I think you need to compare the struggling client against "Industry norms", although, as others have noted there can be a million and 0ne permutations of how the financials pan out.
Better to identify specific issues that can be addressed within the company - some will jump out!. Benchmarking against another company is useful but to be effective you need their co-oporation as well as permission for anything specific, otherwise your back to generic data from published results (no one can stop you benchmarking against published accounts!)
Take your time over the job spec - be specific and realistic about what you want the candidate to be able to do.
Research the renumeration package for that level - the calibre of candidate will reflect this more than anything.
Talk honestly to the agencies and ask their advice re both of the above.
Ask yourself "would I be interested in this job when I was at that level?"
Test them at interview, devise a test based on the type of work you'll expect them to be doing.
And ask probing questions and make notes.
Finally I find it's good to have 2 interviewees and review afterwards. you'll each pick up different things.
Oh Dear - the old "pay this into another account" scam is all too common. Often in the form of "urgent payment...", "secret project..."
These people are sophisticated fraudsters and your email may not have been compromised at all.
Also changing the bank details is a common form of fraud
The client should have confirmed the bank account for the sake of a phone call!
As others have suggested - obtain a copy of the original email they acted upon and give all info to the banks, police etc. Unfortunately the chances of actually getting the money back at this stage are slim at best.
You should ask Agent 2 for your money back
1st to introduce gets the fee - simples
Just tell Agent 2 that Agent 1 introduced the candidate first so gets the fee.
I would also tell them off for not checking with the candidate whether they had been introduced already!
It's embarrassing for the candidate and a waste of time for the client when 2 agents send the same candidate - some play the speculative, "send it in and hope to be first"
When you employ staff you have to take the time to train them, set reasonable expectations and targets. This depends on what level they are at.
Be realistic about what they are capable of - and think back to when you were new. The learning curve is a big thing and years of experience = faster work.
Give them freedom to do things their way, as long as there isn't / doesn't need to be a fixed way of doing things, you never know, they may surprise you with a better way!
Expect questions! that's how people learn, be open to questions and take the time to answer them. If someone is continually asking the same questions then that is an issue that needs to be addressed. Personally I get concerned if a new employee doesn't have questions!
Generally you'd consolidate in the HO Home Currency and to HO home standards
Most multinationals would have converted to IFRS by now
As long as your primary record keeping is granular enough, you can report to multiple standards and reconcile between them - a bit of a faff, but doable
If you're using office 365 then consider sharepoint
It's part of the sub, and has user control etc.
I use Dropbox currently for my personal but have used Sharepoint, onedrive and Google drive in various office environments.
Whichever you go for, you'll need to weigh up the convenience / security / accessability of whether you sync to your machine or not
Sync'd is good if your interned is slow, or you're regularly offline. however you have a local copy to deal with if the machine is hacked or stolen
A purely online fileserver can be a pain if your files are big or if your internet is slow or flakey.
With a decent internet you can use an online service as a fileserver
As for Payroll Manager - you need to check whether it needs a mapped network drive, or if it is happy to work directly on a cloud service - that may dictate your choices
You need the terms of the loan
If the company hasn't got a copy the Lender will have if it is a commercial loan.
If (e.g. because it's not a commercial loan) there is an absence of paperwork, assume that the whole loan is payable on demand, therefore repayable in full within one year.
If you/they have started the MTD signup process then you're stuck because you can't go back to the old system
Get hold of all needed info, especially the Client date of Registration, because you cannot complete the signup without it and it "disappears" from the website as soon as you start the MTD Signup
Make sure that both you and your client do not use MS Edge for any of the link signing/sending. Chrome and Firefox are ok, but there are know "issues" with Edge.
Once the scheduled downtime is over try again, but be prepared to phone HMRC and explain the problem to them.
That's where I am with an April client - stuck until HMRC fixes it!