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RTI to be in force in April. Are you ready?

The Telegraph wrote another piece highlighting the change that is about to come and hit small businesses - The start of "Real Time Information Reporting" or RTI for the payment of PAYE taxes.  All businesses will need to be compliant by the 5th April 2013.  Yes, that is a couple of months 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...


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 5th 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

Cobbetts in administration move

The Manchester law firm, Cobbetts, has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators according to the TheBusinessDesk.com.  This move is to protect the company until a buyer is hopefully found.

Cobbetts has nearly 500 staff and offices in Birmingham, Leeds and London. Staff were informed of the administration this morning.

Cobbetts reported a fee income of £45.2m in the year to the end of April 2012 and had pre tax profits of £9.9m but it had debts of more than £10m. As Cobbetts is an LLP, this profit is before the designated members have taken drawings.

The firm blamed continued tough trading in the professional services sector for its downfall.

The firm said: “Having regard to the difficult trading conditions in the professional services sector we have reluctantly concluded that the appropriate course at this time is for the firm to obtain the protection of an interim statutory moratorium to enable a sale of the business and assets of the firm to be concluded in a short time frame."
“We are also working closely with our regulator, the SRA. with all stakeholders and our professional advisers to achieve the best outcome for creditors, clients, employees and members."

This collapse is the largest since Halliwells in 2010 which was acquired in a pre-pack administration by several firms including Birmingham-based Gateley, Hill Dickinson and Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.

This may be a sign that the banks are getting more ready to call in their debts.  A number of companies have collapsed in the last week or two.

If your law firm is struggling then there are solutions.  See KSA Group' pages on help for law firms.

Are zombie firms under threat from the banks ?

The Institute of Turnaround (IfT) has said that there are signs that the banks are looking to sell on their debt to the so called "Zombie Firms" as they are beginning to run out of patience.  This was in part illustrated by the collapse of HMV where the £176m of debt was sold onto Hilco.

The selling on of the debt is perhaps a good strategy in that the banks will start to get something back.  However, the IfT has warned that if these purchasers of the debt are not interested in the long term future of these businesses then many will close and thousands of jobs lost.

IfT chairman Iain MacRitchie warned a “zombie company massacre” could take place, particularly in the troubled specialist retail and consumer electronics sectors – which would leave even more empty spaces on UK high streets.

The presence of "zombie firms"( numbers have been estimated at between 75,000 and 160,000) has temporarily saved jobs – but many believe that they have has also prevented bad businesses from being killed off, capital from being reallocated to more productive uses and is cluttering up bank balance sheets.

KSA Group can help companies in Scotland

We are talking about how on the 19th February 2013

A winding up petition issued by a creditor against a Scottish company is an even more dangerous step than in England as there is no grace period after the petition and before the advertisement.

See this page on our new winding up petition website for details

In effect the moment a petition is served it is advertised on the wall of the Court.  This may lead to the bank accounts being frozen.  This particular quirk of the Scottish system is one reason why there are fewer corporate rescues in Scotland than in England.  However, KSA group are keen to change this!

In fact we are at a seminar in Edinburgh talking about corporate turnaround in 2013.  If you would like to attend then please find out more on our KSA Seminars page

Derek Robinson is our Regional Manager in Scotland who will be there.

Derek has a wealth of business knowledge.  A creative and yet objective thinker, Derek understands very well the challenges of running a business and is keen to advise and help directors overcome challenging financial circumstances.  You can call him on 0771 476 5578 or 0131 242 0081

The UK economy contracted by 0.3% according to the ONS

The UK economy shrank in the last three months of 2012, further fuelling fears that the economy could re-enter recession.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the economy contracted 0.3% in the October to December quarter.  This is the first estimate of how the economy performed in the fourth quarter, and is subject to two further revisions.

