Please visit for confidential help and insolvency advice or email

Thursday, 28 March 2013

HMRC Time to Pay Assistance - Easter Offer

As part of a special Easter offer we are selling our Time to Pay Programme for just £4.99 + VAT that is a reduction of 70%! until the end of April 2013

Everything you need to get a deal to pay back VAT PAYE, Creditors over 3-12 months: expert step by step KSA programme get yours now.

So what’s included in your easy to use programme?

  • Saves you time = step by step timetable, planned for every step of the way! Plus a flowchart to help you plan your activity and monitor progress!
  • Professional Letters - All the letters, letter templates and worked examples for writing letters to HMRC and helping them to agree a deal! All you need is a pc and you can get the job done.

  • Protects Directors - includes a guide to protecting you as directors and

  • Comply with the law - 4 board resolutions to control the board meetings you will have. This is how we protect you personally as directors to act legally and responsibly!

  • Meet the taxman requirements - our simple to use tax compliance guide – our unique step by step approach to making sure the HMRC people see you are compliant with tax rules! This helps protect you and get the deal done!

  • User guide and even the file index sheet to print off to set up your file!
  • All supported by a money back guarantee, if you don’t get a deal we will refund your modest purchase price!


  •    Just £4.99+VAT

    Wednesday, 27 March 2013

    Dunfermline rescued from liquidation almost..

    Dunfermline fans are hoping to put the club into administration today by paying for Bryan Jackson, the football insolvency expert from PKF, who will try and stop it going into liquidation.  The threat is still there as HMRC are owed £134,000 and have issued a winding up petition.  This means that the club has to go to court in order to try and place the business into administration which would not have been the case in the absence of the petition.  If the club is in administration it will still be able to play albeit with a likely points deduction or demotion.

    The club is £8.5m in debt and it is likely that it will be tough times ahead.

    Former player and manager Leishman had been fronting a fans' group which had hoped, unsuccessfully, to find a solution to the club's crippling financial situation, with debt understood to be £8.5m. Dunfermline are believed to have until 5pm today to settle their tax bill. Otherwise HMRC will ask a court to wind the club up. The appointment of an administrator would offer the Pars protection from creditors while allowing the club to continue trading.

    Tonight’s fixture against Falkirk, which will generate vital income, can now go ahead.

    Tuesday, 26 March 2013

    KSA Group saves 2300 jobs by rescuing companies using CVAs

    In October 2012 we did an analysis of all the companies that we have successfully negotiated CVAs for and which have been approved by creditors and filed at Companies House since January 2011.    We found that we had saved 1760 jobs in that time.  As of March 2013 we have now saved 2300 jobs!  One of these companies accounted for approximately 200 of these.  Please take a look at the case study on this particular case

    What do we mean by saving these jobs?  

    Well, prior to the CVA being filed these businesses faced being wound up or being put into administration or liquidation as they suffered under the weight of their debts.  The CVA allowed the unsecured creditors to receive a dividend on their debts ranging from 30p to 100p in the £1 and the business to get on with making money and being a useful and productive member of the business community!

    So what did we actually do?  

    The main thrust is to persuade the creditors that the business is viable going forward.   Our corporate advisors talk to the client's bank, HMRC, trade suppliers, and customers amongst others.  We also advise the directors on how they can cut costs to become more efficient using the powerful company voluntary arrangement mechanism.

    Of course those jobs are just from CVAs.  They do not include the work we do with pre pack administrations, trading administrations and informal time to pay deals with creditors.

    Monday, 25 March 2013

    Stockbroker in 4th Special Administration Regime

    Fyshe Horton Finney is the fourth company to go into the "Special Administration Regime" or SAR. This regime is used mainly in financial services where client accounts need to be protected swiftly and their needs to be a "timely" engagement with the authorities.  Fyshe Horton Finney were one of the oldest stockbrokers in the country.  Harrisons have been appointed.  The SAR system was put in place following the collapse of Lehman Brothers which caused widespread litigation and it was a very long time before clients saw their money back.

