To the blog for small and medium sized business (SME) owners.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Entrepreneurs struggle In running SME businesses

A recent report from T Mobile suggests that UK entrepreneurs are struggling to achieve all that they would like from their business.

Finding new customers, feeling isolated, too much government 'red tape' and difficulty in achieving a work life balance contributed to the problems, whilst reality TV shows increase the status of entrepreneurs they fail to inspire others to start a business.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

10 Duties of the Accountant/FD in SME Business

The role of the accountant or finance director will vary between industries and the size of company. As a general rule the smaller the organisation the more general will be the virtual finance director’s work; whereas in larger businesses the different aspects of finance work will each be covered by accounting specialists.

The finance specialist in a SME business will therefore take responsibility for different tasks that may include work associated with the management of the business. This variety of work may not be enjoyed by finance staff in large corporations.

Within the small medium business (SME) sector the typical workload of an accountant or virtual FD may include:
1. Preparation and reporting of monthly management accounts and year end results.
2. Identification of variances from plan and recommendation of corrective actions to recover from any shortfall against profit projections
3. Taking responsibility for preparing business plans, annual budgets and cash flow forecasts
4. Maintaining control of accounting systems to ensure timely, accurate and complete processing of financial data in accordance with internal procedures
5. Overseeing the management of the purchase ledger and credit control functions.
6. Ensuring all Balance Sheet accounts are reconciled regularly and take action on any discrepancies identified
7. Implementing on-going control of cash including regular (weekly, monthly) reconciliations of bank accounts
8. Contributing to the maintenance of business wide systems and procedures to ensure good corporate governance is adhered to
9. Filing all statutory returns
10. Training/coaching others within the business and effectively communicating with all stakeholders

Monday, December 10, 2007

Plan your Business Exit

Avoid being one of the troubled businesses that are predicted to fail in 2008.

The UK's leading accounting practices are expecting a significant increase in insolvency work in 2008. Fears exist that the credit crisis will cause many businesses to go bust with insolvencies expected to rise by 10%.

The head of KPMG restructuring advisory, stated ‘Companies have been kept alive artificially, but now they’ll be caught up.’

Read the report here.

Take steps now to avoid your business failing. Take control of your business, plan and most importantly manage the cash.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

UK Money Laundering Regulations

On 15th December 2007 new regulations on money laundering will come into effect in the UK.

For money laundering purposes all 'external accountants’ must be supervised by a designated Supervisory Authority. The definition of an 'external accountant' being:

“External accountant” means a firm or sole practitioner who by way of business provides accountancy services to other persons, when providing such services.

David Willetts is regulated by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), a professional body designated by HM Treasury and meets the requirements.

The Money Laundering Regulations can be read here.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Succession Planning in Family Businesses

A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers finds that British family firms are failing to adequately plan for succession in their businesses.

Some 1454 family businesses from 28 countries were surveyed and only 30% of British family firms had chosen a successor compared with the international average of 50%.

Government policy, legislation and a shortage of senior skilled staff were identified as areas of concern by UK family businesses.

Read the report here and for further details on business planning and resolving the skill shortages visit DAW Consulting website.