Carraghyn - Chartered Directors

Last Minute Change to the Cookie Law

Just hours before implementation of the Cookie Law the UK Information Commissioner updated the advice it had published on how website owners should comply with EU legislation regarding the use of cookies – small text files that are stored on a user’s computer – to state that website owners can assume that users have consented to the use of cookies but that users should be informed that cookies will be used and given the opportunity to opt out. This is called “implied consent”.

The previous advice from the Information Commissioner was that implied consent was not acceptable and website users would need to consent the first time they visited a site (or whenever they manually cleared all cookies).

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Does Your Website Comply With The Cookie Law?

Back in 2002 the European Union (EU) enacted a directive which required owners of websites hosted in the  EU or owned by EU based businesses to obtain the consent of visitors to their websites before using ‘cookies’ to track how they browse their website.

Implementation of the directive was subject to delays and opt-outs but the directive finally became effective in May 2011 with a twelve month “grace period” to allow businesses to plan exactly how they would make their sites compliant – of face a fine of up to £500,000 – that’s right – a maximum fine of a cool half a million.

Read more: Does Your Website Comply With The Cookie Law?

Choose Your Enemies....

It is inevitable that, from time to time, we will have disagreements. With customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, whoever; they and we are all people, we don't always see eye to eye, we have differing expectations and priorities. Managing and resolving disagreement and conflict is one of the essential functions of a corporate leader.

Most of us will have heard the adage "know your enemy", and this advice is as or more important in corporate life than in our private lives. Corporate bodies generally touch more people, including other corporates, and annoy and upset more people; corporate bodies also have more resources to throw around in a fight. This latter factor is to be taken into serious consideration when a fight is necessary. It may be perhaps the other party is being unreasonable or intractable or dishonest, whatever the "reason", when a fight looks inevitable and you gird your loins ready to stride into battle you should always make sure you know who your dispute is with. 

Read more: Choose Your Enemies....

Bridging The Debt Funding Gap

The global financial crisis and the subsequent economic downturn resulted in significant structural changes to the global real estate market. Three issues in particular have combined to widen the debt funding gap:

  • the fall in property values and returns;
  • the overexposure of key senior lenders and;
  • the introduction of the Basel III banking legislation, which by increasing the capital reserve requirements of banks has put far more onerous constraints on banks’ appetite and ability to lend.

Borrowers now require greater amounts of capital to secure debt financing from banks either for refinancing or for new investments or developments. It’s all very well some EU politicians crying out for money to be spent on new infrastructure to kick start an economic recovery but the fact is that, leaving aside issues of the cost of raising capital, there simply isn’t sufficient capital available to provide the funds – at least through current channels.

Read more: Bridging The Debt Funding Gap

Simple Advice for UK Businesses Trading With the Eurozone

Many of us have watched with morbid fascination the troubles being endured by the Eurozone - each day seems to bring more bleak news. Greece is obviously in dire trouble, France's commitment to Austerity is clearly wavering, serious consideration is being given to creation of a Eurobond mechanism that would enable the Eurozone countries to raise more debt, Spanish banks have just been the subject of another downrating by Moody's. One way or another the commentary by the Institute of Director's Chief Economist Graeme Leach in the IoD's "Big Picture" quarterly review for Spring 2012 is looking increasingly prophetic - the title of his piece was the simple message "This Sucker Is Going Down".

Read more: Simple Advice for UK Businesses Trading With the Eurozone

Business Rescue = National Recovery

Carraghyn offers a Business Rescue service; we help directors see the wood from the trees when times are tough, debts are rising, creditors are threatening, and the cash simply isn't there to carry on as before. It's straightforward stuff really, identifying which expenditures can be deferred, negotiating with creditors to buy time, reducing outgoings, and focusing on developing growth. The combination of these actions can usually convert cashflow from negative to positive, sow the seeds of recovery, but performing any of them in isolation is rarely sufficient, long experience has repeatedly demonstrated that half-measures don't work.

Read more: Business Rescue = National Recovery

Many Businesses Fail Because They Miss Warning Signs That Could Have Helped Them Take Action to Prevent Disaster

Accountants in business are not insolvency experts – it’s a specialist area. The same can be said for the vast majority of accountants in public practice, and few of them have any experience of running a real business. Accountants in public practice tend to deal mainly with historic data and it is an old but true saying that your auditor/accountant will tell you where you have gone wrong long after you could do anything about it.

However it isn’t entirely fair to blame them because most businesses use external accountants just to comply with their legal requirements to produce annual accounts which are always going to be completed long after the event. In my experience few companies have sufficient internal accounting staff to cope with day to day book-keeping and the planning and monitoring of budgets which are normally centred around issues of profit and loss.

Read more: Many Businesses Fail Because They Miss Warning Signs That Could Have Helped Them Take Action to...

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