    Established in 1896, Fyshe Horton Finney is one of the oldest regional stockbrokers and operates in 15 offices across the country. Despite cutting back costs in the last couple of years the company's combined losses  reached £3.4m since 2009.

    According to a statement from administrators, the investment firm was also plagued by boardroom rifts that have stifled growth plans to develop the business.

    Friday, 22 March 2013

    Is your business insolvent ?

    Worried about insolvency? Are you asking  is my company insolvent or is my business insolvent?

    The three test of insolvency are the following.

    The cashflow test
    The balance sheet test
    The legal actions test

    The simple one first is;  Can you pay your creditors on time when they are due?
    Are you assets worth less than your liabilities?
    Finally, are you facing legal action for proven debts that you owe?

    You can have a look at our page which sets out the tests in more detail. If you want to know more please visit our more detailed guide on the insolvency test page.

    Even if your business is insolvent now it does not mean that it doesn't have a future!  Many businesses survive hard times and become stronger as a result.    Companies that are profitable, viable and have a good future can still have cashflow problems.  The important thing is to not just hope that it will fix itself.  The business might need some short term relief from its debts.  This can be done in many ways.  A time to pay deal with HMRC or informal deal with the creditors is an option.  If legal action is being threatened then a CVA can stop aggressive creditors and protect the company.

    Call us for a friendly chat on 0800 9700539.  We will meet directors for free followed up by a written report.

    Thursday, 21 March 2013

    An Opal Group operation that houses Nottingham University students has gone into administration

    KPMG has been appointed as administrators for some of the operations of the Opal Group, which is in financial trouble.

    The firm runs several student accommodation sites across the country, including one at St Peter's Street, Radford. The site, which is home to 879 University of Nottingham students and has only been open since 2011.

    Both the administrators and the university say the block will continue to run as normal.

    A university spokesman said: "We want to reassure students that the administrators are continuing to operate this location (Opal Nottingham Ltd) as normal and students will continue to pay their rent as usual.
    "Any rents that have been paid in advance by students will be honoured in full.
    "The administrators are working with the staff to ensure all services and facilities continue without disruption."

    David Crawshaw and Rob Croxen, restructuring partners at KPMG, will oversee the administration.
    They have insisted their appointment doesn't affect day-to-day operations.
    Mr Crawshaw said: "Opal Group has been unable to sustain its financial commitments in very challenging economic conditions.
    "Our primary aim is to avoid disruption or inconvenience to students and tenants at the sites.
    " We are now in the process of detailed analysis of the finances of the business, with a view to stabilising their operations. We will make further updates as the case progresses."

    Wednesday, 20 March 2013

    HMRC running adverts about RTI

    HMRC has started running adverts in the press about "Real Time Information Reporting" or RTI for the payment of PAYE taxes.  All businesses will need to be compliant by the 6th April 2013.  Yes, that is a couple of weeks away.  PAYE will need to be paid over and reported monthly as opposed to the end of the tax year.  If you pay weekly then it will need to be reported and paid over weekly....  Construction CIS scheme is exempt.   HMRC are providing software so that businesses can comply.   This software can be downloaded from

    In some ways this is a good thing in that there isn't the panicky complicated form filling at the end of the year BUT only if you are aware of it and your payroll system is using software that is compliant.  If not then it could be a major headache.  Playing catch up after the 6th April could be tricky.

    In the end it is likely to be businesses that are not compliant and are in arrears with their PAYE who will be hardest hit.  HMRC will know very quickly if you are in arrears and are likely to chase earlier.  What is more  directors who have overdrawn directors accounts may not be able to reverse them easily into salary and PAYE.

    If you need to talk to someone about how this might affect your company then talk to Keith Steven on 07833 240747

    See his piece in the press about RTI or have a look at our RTI page on Company Rescue.

    Accounting web have a thread online (see below) about the possible trouble spots.

