Steven Mugglestone

The more I learn, the less I know

Some of the best British job jokes ever,… Probably!!

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English humour at it’s best.
1 .. Two blondes walk into a building……….you’d think at least one of them would have seen it.
2. Phone answering machine message – ‘…If you want to buy marijuana, press the hash key..’
3. A guy walks into the psychiatrist wearing only Clingfilm for shorts. The shrink says, ‘Well, I can clearly see you’re nuts.’
4. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any.
5. I went to the butchers the other day and I bet him 50 quid that he couldn’t reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, ‘No, the steaks are too high.’
6. My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli. A strong currant pulled him in.
7 A man came round in hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, ‘Doctor, doctor, I can’t feel my legs!’
The doctor replied, ‘I know you can’t, I’ve cut your arms off’.
8. I went to a seafood disco last week and pulled a muscle.
9. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly.. They lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.
10. Our ice cream man was found lying on the floor of his van covered with hundreds and thousands. Police say that he topped himself.
11. Man goes to the doctor, with a strawberry growing out of his head.
Doc says ‘I’ll give you some cream to put on it.’
12. ‘Doc I can’t stop singing ‘The Green, Green Grass of Home’
‘That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome. ‘
‘Is it common?’
‘It’s not unusual.’
13. A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet. ‘My dog is cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?’
‘Well,’ said the vet, ‘let’s have a look at him’
So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then he checks his teeth. Finally, he says, ‘I’m going to have to put him down.’ ‘What? Because he’s cross-eyed?’
‘No, because he’s really heavy’
14. Guy goes into the doctor’s. ‘Doc, I’ve got a cricket ball stuck up my bottom.’
‘How’s that?’
‘Don’t you start.’
15. Two elephants walk off a cliff…boom, boom!
16. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh
17… So I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me ‘Can you give me a lift?’
I said ‘Sure, you look great, the world’s your oyster, go for it…’

18. Apparently, 1 in 5 people in the world are Chinese. There are 5 people in my family, so it must be one of them. It’s either my mum or my Dad, or my older brother Colin, or my younger brother Ho-Cha-Chu. But I think it’s Colin.
19. Two fat blokes in a pub, one says to the other ‘Your round.’ 
The other one says ‘So are you, you fat bastard!’
20. Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, and the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.
21. ‘You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. 
They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, ‘Parking Fine.’ So that was nice.’
22. A man walked into the doctors, he said, ‘I’ve hurt my arm in several places’
The doctor said, ‘Well don’t go there anymore’
23.. Ireland ‘s worst air disaster occurred early this morning when a small two-seater Cessna plane crashed into a cemetery. 
Irish search and rescue workers have recovered 2826 bodies so far and expect that number to climb as digging continues into the night.

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Written by Steven Mugglestone

September 13, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

THANK-YOU!

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This is a very easy article to write.  THANK-YOU, thank-you and thank-you!!

When we decided to adopt Rainbows as our charity, we set ourselves a target of £10,000 for 2013.  Well we did that and passed it, thanks to our clients, our contacts, our staff and our friends, THANK-YOU.

We did this by taking on The Three Peaks in September, where, together with our friends at Woods Coaches and through sheer stupidity, exhaustion and redefining being cold and wet, we raised around £8,000 through the Just Giving Site THANK-YOU for all who sponsored us.

Earlier in the year, we completed the 15 mile RainbowsWalk of Life, we tested our team’s commercial skills through a Business Challenge and we also hosted a summer choir concert and An Evening of Songs from Movies and MusicalsTHANK-YOU for all of you who bought a ticket, attended a quiz, bought something from our market stall or who attended our Indian summer feast and networking event.

We have beaten our £10,000 target and have passed the £14,000 already and we still have a few months of the year left.

We have enjoyed ourselves and have tested our minds, our entrepreneurial spirit, our cardiovascular systems and our knees and we have helped Rainbows along the way.

THANK-YOU to Rainbows for allowing us to be able to do all of this and be part of their support.

We need to think about what is next and what things we can do next year, but without the help of our clients and friends, we would not have been able to do this at all.

So really a VERY BIG THANK YOU

Written by Steven Mugglestone

October 7, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Why Rainbows & The Three Peaks Challenge?

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Our approach to our clients and our business is to always ask, Tell Us Your Story, but on this occasion and for charitable purposes, we are telling you ours.

