Member Since: 19th Mar 2012
14th Jun 2019
"Buy Land - they're not making any more of it" - Mark Twain.
The idea of a Land Development tax has been touted by Fred Harrison (Boom Bust, House proces, banking and the depression 2010), amonngst others; on the basis that much of the increase in property prices is due to the building of local facilities such as schools, hospitals etc.
He also mentions that property prices go in 18 year cycles.
I point this out for information, not to accept or propose his viewpoint. Understanding his proposal is one thing, but how does this proposal deal with families who may be asset rich, and cash poor?
An example being a retired couple who bought a property many years ago that has appreciated considerable, but who are now retired and living on a modest pension.
I accept that the deposit required to own a property in much of the UK makes it tremendously difficult, but I challenge the extent that a land tax could be an effective or ethical way to make home ownership easier.
We shall see if Harrison's trend continues, but interest rate policy alone should not be the sole tool to control land inflation.
The New Zealanders, Danes and Swiss have taken their own steps to try and prevent this type of land bubble. My suggestion is we do the same, alongside reviewing the inheritance tax laws around using agricultural land as a means of avoiding inheritance tax.
A full register of named individuals who own property or land (and where they are domiciled) may also be a starting point.
28th Feb 2019
Oh dear. Well, they're not the first and won't be the last. For the rest of us poor hacks, at least we can try 'FAST' financial modelling principles (Flexible, Appropriate, Structured & Transparent).
This at least is one way of keeping such errors (hopefully) to a minimum!
Either that, or send a ton of cash on consultants to tell us what we should already know ...
15th Jun 2017
The first and most important consideration in spreadsheet design is to ensure that is complies with industry-standard 'Fast' principles. (Flexible, Appropriate, Structured & Transparent).
Basically, no formulas longer than the end of your thumb, and no formula should take longer than 30 seconds to explain.
Avoid overly-complex formulas, and invest time up-front on the design and structure.
Too often I've seen spreadsheets that fail to follow these principles. It always ends in tears!
3rd Nov 2016
Oh dear, this is a tragedy for the staff and customers of the Co-Op, whose future is more uncertain now.
As the senior finance professional at the Co-Op Mr Tootell has been sanctioned, but this smells like another setback for the audit profession in that both the financial controls in place and relevant checks were nowhere near strong enough.
June's Cima magazine, 'FM', discusses risk management and appropriate controls. A case of 'after the horse has bolted' for the Co-Op, but a reminder that any organisation pursuing short term goals over long-term stability plays with fire ...
15th Jul 2016
Unfortunately, spreadsheet errors are all too common. The ease of use of Excel, time pressures and poor spreadsheet design all contribute to many a howler.
With specialised reporting software preferable but expensive, a good place to start is in embedding 'FAST' principles into spreadsheet methodology from the very start. (Flexible, Accurate, Structured & Transparent). See www.fast-standard.org.
This isn't a panacea for all reporting problems, but is a great way to start in keeping things simple and straightforward. Some of the FTSE 100 have still not heard of this, so there's some way yet to go!
From Richard Lambert, Cima member in Derbyshire.