Category Archive: News

  1. A good walk spoiled… Not when you’re helping others.

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    Golf… a good walk spoiled they say…
    Well not if you’re raising money for charity and helping others less fortunate than yourself.
    (But to be honest, the way I play the walk is probably the most enjoyable aspect !)
    Here at Corp & Comm we’re all about giving back, simply because we can and to be honest, we all should.
    Now in our 11th year, The Friendly Golf Society is a bunch of like-minded business owners who have a bat once a month during the fairer days.
    We’re always on the look-out for a stressed business owner who fulfils these criteria :
    1, They’re looking for a little time to themselves.
    2, They’re looking to do some good for others.
    3, They can smack a bit of plastic around a field…
    The aim – to give themselves a little reward whilst all the while doing some good for those less fortunate for ourselves.
    Last year we raised £1,500.00 for Rob Burrow’s MNDA.
    If you know somebody who fits the bill, click on the link below and point them in our direction.
    If their heart’s in the right place, then they need to be too…
    The Friendly Golf Society
    Our 2024 events are : 
    3rd May – Knaresborough
    31st May – Normanton / Hatfield Hall
    28th June – Huddersfield / Fixby Hall
    20th July – Rotherham
    23rd August – Woodsome Hall
    20th September – Shipley / Beckfoot
  2. Can you make your Cash Flow ‘Covid proof’ ?

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    It’s been a struggle but we’ve all pitched in together and between us we seem to have got through the worst of this pandemic. However in a business point of view, is the worst still to come ?

    The Government is slowly turning off those taps of support and its time again to stand on our own.

    The challenge comes with the fact that during lock-down, many companies were not generating revenue, meaning there is no money in their accounts. A lack of liquidity has a huge bearing on cash-flow, for both the Buyer and Supplier.

    So how do you mitigate your exposure and risk in these troubled times ?

    The answer is as simple as A, B, C.              …. Analyse – Bill – Contact.


    Stage 1 – Analyse.

    They say knowledge is power and all knowledge comes from information. Unfortunately there’s no exact way to say who’s been affected more than others. Just because they’ve been around for 50 years and been a customer of yours for 10, doesn’t mean to say they’ve had either the strength or financial clout to ride out this pandemic properly.

    Credit checks are a great start but only use a credit check as a guide. The information contained in credit checks is historic and is very rarely up to today’s date. A lot can change in business almost overnight. However that said, if a company had a good historical financial history pre-Covid, the likelihood is they may have sufficient business acumen to come through the other side.

    Credit checks are only the start of a robust analytical process. Internet searches, trade references and company reports are all excellent tools to add to a process and allow a Supplier to build an accurate picture as to the risk a customer may bring.


    Stage 2 – Bill.

    If, after completing your diligence you’re prepared to trade with the customer, now is the time to be prudent with your exposure and risk. Don’t get carried away with working without reward. We advocate to all businesses in these troubled times to raise littler invoices more often.

    Can you break down your service / supply into smaller invoicing segments ? For example, if you’re a commercial electrical contractor conducting a complete re-wire of a property, can you bill in phases. Alternatively can you agree with the client a series of payment applications and stage payments, for example every two weeks a payment of £2,000.00 needs to be received.

    Raising smaller invoices mitigates risk. Should a customer struggle to pay a smaller invoice, then this is an indication they’re short of funds and it’s better to learn these things sooner rather than later. Should your payments stop, you have the option of stopping work until you are paid meaning you can concentrate your time, efforts and money on another project that IS paying you.


    Stage 3 – Contact.

    As with all things in business, action is the key. Cash is in short supply at the moment, many businesses haven’t been open for months and haven’t being raising invoices. Many businesses raise invoices on established credit terms and so face the prospect of having no income into their business for perhaps another 30 days, or even more.

    One of the fundamental keys to great credit control is being organised. Set yourself some time aside each week to manage your accounts, allocate your payments, review whom owes you money and then speak with these customers to secure your payment.

    Don’t let the current plight of many businesses delay your thoughts in asking for your monies. Everybody is in the same boat, everybody needs what’s rightfully theirs and it may well be that your pro-active action of recovering your monies inspires those to ask for their own monies in turn and will lead to the continued flow of cash through the economy.

