Archive for June, 2013

Late payment interest ? Or not?


This is quite inspiring tale of a small business suing for statutory interest on late payments from difficult clients and you can only applaud his nerve

I could be picky about some aspects of the article, especially the comment that statutory late payment charges are “little known” but whilst the main thrust is unarguable, to get the full picture we need to really know the strength of the suppliers relationship with the clients

Many businesses are far to wary of “not upsetting the client” but the you can avoid the fact that credit decisions cannot be taken in isolation. 

This supplier surely knew that he was in a strong position with the probability that an alternative supplier would not be readily available. Thats fine but how many businesses can state that? 

Charging interest is an entitlement but my advice would always be the same. Be very very careful

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Credit control training

will hay

Teaching and training can take many forms and perhaps the chaotic methods of the great Will Hay (above) are not what your business should be looking for

With over 25 years experience in credit management and having trained many staff at all levels, I thought it is about time to once again pass on my experience

Mistakes and errors of judgement in credit management can be costly and a well trained controller can be a huge asset. I work on a one to one basis or perhaps with small groups.

The key to this is that the training is tailored directly to your businesses current profile and sector. This is vital

The areas that I cover will be subjective to your staffs requirements but the following are typical

– How to read, understand and make bet use of credit reports 

– Overseas risk. I have extensive experience of most markets

– Legal action. When to use and when to avoid

– Communication techniques

– Negotiating difficult debts

My rate is more economical than most courses and you or your staff will no be stuck in a large room full of attendees from too wide a range of sectors

Call me on 07956 138895 or mail me and I am happy to discuss further

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A company credit check. How would you interpret this?

I was asked to carry out an extensive check for a client this week and as is so often the case, the result was not as may have been expected

Let me out line the basic details

The business had a turnover which had in recent years steadily increased to £1.2m. They made a small profit and a small working capital surplus. Professional services and had been trading for over 10 years. Not part of a larger group

But here is the crunch. Their net worth was a deficit of £700k. In fact their negative net worth had been substantial for a number of years

You can be sure that virtually all credit agencies (with one exception perhaps) would have given this company a rock bottom rating and anyone taking that view at face value would have rejected the a credit facility

And lost the client

So why did I recommend that this debtor is probably a safe bet for reasonable client? Why would my advice have saved some potential business

There are clues in my summary but lets just say that credit management is about reading the numbers correctly and in context and not just feeding them into a machine


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Ireland and Apple


There has been a lot of hot air over the past week from Cameron regarding corporate tax evasion. It is a big issue of course and rightly raises the hackles of businesses and individuals  without the resources to take advantage of tax havens but to my mind, unless you can create a degree of harmony right across the every nation state, then the ability to exploit will always be available. 

Thats an impossible dream of course but when within the EU itself this very issue is not addressed then you can see the scale of the problem. And when the state involved is one that has received enormous assistance from other EU states because of its own economic mismanagement, then we have to wonder what the hell is going on

Ireland’s relationship with Apple corp is a disgrace

How on earth this can be justified within the EU is beyond me and how does it give EU members the right to lecture Belize, Cayman islands and so on if they cannot even get close to getting their house in order?

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New Biz Accountants

Here is my second article on credit checking. Enjoy

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EFG loans and Start ups


A number of my clients have enquired about the government backed EFG loan scheme which would appear to be rapidly diminishing in popularity. Quite why this is I do not know but the suspicion remains that the loans are simply not highlighted by the major lenders 

Ok, the banks have to make money but at the same time there should be a commitment to the client to advise the best possible solutions regardless of profitability. I could highlight an recent example of suggested lending to a client of mine which was bafflingly inappropriate and either demonstrated a complete disregard or lack of understanding of the borrowers requirements or simple greed. 

My speciality is invoice finance but increasingly i am advising on all forms of lending. 

The other scheme highlighted in James Hurley’s linked article is the Start up loan for small businesses. There is one aspect to this that troubles me. The age ceiling of 30 for borrowers. Now this is not because i am well past that age but why is there a ceiling at all? Frankly, as any credit manager knows, businesses started by those with a few more miles on the clock stand a far better chance of survival and more likely to benefit the economy and a more practical scheme would in my opinion have a minimum age of 30. 

The obsession with youth reeks of headline grabbing rather then real thought and planning

Either way, here is Cameron’s explanation

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Patrick Caulfield


Last week I was lucky enough to spend some time at the preview of the Patrick Caulfield and Gary Hume joint exhibition which has just opened at the Tate. Will perhaps come back to Hume later but although it is a relatively small selection of Caulfield’s pieces, i would not miss this one. As so often with fine artists, there is enormous benefit from seeing the works in context

Caulfield’s style has always been simple lines and bold colouring and he has been grouped in with pop artists such as Lichtenstein. Fair enough but I find his often melancholic depopulated but captivating interiors reminiscent of Hopper. Hopper often has a figure in the piece whereas Caulfield very rarely does but the similarities are striking to me

Room three is especially impressive and as this nicely coincides with the excellent chronological rehang at the Tate and a small but fine exhibition of the photographer Keith Arnatt its more than a good time to visit

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