Blogs

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 ...

Optimising Working Capital

The healthier your working capital, the easier it is to pay staff wages and business debts. Companies with strong working capital may also be able to obtain discounts and/or avoid penalties by promptly settling their bills, explains Feargal McCormack. Business owners can often improve efficiency, profitability and cashflow when they focus on optimising working capital. The first step in getting to grips with working capital is ...

Could your business benefit from R&D tax relief?

Many businesses miss out on potential tax savings through lack of understanding of R&D tax relief, says Feargal McCormack. More businesses than ever are seeking to adapt operations and business models as they prepare to cope with technological developments, competitive pressures and the changes that Brexit will bring. For many, innovation will be part of the solution. Yet official statistics show that fewer NI businesses avail ...

Protecting your business from cyber crime

While many businesses are aware of the risks of cyber crime, the rapid pace of technological change makes keeping up to speed increasingly complex and challenging, says Feargal McCormack.   A mistake some businesses make is thinking that they are too small to be of interest to cyber criminals. However, as we heard at the PKF-FPM cyber crime seminar last year, two-thirds of businesses have been hit ...

Easing the Payroll Burden

The introduction of real time information has led more small businesses to outsource payroll, says Feargal McCormack. Every business that employs staff has to make sure its employees are paid correctly and on time. Managing your payroll involves calculating the hours individual staff members have worked, deducting tax and pension payments, adding any statutory payments or overtime that the employee may be entitled to, processing bonuses, ...