Steven Mugglestone

The more I learn, the less I know

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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

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

Help yourself to free commentary and advice on the 2012 budget from McGregors:

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McGregors Corporate
, the Midlands based firm of entrepreneurial Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers work with Probiz Tax and have helped to provide a Free Summary of the main provisions of the 2012 Budget as outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 21st March 2012.

Please help yourself to a free PDF copy, Click:          Budget Report 2012

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA,
Finance Director Services
McGregors Corporate, Entrepreneurial Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers
…….Really good for your business

McGregors Corporate are a Member of Probiz Tax, providing Innovative Tax Solutions to Owner Managed Businesses.

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevenmugglestonefca/

T: 0845 519 5659                T: 0121 236 3317
steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk
steven@mcgregorsleicester.co.uk

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.

   

Written by Steven Mugglestone

March 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Posted in HMRC, Uncategorized

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Squeeze, Low Cost Accounts and Tax Service by Rock Star Accountants, launching soon:

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Squeeze, Low Cost Accounts and Tax Service by Rock Star Accountants, launching soon:

Together with Sage, McGregors Corporate are very proud and pleased to be associated with the launch and promotion of Squeeze, http://squeezeonline.co.uk/, an easy to use and low cost on-line accounts and tax solution for small and growing businesses.

Squeeze is an incredible low cost online accounts and tax service for sole traders, start-ups, sub-contractors and a variety of small and growing businesses.

Powered by and launched in partnership with Sage One, http://www.sageone.com/, Squeeze provides monthly on-line book-keeping, management accounts, instant reporting and seamless year-end accounts and tax returns.

Maintain your up to date business accounts, year-end accounts and tax returns, all in one place and for one low-cost monthly fee.

Always up to date and never miss a filing deadline, without having to send your books to an accountant. A powerful, easy, quick and, dare we say fun, way of managing your business.

Cloud based technology and accountancy and tax expertise working together to provide a low cost accounts and tax service solution for start-up businesses, sole-traders, sub-contractors, small and growing businesses in the UK.

http://squeezeonline.co.uk/

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA,
Finance Director Services
McGregors Corporate, Entrepreneurial Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers
…….Really good for your business

McGregors Corporate are a Member of Probiz Tax, providing Innovative Tax Solutions to Owner Managed Businesses.

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevenmugglestonefca/
http://twitter.com/McGsCorporate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhC0wlglePE
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/

T: 0845 519 5659                T: 0121 236 3317
steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.

Written by Steven Mugglestone

January 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Join us for a free Peninsula, Times & Telegraph Essential Employment Law Event: 1st December,

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Click link for booking details: Peninsula – 1st December – Radisson Blu

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA,
Finance Director Services
McGregors Corporate, Entrepreneurial Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers
…….Really good for your business

McGregors Corporate are a Member of Probiz Tax, providing Innovative Tax Solutions to Owner Managed Businesses.

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevenmugglestonefca/
http://twitter.com/McGsCorporate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhC0wlglePE
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/

T: 0845 519 5659                T: 0121 236 3317
steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.

Written by Steven Mugglestone

November 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Young Entrepreneurs in Leicester who want to listen to more Mature Entrepreneurs

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Young Entrepreneurs in Leicester who want to listen to more Mature Entrepreneurs

Leicester University Entrepreneurs Society is launching an event on May 19th at 6.30pm to bring together budding young entrepreneurs with more mature and experienced entrepreneurs to listen and hopefully learn.

The event is being promoted by McGregors Corporate, Chartered Accountants and GINEM, http://www.ginem.co.uk, the Growth Investment Network in the East Midlands.

SME/Owner managed businesses interested in attending the event, providing their time and experience (as well as promoting their own business) are being asked to contact Steven Mugglestone at McGregors, steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk.

The event is free to SME presenting businesses and they are being asked to bring a display of their business and to be prepared to be “grilled” by keen and eager young entrepreneurs who are looking to learn from their more senior counterparts.

The event is taking place at Leicester University on 19th May 2011.

steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk

T: 0845 519 5659
T: 0121 236 3317

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA, McGregors Corporate, More than just Accountants!

McGregors Corporate are a Member Of Probiz Tax.  We provide Innovative Tax Solutions to Owner Managed Businesses.  We are relentless in helping businesses.

We like to keep things simple, for ourselves and our clients;
We build our business by reducing our clients’ business and taxation costs;
We build our business by increasing our clients sales;
We build our business by helping our clients succeed in their business;
It is that simple and we meet you to discuss all these things for free;

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevenmugglestonefca/
http://twitter.com/McGsCorporate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhC0wlglePE
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/contact-us.html
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/

steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.