    Don’t forget, unless your business is credit control then asking for your monies may not be your forte. Don’t be put off, simply be prepared. Have your ledger to hand, familiarise yourself as to what’s owed to you and use your regular script to make those calls.

    But if you’re still not okay with the tricky subject of asking your customers for money, no need to worry, your expert credit control adviser is at hand… after all, that’s what we’re there for.

  3. Discounted Recoveries Help your cash flow… whilst your cash flow helps others ?…

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    When a business coach recently asked us… Why do you do what you do ?… we all agreed it was because we want to help businesses survive by guiding them through a tricky situation.

    Kind of sums up what we’re experiencing now.

    This crisis has seen many businesses diversify their offerings to help others, which forced us to ask ourselves…

    What assets and skills do we have that we can offer to others to make things better ?


    For the period of May and June, we’re going to try to do our bit, to not only help you but help others :

    • Every initial new debt instruction demand we shall send for free. 
    • We shall make a £1.00 contribution to the NHS for every new instruction we receive.
    • Added to this, we shall also reduce any successful collection fee by 50%.


    When times are tough, our aim is to make things better, make things easier and help people survive by putting money back into their pocket, not take it out.


    Our moral compass tells us that now is not the time to make the most of an opportunity, now is the time to do what we can for others and to be the trusted adviser we pride ourselves on being.


    Simply email any new instruction to or chat with us on 01535 65 45 94.

    Stay safe, stay at home, stay alive.

  4. Slow and steady may not win the cash flow race….

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    You all know that we at Corp & Comm love a cliché. There’s always an element of truth to a cliché and they’re usually good life lessons.

    In these troubled times, there is one life lesson that will stand your credit control and debt recovery in good stead…. Little and often.

    Let’s be honest, the lock-down is not going to end any time soon so as businesses, we need to make plans for at least the next two months. Key to these plans are two cash goals :


    1, Get what money you can in quickly.

    2, Get what invoices you can raised now.


    Here’s our tips to achieving both :


    Goal 1, Get paid what you can, as quick as you can.

    Look at what’s currently outstanding on your ledger and put some time aside to follow this up.

    Don’t feel bullish because you’re asking for money, you’re entitled to it and we’re damn sure you’re not the only one who needs it. Take solace in the fact that everybody is in the same boat, trying to stretch their finances to all to make ends meet. Where you need to, offer payment arrangements with your customers. Not only will this gesture help create some much needed cash-flow for you, it will also help strengthen your customer relationship which can only pay dividends in the future. Your customers will appreciate the gesture and to be honest, most companies will find it easier to pay three lots of £1,000 over three weeks, rather than £3,000 right now.

    As we said… Little and often.


    Goal 2, Raise what revenue you can, as quick as you can.

    Look at what invoices you can raise both now and in the near future.

    Review your current work-load. Are you already part way through a job or project that you could raise an immediate invoice for, such as first fix for a contractor, content for a web developer etc. Raise an interim invoice for ‘work done’ and send it sent to the customer. You create the opportunity for much needed revenue and the customer will appreciate smaller, incremental bills…. Little and often.

    Finally, when we do all get back to some normality, the pressures on businesses will be even greater because they’ll be no more Government backing. When you’re back to full speed use the same brief. Instead of completing lots of work and then raising a larger bill later, split your new work up into segments and bill lesser amounts quicker to speed up payments and most importantly cash-flow…. Little and often.


    The Covid crisis will have a serious effect on how we conduct future business and will force many businesses to look at how they do things and how they can change for the better. These tips above are just some ways of maintaining ‘cash flow continuity’ and are a great start in managing a steady ship, rather than the boom and bust mentality of previous years.

  5. Remember, remember businesses go bang all year, not just in November!

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    Lets Reflect

    The UK’s political and economic climate continues to be one of the toughest in recent history. With the UK’s economic growth running at the lowest in 9 years.


    As we know several big brands have been forced to close, with a steady stream of others following month after month. The ‘ripple effect of debt’ on smaller businesses is significant and felt across industries.



    November is a month of reflection and looking back so it felt right to give thought to 16k+ companies who went into insolvency during 2019. What can we learn to limit further losses ?


    Some Facts

    Recent research from Hitachi Capital Business Finance (HCBF) shows that late payments are affecting small business of all sizes across all industries:-


    – 75% of small businesses (10-49 employees) are dealing with late payment issues.