    Monday, 18 March 2013

    The Kent "Triple A" Event in Bromley

    Thursday 18th April 2013
    5.00pm – 8.30pm
    The Wellington Suite, Bromley Court Hotel, Bromley Hill, Kent. BR1 4JD

    If you are in the area of Kent/Surrey, Essex, Sussex We have pleasure in inviting you to The Kent ‘Triple A’ Event, a business presentation and networking seminar aimed at local SME businesses and their advisors. The event is jointly hosted by HSBC Bank plc, Keith Steven Associates (KSA Group Ltd) and Advantage Business Partnerships Ltd.

    The triple ‘A’ theme is:

    Advice   Advise   Advance

    As the UK economy works its way out of recession towards a period of sustainable growth, SME businesses and their advisors need to be aware of every available method by which survival, success and prosperity can be achieved.

    This evening’s speakers - experts at National and International SME Business Banking, Company Rescue & Restructuring and grass-roots Business Coaching & Mentoring - will disseminate their wealth of critical, proven advice. This will enable those present to more effectively advise and support their companies and/or clients. By this means SME businesses will advance towards a brighter future and play a key role in the local and national economic recovery.

    The presentations will be supported by case studies and will be followed by a questions & answers session. After this there will be ample time for networking, with a complimentary buffet & soft drinks. A cash bar will also be available.

    Speaking this evening:

    Paul Hancox.

    Keith Steven, Owner  CEO, KSA Group Ltd and

    Daryl Woodhouse,

    Principal, Advantage Business Partnerships Ltd

    Places are limited to 60 so please book early to avoid disappointment.  RSVP

    Group Lotus PLC faced Winding up Petition

    Update:  Well not surprisingly the court has dismissed the petition as it was obviously settled.

    Tucked away in the latest court list of winding up orders to be heard today was Group Lotus PLC,  the world renowned sports car manufacturer and Formula 1 team.

    However, Group Lotus spokesman Alastair Florance told Autocar, the car magazine,  the appearance of Group Lotus plc on the Companies Court Winding Up list was the result of a contested petition from a supplier that “was settled amicably several weeks ago”. Lotus is expected to make a further announcement later today.

    So nothing to see here. Move along, move along!!  Problem is that Lotus Group is in financial difficulty and selling around 4000 cars a year and sitting on liabilities of £280m is always going to be difficult.

    The ramifications of this petition are unclear but it is likely to make suppliers nervous.  If you supply a firm that becomes insolvent then read this page

    They obviously persuaded the petitioner not to formally advertise the petition which is a crucial step in preserving the company value so it is likely that some sort of agreement has been arrived at.  However the court will need to follow due process.

    Dumfermline in possible administration move

    The directors of Dunfermline Athletic are very close to putting the company into administration.

    The move would mean a points penalty for the first division team, but would mean it does not go into liquidation.  HMRC have issued a winding up petition over a tax debt of some £134,000.  It has yet to be advertised but is likely to be done so on the Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Negotiations with The Pars Community (TPC), a collective of supporters who wish to buy the club, broke down on Friday.

    However, there are potential complications to the directors' plan. An administrator can be appointed before the winding up petition is served, but after that the court would need to be persuaded that administration is a better outcome for all concerned. HMRC would also have to agree to withdraw their petition. Once the club is in administration there would be a protection against any further creditor action.

    Dunfermline have serious cashflow problems; Only 60% of the players' wages were paid last month, and the March salary has yet to be paid.  Gavin Masterton, who is  the majority shareholder, also owns East End Par Ltd, which owns the stadium but it is in debt to Lloyds Bank. Dunfermline owe £8.4m, much of it to directors, with £450,000 owing to business creditors.

    It may be possible that the TPC will be best place to buy the club out of administration but they will need to pay for the stadium as well.  This might be too much.

    Watch this space!

    Friday, 15 March 2013

    Winding up petition case study - Contract Delivery Company in London

    Winding up petition case study - Contract Delivery Company in London

    This is a case study where we were able to help a business that had a winding up petition issued against it.

