For this edition of the Specialist Edge, we welcome Edward O’Rourke from Ashton KCJ to talk about correctly valuing your business:
“Over the years I have witnessed many business owners fail to sell their businesses because they have latched on to the valuation given to them by their advisers as though it was a statement of fact and not opinion.
Valuing a business is an art and not a science but there are some things a business owner can do to ensure their valuation is fit for its purpose. These are:
-Determine the purpose for which you require the valuation – There are many reasons why the value of a business may need to be known; a sale; a purchase; a merger; an investment; borrowings/overdraft; understanding tax consequences of certain decisions; the estate planning of the owners. The valuation in each of these instances will have subtle differences;
-Choose the right professional advisers – The choice of professional may vary depending upon the purpose for which the valuation is required;
-Understand the valuation method used and the reason that method has been chosen – There are numerous ways in which to value businesses and different valuation methods are going to be appropriate for different business types. Knowing the basis used in your business will help you counter arguments that a different valuation method should have been used;
Annual Financial Director Information Management Forum
Location: St Pancras, London
Date: 17 November 2011
We attended this event for the first time, expecting to be able to review emerging technologies and bring tips back to the office to share with our clients. The action packed agenda provided a great insight into how much larger global organisations from across the UK operate.
The day was split into 8 sessions, with a choice of afternoon focus groups. We thought it useful to blog and highlight the main areas of interest from the day and share some of the key messages with you.
We will focus on a few sessions and pull out the key messages.
1. What does Management Information mean in today’s business environment? Is it actually working?
A panel of top finance execs debated the topic, chaired by Joe Peppard (Professor of Information Systems at Cranfield School of Management). The main consideration was that MI historically has only considered Profit and Loss, Cashflow and Balance sheets and the real purpose of MI is indeed to inform management. The often cumbersome routine of month end procedures often gets in the way of FD’s looking forward and with FD’s hoping to spend 80% of their time doing just this, it is time that MI systems were better geared up to facilitate this.
a. Spend time looking forward – 80%
b. Technology is the enabler, not the solution
c. Ensure training is provided to staff
d. Having good MI is not useful – actually use it!
2. Management Information at board level
Jennifer Harris, MD of Board Intelligence discussed how to ensure board reports are effective and informative for board members.
Directors cannot be expected to make robust decisions governing the future direction of their organisation without having first being given decent information.
We welcome Richard Escott from the Alan Boswell Group to share his specialist knowledge on new pension rules. Richard writes…..”Subject to Royal Assent, the new pension rules in the Finance Act are very attractive indeed, compared to the previous rules, and those expected, as far as ‘high earners’ are concerned.
Each individual with sufficient earnings will be able to invest up to £50,000 gross (paid £40,000 net of basic rate tax relief at source), and will be able to achieve income tax relief at their highest marginal rate. It was expected that relief would be restricted to the 40% rate even for 50% tax payers.
In addition, individuals can pay extra to make up for any shortfall in the previous three tax years between what was actually paid and £50,000. For example, an individual who had not paid anything at all since 6 April 2008 would be able to pay up to £200,000 in the current tax year if they had earnings to support it, and had an existing pension in place throughout that period. For employees such as directors, the opportunity to reduce salary or bonus, and have a corresponding employer pension contribution remains and has the additional benefit of saving both employee and employer National Insurance. Employer contributions must also qualify under the ‘wholly and exclusively’ rules for business expenditure generally.
One negative change is that the Lifetime Allowance will drop from £1.8m to £1.5m from April 2012 although those with particularly large pension pots can keep the limit at the £1.8m level, making an election before 5 April 2012, and ensuring that they pay no pension contributions whatsoever after that. Any excess pension value over the Lifetime Allowance suffers a punitive tax charge so careful planning may be required for some.”
Richard would be delighted to review your pension strategy. As a fee based adviser his advice would be independent and uninfluenced by provider commission. For more details, please contact Richard on 01603 218065 or email email@example.com
Today is the longest day of the year, caused when the earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun. Did you know that today the equator will receive exactly twelve hours of daylight; there are 24 hours of daylight at the North Pole and 24 hours of darkness at the South Pole! Read more here.
