Please visit for confidential help and insolvency advice or email

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Britain Doesn't Make Anything Anymore

"We have lost our manufacturing base, we don't make things anymore in the UK".

I get sick and tired of this uneducated, generalist drivel.

If we cannot make things how come ARM (based Cambridge) has a chip in 94% of the world's smart phones?

If we cannot manufacture anymore, how come Rolls Royce had a turnover of £10billion and profits of £915m last year?

Two examples that prove the naysayers quite wrong. We work with a number of manufacturers every year and they are universally exasperated by the media, politicians and the doubting idiots who say we have lost our manufacturing base.

Did you know that the UK is still the 6th largest manufacturer in the world?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Events, Dear Boy.

A long time ago.

Harold MacMillan, said, "Events, Dear Boy". How many people who "read politics" understand that quote?

Gordon Brown, and I suppose, all of the people who work in politics today, need to heed those words.

In the final days of a general election. Think on this. Many things can happen, that the greatest spinners, planners and election strategists cannot predict. Mr Brown calls a Labour voter a bigot.

How to win or lose an election should not be determined by a gaffe. But.

John Major's "Bastards" and Brown's "Bigot" comments are similar.

John Major turned a poll forecast saying he would lose, in the late 1992 election, into a win.

Somehow I cannot see Mr Brown doing the same from this gaffe.

Sorry Mr Brown, calling a voter a bigot, ironically a Labour voter, is not likely to endear you to other "bigots".

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Reg Flag reports 160,000 Distressed Companies

Having seen corporate insolvencies fall in the last two quarters, it is perhaps surprising, to some people, to read the above statistic from Red Flag.

It is not however surprising to those in the insolvency world. Actual insolvency appointments may be down but the demand for advice and solutions is rising. With the Government continuing to support hundreds of thousands of distressed companies through the HMRC Time To Pay scheme, it is inevitable that Red Flag (funded by Begbies Traynor) is highlighting distress.

The number of firms experiencing significant financial problems has jumped by 20,074 (14%), to 161,601 in the first three months of this year.

Begbies Traynor estimates that seven per cent of the increase is the result of trade creditors becoming more aggressive, with an increase in court actions evidence of their growing willingness to take action against their debtors. The remainder of the increase could be attributed to normal seasonal uplift.

The survey shows that distressed UK businesses owe over £55bn to creditors, suppliers and service providers putting them at a severe risk of defaulting. I wonder if this includes HMRC?

The Solutions?

For struggling viable companies the best solution is often company voluntary arrangement. The really frustrating thing we have to put up with in our world is, the vast majority of insolvency practitioners don't agree with that last sentence!

If you are an accountant or professional advisor to a struggling company, we suggest that the directors are at least TOLD about CVA's and the option openly discussed. If the company is introduced to an insolvency practitioner (IP’s), the chances are he or she will ignore company voluntary arrangement as a good solution.

Directors of insolvent companies have a duty to maximise creditors interest, so NOT considering a CVA is a clear breach of that duty, notwithstanding the IP’s own duty to consider all options!

Of course those other options include:

Trading Out
Administration and Pre-Pack

Voluntary Liquidation

To get a view on each option needs a couple of (FREE) hours with one of our managers or directors.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Ten Top Tips for Dealing with Company Cash Flow Problems

"We can't pay our bills on time, HMRC is pressing for payment and we are struggling to get cash in. What can we do about this cash flow problem?"

First of all this is a common problem for almost every business at one time or another. In the current post recession period, cash flow problems can actually get WORSE not better.

TEN TOP TIPS to manage company cash flow problems

1). Manage cash flow daily. NOT weekly, NOT monthly, repeat manage cashflow daily. Please click here for our FREE daily cash flow spreadsheet.

This is used by hundreds of companies every day (including our company) to manage cash in and out of the business easily and quickly. Fill out the cash flow and use every day to see "where you are" and what problems lie ahead. Plug in the dates that EACH company that owes you money should pay you, then you have a guide to use for point 2 below.

2). Debtor collection: are your customers taking longer to pay you? If so why is this? Best thing to do is to find out (see marketing below in section 4).

3). Cost cutting

To see the full ten tips click this link

About KSA Group - CompanyRescue

KSA are Company Doctors and Turnaround Experts and Insolvency Practitioners. We save viable businesses, and help close those that are not!

Through our website we provide high quality, easy to understand advice on turnaround and insolvency problems. Supported by trained advisors who can explain what solutions are available to your problems, you can get plain talking answers in 30-60 minutes, free of charge.

