Monthly Archives: March 2015

Has your business lost its “One Direction”?


It can happen at any time in business, just as in a boy band, where a key member of your Board or senior management team decides to leave suddenly disrupting the growth, momentum and stability of the business. Larger companies can look from within to promote however SME businesses may find they have a significant gap in resource. Initially the reaction is to either survive for a period whilst diverting other resource to backfill or use their auditors or other professional advisors to provide support. Using temporary cover is also another option however they usually need to be managed and are on short notice with the risk that they may also move to another role.

The use of an independent career interim, that tends to operate at Board level, is a solution that can provide the necessary resource to a business and also take on the recruitment of a permanent alternative. They provide the functional responsibilities to ensure the minimum of disruption the direction and momentum of the company and will contribute objectively. Commercially focused interims can perform a number of activities including forensic review of the business, the development and implementation of strategic and operational initiatives, assist in restructuring or identifying change requirements in business processes, controls and systems.

Their dedicated focus is to deliver results with objectivity, accountability, flexibility and are immediately productive and efficient. Unlike consultants or temporary staff, where costs tend to drop to the “bottom line”, interims focus on the delivery of benefits to your business. The outlay on the cost of an interim should be matched by a multiple of benefits over time.

MW Interim Finance can assist you in compiling or reviewing your business / risk plan in key commercial areas of your business, in addition to providing an independent CFO/FD resource on an interim basis. For further information or a confidential discussion about your specific requirements, please contact Martin Walby FCMA CGMA on + 44 (0) 7876 566875 or email

UK Budget 2015 – kitchens, vans and Eton mess

The Chancellor, George Osborne, delivered the final coalition Budget speech before the election in May with a few surprises, some omissions and both sides of the House of Commons commenting on personal aspects of the leaders and parties they represent. Milibands two kitchens and two fridges being controlled by an app, the colour of vans, white or labour pink as they cross the Severn bridge and Cameron’s Eton scribes of the party manifesto. The speech however was dominated by statistics on growth, inflation, deficits and borrowing and politically charged.

In terms of business there appears to be an effort to ensure stability and progress to support the economic recovery and the initial reaction of markets seemed to concur as the FTSE 100 rose by over 100 points on the day. Major announcements related to diverted profits tax, an increase in the bank levy, assistance to charities, reductions in petroleum revenue tax, regional stimulation, infrastructure projects, boosting science and technology investment and changes in employers national insurance for younger workers and apprentices. Interestingly however a number of key issues were recognised but deferred until after the election including, business rates and changes to annual investments allowances. In addition public sector expenditure was almost ignored and of course no talk of the cuts in benefits and tax credits implemented already plus other tax rises, something Ed Milliband was keen to expound in his response to the Chancellors speech.

For the general populous the news on pensions was expected with flexibility on annuities for both new and existing pensioners, but with a further restriction on the lifetime allowance to £1m. Good news though for most taxpayers with the introduction of an allowance on savings interest, for basic rate taxpayers at £1,000 and those on higher rate at £500. Another piece of good news on form filling as the annual HMRC tax return is to be abolished and replaced with a “digital tax accounts”, however the robustness of data collection systems and accuracy of the information will be challenging for HMRC. Personal allowances are set to rise but only by £200 in 2016/17 and another £200 the following year, together with small increases in the higher rate tax threshold. There is more flexibility with existing ISA products but a new Help to Buy ISA is being introduced for first time house buyers, whereby for every £100 saved an additional amount of £25 will be funded by the government. Minor tinkering with duties, including the freezing of petrol duty again, which is in fact not a saving as the current duty still has to be paid. Cutting duty would reflect a true saving as in the reductions in beer, cider and whisky cited in the budget speech.

All the above and more would, in past years, have been debated ad nauseam however with an election in a few weeks it is policy rhetoric that will be the focus of all parties trying to engage the electorate. Apart from the general populous we wait and see what the young and silver voters make of the political marketers efforts.