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November 2011
  • Editorial

    I recently received a letter from my son’s school saying that they had chosen to support Operation Christmas Child as their chosen Christmas charity. This involves pupils filling a shoe box with items such as hats and gloves and small toys, and wrapping it up in Christmas paper to be distributed around the world to needy children. 

    The distinction between a charity’s aims and its actions is not as clear cut as we think. While it’s the trustees' job to ensure the stated purpose of the charity is fulfilled, it’s often left up to donors to dig a bit deeper.

  • News

    Companies who widen their search for sources of funding are increasingly finding new options. A recent initiative is the Business Growth Fund (BGF). 

    “This is the fashionable new fund everyone is talking about, which is designed to help companies grow and expand particularly when that expansion is via overseas sales,” explains Mazars’ Corporate Finance Partner, Mark Standish.

    A round up of relevant news affecting the business sector, including the new funding initiative, the Business Growth Fund, and a warning to trustees from the Pensions Regulator. 

  • Hot Topic

    Adopting an ethical investment strategy takes into account the wider impact of investing on society when seeking financial returns. Also referred to as responsible investing, its rise in popularity means money invested in the UK’s green and ethical retail investment funds has reached a record high of £11.3 billion, according to the latest research by ethical investment research organisation, EIRIS. 

    Interest in ethical investing is on the rise, according to recent figures.  Deborah Benn assesses the issues and steps companies can take to define an ethical approach to investing.

  • Sector Report

    The recent dissolution of the Atlantic Bridge charity, founded by former defence secretary, Liam Fox, together with the Upper Tribunal’s ruling on educational charities and what constitutes the ‘public benefit’ has given the sector a lot to think about. There are lessons to be learned, but the question is whether trustees can learn from mistakes of the past, so as to avoid problems in the future.

    Providing public benefit is the cornerstone of any charity. Deborah Benn reports on what this actually means for trustees in the light of recent high profile investigations involving charities.  

  • Case Study

    For over three decades Mercy Ships charity has sent its fleet and land teams to more than 50 developing countries throughout Africa, Central America and the Caribbean and the Asia Pacific region. Currently, its hospital ship is moored off Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. Mercy Ships docks in port cities by invitation of the government. The charity brings vital health care services and developmental programmes to the world’s poorest free of charge.

    Judy Polkinhorn, Executive Director of Mercy Ships UK, explains the business of running a charity and outlines some of the many ways companies benefit from charitable giving.

  • The Big Interview

    From pizzas to haute cuisine, from high street fashion to mainstream television, Luke Johnson’s entrepreneurial spirit has touched most areas of British life for the last three decades. This is the man who knows more than most about start-ups, corporate expansion, and how companies can ride through a recession.  

    Luke Johnson is one the UK’s better known and admired entrepreneurs. Hannah Beecham talks to him about his attitudes to British business, entrepreneurial endeavour and the characteristics required for success.

  • Spotlight On

    On average five new businesses per month set up or expand in the town to join Milton Keynes, the birthplace of innovative, world leaders such as the Open University and the Red Bull Racing F1 team. And given its growth in population as industries have flocked to this welcoming location over the decades, it may come as a surprise to learn that Milton Keynes’ status has not changed from its reclassification as a new town in the 1960s. 

    Imagination and innovation are recurring themes when discussing Milton Keynes as a business location. We discover how this ‘can do’ attitude works as a beacon for inward investment.

  • Video Interview

    There’s a growing realisation in South Africa of the interdependence of companies and the social and physical environments in which they operate. This has prompted the introduction of new codes, guidelines, laws and regulations to inform and regulate companies’ behaviour on social, environmental, labour and human rights issues. We look at the essential tasks a company must carry out to ensure it meets the latest set of mandatory requirements.

    Kariem Hoosain, Business Development Partner in Mazars South Africa, discusses the impact a social and ethics board committee will have on your business and how to implement a code of best practice.

  • Manage Your Business

    Effective succession planning is all about focusing on the needs of the business, asking yourself the right questions and being prepared to make some tough decisions. Leave it too late or make an emotionally-led appointment and you can unravel all the good work you sweat blood and tears to achieve in building up your business.

    Who would you pick to stand in your shoes when you give up the reins of power? It’s a decision many business owners avoid until it’s too late. We report on how succession planning can help.

  • E=mc2

    The proposals to introduce a statutory residence test, issued in June, were intended to form the basis of legislation which will apply from 6 April 2012. It was hoped the proposals would clear the confusion which surrounds the current mixture of HMRC practice, guidance and case law.

    The announcement of a Statutory Residence Test in the Budget earlier this year, was eagerly awaited by professionals, employers and individuals alike. We assess the factors involved.

  • Webinar

    Trustees play a vital role within the rapidly growing charity sector and are key to the agenda setting and running of a charity.  Paul Gibson explains in this Webinar guide the benefits of becoming a trustee and how the charity sector operates.

    As National Trustee Week celebrates the role of the trustee across the charity sector, Paul Gibson, Mazars’ National Charity Specialist, explores the importance of the sector and how trustees operate within it.

  • International Focus

    With the South African stock market – Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) – ranked sixteenth in the world, listing several hundred companies and holding a total capitalisation of some $600bn, the country is progressively becoming a major player in the international market.

    Increasingly aware of its own corporate responsibility, South Africa’s economy is transforming itself. Hannah Uttley looks at how these changes are helping to shape the country’s economy and attract business. 

  • Grow Your Business

    As the UK Government continues to slash public sector spending, a key strand in its economic growth strategy lies in encouraging the private sector to expand. With much of this growth potential in overseas sales it’s important that companies take the right approach in setting targets and budgets, particularly when it comes to the export market.  

    Securing finance for an overseas project requires producing some convincing sales forecasts. However, companies that don’t set realistic budgets can end up jeopardising their plans altogether. We assess the pitfalls.

  • 3 Minute Master Class

    At the core of the Government's workplace pension reforms is a requirement for employers to automatically enrol all eligible employees in a qualifying pension scheme within a strict timescale and without the employee having to provide any information or make any choice as to whether to join or not.

    A 3 minute tour through the rules and regulations of pension auto enrolment, which requires all employers to enrol employees into a qualifying workplace pension scheme.

  • Mind & Body

    The schools of mentoring and coaching are as numerous and varied as you could wish for. Yet, despite the breadth and still somewhat disparate nature of this profession, companies are increasingly catching on to the benefits derived from using mentors and coaches to work with all levels of staff to keep work aims and objectives on track.

    Mentors can work wonders with moulding raw talent or re-energising key staff. We report on why setting clear ground rules is vital to making the most out of introducing such a service. 

  • Carpe Diem

    Whilst Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) have been around in the UK for over 10 years, it’s a structure that remains relatively unknown and misunderstood, despite the fact it offers some significant advantages compared to a UK limited company. 

    Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP) offer some significant advantages compared to a UK limited company structure. We outline the advantages and the key decisions companies need to consider. 

  • Event Planner

    A list of the forthcoming Mazars seminars taking place over November and December across the UK. Including the changing role of the NED and an opportunity to meet technical experts and discuss business growth abroad.

    Find out all you need to know on Mazars’ upcoming events and seminars including why you should attend and how to register for a place. 

  • About Insight Out

    Insight Out is designed to deliver insightful reports on accountancy issues that cover all elements of business that may be relevant to our clients in companies large or small. It will work alongside the Business Club, launching late Autumn, where members will gain access to more detailed reports, seminars and events.

    Insight Out is a digital magazine published by Mazars LLP ten times a year to keep you up to speed with the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing business today.