Working alongside your board we can implement recovery and turnaround plans for companies large and small. With over 400 companies rescued using this fantastically powerful technique, we are the UK’s leading experts in company voluntary arrangements (CVA).

Call us last, we will explain why the common responses to CVA’s “they don’t work”, “HMRC won’t support a CVA” (they will) and many others are simply incorrect.

If your company is beyond rescue, then we will quickly and humanely put it down - creditors voluntary liquidation is quick and relatively painless. If a company needs radically restructured then pre-pack administration may be the right solution.

As part of the KSA Group, CompanyRescue has helped hundreds of thousands of soletraders, directors and their employees since 2000 on both business and personal levels. We are now into our tenth year of providing free, high quality advice on line.

KSA Group Ltd t/a CompanyRescue - see more about us at our Media Room

Friday, 23 April 2010

Wilson Phillips Insolvency Practitioners Ltd and Accuma Plc go into Administration

For some weeks the news has been swirling about these two companies (all part of the same group).

We note that DTE were appointed and the companies went in Administration in late March, having previously sold their IVA "factory" to Grant Thornton for £5.6m in 2009.

Another IVA factory collapse highlights the massive shift in a market that seemed to have a huge future, with whizzy TV adverts and lots of promises to worried debtors about removing debts at a stroke.

Note individual voluntary arrangements are still a good option for some worried debtors such as sole traders.

TweetDeck - a great tool for tweeting

Using Twitter? Try Tweetdeck. It makes sending and receiving a snap and you can have multiple social media contolr panel.

Set up Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter in one easy to use panel.

Great Technology and FREE to download.

Don't forget follow our tweets on

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Business failures falling? CVA's rising?

The number of business failures fell 11 per cent to 7,719 for the first quarter of 2010 compared to 8,684 during the equivalent period in 2009, a report from Equifax has revealed.

Equifax said its latest Business Failures Report revealed that company failures in the first quarter were also down 0.5 per cent on 7,756 during the fourth quarter of 2009.

To me this fall is not surprising given the time to pay schemes in place from HMRC and the reticence of the banks to knock companies down.

I also detect a rise in the use of CVA's over the last 3 months, which is very encouraging for us CVA Experts. The more CVA's approved, the less skepticism there will be from lenders, large insolvency firms and the man in the pub.

Portsmouth owes £120m: Administrator may propose a CVA

A massive amount of debt was paid to the tax man but it appears that £120m of debt remains.

For those of you interested, you can download the administrators proposals including the proposal that, in time, a CVA (company voluntary arrangement) be put to creditors.

A meeting of creditors has been called for General Election day (6th May).

See here for the URL to download

See page 64 for the administrator's time costs

Beware advisors who don't stack up

We always watch our space for competitors, it's what we all need to do in small to medium size businesses (SME's) is it not?!

So it is interesting to see a new competitor called Frazer and Frazer selling their "CVA services". On their website they claim to offer CVA services which delight their clients: they quote "Thomas King of Ableton Media as being very satisfied with a very impressive result".

A quick check of Companies House shows their claim to be somewhat disingenuous - there is no such company as Ableton Media Ltd. Or a director of any similarly named company.

BEWARE of companies that claim to offer all sorts of easy solutions like CVA - check them out first. Are they regulated, licensed and experienced? Then look at their testimonials, can they give you referees?

CVA's are very complex solutions even for the RIGHT company, they are not a marketing geezers dream that can "INSTANTLY WRITE OFF 75% of your company's debt"! By the way that is a quote from their website.

CAVEAT EMPTOR - buyer beware. These claims are misleading and may be dangerous for your company in difficult times.

Always get quality advice. Always shop around, Always talk to people who make big claims, then ask for referees who have used their services and survived to tell the tale.

Isn't that how you do business anyway?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

What a client thinks of KSA - a testimonial!

KSA Group - CompanyRescue - SIMPLY THE BEST?

Hi Keith

This is a short note to say thank you to you and your excellent team for helping us achieve a CVA (company voluntary arrangement). The service that you provide is, frankly, unbelievable!
Having realised that our company was in trouble, it took me some time to work out that we needed help ... fast. A Google search for “Company in Trouble” brought up and, having clicked on the link, I ended up on your website. The information on your website is informative, helpful and comprehensive. It was with some trepidation that I decided to call – having reached one of the lowest points.