Coming up with the idea of supporting a charity and “doing something” seemed to be such a logical thing to do.  As accountants and business advisers, we like reasons and checklists and this seems to tick a number of boxes:

·         It brings everyone together, with the aim of everyone up and everyone down the mountains

·         It gives a focus of organisation for our team and stops me taking control of things

·         It gives an opportunity to do something with a client, Woods Coaches

·         It raises money for such an incredible charity cause

·         It makes you realise that Rainbows should not need to be a charity, but really needs  financial support

·         It does give us positive PR

·         It stops us sitting around too much and helps our fitness

Given that we wanted to do something physical, The Three Peaks Challenge, seemed the obvious choice.  Yes, we know that it is not Everest, but for a bunch of largely unfit office workers, the highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland, covering 25 miles of walking in under a day and a half (we are doing it backwards Snowdon and Scafell on Saturday and Ben Nevis on Sunday morning) seemed to be enough of a challenge to hurt.  So, we are nearly there and what have we learnt:

Bringing people together

I have not been involved in all of the training walks, as I have family as well and started to drag them out walking, but I joined a group for the 15 mile Leicester City walk for Rainbows in May.  Others in the firm, however, have walked various hills in Leicestershire and Edale, as well as completing the Yorkshire Three Peaks in August.  Everyone recognises that sharing the stories of each-others blisters and bruises does a great deal to bring everyone together.  We have tracked our trials and tribulation on our charity blog site, mgchaylescharity Spending hours alone walking through hillsides and fields also ensures that you find out far more about your colleagues than days in the offices.

On a personal front, my seventeen your old son is joining us to tackle the challenge and I have been out training with him on a regular basis, both in a gym and throughout the countryside.  This has allowed us to spend more time alone to discuss a whole variety of matters and issues.  Perhaps without this focus on the three peaks, we would not have done this, because of work and college, so personally for me; this has been a great time.

Mental and physical challenge

Some say that you should do something that scares you on a regular basis, to keep you alive.  I think that this challenge is similar, but combines both a physical and mental test.  It is on a bucket list, so it is a great thing to do.  We have all said that we are doing it and all trying to get fit in relevant training, but when it comes to it, come what may it will be a mental test to finish.  We have all been tackling boot and shoe issues, with blisters and bruises as we break-in either new boots or problems with our old boots that stopped us walking before.  For me, a new pair of boots were required, when I tried to replace the laces on my old boots and through rust and mud, they proved impossible to re-lace.  Walking 15 miles in brand new boots in May, was not, however, the cleverest thing that I have ever done and the cuts, bruises and blisters did take a couple of weeks to heal fully.  When it comes to it, though, it is will power and determination that will ensure that we complete the challenge, even if our feet and ankles are covered in plasters.

For me, as well, a knee operation will mean that I will have my knee strapped up, but with a walking stick this is not going to stop me.  I would hope that an air ambulance is not required as that would be embarrassing.

The key driver, however, is not just the challenge for us, but also that we are doing it for such a great organisation and cause in Rainbows.  Some of the firm have visited the hospice and met their team, people with a fantastic positive attitude, which shines through.  So, given that, how can we fail?

A focus for my colleagues

It was easy to come up with the idea and the charity and apart from the training and walk itself, I have not been required to do a great deal more, as my colleagues have taken up the organisation and planning of the task.  You cannot see a better way to improve organisation and management than this really.  All planned, with itineries and equipment lists and timings and briefings, drivers and minibus transfers all sorted and agreed with Woods Coaches.  Nothing less expected from trained and qualified accountants and business advisers.

The selfish gene

Yes, we get PR out of what we are doing.  We do not see this as selfish really.  It is positive PR, for us, for all of the team, for Rainbows, our adopted charity.  For those that may find this tasteless, and actually we do not see many, we are still doing something positive.  Rainbows are a positive bunch of people and they really want other involved to publicise what they do with them as it is great PR for them as well.  They need to keep in the public eye, as they need to continually to raise money to keep operating and doing such a great job.  They do not get anywhere near enough government support to operate and they rely on continuous fund raising.

If all of this is selfish, I certainly have a clear conscience.

Please help us support Rainbows

The final countdown begins as we tackle the three peaks on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of September.  Through other events and initiatives throughout the year, we are well on course to raising £10,000 for Rainbows and we want to make sure that we do that.

If you would like to help, you can make a donation through our Just Giving site at http://www.justgiving.com/company/mgchayles and as a final word from accountants, we would like to say that it is tax deductible, so ever more of a reason to make a donation, oh and time to consider what we should do next.