    – Whereas 50% of sole traders are force to deal with debtor issues.


    It is a fact that late payments are notoriously hindering the ability of businesses to progress – not to mention the precious time wasted chasing overdue payments.


    Imagine This Scenario.

    You won the order, provided a great service or product and sent your invoice as agreed but when it’s time for them to pay you, they appear to have fallen off the face of the earth. Your calls are never returned, your emails ignored. You have concerns and maybe even heard a whisper that the business is ‘struggling’ . You fear the worst for your business, but what can you do?

    • Have you already spent too much time on this one client and have other priorities to focus on. After all, investing your time in an invoice already raised is not going to increase the value of the invoice. Maybe now is the time to hand the debt over to a recovery agency like us to collect?
    • If you’re determined to press on yourself, then we’re still there to advise and guide you as to the best way forward. Why not benefit from our resource and techniques to aid in your recovery and diligence. You will soon be able to tell whether you’re going to be paid, or whether your debt may be lost.


    Useful Resources & Links We Advise.

    • Companies House – Search for information about the company & people.
    • Credit Reference AgenciesSee what the financial status of the company is.
    • Websites & Social Media – Check the client’s own sites, look at reviews etc.


    If you have any questions or would like further information on our advice above or indeed simply want to discuss what can be done, please get in touch : Contact Details


    Your benefits from outsourcing to Corp & Comm are :

    • Unlock Cash
      Pass aged debts and late payments to us and improve your precious cash flow.
    • Reduce Costs
      Save the time your business spends chasing payment? What does that time translate to in cost, opportunity cost, bank charges etc?
    • Flexibility
      Outsourcing debt recovery or credit control to experts means you will have improved cashflow that can pay creditors or make investments to allow your business to thrive.


    Simply gives us a call 01535 654 594 or fill in our Contact Form and one of our advisors will be in touch soon to discuss your requirements with you.



  6. British Steel has brought UK economics back into stark focus

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    Brexit continues to keep the continued poor state of the economy out of the headlines. However, the spectacular collapse of British Steel has brought economics back into stark focus with a bang.


    Anybody who has a measure as to financial indicators knows that the liquidation of British Steel was always on the cards. Plus it was always going to be sooner rather than later.


    Simple diligence investigations

    • Look into the parent company, Greybull’s other purchases shows numerous high profile business failures in recent years. Most notably electrical giant Comet and then Monarch Airlines. All of which ultimately cost the taxpayer a whopping £60m.


    • British Steels share price fell a staggering 80% over the last 14 months. An clear indication that experienced traders were pulling their money out, rather than investing in.


    • A review of British Steel’s accounts show a cash injection of £154m in the last financial year. Followed by a Government loan to the tune of £120m. All this demonstrates a serious miscalculation in both future trading and the accounting process.


    Every business owner whether at the head of large or small company, know it’s still very tough economically. So let’s be frank, it’s never been easy and it never will be. It’s how we educate, identify and manage the financial pressures that counts.


    Business hunches are usually correct. If you have doubts about a customer or a supplier, then there are quick and easy ways to determine whether you may have increased exposure or risk.


    Take the above examples about British Steel as a guide ;

    • Simple checks through Companies House and credit reference agencies will tell you who in fact is behind a company and that they may not be all that they seem.


    • Larger businesses with a share issue allows you to review periodic results and ratings, which can provide an indication as to whether a company is on the up or on the slide.


    • Most limited companies are forced to file financial accounts that are available to the public. By reviewing these, you can determine how well, or how poorly, a company is being run.


    British Steel isn’t the first and it certainly won’t be the last industry giant to fold. What’s important is what we learn from the failure. What indicators we use for the future and how we ensure that we’re not one of those caught up in the ripples of debt that ultimately flow down the supply chain.


    How can we help?

    To learn more about the benefits and costs involved in outsourcing your credit control to Corporate and Commercial please get in touch. We’re a friendly and professional team who want to help your business succeed. Email or Call 01535 654 594

  7. Mental Health Week – We help remove the stress of getting paid

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    When Prince William, the future King, champions a cause, people usually sit up and take notice.


    One topic the Prince is bringing to the fore is mental health. So with this being Mental Health Week, we at Corp & Comm felt it prudent to highlight the steps you can take to reduce a business’ financial concerns and worries.