Given the recent criticism of statistics of late many are now not believing the figures.  What is more these figures are frequently revised as mentioned above. They should just send out accurate figures in the first instance as it would save a lot of bother.   Unemployment has fallen, more people are in work and business confidence has held up reasonably well. What is more the insolvency statistics, despite the few recent retail collapses, are showing an improving picture.

The economy had grown by 0.9% in the previous quarter, boosted by the London 2012 Olympic Games.
For the whole year, growth was flat, the ONS said, adding that the "bumpy economy" was on a "sluggish trend". However, the general consensus is that the economy is flat with real wage rises running at low levels.

Manufacturing fell by 1.5% in the quarter, the services sector was flat, but construction output rose by 0.3%.

KSA Liquidation Notices - Prior and Partners | Esse UK Limited

Prior and Partners Limited Liquidation Notice

A meeting of the Creditors of the above named Company will be held at The Hubworking Centre, 5 Wormwood Street, London, EC2M 1RQ on 25 January 2013 at 10.30 am

See full notice below;


Esse UK Limited Liquidation Notice

A Meeting of the Creditors of the above named Company will be held at The Priory Rooms, Quaker Meeting House, 40 Bull Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B4 6AF on 14 February 2013 at 12.00 pm

See Full notice below;


For more information on the implications of liquidation then click on the link

Hilco Buy HMV Debt

It has been announced that Hilco has bought all the £176m of debt of HMV.  This means that they now control the process and can seek a rescue.

More will follow..

Kilmarnock facing a winding up petition

Kilmarnock Football Club have until today to settle a £15,000 debt or face the threat of a winding up petition from one of its suppliers which could put the club into liquidation.

But Craig Stevenson, the Kilmarnock-based food wholesaler who is after the money owed to his firm, last night denied he was involved in a personal battle with Rugby Park chairman Michael Johnston.

However, the letter to the club was leaked over the weekend so some damage has already been done.

A legal letter sent to the club reads: “Our clients have consulted us in relation to an outstanding debt of £14,907.26. We understand that you do not dispute this debt.

“Our clients have asked us to communicate with you and confirm that in the event our clients have not been paid on or before noon on Tuesday 22nd January 2013, we have instructions to lodge a winding up Petition against your company. It would be our intention to appoint a Provisional Liquidator to your company on the afternoon of that day or soon thereafter.

“In the event that we require to lodge a winding up Petition it will be based on the apparent inability of your company to pay its debts as and when they fall due in terms of the Insolvency Act 1986. In the event that a winding up Petition is lodged then the terms of this letter will be founded upon.”

The club played down fears that there would be a winding up petition and said that it was business has usual.  £15,000 is not a big debt.  BUT in Scotland a winding up petition is very damaging.  This is because once one is issued then it is immediately advertised and the clubs bank may well freeze the account.  Of course football clubs have had winding up petitions issued against them before (Hearts) and have survived but that is mainly because there are often multiple sources of finance.

Our advice would be to pay it pronto!!

HMV will accept vouchers from Tuesday

So the HMV brand damage limitation exercise has begun now that the administrators Deloitte have said that they will now accept gift vouchers from this Tuesday having reviewed the financial situation.

As the gift voucher holders are unsecured creditors and the chain owes the bank £176m they would normally not be likely to receive any refund.  However, now that Hilco have appeared to be the front runner to buy the stores then customers will need to keep coming back. This is in contrast of course to Jessops that has closed all its stores.  HMV continues to trade and it would be in the best interest of creditors not to annoy a considerable number of potential customers.

An industry consortium of music labels and film studios, including Universal Music and Sony, are believed to favour Hilco, according to newspaper reports.

Corporate Turnaround and Restructuring: Explained, Illustrated and Debated

For the first TMA Scotland event in 2013 the meeting will be addressed by a lawyer, a funder and a turnaround professional, who - drawing on their considerable experience in the field of restructuring - will explain some of the options available to distressed companies in order to survive in the current tough economic conditions.