Written by Steven Mugglestone

February 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Does the FIFA World Cup Decision Surprise the Home of Britain’s Got Talent & The X Factor

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Does the FIFA World Cup Decision Surprise the Home of Britain’s Got Talent & The X Factor
(some lessons in business)

Most of us are all seriously upset at England not getting the World Cup for 2018 and (at least on the decision day) appear to be bemused at why FIFA chose Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022, when clearly England had by far the best bid.

Perhaps it is that FIFA and the way that it chooses where the World Cup is hosted has more similarities and areas in common to the business models of Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) and The X Factor (TXF).  As a business blog it may be interesting to review this area, as well as reflecting on how both organisations appear to have elements of democracy and group decision making, with both organisations headed by a strong and dominant Chief Executive.

The Business Model

I think that it is fair to say that BGT and TXF are business models and this can be outlined.  It is also fair to say that both BGT and TXF are not really talent competitions.  Whilst the winners have talent, the selection of the program does not necessarily choose talent, good singers, great performers, they are choosing contestants to make an entertaining program, some the strange and unusual, but many with a “back story”, the creation of ordinary person from Tesco/small Scottish village/family man/orphan/recent bereavement/you name it, the creation of a story to sell to the media is the powerful selling tool, central to the program’s success.  The consumers buy into the idea that BGT and TXF are searching for talent across the UK and we buy into the idea that the judging panel are seeking out this talent themselves, but anybody who has read Ben Elton’s Chart Throb will know, “Do the Maths,” and you quickly conclude that there is a serious level of embellishing the message,

What does that teach us about a successful business model?  It says that the initial purpose of the program, i.e. a show to identify the best talent, is second to the entertainment of the show itself and second to the creation of a powerful back story to sell to the consumers/customers the product and it is they who are paying for the product.

How does this business model compare to the business model of the FIFA World Cup.  I think there is possibly a key comparison that being the best does not mean at all that you will be included on the show.  FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, SB, reportedly had already said that England’s bid was practically faultless, yet England came last.

Perhaps like BGT and TXF, FIFA were not, and are not going to look for the best talent and the best bid, perhaps they are creating their show with the best back story to sell the World Cup product to the World Cup customers (the 208 FIFA member countries).  It is also fair to note that Australia had an incredibly strong bid for 2022, yet lost to Qatar, an oil state just over half the size of Wales (which apparently is a standard measurement for land area), with a population of 1.4m, no real football history, but lots of oil.  I am not intending to be political, just stick to the business model review.

So in comparison football talent or history is not what matters at all.  FIFA is possibly selling a back story for the world to consume, just as BGT and TXF does.  South Africa was a great back story and Russia appears to be another.  Cynically you could also go on to say, does that mean that the host will be in FIFAs pocket and at their beck and call in the future and will be dumped as soon as the next big thing comes along, just as BGT and TXF appears to do, get your 15 minutes of fame and fade away as soon as you no longer can produce money.  Well, I really would not like to comment on that one.

The destruction of future talent and desire

We all either know people or know people, who know people in the music industry in some form (6 degrees of separation would confirm that one).  People who I have spoken to have said that there is a genuine problem that that new bands and talent do not get spotted as they did in the past, by doing constant and gruelling gigs in small clubs and venues, and hoping that their agent/manager can get the appropriate talent scout and A&R person from a record label to spot the talent and sign them up.  Interestingly the very job that Simon Cowell, SC, had at EMI (but it helped that his dad was an executive at EMI at the time).

Many in the music industry are now openly saying that to get on, you have to be part of the whole reality TV and talent show route and doing the apprenticeship in clubs and small halls can no longer be seen as a sensible route to securing a record deal.  Rather than Britain’s got Talent or The X Factor, it can be seen that BTG is destroying Britain’s talent.

Is there an analogy to FIFA and world football here as well? Australia is an up and coming footballing nation, who I recall have beaten England 3-1 in 2003, but hopefully not at cricket this year.  How are they feeling losing to Qatar, who has never even been to a World Cup? Is this not stifling and restricting the development of football throughout the world.  Surely a country should get the World Cup as a developing footballing nation, not just because there is a good back story, or lots of oil (sorry no politics).

Interestingly there are comparisons here with SC and SB in that SB is pretty much a sports administration professional and has been involved in the development of a number of sports over a significant period.  Both of them used to develop the business and now control it and neither of them really had any significant professional interest in doing it, professional administrators being the key phrase, initially responsible for the development of talent, now controlling and owning it.