    There is a widely accepted link between financial wellbeing and mental wellbeing. Although it is the consumer element of debt that makes the news, there is a very real necessity and importance to address the requirement to have commercial financial wellbeing on an even keel.


    Research from Nesta, the innovation charity shows that 40% of British entrepreneurs have admitted that managing their finances and banking has become the most stressful part of running their business.  Being forced to give up evenings and weekends balancing the books, is unnecessarily burdensome. The stress is taking its toll with 17% saying it has made them unwell.


    Financial gain may not be everybody’s motivator but it is certainly an enabler. Every business owner knows that when their business is doing well, they can afford to pay the correct wages, order stock, invest in technology etc which in turns boosts everybody’s wellbeing.


    The simplest way of summarising how to achieve commercial financial wellbeing is this : Ensure that your incomings either match or are above, your outgoings.


    Ten Commandments of Credit Control

    We at Corp & Comm champion The Ten Commandments of Credit Control’ Through our training days and university presentations, we encourage everybody to factor at least one or two of the Commandments into their day to day credit control process, to ease the burden.


    Good credit control is measured by having a successful, robust process in place that can be applied to each and every matter, irrespective of size, age or customer. The ability to keep systems uniform, exact and regular removes the stress and anxiety of reaction and then action.


    Having a plan in place and sticking to it, allows each and every business owner to be confident in their ability to recover their monies and in doing so, move on to other more pressing matters whilst all the while maximising the payments into their bank.


    As we’ve said, finance may not be every person’s motivation but finance is both the key and the lifeblood to every business. Without cash, every business will fail. Simply apply just some of these simple steps and take action to ensure that your business’ finances don’t become an issue.


    If you would like further information or if you feel our credit control or debt recovery services could ease your burden, please get in touch





  8. Spot & Prevent Invoice Fraud

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    One in seven, (14%) of small and medium-sized companies fell victim to invoice fraud during the past year, according to Barclays research.

    These fake requests for payment or to update a client’s bank details are emailed by fraudsters, who disguise themselves as regular suppliers. They can also be costly, with 28% of reported scams resulting in losses of more than £5,000.


    How does it happen?
    • Invoice fraudsters are often aware of the relationships between companies and their suppliers, and will know the details of when regular payments are due. The fraud may only be discovered when the legitimate supplier follows up on non-payments.
    • Fraudulent letters and emails sent to companies are often well-written, meaning the fraud is difficult to spot without strong operating processes and controls in place. Email addresses are also easy to spoof, or in the case of malware-infected PCs, criminals can access genuine email addresses.
    • The process of changing the bank details of someone you are paying should always be treated with extreme caution.


    Here at Corp & Comm we are obviously aware, trained and vigilant against these threats, as part of servicing our end to end credit control and debt recovery clients. However if you don’t currently outsource your credit control to experts, it’s worth considering how to prepare your teams against the risk:


    How you can help to prevent invoice fraud – a checklist
    • Always verify details of any new/amended payment instructions verbally by using details held on file, and not on the instruction. Fraudsters can spoof email addresses to make them appear to be from a genuine contact, including someone from your own organisation.
    • If you are suspicious about a request made by phone, ask the caller if you can call them back on a trusted number.
    • Fraudsters will attempt to pressure you into making mistakes – take the pressure off by taking control of the situation.
    • Consider removing information such as testimonials from your own or your suppliers’ websites or social media channels that could lead fraudsters to knowing who your suppliers are.
    • Look carefully at every invoice and compare it to previous invoices received that you know to be genuine – particularly the bank account details, wording used and the company logo.
    • Consider setting up single points of contact with the companies you pay regularly
    • Apply the same principles to requests from within your own organisation
    • Electronic payments in the UK are made based on sort code and account number only, and any account name given is not routinely checked, therefore independent verification is important.
    • Regularly conduct audits on your accounts
    • Make all staff aware of this type of fraud, particularly those that are responsible for making payments.


    Other Considerations
    • Outsource Credit Control – Employing experts to deal with your invoices, payment details and cashflow has several advantages. It frees up your time to focus on other priorities, it adds a specific skillset to your team, limits risk and improves cash in the bank. If you would like to discuss how we can help please just get in touch.