My first call was with Philippa (Samaritan!). Philippa made me feel that there was hope, that it wasn’t all my fault (even though I knew that some of it was!) and that, by careful management there might be a way out.

Next Hugh (Counsellor!) came to visit and, having spent several hours listening to my problems and assessing whether there was a real prospect of recovery, he recommended that a CVA would be appropriate. Iain Campbell (Master!) prepared a proposal to support our company through and into the process of a CVA.

At first I felt that we had ‘no option’ if we were to survive (and we didn’t!), but very quickly I realised that a CVA is a good thing. The CVA enabled us to re-structure, to re-think and to put together a plan for long term survival that should, if followed well, make us a much stronger and more profitable company than ever before.

I didn’t come to this conclusion alone though – firstly there was Annette (Saint!!) who tirelessly and patiently guided me through the process. Annette gave advice, support and sometimes humour throughout the entire process and never once got bored of me asking the same question over and over, or worrying her with my woes. Annette helped me through every step of the way and was at all times ... brilliant!

Finally, of course, there is yourself, Keith (King!). Your advice and support and your expert knowledge cannot, I am sure, be paralleled. It is only through your support and knowledge that we would ever have got this far.

We would never, ever have got through the last few months without the knowledge, support and guidance that KSA Company Rescue provides. Your fees are incredibly reasonable for the service that you provide and the knowledge and expertise second to none. Thank you to all of your team for being so brilliant!

If every you have anyone who wants to talk to a reference client, maybe someone who wants to know what to expect from you, or just a plain old reference, come to me – I will have no hesitation what-so-ever in recommending KSA Company Rescue as the best service for companies needing help ... anywhere!

Kind regards


Alex Rabbetts TA Migration Solutions Ltd

KSA Group Live on Twitter

If you have a question and want a fast answer why not use this link? and we will respond immediately, or as soon we finish our cup of tea!

We will also tweet about case appointments

Friday, 16 April 2010

Not paying PAYE and NIC? Not being chased by HMRC?

Not paying PAYE and NIC? Not being chased by HMRC?

With the current climate not friendly to companies who don't pay taxes on time we are always amazed that some seem to slip through the net. One of our clients for a company voluntary arrangement has not paid PAYE and NIC for 2 years! April 2008 was the last payment they made.

How do these people get through the radar and others get winding up petitions after a few months?

Whatever the answer it is apparent that HMRC's systems are far from perfect!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Another football club on the brink - Court Gives Southend 7 days

Another football club has been a given a stay of execution by the High Court in London today.

Southend United, who my club Leeds beat on Saturday, faced a winding- up order in the High Court on Wednesday over a debt of £400,000.

In March they were given 35 days to settle the debt, having already paid a tax bill of £2.1m last November. Today the court was told they are planning to transfer the money owed within the next few days.

After the season ends I expect to see more Company Voluntary Arrangements and liquidations of football clubs.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Business Manifesto for this election: My Blog from October 2009 repeated:

Having a political blog in October I wrote the following------------

Slight me if you like.....still seems good to me

Business Taxes to really get the economy going again?

I am no economist but after being in private business for 32 years, the last 15 of those helping distressed companies, I have listened and learned a lot about small and medium sized business. Based on that experience and my (large) gut feel.... here is my suggestion for kick starting the SME economy.

It is often quoted that there are 4.7m SME businesses in the UK. The majority are one man/woman bands and usually self employed.

My mini tax manifesto is not directly aimed at them but I am comfortable that it would generate increased revenues for the micro businesses out there AND increased tax take for the Exchequer. The aim would be to drive business out of the recession, get more new companies formed (and protect the recession survivors) and get as many people off benefits and into work as possible.

All newly formed companies to be exempt from corporation tax for the first 2 years after formation. For fast growing successful new starts, if the company makes £100,000 net profit in the 2 year period, then this exemption is lifted and "my" corporation tax rate below applies.

Corporation tax (CT) rates for ALL companies would be 10% for all profits up to £100,000 pa; 20% CT for all profits from £100,001 to £300,000 pa; 25% CT for all profits above £300,001 pa.

All new companies with up to 10 employees would be exempt from Employers National Insurance Surcharge on the new PAYE scheme for one year. In year two it would be 5% and in year three the normal rate (currently 12.8% Employers’ secondary Class 1 rate above secondary threshold). The aim would be to encourage new companies to take on people faster, thus reducing unemployment.

