This week’s blogs: how to lose friends

Last month, the Business and Enterprise Committee, appointed by the House of
Commons and made up of a number of MPs, published its report on the workings of
Companies House.

A strong recommendation was made that Companies House should take steps ‘as a
matter of urgency’ to explain to the public that it cannot guarantee the
accuracy of information there. They go on to say ‘It is understandable, but
wrong, that some users of its services assume that, because CH is an agency of
government, its data can be relied upon to be authoritative. It cannot.

Fraudsters have known about this lack of validation at CH for some time now,
and have bombarded the agency with fictitious balance sheets, directorships and
registered office changes in order to fool the public and unsuspecting

There are several low cost credit agencies that don’t do this and literally
take Companies House data in good faith and attach a credit rating to it. Don’t
be fooled. It could cost you thousands.

Martin Williams, MD of Graydon UK

I’m just listening live to a Financial Director web seminar entitled ‘Future
Shock: Creating the No Surprises Enterprise’. Up now is the ever-excellent HSBC
economist Mark Berrisford Smith.

He has been warning of the difficulties in creating accurate forecasting.
Everyone in business will agree with that. Nowhere is it harder than forecasting
exchange rates, he says.

And Berrisford Smith’s advice? ‘Give a rate, give a date, never both.’ That’s
an adage that has a wider application than just exchange rates, though it’s an
approach that, used too often round the boardroom table, will lose you friends
and influence.

Damian Wild is publisher and editor-in-chief of
Accountancy Age

We’re going to see some quite extraordinary marginal tax rates going forward.

If you treat NI as nothing other than disguised tax, as income levels
increase we’ll be looking
at 0% below the NI threshold, 11.5% between the NI threshold and the personal
allowance, 30.5%
to the National Insurance upper rate band, then 41.5% up to £100K taxable, then
61.5% on
the next £6K, back to 41.5% for the next £34K, back up to 61.5% for the next
£6K, back
to 41.5% for £4K, and then finally 46.5%.

Progressive taxation? Or just another example of ill-considered policy making
on the hoof?

Peter Rogol, Goodman Jones

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