The overriding question, however is that, are both organisations actually destroying the talent that they rely on to trade in the future.

Control by Committee v Control by a Board

There is another interesting comparison as to how a business is run.  An SME owner managed business is generally driven and controlled by one person and everything that they say goes.

As a business becomes more complex and larger, with aims to progress beyond the OMB, that business has to take on more senior skills at a board level.  If the business wishes to become a large company or listed company or even to enhance the value to sell to a third party, the business has to be structured to trade without the all-encompassing control of the original owner manager.

The first introduction externally at a board level is probably a Finance Director, who will look to set areas for improvement covering support, operational and strategic areas and will look to structure the improvements in these areas, to be able to drive the business on http://wp.me/pQyUg-j.

Initial challenges and pressures can present themselves at this point as the owner manager sometimes faces robust challenges to their decisions and direction for the first time within their business.  The key point that this is leading to, is that as a business progresses and becomes larger and more developed, its systems and senior management team become more developed.  A full established and advanced board of directors will seek to drive the business as a board, making decisions as a board, setting strategy as a board and utilising their complimentary skills, as a board.

The next question and observation is to look at an organisation controlled and lead by committee and it sometimes can be very different.  Decisions are not necessarily made by the contribution of the unique skills of each member contributing to the strategic direction of a business, whilst each member in turns leads the area that they are uniquely responsible for.  Leadership by committee tends to be either by majority of opinion or by a controlling chair making all of the strategic decisions, with the committee only playing a supportive role.

Another comparison then, well both BGT and FIFA wish to appear to be democratic.  They both want to look as if a group of specialist and key individuals are combining their skills and knowledge to lead the organisation.  However, it appears that the latter structure highlighted above is how both organisations operate, with their own chairs/chief executives in SB and SC making all of the strategic decisions with the committee only in support.  At a smaller local level, you sometimes see this in the operation of school governing bodies or parish councils with the will of the chair to take the decisions wherever they like, with no opposition or real debate from the remainder of the committee who in many occasions may not have the skill set to challenge the chair.  Could SB and SC be the despot in this analogy and could they be using the committee structure to look as if there is a democratic decision, possibly, either way it is not really the way a successful and sustainable business operates.  As a business it has more in common with an owner managed business than an advanced public company.

Fooling some of the people, some of the time

An entrepreneur does not necessarily create something new or gives the market what it wants all of the time.  An entrepreneur spots an opportunity in the market to exploit and makes money and may well recognise that this may not last forever.  All products have a life cycle.  Businesses have to either re-invent or change to continue to be successful.

There are some key and famous sayings that come to mind that include a lesson here.  The saying, “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time,” is sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but actually was said by PT Barnum, the circus showman and entrepreneur.  PT Barnum is also attributed to saying that there is a sucker born every day, but apparently he himself denied that one.  Both are pretty relevant.

What is the lesson here, well in BGT and TXF we have a business that is doing its best to fool most of the people, most of the time and there appears to be cracks appearing in the business model, which may lead to either business failure or change of strategy.  Chinks in TXF armour have recently been exploited by Facebook campaigns to ensure that Rage against the Machine became Christmas number 1 in 2009 and this year ensured that Wagner continued on the show, long past his original use.  Given this, there is evidence that the public and consumers are fighting back and this may continue.  As Barnum says, you can’t fool all of the people, all of the time.

Is this going to happen to FIFA and its leader SB, given recent comments made by the UK sporting media (and not just Panorama or the Sunday Times), this possibly could happen.  The customers of FIFA are the individual member countries, 208 member countries represented by 22 committee members for the selection of the World Cup.

A Facebook campaign as the consumer strikes back may ultimately change the business model for TXF and BGT; 208 member countries of FIFA are a far more powerful consumer and if directed could well start the changes to the FIFA business model as well.

Light-hearted but pertinent business observations written whilst recovering from man-flu

Steven Mugglestone BA FCA
Director
McGregors Corporate

We like to keep things simple, for ourselves and our clients;
We build our business by reducing our clients’ business and taxation costs;
We build our business by increasing our clients sales;
We build our business by helping our clients succeed in their business;
It is that simple and we meet you to discuss all these things for free;

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/stevenmugglestonefca/
http://twitter.com/McGsCorporate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhC0wlglePE
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/contact-us.html
http://www.mcgregorscorporate.co.uk/

T: 0845 519 5659
T: 0121 236 3317

steven@mcgregorsbirmingham.co.uk

Connect, call, talk, email, contact us, send a messenger pigeon and arrange a discussion, review and free meeting.

Written by Steven Mugglestone

December 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm