I woke this morning to the news that a 'furlough fraudster' had been arrested.
I thought that was a good thing - anybody taking advantage of the scheme designed to help those in peril, which is going to take generations to repay deserves all they get.
But the amount that was quoted was stunning - tax fraud on an industrial scale. Allegedly £495,000 through the furlough scheme along with a separate investigation for multi-million pound tax fraud and money laundering.
Talking of furlough, remember that claims for 'version 1' of the scheme to 30th Juneneed to be in by 31st July.
Missed an edition ? See them at
What are my positives today ?
1. Social Distancing Rules can be amusing
No-one ever died from excessive caution. And that's the way we seem to be heading.
It's been a fairly frantic week so far and I was thinking of a way of de-stressing at the weekend. I thought maybe a trip somewhere on the south coast. So I opened the website of the airfield I was thinking of to check what their COVID rules are. Is there fuel ? Are the facilities open ? etc
Amongst several pages of new rules, was the following:-
'Please ensure you park your aircraft with at least two metre distance between your wingtip and that of the aircraft next to you'
I'd heard about airborne transmission but that seems plane silly.
2. I don't have a yellow Transformers Outfit in my bedroom
Um, what ?
It seems to me that like in any downturn, there will be some opportunities to buy distressed businesses cheaply. Gemma (name changed to protect the 'innocent'), a professional, 100% serious businessperson is an example of this.
Her husband, retired, found himself looking at a 'too good to be true' offer of a fancy dress outfit business.
He now owns seven shipping containers full of fancy dress outfits, including caged gorillas, Transformers, Star Wars characters etc. And has spent the entire lockdown period cataloguing and sorting out stock ready for an Amazon/E-bay blitz.
I get the impression that they are tripping over outfits all over the house, and in conversation Gemma dropped the information that she has a bright yellow transformer outfit hanging in her bedroom.
Each to their own...
(ps Gemma pleads with all readers that if you need a fancy dress outfit (maybe for a talking point on a Zoom) please come to her aid, I can provide contact details)
3. Companies House are automatically extending filing dates
It's been the case that since the start of this problem, all you had to do was write and ask for three months extra and use the C-word, it would be granted.
About a month ago they introduced a web based tick box to claim the extension.
I see this week they have simply, across the board, added three months on to filing dates. So temporarily the deadline for filing accounts with Companies House is (for a private company) 12 months from the end of the accounting period (Unless a long first period after formation)
What am I talking to clients about today ?
Oddly enough given Gemma's story, acquisitions.
Two clients have bolstered their cash reserves to weather a storm, but are now tempted to acquire weaker competitors at the right price.
It's a good strategy, all I would say is:-
- Don't end up using the survival warchest on buying a financial blackhole
- Be prepared to walk from negotiations, don't be bounced into a 'must have it' mentality
- Make sure you have the depth and strength in management to deal with the acquisition as well as the inevitable and probably large bumps ahead
- Don't underestimate the challenge of absorbing the new business into your own
- Don't skimp the due diligence.
Remember the 5(or 6?) P's - Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
Stay safe, stay positive
For those not of my era, this is a Transformer. It's a robot in disguise (as a car). Not that you'd ever guess ...