, 2017

The Part Time FD

The position of Finance Director (FD) is key for many organisations, as their ability can have a tremendous impact on the stability and future of the business. Financial objectives are often set by the  Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and FD at the beginning of the year, so they have great influence over the strategic direction of their firm. It is even common for an FD to eventually become a CEO due to their ability to provide financial security to the business, so it is clear to see the positive impact an FD might have on an Small to Medium Enterprise (SME).

However, a full time Director comes at a significant cost, so SME’s often attempt to get by without an FD. This can have severe consequences if leadership lack financial expertise. Fortunately, it is possible to employ a part time FD.

As Stuart Smith of Watersmiths Business Services suggests, a part time FD will grant you the opportunity to have someone with a wealth of experience objectively review your organisation. This enables them to review strategic objectives such as cash flow, and make impartial recommendations that meet the needs of the business and are not influenced by existing relationships or loyalties within the organisation.

Employing an FD part time also grants the organisation the flexibility to scale up or down the role depending on growth. If you start to feel the need to create an FD position but the expense is too great to provide a full time role, then creating a part time position is a perfect compromise. If you are able to continue to meet your targets and grow the business, then maybe you might wish to increase your FD’s hours to meet your needs. Similarly, you might feel you find great value in having a superior source of experience within your business and an extra set of eyes and ears to depend on when making strategic decisions. It also gives you the luxury of trialling the candidate to see if they’re a cultural fit for your organisation!

Ultimately, you have a commitment to your stakeholders to ensure that your organisation is as financially secure as possible. If you cannot afford a full time FD or you feel there is no need, then having access to a part time Finance Director is a great solution if you require specialist expertise.

Contact Assured FD Services to find out more.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Snapchat Chooses The UK For International HQ

Snap, the American company that owns popular messaging app Snapchat, has established its international headquarters in London, where it will book all non-US ad sales, in what some analysts note as a vote of confidence for the post-Brexit United Kingdom.

The decision to open an international hub in the UK by the California-based startup sets it apart from its peers in Silicon Valley. Top American technology companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Uber, Twitter and several others have chosen Ireland, Luxembourg or the Netherlands as their international HQs to shelter their earnings from US tax laws, taking advantage of lower tax rates in these European countries.

United Kingdom’s corporation tax rates is also one of the lowest in the world, but plans to reduce it even further have made the country an attractive option for many companies with international operations.

Snap Group Limited, which is the company’s new UK entity, will be booking all revenues from customers in the UK and in all countries where it has no local office.

The company’s newly-minted international HQ will be stationed near its existing Soho office in London, which was established back in 2015. It currently has 75 people on staff, but will hire additional workers, including engineers.

“The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 million daily Snapchatters are, and where we’ve already begun to hire talent,” said Claire Valoti, general manager of Snap Group in the UK.

Snapchat’s move to establish a headquarters in Britain comes amid criticism of American companies’ practice of avoiding US taxation by setting up shop outside the US even though most its operations are inside the US.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt defended the industry’s much-criticised tax avoidance tactic, saying they do it “based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate.”

The company is set to go public as early as March this year, with an estimated valuation of $25 billion.

If you are looking for expert Part Time FD Services in the Leeds & Yorkshire area contact Assured FD Services today.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

UK manufacturing soars to 30-month high on strong domestic and overseas demand

United Kingdom’s manufacturing sector closed 2016 with a bang, hitting a two-and-a-half-year high in December, an industry survey revealed.

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) went up to 56.1 last month from 53.6 in November. Industry players monitor the seasonally-revised index for signs of expansion or contraction in the manufacturing sector. When the index is at 50 or higher, that means the sector is expanding. Conversely, any figure below 50 indicates contraction.

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UK manufacturing production and new business rose last month, with new export business growing for seven straight months, as British manufacturers reported increased orders from major markets including China, Europe, U.S., and the Middle East.

Not only was last month’s PMI reading the highest in 30 months, it was also the fastest in terms of growth rate for both production and new orders in nearly three years.

The December survey attributes the rise of the index to robust demand from abroad, which was boosted by the weaker pound. The British currency has fallen sharply against rival currencies in the past year, making UK products more affordable for overseas buyers.

The weakened sterling, however, is proving to be a mixed blessing for the sector.  While the pound helped boost the country’s manufacturing sector get off to a strong start this year, cost for British manufacturers remain high due to reduced importing power, the Markit/CIPS survey found.

The weakness of the British currency has nudged the price of imported goods higher, which has translated to higher costs for a number of manufacturers.

The survey noted that price pressures continued to be at elevated levels in December, with inflation for input costs and output charges remaining among the fastest in the survey’s history.

To negate the higher input costs, some manufacturers have started to pass on the burden to their clients by increasing their selling prices, with prices consistently rising over the last eight months.

Some analysts expect these higher costs to push the inflation up in the coming months.

If you are a UK business within the Manufacturing sector looking to boost your company finances, a Part Time FD can provide the direction and financial guidance you need to ensure maximum success. Contact Assured FD Services today to see how we can help.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Why Interim CFOs Are The Way To Go…

Hiring high-level professional help can be daunting task for most small and medium sized businesses. According to a recent study, the average annual compensation of a CFO in the UK is £100,944. This prohibitively high cost can impede a small business from hiring a CFO, all the while stopping them from making progress.