    • Cyber Insurance An added layer of protection can also come in the form of  insurance. As with other areas of our business we have to consider the exposure and risk. So it is also worth considering your requirements for Cyber Insurance. We spoke to Jamie Illingworth, MD of Illingworth McNair to understand this area further:-

    “It is vital that SME businesses look to protect themselves from the threat of cyber attack. These threats are becoming more prevalent and advanced in nature.  The cost of cover used a barrier to SME’s but now products are  available to protect businesses at affordable rates”

    Find out more Illingworth McNair

  9. Can You Have Your Cake & Eat It?

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    The Body Shop is another case of corporate insolvencies continuing at a pace but do we all really know what a company insolvency means to us and our businesses.


    When dealing with insolvencies of companies there are two main types of insolvency – Administration and Liquidation.



    The simplest way to explain the difference is that:

    • Liquidation is not good,
    • Administration is better but still not great.

    Lets look at an example

    The Body Shop – They entered Administration in February of this year.

    This means that a third party will take over the running of the company, usually an Insolvency Practitioner (IP) or an Accountant with a view to finding a buyer for the company as a whole, or continuing to run it as a going concern.

    Deals are often made with the creditors of the business. They’ll offer people who are owed money say 40p in every £ owed, to reduce the liabilities of the business and to make it a more attractive proposition to buyers.

    For the established high street names Administration is the preferred option, so that the company can continue to run. The brand name continues and there is a possibility that some, if not most of the staff can keep their jobs.


    Is there such a thing as a successful Administration ?

    One such example of a ‘successful’ administration is HMV.

    • A high street name needing support to find a buyer and retain goodwill rather than close.
    • Administration was the preferred option.
    • Thankfully a buyer was found for HMV and the majority of the stores stayed open, safeguarding numerous jobs.


    What if there wasn’t a buyer ?

    If a buyer could not be found, or the company is found not to be a viable option for continued trade, as in the case of Carillion and most recently Wilko, then the company may enter Liquidation.


    But what is Liquidation ?

    This is where a Liquidator or IP will affect a ‘fire sale’ of the company’s best assets such as:

    • stock,
    • order book,
    • machinery
    • plant

    Monies raised are to pay its creditors. However, because the company has closed and the brand no longer trades, there is no future revenue and the staff will unfortunately lose their jobs.


    In Summary

    Should you suffer the pain of having a company enter insolvency, then your best hope for a positive outcome is if it goes into administration. In which case you should always lodge your claim with the IP, as there is a chance that you could get paid a creditor’s dividend, or some pence in the pound against what you’re owed.


    If the outcome is liquidation, again lodge your claim with the IP but be aware that any dividend will only come about from the sale of assets and this is solely in the hands of the IP. So no guarantees, no timescales and less chance of a positive outcome.


    Remember,  there are ways and means of limiting your exposure to the risk and pain of bad debts and insolvencies. If you would like to discuss these options, please feel free to as well as reading more of

  10. Budget 2018 – HMRC returned to preferential creditor in cases of insolvency

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    It’s been a year full of economic and political challenges for all businesses. Including several, high profile insolvencies. The effects of which have been felt far and wide across the small business community.


    Therefore, I’m sure we all had an eye on the budget last week! That said, I’m not sure we all felt too assured by Chancellor Philip Hammond’s statement that “The era of austerity is finally coming to an end”


    One of the changes that did catch my attention was the reversal of a 2002 change to the insolvency regime where HMRC was demoted from its position as preferential creditor. It was instead ranked alongside other unsecured creditors.


    Currently, several creditors other than HMRC have a higher priority claim on the assets of an insolvent company but from April 2020 however, HMRC will have greater priority to recover taxes paid by employees and customers. According to the government, this will ensure that an extra £185m in taxes already paid each year reaches the tax authority.


    However, there are valid concerns around this. Namely that the HMRC could choose to become more aggressive with enforcement, given their renewed status, which in turn would lead to an increase in company insolvencies.

    Given that we currently have an increasing trend in corporate insolvencies that saw a rise of 9% in Q3 compared to Q2 2018, and 19% compared to Q3 2017, this may add to the problem.

    Only time will tell.


    It does highlight once again the need for businesses, large and small to create robust financial administration systems.  A successful credit control process that limits your exposure to risk and keeps your all important cash flow healthy, can be the difference between growth and insolvency.


    If you would like to discuss your credit control process or have issues with late payments, we’d be happy to discuss your situation and guide you towards a solution.