call us
Glasgow
+44 (0)141 221 2984
Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 225 6366
Stirling
+44 (0)1786 451745
Dumbarton
+44 (0)1389 765238
Hamilton
+44 (0)1698 459444
Glasgow
+44 (0)141 221 2984

Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 225 6366

Stirling
+44 (0)1786 451745

Dumbarton
+44 (0)1389 765238

Hamilton
+44 (0)1698 459444

French Duncan

Blog

FEBRUARY 2017 - New Personal Insolvency Website Coming Soon

We are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of French Duncan’s debt advice team’s new website. The website aims to help people with problem debt and provides comprehensive information about debt relief options such as Trust Deed and Sequestration. We collaborate with various debt charities and organisations to raise awareness of the risks of falling into debt and provide free debt advice for people with overwhelming financial troubles.

Scottish Debt Solutions Website

Our new website, under the name of FD Debt Solutions, was developed for people in Scotland who can’t repay their debts over a realistic period of time. We have been helping people find the way out of debt since 1989 and have gained a wealth of experience in debt relief solutions.

Being in debt can be very distressing and frustrating but it is important to take action and get help when times get tough. With so many different websites offering debt advice it can be difficult to distinguish which information is reliable. Information overload on search engines often creates a barrier between those in financial trouble and those offering help. Our goal is to provide people with clear and comprehensive information and establish a way forward to financial freedom.

The FD Debt Solutions website is interactive and mobile responsive which means that you can easily access it using your laptop, computer, tablet or phone. It contains useful and clear information about debt and various insolvency solutions in Scotland. We will constantly be refreshing and updating our content, articles and blogs to ensure that you are up to date with the most recent regulations and important information.

Brian Milne, one of our insolvency practitioners said ‘Each situation is different and our experts tailor every solution to suit individual circumstances to achieve the best result for people overwhelmed with money worries. We offer free, no obligation insolvency advice to anyone who is in financial trouble. We don’t charge any set up fees if Sequestration or Trust Deed is the right option.  Our fees are approved in line with statutory guidelines and are included in the repayment plan for administering a chosen arrangement. We are always available to help and answer any questions about debt relief. We hope that our new and fresh website will provide clear information and encourage people to seek help’.

If your debts are overwhelming and you are looking for personal insolvency advice contact us on 0800 562 0002. We have offices located all over central Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Hamilton and Dumbarton.

 

FEBRUARY 2017 - Top tips for securing finance for SMEs

Scotland has an estimated 350,000 SMEs – most of which have or will face challenges with their growth and expansion. While common issues include retaining and attracting talent, managing cash flow and developing products, getting access to finance can typically be the most prevalent impediment to growth.

There are two traditional financing options available for any SME – equity or debt. Equity requires the owner to make an investment into the underlying company in exchange for a shareholding, whereas debt financing requires no change in ownership structure and will require regular servicing payments to repay the loan.

Both have their advantages and drawbacks, for instance, benefits of equity financing is that the objectives of the shareholders will usually be aligned and the equity providers will generally offer sector expertise. Debt financing’s main advantage is that ownership is not diluted. A third funding route to also consider, which is often overlooked, is grant funding; although this can be dependent on meeting certain criteria, such as job creation, and can be sector specific.

Unsurprisingly, many SMEs experience problems when seeking to raise capital. There are, however, a number of steps that can be taken to improve the likelihood of receiving funding.  Some of these include:

