Blogs

Nurturing Family Business Talent

Nurturing the next generation is an important consideration for family business owners, says Michael Farrell. When family businesses plan for the future, transferring control to the next generation is a frequent succession choice. However, since no individual is born with the skills and experience to successfully lead a business, it is important to nurture talent well before the current leader’s planned retirement or exit date.   Potential future ...

Charities Governance & Culture

Keeping abreast of best practice and regulatory changes is vital for charity trustees. A number of recent publications provide useful insights and guidance, says Teresa Campbell.   Earlier this year (March 2018), the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland published guidance to help charity trustees comply with their legal obligations and best practice. Running your Charity provides useful advice in five key areas:   • duties and responsibilities of charity ...

Why your family business needs a formal agreement

Having a formal family business agreement provides clarity and assists with buy in from intergenerational family members which can help manage conflict, says Michael Farrell. Like any other business, family businesses become more complex as they develop and grow. This is particularly true as more people are brought into the business, regardless of whether they are family members or other individuals recruited to meet specific business ...

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Business owners who ‘work smarter, not harder’ tend to be more successful than other leaders because they understand how to delegate and know when to ask for help, says Teresa Campbell.   Business owners often struggle to manage multiple demands on their time. It’s all too easy to ‘fire-fight’ your way through the day, rushing from one crisis to the next. We call this spending too much ...

What is a Forensic Accountant?

A forensic accountant is employed by an accounting firm or business to discover and interpret financial information, often for use in legal proceedings. The specialist skills and experience of forensic accountants are also useful in many other situations, explains Michael Farrell.   Forensic accounting is a specialist branch of accounting which is often used in situations such fraud investigations, partnership or marital disputes, negligence cases and insurance ...

Preventing Insider Fraud in Charities

Recent high profile cases highlight that charities are as vulnerable to insider fraud as any other business. Teresa Campbell explains how to go about protecting your organisation. Charities are almost always set up with the aim of doing good. However, when organisations rely on a small number of staff or volunteers to run day-to-day operations, control and oversight are not always all that they should be. ...

The Sharing Economy | Employed or Self-Employed?

The rise of the so-called ‘sharing economy’ has highlighted some employment status grey areas, explains Michael Farrell.   Casual work has always existed but new patterns of work in recent years are challenging traditional views of employment and self-employment. There are many examples of this with digital platforms often providing the means to connect service providers with potential customers. But employment status is not just an issue ...

Non-Financial Rewards for Employees

Non-financial rewards can be a very effective way to boost employee loyalty, says Teresa Campbell. Recruitment is almost always a costly business for employers. Hiring, training and developing employees takes time and money. So, when you have invested in putting a team together, it makes sense to think about what you can do to boost employee loyalty. Many business owners worry that they cannot offer sufficiently attractive ...

Using Alternative Finance to Fund Business Growth

Alternative finance can be a fast and flexible source of funding for small businesses, explains Michael Farrell.   Reluctance to borrow and lack of awareness of alternative finance options can be a barrier to growth for many businesses. A recent UK survey found 70% of smaller businesses opt to forgo growth rather than taking on external finance and 57% are not confident in their eligibility to secure ...

Getting to Grips with Pricing

Pricing should not be overlooked when planning for Brexit, says Feargal McCormack.   Prices affect profitability. Most successful business owners understand this and many have mastered the art of pricing. However, in uncertain times such as we are experiencing at present, it is difficult to predict where markets are heading. Consequently, it is important to review your pricing strategy, taking into consideration what a hard Brexit might ...