Blogs

Keeping Your Farm in the Family

Planning ahead is vital if you want to hand over a sustainable farm business to the next generation, says Feargal McCormack. The average age of a farmer in Northern Ireland is 58. For the average to be so high, there are clearly many older farmers within the overall population. Like most family business owners, farmers disadvantage themselves and their families when they postpone succession planning. Change is ...

Non-Traditional Family Businesses

Balancing the interests of family business stakeholders requires skilful leadership, says Feargal McCormack.   Today, many families are complex and second spouses, half-siblings and non-family members are often involved in the management of family businesses. Like all businesses, family businesses evolve over time and it is not uncommon to have   • family members who are not actively involved in the business, • family members who are shareholders in the ...

Business benefits of networking

In business, good networking skills are essential, says Feargal McCormack.   I believe networking is a marketing and business development function. It is building your circle of contacts, who not only know you but are also willing to help you because they know you and know that you would do the same for them. It is not what you know or even, now, who you know, but ...

Real time accounting information protects your business

While nobody sets out to be a bad manager, every manager risks making bad decisions if they don’t have access to reliable business information, says Feargal McCormack.   When things go wrong in business, managers often blame external factors. Yet studies show that most business crises are caused by management failures. In poorly managed businesses, opportunities and revenue are lost and problems arise which can ultimately lead ...

Planning to sell a business

Feargal McCormack, Managing Partner,

Even if you don’t intend to sell your business, it makes sense to think about what you would do if you received an unexpected offer, says Feargal McCormack. PKF-FPM clients occasionally receive unsolicited offers to buy their businesses. There are a lot of reasons why this happens. Successful businesses attract attention, particularly where they have a strong online presence or get media coverage. If you receive ...

Preparing for GDPR

Feargal McCormack, Managing Partner,

As they prepare for GDPR, some businesses are finding that they need to update their data protection procedures and documentation, writes Feargal McCormack. Amid all the talk of Brexit, it is easy to lose sight of other issues businesses are contending with at present. One of these is the General Data Protection Regulation which applies to any organisation that collects or processes personal data of EU ...

Managing Conflict in a Family Business

Feargal McCormack, Managing Partner,

Good communication plays a vital role in preventing and managing family business conflict, says Feargal McCormack.     There are many reasons why conflict arises in a family business. Tensions in family relationships, feelings of resentment or entitlement, fear of change, reluctance to share information, financial disagreements, clashes between family members who want to invest in the business and those who want to take a dividend, personality clashes ...

Financial investigations — When to call a forensic accountant

When circumstances require a financial investigation, it can be a stressful time for business owners or individuals. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s a good idea to take professional advice, says Feargal McCormack.   Business or personal situations sometimes arise, where you need to conduct a financial investigation. It could be that cash, stock, equipment or other assets go missing and you suspect theft or ...

How to spot a customer or supplier in trouble

If a customer or supplier is in trouble, the earlier you spot the signs, the sooner you can take action to protect your business, says Feargal McCormack.   When a key customer or supplier is in difficulty, this can have serious consequences for your business. One way to protect yourself is to learn to recognise signs of trouble. Typically, these include:   ◆ Customers or suppliers who avoid communication ◆ ...

Are mobile devices putting your business at risk?

Feargal McCormack, Managing Partner,

Business owners need to do more to protect mobile devices, says Feargal McCormack.   Research carried out last year found that people now spend more time on mobile devices than on desktop or laptop computers. Most of us today use smartphones to access email and various apps and services containing work related contacts and data. The benefits are obvious: these devices give us convenient 24/7 access to ...