    The business was a contract delivery and transportation services company based in  London, specialising in delivering bread and bakery products for bakeries to retail customers.

    The company’s accountant and adviser contacted KSA after reading the website.  A meeting was held between the director:  and KSA Director: Wayne Harrison,  at Tower 42.

    KSA Group were appointed to assist the company on 6th November 2009.

    By 30th November 2009 the annual turnover was £340,863 which is consistent with the previous year of £333,806 however losses were made of £116,263 and £74,745 respectively.

    The company encountered financial difficulties due to being under capitalised from the outset and from suffering the high maintenance and repair costs of servicing its fleet of delivery vehicles: mainly due to the fleet of second hand vehicles and engaging sub-contractors to make deliveries.  This resulted in losses being made in 2008 and 2009. As a result, arrears to HMRC had occurred.

    A payment plan was submitted to HMRC and was rejected.  HMRC subsequently issued a Winding Up Petition, which presented at court on 12th October 2009 and was served prior to KSA's appointment.

    What did we do?

    Our Partners Russam Business Network's Latest Newsletter

    The Russam Business Network has just sent out its latest newsletter.  Please see a copy of it here

    The network offers great opportunities for entrepreneurs looking for roles in companies, businesses for sale, and an opportunity to meet investors.

    The Russam Business Network is made up of the following partners

    Operating as a Consortium, RBN Partners are entrepreneur-focussed specialists in different, independent businesses who work together alongside their own businesses to create a powerful networking reach. We do not compete with each other.

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    Blogged by Robert Moore

    Thursday, 14 March 2013

    Another review of Pre Pack Administration

    So here we go again!  The Government is looking at whether the pre pack administration process needs to be reformed.  Last year they looked at providing a "window" of three days for connected parties and unsecured creditors to be consulted on the possible restructuring or sale of the business.  The idea was abandoned by the then Minister responsible, Edward Davey, as he was not convinced that it would lead to a better deal for creditors.

    So what has changed and why the change of heart?  In previous reforms the regulation SIP16 was brought in to ensure that the business was marketed properly so that any party buying the business, especially if they  connected to the previous directors, did not have an unfair advantage in any purchase.  The problem is that wherever there is a pre pack people feel that they have been "stitched up"  This is understandable as in many cases a pre pack means that an unsecured creditor knows nothing about the business being in difficulty until they are told that they have to accept that they won't be paid and that by the way the business has been sold.

    So what is the alternative?

    If we look at it from the side of the business and the employees a pre pack can be a very useful and sometimes the only way to save a business.  Everyone is angry when they lose money and in many cases if the business went into administration or liquidation they would not get advance notice anyhow.

    So if they did what would happen?

    Suppliers would immediately cut off credit, customers would stop ordering worrying about fulfillment, and the landlords might forfeit the lease.  All this would immediately erode or destroy the value of the business.  Unsecured creditors are, in most cases, left with no return in administration or liquidation anyhow so the press is misleading when journalists imply that this is unique to pre packs.  The business has to be insolvent and be threatened in a way that means that continuing trade will be impossible. Such actions might be withdrawal of funding to pay wages etc, winding up petitions, suppliers withdrawing supply. This means that the debts are likely to be very onerous.

    Is the process being abused?

    The arguments are mainly directed at the value of the business.  After the event people come forward saying.  "I would have paid more" or it "wasn't marketed properly".  It is easy to say such things after the event and any SIP16 report should allay some of those concerns.  Assets will generally need  to be valued by a Chartered Surveyor and in every case if assets are to be sold to connected parties.

    What about a CVA?

    Well we argue that this is in many cases a better proposition  for the business  A company voluntary arrangement or CVA  is where the company seeks agreement from its creditors to write off part of the (unsecured) debt and repay an agreed dividend over a three-to-five-year period.
    This requires determination from the directors of the business to turn around the company.

