This week’s blogs: too cool for school

I hope my colleagues don’t mind if I keep humming ‘School’s Out For Summer’
by Alice Cooper. Yes, at long last, I’ve passed my final case study. And not
only do I never again have to sit another exam (and what a satisfying feeling
that is), I am also set up for life! Well, that might be an exaggeration, but
that’s the sort of sunny mood I’m in.

It’s funny to think that I am now a fully qualified chartered accountant.
Joining this select group of respected people feels like one of those
achievements that are milestones in your life, and it was a particular relief to
learn that a bowler hat and black umbrella are no longer compulsory parts of the
uniform. We are even allowed to be interesting these days, apparently.

Anyway, now that the world is at my feet, my initial plan is to try and get a
secondment within my firm.

At the moment, corporate recovery looks like a good bet, not just because the
economic crisis is causing something of a boom in that area of business, but
also because the work itself looks interesting, varied and you get to help
struggling businesses back on their feet. It sounds like a good way to get job
satisfaction, doesn’t it?

Daniel Chown, qualified CA at PKF

There is renewed hope that LDV could yet be rescued, with a number of ‘very
credible parties’ bidding. One factor that might encourage retention in the UK
is LDV’s special vehicles operation, which makes tailored vans for customers
such as Royal Mail, on the track without the delay and cost of converting
finished vehicles.

But, if a better offer comes from someone planning to rip out the Maxus
presses and tooling and shift it all abroad, that’s what will happen. The
administrator wants to claw back as much money as they can; they are not paid to
have consciences, no matter how much they might want a happy outcome for LDV,
its 850 employees and suppliers.

This raises the wider question of whether the UK has the right institutional
arrangements in place for dealing with these situations, though this is not to
question the professionalism and skill of the PwC administrators.

The point here is that there is no evaluation of the public interest in the
UK’s administration process in terms of jobs and economic development. All in
all, we need a review of how well the administration process works and whether
we can learn from procedures elsewhere. The danger is that without such a
change, we will continue to lose viable companis that might have been saved.

Professor David Bailey works at Coventry University
Business School

Related reading