Written by Steven Mugglestone

September 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

A view from the accountants closest to Richard III

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Well, it seems that that the “War of the Roses II, This Time It’s Tourism” has well and truly commenced, but it is Leicestershire, rather than the usual Lancashire that the State of Yorkshire has declared war on, yes we know that they won more Olympic Gold medals than Australia.

As MGC Hayles and having an office in Castle Street, Leicester, which is only a few hundred yards away from the Richard III grave site and current exhibition, we see ourselves as the closest accountants and business advisers to Richard III and feel that we should be allowed to comment

Richard III has been part of Leicester for over 500 Years
For those who have lived in Leicester, Richard III has been part of the very fabric and history of the county for over 500 Years. He is such a part of the county that we live in that we just accept that Richard III is Leicester history and actually part of the county itself.
From the Bosworth Battlefield and visitor centre and the annual re-enactment of the battle, through the names of the roads, bridges and even schools, Richard III is all over the place.

As a partner in MGC Hayles in Leicester, I live relatively close the office and, when not required to go elsewhere, I leave the car at home and walk to the office. Walking past King Richards Road (the route to the Bosworth Battlefield) and a sign for the Richard III Infants School, you cross the bridge where, supposedly, an old woman cursed him before the battle and on return from the battle, his head was dragged on the bridge. A plaque on a bridge, stating that near the site lie the remains of Richard III, proved nearly to be correct. As you approach the centre of Leicester, you also pass Castle Park, the site of the original medieval castle, where there is a statue of Richard III holding aloft a crown in the famous Shakespearian pose. Pubs near the site of the dig and Leicester Cathedral have names such as Richard III and The Last Plantagenet. When you look, you see that Richard III and Leicestershire are absolutely linked.

It is not until the discovery the king’s remains and the potential argument about where the remains should be returned that you actually realise and see how much the life and story of Richard III is linked with Leicester and how much of Leicester today carries references to Richard III.

Who are the Last Plantagenets (or the Plantagenet Alliance)
Michael Ibsen was the direct descendant of Richard III who provided the sample DNA that confirmed that the skeleton was the remains of the former king. (Leicester University also discovered and developed the use of DNA in the 1980s as well, for those who did not know). You could argue that without Leicester University, Richard III would not only have not been found but also he would not have been scientifically confirmed as the king either.

The group claiming the rights to the remains and a judicial review to decide the matter are known as the Plantagenet Alliance and have a website http://kingrichardcampaign.org.uk/ and a Limited company called Plantagenet Alliance Limited. This company was incorporated in March 2013. They claim that as descendants, the lifetime wish of Richard III was to be buried in York. This seems to be all very rushed and new and not really reflecting the 500 years of history that Leicestershire has had with Richard.

Leicester University seemed to have to have worked quiet hard to trace a DNA line to Michael Ibsen, who himself, supports the remains of the king being kept in Leicester. He is the only DNA tested link, but according to others, http://www.robeastaway.com/blog/great-uncle-richard there could be as many as 17 million descendants of the former king. Is this, therefore, relevant at all, as we are hardly talking about close relatives?

Richard III has already been buried at a church
For those who have followed the developments and the history, Richard III was not originally buried in a car park. He was buried in a church. The church of Greyfriars was a friary under the Franciscan order (started by Francis of Assisi for those who care) and Richard was buried in the choir area in the church. Given the order of monks at the time, it was likely that this was a funeral service as well. The church was demolished following the dissolution of monasteries, at the time of Henry VIII. The name Grey Friars and Friar Lane remain.
The point being is that Richard III has already been buried in Leicester at a church service. I am not sure that anyone has the rights or inclination to ask that their long passed relatives should be dug up and buried nearer to them, just because you find out that they were quite famous.

What about the car park fees?
Leicester City Council now own the site and car park where the remains of Richard II were found, in a car park and ironically under a space marked “R”. You could say that this clearly was a space reserved for a Richard and a King.

Now according to the Bank of England, average inflation rates from 1793, when records began, to date have been around 2%, and for those interest they peaked in the periods between 1793 and 1815 at 36%, when Britain was at war with France.

Now I think that a penny or so a day for the early years would be a fair car park fee and with inflation, assuming a similar rate going back to 1485. Given compound interest at the 2% rate, then over the last 527 years, this would probably amount to about £8.5million. Now given the administration involved and the obvious penalties for non-payment and collection fees, I think that this easily could be double that, so the obvious question is, who is going to pay the £17million!!