The longest day is unlikely to give any direct benefts to your business, however according to reports, the improved sunlight throughout the Summer is supposed to improve health and productivity by boosting Vitamin D levels.
We have been experimenting with ways in which the new Ipad2 can be used effectively in business.
We firmly believe that technology has an ever useful presence in business, not only for staff to use, but for business owners to monitor and control their organisations.
From Internet Banking (including business banking apps) to full blown Mobile Analytics we use them all in our business and with our clients.
We recently developed our Mobile Analytics service, see here. We work with the business owner and key management to develop methods to extract or amend existing Management Information into a suitable format. It is then uploaded to the web and delivered to either your Apple Ipad or Iphone.
The end product is fully customisable to your business and really does allow you to walk away from your business with all of the key information available at a click of a button and in a graphical drillable format.
We have also been using Mailchimp for our newsletters and their new app (Chimpadeedoo) allows people to sign up to our enewsletter using the Ipad. We also use Numbers and Quickoffice, not to mention BBC iPlayer and the ability to use the Ipad as a fantastic promotional tool, through the ability to watch our video.
MI or Management Information is vital to running, developing and growing a successful organisation.
So what is MI?
Management Information is the lifeblood of the business, or it should be. It should take the form of analysing both financial and non-financial aspects of the business and allows the user to quickly and easily understand the performance of the business or aspect of the business into which they are concerned or responsible.
Is your MI sharp and to the point?
How is it used?
Traditionally this took the form of quarterly or if we were lucky, monthly management accounts comprising of a Profit and Loss account, Balance sheet and in exceptional circumstances a Cashflow statement! The problem was that this information was often provided long after the event and performance dating back 2 or 3 months was irrelevant, especially in a fast moving market and economy. Times have changed and continue to do so. We no longer help businesses prepare the bare minimum of information to indicate the success or failure of recent months. Instead it is a rather interactive affair, whereby our clients can access data in a fast, timely and relevant way and presented in an interactive graphical and tabular format to ensure the end user understands the data being presented.
Latest update RPI for February rises to 5.5%, CPI rises to 4.4%.
Wow – we expected inflation to increase in December, but by 40 basis points is slightly alarming, and a further 30 basis points in January!
With the Bank of Englands target firmly set at 2%, CPI is now running at 4.0% (up from 3.3% in November and 3.7% in December). RPI has now reached 5.1%.
So how do the Government intend on “controlling” inflation?
The main controlling mechanism is through increasing the Bank of England base Interest rate, which has been at 0.5% since March 2009. The concern is that an increase in this rate, will impact many areas of the economy, which could push the UK back towards a recession…..is the double dip on its way?
The risks of increased rates will kerb individuals spending, thereby slowing the economy in general. As mortgage rates, loan rates and credit card debt will become more expensive, individuals will have less to spend. Businesses will see their borrowing costs increase, together with the potential for reduced sales as consumer demand falls.
Inflation has increased the most on areas such as Heating Oil (up 48%), Air travel (up 13.5%) and Petrol/Diesel (up 12.9%) in the last 12 months. These categories have a significant knock on impact to all areas of the economy. Undoubtedly transport affects almost all businesses and certainly all consumers. This all means that costs increase for businesses and for individuals, meaning less disposable cash. This together with the rising prices of products consumed, such as food & drink, mean that individuals will feel the pinch in 2011.
The big question: Is the cure more harmful than the cause?
If Inflation is left uncontrolled, it could push the country back into recession. If interest rates increase, it could have the same effect.
In our opinion – the Bank of England will leave interest rates static for the next 6 months, preferring that the economy’s self control mechanism will kick in. Now that VAT has increased, people will have advanced spending into 2010, thereby demand will now decrease. If demand dips, the economy will naturally contract, thereby bringing inflation under control. All this together with the natural contraction in the economy, we believe inflation will correct itself if left alone.
We have been assisting many of our clients with pricing strategies and decisions. If you require a full and detailed analysis of your pricing, profitability by product, forecasts or sales analysis, please contact us for a free initial meeting.