    A CVA still has many of the powers of other insolvency procedures, in that it can quickly cut costs by terminating contracts of employment or lease obligations for instance.

    It should also help generate cashflow by freezing payments to creditors while turning current assets of stock, WIP and debtors into cash. Assets aren’t subject to the massive devaluation that always occurs in administration or liquidation.

    In a CVA the return to unsecured creditors is usually between 35-100p in £1, whereas in administrations and pre-pack administrations the return is usually 10p or less.

    Another reason that CVAs are not considered is the simple fact that many people don’t actually know about them. Directors and their advisers, including accountants, should consider CVA as a powerful alternative if they are looking at a pre pack administration.

    What reforms would be suggest to pre packs?

    Perhaps a simple rule could be that in a pre pack administration the administrator can't be the liquidator of the company as well.  This may reduce the possibility of the IPs preferring the route of pre packs as being more lucrative than say a CVA.  However, there would be practical problems with this and it would increase overall costs as a new liquidator would not be familiar with the company or its problems.  But it would tackle some of the perception problem.

    Wednesday, 13 March 2013

    Advising struggling companies - Some free places left

    We still have a few free places left for the TMA Seminar in Nottingham on advising the advisers of struggling companies.  This is a CPD qualifying event.

    19th March 2013
    Venue: Gateley LLP, City Gate East, Tollhouse, Nottingham NG1 5FS

    KSA Group Insolvency Notices

    Internet Search Management Limited in Liquidation

    Meeting of the creditors of the above named company will be held at The Hubworking Centre, 5 Wormwood Street, London, EC2M 1RQ on 15 March 2013 at 11.30 am

    To see the full notice see below

    Tones Music Store Limited

    Meeting of the Creditors of the above named Company will be held at The Hubworking Centre, 5 Wormwood Street, London, EC2M 1RQ on 27 March 2013 at 11.15 am

    See full notice below

    Tuesday, 12 March 2013

    SRA Intervention at Blakemores Law Firm

    News that the Solicitors Regulation Authority has stepped in at Blakemores, which has offices in Birmingham and in Leamington Spa, is a shock to the more than 200 employees. The firm is believed to have shut down yesterday. The firm also operated the Lawyers2you brand.

    The Solicitors Regulation Authority has intervened, which is often a sign of concern over clients files and clients monies, to oversee the firm’s outstanding work. It said it had stopped the firm from operating, taken possession of all documents and papers held by the firm,  including clients’ files, and taken possession of all money held by the firm.

    Law firms have been consolidating for some years. Many have severe cashflow problems and can face winding up petitions from HMRC in particular.

    KSA Group has worked with more than half a dozen law firms in the last 2 years and is currently co-operating with the SRA on a small London practice

    By acting early we have prevented a winding up petition, negotiated with the firm and the SRA to achieve a phased sale through administration and saved jobs.

    See our three pages of online guides for lawyers looking for advice on securing their business below.  Act now and get help here

    Call KSA Group's DEDICATED LAWYERS LINE now on 08455194930

    Monday, 4 March 2013

    UK Corporate Insolvencies 5 year Low

    UK company insolvency rates hit 5 year low; is this change a sign of better management, the internet providing help to directors, or a more general UK recovery?

    Are you like me and a bit tired of the so called "Zombie" description of struggling companies? It is journalese and an easy moniker, but is it accurate?

    Could low insolvency numbers be  here to stay? Has the "work out" culture or good quality turnaround taken the numbers down?

    What do you think? Please let us know  by commenting here.

    Textile Direct Going into Administration

    Textiles Direct Holdings owns 60 shops across the UK. The company has filed a notice of intention (NOI) to appoint administrators at the High Court in Manchester on February 27.

    This process allows a legal moratorium (or protection) from creditor actions. This is often used to protect the company whilst buyers are contacted and a pre-pack administration "deal" is prepared.

    The notice (NOI) provides ten working days moratorium, but a further NOI can be applied for if further time is required for the sale.

    Read more here on what is pre pack administration
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