Also, as many would argue, given that possession is said to be nine tenths of the law and that the whole of Leicestershire’s history and tourism in respect of the connection with Richard III, the Bosworth Battlefield, King Richards Road, King Richard’s bridge, the statue, the place where he has been buried for 527 years, then one can see an argument for significant future loss of revenue. £17million could easily become £30million plus.

Why, as accountants and business advisers, do we care so much about long past history and the remains of someone who lived over 500 years ago. Well, we are part of the economy and business community in Leicestershire and we see Richard III as being part and parcel of the fabric of the county, the same as Nottinghamshire and Robin Hood or Warwickshire and Shakespeare. It has been recognised that Richard III was always buried somewhere in Leicester and this has been proved correct. There is a feeling that the history should remain with Leicester and that any other claims are only somewhat opportunist and are not recognising the historic bond that Leicestershire has had with Richard III for all of those years.

We, therefore, are supporting Leicester University, Leicester Cathedral and the Mayor of Leicester in the campaign to keep the remains of Richard III in Leicester shire and within Leicester Cathedral. He has lay in the shadow of Leicester cathedral for over 500 years and really this should continue. The only difference is that we now know for sure that Richard III is buried in Leicester.

The story of Leicester and Richard III

Sign the e-petition to keep Richard III in Leicester

Richard III and Leicester Cathedral

 

 

Written by Steven Mugglestone

August 27, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Business Challenges that raised over £5,000 for Rainbows Hospice for children and young people

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MGC Hayles, the independent firm of Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers with an office in Leicester, are partnering Rainbows Hospice for children and young people as their chosen charity and are carrying out a number of fund raising initiatives throughout the year.

As the business has recently merged, Leicester based director, Steven Mugglestone, split the business into seven groups and to help with both business skills and team-working, similar to challenges in The Apprentice, gave each team £100 as a business start-up loan, with a time limit of seven weeks to create one or more businesses to make money, legally and report back in a presentation to all of the company at the end of June.

All of the teams at least doubled their money, with selling initiatives from ice creams, plants to books through to winning two bets on football matches.  One team hosted a quiz night, obtaining prizes from businesses throughout Leicestershire.  Another team went about selling breakfasts, renting out car park spaces and running a stall on Leicester market and perhaps the most ambitious of all the teams hosted a networking Indian banquet for 120 guests, including the Leicester Asian Business Association, the chair of Leicestershire county council, the Leicester Riders and representatives from Air India, all of this done within six weeks, whilst the staff also carried out their day jobs.

In total the challenges raised over £5,300, which is all to be donated to Rainbows.

Leicester director, Steven Mugglestone, commented.  “I think that is fair to say that this proved not only to be a great success for Rainbows, but also for our team and the lessons they have learnt, not only in teamwork, but how quite a lot of the time, you have to ask for help from so many others to make business work.  The only negative though, is that this was started by me asking for seven volunteers, who were to become the team leaders, which I got within 10 minutes.  I doubt if I will get such a quick response to the same request again.

 

Written by Steven Mugglestone

July 8, 2013 at 7:37 am

Help us raise over £2,500 for Rainbows on 4 July and enjoy yourself doing it:

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We understand that times are still tough for many businesses and individuals, but we know that things are far tougher for many others, which is why we have chosen Rainbows Hospice as our charity partner and we have made a commitment to them to continue to raise funds.

Rainbows are helping our business by being a focus of team work and business ideas as our team prepare for a Three Peaks Challenge, as well as developing business ideas through our business challenges.

In return, we are raising funds throughout the year and our next fund-raising event is the promotion of a concert for Rainbows on Thursday 4th July at 7.30pm at the Fraser Noble Concert Hall, Leicester University.

Performed by the Tudor Choir, who are one of Leicestershire’s leading working choirs, joined by children from the Pastures Primary School in Leicester and hosted with the help of BBC Radio Leicester, the evening includes popular songs from some of the best known musicals and movies, performed by an award winning and very popular choir.

We are well on the way for ticket sales, but we are asking our clients, contacts and friends for their support to join us for the evening of songs, refreshments and a prize draw supported by the 2013 BBL Champions, the Leicester Riders Basket Ball team and Woods Coaches theatre trips.

Tickets are available from MGC Hayles on 0116 233 8500 and Woods Coaches on 0116 278 6374 and are available on the door, but we aim to sell out before then so please call and book your tickets now and help us raise over £2,500 for one evening and enjoy yourself doing so.