When selling shares in a newly formed company I would re-introduce the taper relief system for capital gains tax as follows: Any gain made after three years - 10% CGT on all gains above CGT allowance (currently £10,100 pa). After two years 20% CGT, after 1 year 40% CGT would apply, the aim is to attract investment into new companies and keep that locked in. If an investor sold her stake for gain in year one of that company's life she would be hit hard for CGT. Statistically 65% of all new companies fail within 3 years, the incentive above would hopefully see more new starts survive that terrible statistic.

NNDR - National Non Domestic Rates or business Rates. All new companies to be exempt from NNDR in year one. Then normal NNDR applies. This would encourage companies to take on properties that may be empty and start building their businesses. With the soft market for rents many landlords would love to see properties occupied AND this would mean the landlord does not have to pay empty property NNDR (If the property remains empty and unoccupied after the three month period then Empty Property Rates (EPR) becomes due and payable at the rate of 50 per cent of the full occupied charge. There are some exemptions to empty property rates such as properties which are classed as industrial, or those with a Rateable Value of £2,200 or less).

So my "radical" tax plans would hopefully encourage new companies (specifically not sole traders) to form, take on people, properties and build businesses. In time many would of course fail, many will go on to be larger employers paying full taxes, corporation taxes, rent and NNDR. they would create growth and wealth. They would hopefully act as a magnet for business angel investors, creative venture funders and of course banks should see the ability to lend to "protected" new companies.

Some of these proposals could apply to the surviving SME's such as CGT taper relief and the CT rates. But if they have survived they are generally stronger than new starts AND with lots of new companies forming they will have new customers to sell to as well as new competitors.

Any views or experts opinion that proves that my plans are impossible are welcome!

Politicians - what do you think?

NEW business for sale from KSA

For Sale on the Instruction of the Directors of a

UK Food Processing & Manufacturing Business

• Manufacturer of food processing and conveying equipment for Global food producers
• Hundreds of installations worldwide
• After market sales
• Leasehold Property, London
• Sales of £14-20m per annum
• C60 employees

For further information see our webpage

Friday, 9 April 2010

Your Space plc - Company Voluntary Arrangement and why it failed?

Another plc entered a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) late 2009.

See the nominee's report to the Court here by Bill Dawson and Daniel Butters of Deloitte:

We now note that the CVA failed and the company appointed administrators (Bill Dawson and Daniel Butters from Deloitte).

Could the reason for failure be that the CVA was predicated on paying over £366,000 per annum, into the CVA Scheme? Or was it predicated on selling off properties into a flat market? Was a three year scheme (instead of our usual 5 year scheme) too ambitious?

Interesting to read that in the 3 years to 2008 shareholders received dividends of over £6.9m

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

General Election Under Way

So now we have 30 days of electioneering to suffer.

I am excited about the election though as it will be a very interesting election from an internet point of view. This will be the first UK election with Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and the like being used to drive election PR, news communication and probably polling.

I expect to see online mini-polls or surveys on strategies and manifesto issues. Twitter will be used to issue flash press releases, daily blogs will be published so we can check what the leaders are having for breakfast.

I wonder if anyone will do a "John Major" and actually get on his soapbox to sell his policies? of course this time, we will be able to watch televised debates with the leaders. Will their marketing people be checking the pulse online at the same time and how will they do that?

Although we still cannot vote online, the electorates votes will be courted aggressively online!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Our web site featured on the radio!

Thanks to Garry Mumford of Insight Associates for mentioning our web site on the Business Hub on Star Radio Cambridge yesterday! Garry describes how people can use our site to get good quality advice on business cashflow problems, company voluntary arrangements and other insolvency advice; FREE of charge

If you would like to listen to this please go to the podcast link below.

If your business needs a good financial management accountant, that is hands on not distant and looking backwards all the time, then call Garry Mumford at Insight Associates on 01279 647447. One of his team could be just the answer that your business needs.

Insight Associates are a team of Corporate Finance Managers specialising in the provision of proactive commercial hands-on financial management to businesses. That's not all though, see below for a summary of Insight's expertise:

Corporate Turnaround and Renewal:

Working with financially distressed business to bring them back to good health, by implementing sound financial management and control … We at KSA often work with Insight on turnarounds. They have over 15 years experience in this field

The Outsourced Finance Department

The finance team that your business deserves will not only get all the finance administration right, but will provide you with the up to date financial information and strategic input that you need to stay in control of your business and on top of your game.

Strategic and Business Development
Adding real value with quality financial and management information to develop sound business plans for the future.
Web Analytics