A revolution has began in this regime. The rise of many companies that offer on demand financial management are a breath of fresh air to small business owners. You can now hire top level CFOs at a fraction of the cost through consultancy services, as interim CFO.

With the need for adequate financial consulting growing due to stricter government policies for business, these services are the need of the time. With difficult tasks like marketing, sales and customer support already competing for the time and attention available to a small business owner, the added experience and time needed to perform audits, file taxes and manage the company’s financial resources adequately, can become impossible for business owners.

Now with the advent of financial consulting services, companies can acquire the services they need without hiring executives who become a burden to their already strained budgets. However, some may claim that the services offered by such agencies may be sub par. This is far from the truth. In fact, the competitive nature of the market in which they strive to gain contracts guarantees that they provide high quality services. This provides a better alternative to hiring lesser talent at a lower cost, which also results in negligible progress for a company. Thus, interim or part time finance director services are the only way to ensure that you receive high quality work for every penny you pay.

If you are a small business owner and want to make the most of your financial resources, contact Assured FD Services today to use your resources to the fullest potential. This is the best way to ensure that you make the most of your resources and grow your company at the pace you want.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

British Consumer Confidence Plummets to Lowest Level Since EU Referendum

Consumer confidence in the United Kingdom dropped this month to its lowest level since the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, weighed down by worries over rising inflation pressures, a survey released over the weekend showed.

Polling firm YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) said consumer morale in the country declined by a whole point to 108.1 this month, the lowest level since July this year.

Pollsters found that British consumers were less optimistic about their household finances over the next 12 months due to worries over inflation, which is expected to rise sharply after the UK formally exits the European Union.

Scoot Corfe, Cebr director, says that looming inflation is slowly being felt in the economy at large and by British consumers.

The YouGov/Cebr survey echoed the findings of a separate survey published by GfK the day before which showed a deterioration in consumers’ sentiment for the coming year.

Sterling has shed more than 10 percent of its value against the greenback since June’s Brexit vote, and while a number of businesses have raised prices to compensate for the weakening currency, many are still holding out price increases until after the highly competitive holiday shopping season.

Contrary to predictions of doom, the British economy has done relatively well. Many economists were expecting worse.

However, a rise in inflation in the next 12 months is particularly worrying as it is likely to weaken the spending power of households, a key economic driver. Household spending power helped the UK recover economically during the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009.

Meanwhile, wages are not expected to keep pace with inflation, says XpertHR, a payroll data company.

The Bank of England (BoE) projects inflation to rise within the next 12 months to 2.7 percent from 1.2 percent.

If you are looking for guidance through these uncertain times, contact Assured FD Services today on 07817 676371. Assured FD Services provide specialist part time FD services to UK businesses, strengthening operating stability and strategising for growth.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Potential Loss of Mutual Enforcement Rules Puts UK’s Legal Sector at Risk

UK’s legal sector, a £25.7 billion industry, could be at risk if the Government is unable to secure guarantees for it after the country leaves the European Union (EU), lobby group TheCityUK warned on Tuesday.

Britain’s legal services sector is preferred by international companies for dispute resolution due to the use of English law in commercial contracts.

EU rules require member states to recognise and enforce UK’s law and vice versa.

This makes Britain a very attractive place to draw up contracts and resolve disputes for many businesses, both local and international. It has become one of the largest legal sectors in the world with four times more turnover than France and two and half times more than Germany. It is second only to the United States.

The potential loss of mutual enforcement rules, which is a likely consequence of the Brexit, could force many companies to look elsewhere for legal services.

The sector, which employs roughly 370,000 people, is now urging the Government to find a solution that will allow mutual enforcement of laws and judgments to continue. It is likewise calling on lawmakers to adopt measures to ensure free movement for legal professionals in the European market, noting the high number of foreign law firms operating in the country.

The group pointed out the adverse effects to other key sectors including financial services, energy, real estate and technology if legal support services are disrupted.

Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK, said it is vital that the key challenges and opportunities for the legal sector are addressed during the Brexit negotiations, and that its competitiveness is not only maintained but enhanced.

The legal services sector added £25.7 billion to the country’s economy last year, comprising 1.6% of UK’s gross domestic product (GDP).

If you are unsure about your business’s financial future then please get in touch. At Assured FD Services we have over 20 years expertise working as a full and part time FD for companies across the UK.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

VAT and Your New Business

All new companies should be made aware that, you can claim VAT on costs incurred before the business started trading This includes VAT incurred on assets used prior to VAT registration.

Subject to the normal rules on VAT deduction:

  • VAT on services received within six months of the effective date of registration (EDR) and used in the business at EDR is recoverable in full
  • VAT on stock is deductible to the extent that the goods are still on hand at EDR (for example, apportionment may be required)
  • VAT on fixed assets purchased within four years of EDR is recoverable in full, providing the assets are still in use by the business at EDR

Full recovery only applies if a business is fully taxable. If a business is partly exempt, has non-business activities or needs to restrict VAT deduction for any other reason, it will need to take that into account when calculating the amount of deductible VAT.

For further advice on Tax Compliance and VAT, contact Assured FD Services today. With over 20 years experience managing the finances of UK market leading companies, you can rely on receiving the best advice and guidance possible.

 

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