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Offshoring Benefits

Advances in technology, communications and logistics mean that almost any business can take advantage of the benefits of offshoring — the process of shifting one or more business functions to an offshore location to improve efficiency or reduce costs. There are a number of offshore business models to choose from. The one that’s right for your business will depend on your objectives and the types of activities you intend to carry out. read more


Financial Statements: Preventing Fraud

False accounting or fraudulent financial reporting is a significant risk for any sizeable business. In tough economic times, management teams will often try to anticipate future growth to justify any over-reporting in their desire to keep things going. For a few there will be the temptation to plug any holes in the accounts with false accounting entries and fictitious supporting documentation. This risk is compounded by the ability of senior management to override controls through collusion or by browbeating staff into manipulating the books and records. Business owners need to be aware of the risks associated with financial statement fraud, including why it might be committed and what motivates the fraudsters to commit it. read more


Making High Pressure Decisions In A Low Pressure Environment

With the worst of the deepest, most abrupt recession in living memory now behind us, businesses that have survived should be more confident about their futures. But what future have they survived into and what shape are they currently in? There is still plenty of uncertainty about where the UK and global economies are heading. This creates challenges for every business, but particularly for those with low visibility around order or income levels over the next few months, let alone years. read more


Enterprise Investment Scheme: Is The Government Making Tax Better For Entrepreneurs?

The increase in EIS income tax relief to 30% was one of the positive developments for entrepreneurs coming out of the Budget. Together with the proposed increase in the annual amount qualifying for EIS relief for individuals to £1 million, this was a helpful change for UK enterprise. In short, it should mean more investment in smaller companies. read more


Retailers Call For Clampdown On VAT Avoidance Scam

The group of retailers campaigning against an industrial-scale offshore VAT avoidance scheme that has destroyed or damaged their businesses and cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds, has called on the UK government to take genuine action rather than tokenistic half-measures to clamp down on the scheme. read more


Accountants, Ostriches And The Criminally Insane

Firms need to stop panicking and start taking positive action if they want to survive the downturn Getting on the phone and actually talking to (potential) clients is brilliant — you get an insight into their world as well as how they see you. read more


The Venture Capital Case Study: Mitigating The Risks Of Investing In Technology

Did you know that in 2009 (the last year reported on by BVCA) the Technology Sectors absorbed £763m or 26% of the investment made by Private Equity in the UK? Or that this money was invested in 475 companies or 57% of the total? Looking in more detail at the stats (see chart below) you will see that it was only the Venture Capital end of the market (including Expansion Capital) that was investing in these sectors at all. read more


Why 4% Inflation Matters To Investors

The news this week of both a 4% CPI inflation rate in the UK, plus a 44,000 increase in unemployment is serious. And it is going to matter, a lot, to the angel investment market. Since graduating in 1990 this is the first time, I have really experienced an inflationary economy, so I cannot tell you any war stories about the terrible times of the 1970/80s, but the have been recounted to me by my older wiser friends. Tales of prices going up every week etc etc. Here is a chart from the ONS showing inflation over the last 11 years. I think the most telling thing for me is that the last time rates were at 4% it was just before the Credit Crunch and the economy felt very different to how it feels today. read more


Tax Relief On Pension Investments To Fall

The amount you can put into your pension which attracts tax relief will fall substantially from 6 April 2011. Here are some key action points which higher earners and anyone approaching retirement should urgently consider. Many will remember the great upheaval surrounding pensions when new rules were introduced in 2006. As a result, individuals can, broadly, invest up to £255,000 pa up to a maximum lifetime allowance of £1.8m while continuing to receive tax relief on pension contributions. read more


SIPPs — A Pension For All Seasons

What is a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)? First, we need to understand the distinction between the wrapper in which the investments are held and the investments themselves. Once this differentiation is fully appreciated the rest is quite simple. read more


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