Date:Tues 19 Feb, 6pm Venue:Gillespie Macandrew LLP, 5 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh EH3 8EJ

Don't forget as we are sponsors of the event any guests of KSA Group can attend for free to this CPD qualifying event. Anyone wishing to come along as a guest please contact robertm@ksagroup.co.uk

The speakers will illustrate their points using relevant case studies and the ensuing debate, during a chaired questions & answers session, will no doubt be a lively and thought provoking conclusion to the formal part of the evening. The hosts and sponsors warmly invite all those present to continue their discussions, less formally, during the networking and hospitality time that will follow.

The evening with be Chaired by Symon Legge - Acasta Consulting (Scotland) Ltd and TMA (UK) Representative.

Symon is a Chartered Surveyor with 30 years experience in the Construction Industry; he has spent the last 20 years working on both commercial and development project delivery and also has extensive experience in representing Specialist Subcontractors.

Symon's breadth of experience in having fulfilled the roles of Main Contractor's and Specialist Subcontractor's Quantity Surveyor, Private Quantity Surveyor, Project Manager, Employer's Agent and CDM Co-ordinator, and his extensive knowledge of the Scottish Construction Industry and involvement in dispute work, arbitration proceedings and debt recovery, gives him an unrivalled position in carrying out corporate recovery, due diligence and acting on development instructions.

Symon is a Director of the Acasta Scottish office, based in Edinburgh and which also takes commissions in the North of England." Joining Symon will be Steven Jansch, Associate - Gillespie Macandrew LLP,Keith Steven, Founder & CEO - KSA Group Ltd and James Waterson, Area Sales Manager - Close Asset Finance Ltd (Edinburgh)

Steven Jansch is an Associate in Gillespie Macandrew's Litigation department. He is a solicitor advocate and has been accredited in commercial litigation by the WS Society. Steven has extensive experience of commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms at all levels.

Steven oversees our busy debt recovery team and has a wealth of knowledge of insolvency matters having acted for banks, creditors, and insolvency practitioners for almost 10 years. Steven is acclaimed by clients as being "highly commercial and extremely effective, particularly in court." Clients also commend Steven's ability to obtain appointments of liquidators provisionally as being "impressively quick", with top qualities listed as being "Great Results, Personable, Expert".

Keith Steven of KSA Group Ltd has been rescuing and turning-around companies since 1994; he has worked for insolvency firms, turnaround funds and venture capital investors. Keith formed his own turnaround practice, KSA Group Ltd in 2001, and he is acknowledged as an expert in the delivery of CVAs for SME companies faced with financial difficulties.

Drawing on case studies from 2012, Keith will illustrate the variety of ‘turnaround tools’ available to directors and advisors in order to effect a company rescue, including formal and informal procedures and creditor negotiations – including with HMRC. Many of the key skills of Keith and his company are available via the internet free of charge; he will impart his advice on being the ready for the future with similar magnanimity.

KSA Group is delighted to sponsor this evening’s event and is proud to be a Corporate Sponsor of TMA.

James Waterson has over 5 years of firsthand experience within the asset finance marketplace. Originally with a Clearing Bank he now plays a key role in the activities of Close Bros Asset Finance in Scotland, providing asset finance in restructuring situations and general refinance within SME, commercial and mid-corporate business across Scotland.

Close Brothers looks to provide alternative funding packages tailored to specific business needs – always with a customer relationship focus – and provide specialist knowledge and innovative value-added solutions to Scottish business. Areas of activity include funding for renewable energy projects, with a focus on small to medium wind energy specifically for land / estate owners, farming, leisure and business communities.

James’s own particular specialties include Corporate Real Estate Credit Analysis, Asset Finance & Structured Leasing as well as Compliance & Business Development.

Questions and Answers

Time will be allocated for Q & A’s so as to facilitate a short debate on what has been presented.

Following this and the formal conclusion of the meeting, all attendees are warmly invited to continue their discussions during the networking and hospitality session. Food and drink will be provided by the event sponsors.

For a link directly to the TMA website where you can book.  Then click here
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