  1. Detailed Business Planning: It’s important that all businesses, regardless of size, develop a detailed business plan to instil confidence in potential investors. Investors will want to understand how the requested funds will be used, the financial impact on the business and ultimately that their potential investments are secure. Debt providers will be seeking to ensure that the business can adequately service the debt, whereas equity investors will also be considering their potential exit and the value. A good business plan will provide an overview of the business, its history, products/services, the target market, customers, management team and financial performance (both historical and prospective). The financial forecasts should consider cash generation and the funding requirements of the business, ideally there should be some headroom so that unexpected bumps can be addressed, without derailing any plans. The projections should be realistic, attainable but set to drive the business.
  1. Right Management Team: An investment in the company is essentially an investment in the management team’s vision. This team must show a strong confidence in the business, towards achieving its goals and ultimately be committed to driving the company’s performance. Management will need to demonstrate an excellent understanding of the business, its key products and have a good track record.
  1. Recordkeeping, Controls and Financial Monitoring: A businesses which demonstrates strong controls and an established infrastructure will stand an increased chance of obtaining finance. Systems and processes must be in place which will enable the business to facilitate its growth (i.e. tracking orders, stock levels and managing cash flow). Financers will also seek access to regular and timely financial reporting.
  1. Targeted Approach: Finding the right type of investment and right backer are both critical to the ongoing success of the business. In addition to considering the pricing of financing, the recipients of funding should look at the backer’s sector expertise and track record. Having a backer with limited industry expertise, could cause further stress on the management team and business.

While this is not exhaustive, the above steps are guaranteed to put any SME on a better footing when it comes to securing financing.

JANUARY 2017 - UK Employment: Highlights in 2016 and Priorities for 2017

The only constant in life is change, and this is certainly true of employment trends and legislation in the UK. The last year was an eventful year for employers, and the year is also set to be busy. We have highlighted the most significant changes in 2016, and have looked forward to priorities for employers in 2017.

HIGHLIGHTS IN 2016

Employment Status
Employment status in the UK was under the spotlight in 2016 due to the increase in Uber drivers and other similar roles in the so called ‘gig economy’. This case examined the drivers for Uber’s taxi company, which Uber believed to be self-employed but the Employment Tribunal found to be workers who have certain employment rights such as holiday and sick pay. If your company rely on temporary workers, who undertake short freelance work for you then this is likely to affect you and we would advise that the employment status of these individuals is reviewed.

National Living Wage
The National Living Wage was introduced in 2016 and therefore all workers 25 and over must now receive a minimum of £7.20 per hour. This will be reviewed annually alongside the other National Minimum Wage Rates, and will increase to £7.50 from April 2017 onwards.
Please note this is a different rate to the Living Wage Foundation Rate which is a voluntary minimum hourly rate which employers can chose to sign up to, to show their responsibility to ensuring employees are being paid a rate which reflects the basic cost of living. This is not a rate you are required to pay by law.

Equal Pay
A highly publicised case involving shopping retail giant Asda was heard in 2016. Female check out staff and shelf stackers argued that they should be paid the same as male workers in the distribution centres on the basis that their jobs are of equal value. This is a case to watch for employers in the private sector, as it will bring equal pay under the spotlight once the judgement has been given.

PRIORITIES FOR 2017

New EU General Data Protection Regulation
This regulation is being advised as a ‘high priority’ for employers over 2017. The Regulation does not come into effect until 2018 but employers should review their current policies and processes throughout this year to ensure they do not breach the new regulations. Whilst Brexit is looming, as we will still be part of the EU in May 2018, organisations must be compliant or risk fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual worldwide turnover, whichever is higher. French Duncan HR will issue further guidance on this in due course.

Salary sacrifice changes
Employers may need to reconsider their benefit offerings as tax savings through many salary sacrifice schemes will be abolished from 6 April 2017.
Pension schemes, childcare vouchers and cycle to work schemes will not be affected. French Duncan’s tax team will be able to assist with any queries related to the salary sacrifice changes.

Brexit
We expect it to be business as usual for quite some time, however it is inevitable that change is on the cards following the UK’s departure from the EU. The UK is currently bound by many employment laws enacted in Europe and it will take individual Acts of Parliament to change any of these. There is some legislation which we expect to change for example, the Working Time Regulations and health and safety regulations but it will be some time before this is confirmed.

Further Information & Support
If you would like further information on any of the above, French Duncan HR Services would be delighted to assist you. Please contact Louise McCosh who leads the French Duncan HR Services team on 0141 221 2984 or click here to email Louise. Please also see French Duncan HR Services web page for an outline of how we can help your business.

« Previous   1   2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14    15    Next »