Opinion – David Cameron gets Angela Merkel’s backing on ‘two-speed’ EU and treaty changes – Europe – World – The Independent – John Gelmini

Dr Alf’s prognosis of the situation is spot-on, when he says it is early days and that David Cameron will have to keep his powder dry as he attempts to negotiate a better deal within the EU.

In the past, I have been harshly critical of his negotiating ability and his lack of focus on things that matter in that he used to “look into things” and come back empty handed.

During the election and since he seems to have developed some fire in his belly, so for now he deserves the benefit of the doubt in this attempt. If it fails after a solid attempt without fudging, then the UK needs to look at more radical solutions to its future, like becoming an offshore tax haven, probably cutting down the monarchy to basics and operating like a cross between Lichtenstein and Singapore.

If it succeeds, then the Monarchy still needs to be “right sized” in my view but we have to start trading much more globally, so that never again are we so dependent on Europe.

John Gelmini

Accountants can be entrepreneurial too, honest – Seymour Lightman

English: Diagram showing overview of cloud com...

English: Diagram showing overview of cloud computing including Google, Salesforce, Amazon, Axios Systems, Microsoft, Yahoo & Zoho (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

office of Jacob Fugger; with his main-accounta...

office of Jacob Fugger; with his main-accountancy M. Schwarz (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In early 2014, I took the decision to couple my passion for fraud prevention with a long-held aspiration to start my own boutique practice. I began studying for the Certified Fraud Examiner qualification and achieved full accreditation in July 2014. Not long after that I founded Probe Forensics.

Since then a great deal has happened. Like anyone starting up a business, I’ve had my fair share of false dawns and 20-20 hindsight moments (I’ll be blogging all about them over the coming months right here on Linked-in for those who’re interested), but I’m pleased to report that I’ve done my best to either ignore or learn from them and me and the business are still here and in one piece and in fact in rude health.

Why such rude health?

Well, for one thing I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that I am the lead forensic accountant on a number of criminal fraud investigations and my work has been warmly praised by counsel (apologies for bragging, but anyone who has chanced their arm at acquiring a new technical skill halfway through a professional career will know how gratifying it is to convert their aspiration into a paycheque and how much sweeter still that paycheque feels when the person writing it does so with a smile).

For another, I’ve developed a (completely unexpected) passion for cloud accounting technology, so much so that it has kind of taken over my business, if not my life. Actually, it’s not the tech I’m passionate about per se (although Xero do make it easy to fall in love with their software), but the exciting possibilities this technology opens up for small businesses and those accountants who embrace change and are prepared to redefine how they add value for clients in this brave new internet-based world of ours.

Fast forwarding to now, I’ve rebranded/restructured my practice into The Numbers Factory. Got loads to say about it and what it means to be a cloud-based accounting practice and why this is an unqualified good thing for start-ups and SMEs (for big businesses too, but maybe not just yet), so watch out for my blog posts to come. Meanwhile, please check out: www.thenumbersfactory.co.uk.

Seymour Lightman