Have a great evening and help raise the much needed funds for Rainbows.

RainbowsConcert

Find out how social media can help build more sales for your business at our free breakfast seminar on 27th June at Leicester Tigers. For more details click HERE.

Written by Steven Mugglestone

June 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

A pro-active accountant is a business myth, experience is the real deal

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We have banned the word “pro-active” within our firm.  Why?  We share the initial intention and the sentiment and some of the practices.  We see it being key to our clients’ success and vital to how we operate, together providing our skills and experience to achieve that.

We see the “P” word, however, as being a con, a myth and really only a buzz phrase and a shelter that many accountants can hide behind.  Many should own up, they are accountants, nothing less, but nothing more.

What is the difference?  Well, we are not dependent of never ending lists of 300 ways to do this or save that (created by third parties).  We have (each) two ears and one mouth, which we endeavour to utilise in that ratio.  We listen, we think, we advise and we act, drawing upon many years of business experience.

Business Experience (or the lack of it)

Many accountants have never worked in another business (or in a position to define or develop their own business) at all, yet most claim to be business advisers.  Many have also only worked within the same accountancy firm, or similar.  A significant number as well, have not only just worked within the same firm, they have only worked with the same people, learning their ways and practices as well as their approaches.  Limited, very.

Is this important?  They are accountants, they see and work with other businesses, and surely this does not matter.  They have qualifications, they are specialists, or so they claim.  They centre their offering, however, as business advisers, not accountancy advisers and this is the issue.

Business Recruitment and Business Leadership

In every field from private sector business, public sector and even education, when choosing a leader or key member of a senior team, experience (and achievements) are paramount.  It is recognised that in order to deal with a leadership position you need to have “been it and done it”.  You need to understand what leadership is and you need to be able to define and deliver strategy and strategic change.  Experiences of differing situations and challenges, or differing management styles and people all contribute to how a leader will obtain and develop the appropriate skills to be an effective leader.  Experience, as well as how they contributed to the success; the changes; the developments.  From our own experience in business (and from observations in the education sector as well) continued problems, issues and potential failure tends to derive from in-experienced teams of people and in particular where senior members of the team or the leader themselves have never worked elsewhere and have gone through the ranks internally.  We are not saying all of the time, but common enough to be a very significant issue.

If this experience is so crucial in so many areas, why do we accept a so called business adviser to be a key part of business, when they have little or no real business experience?

The well reported problems with accountants’ succession

It is well reported throughout the accountancy press that succession is a major problem facing many independent and larger firms.  Apart from issues of finance, it is also reported that many accountancy businesses do not have either the “up and coming” business leaders or the skills required to take on and lead the future development of those businesses.

So what?  Well, these are the very same people that are so called business advisers to other businesses.  A simple point is, if they do not have the skills to take on and develop their own business that they have grown up in, how on earth do they really have the skills to advise others.  The simple answer is that they do not.

Basking in the “Brand”

Many accountants who work within the major firms can be lulled into believing that they are great business advisers as that is what their brand is seen to be.  (We talk from past experience).  The issue here is that people buy people and it is the experiences of the people that are key.  Many senior directors and partners in a number of large firms have never worked anywhere else.  They have never managed or been part of any external business project.  They have never managed change or played any key part in defining the real development of their own business. They have never been part of a business and faced the challenges of being in business.  Many are so de-skilled that they would struggle with the basics, let alone face the challenges that many finance directors are working through on a daily basis.

Given all of this, is it acceptable that they should put themselves forward as real business advisers to their clients.  The answer is the same.  There is a lot of smoke and mirrors when it comes to business advisers and what is really being provided to the client.

We are not providing the solution here, only asking the question

We have not highlighted how we help to define and develop our clients’ businesses with them, as for the sake of brevity, that is not the point of this article. We have in other articles.  We see, however, that real support comes from clear leadership and drawing upon real experiences to provide practical solutions to our clients’ business challenges as well as our own.

Many of our directors have significant business experience, gained from working with and within a variety of business carrying out differing projects and roles.

We share those experiences and our skills with our clients and our team.  We believe that our team should also be developed with real business experience.  We see this a central to providing our clients with real “pro-active” business advice.

We have, however, banned the “P” word and replaced it with an “E” word ……. “Experience”.

Join us in support of Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People:

 

 

Written by Steven Mugglestone

June 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized