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Due diligence – Avoiding Fool’s Gold

Due diligence is a vital part of business culture nowadays, and the term itself is telling of it’s importance. The investigation of an individual or a business prior to signing a contract, for many businesses which demand a certain standard of care – due diligence is perhaps the only way to truly know what’s on the cards – much less know if your investment is too good to be true.

A good accountant in North Wales and beyond will investigate a number of factors as part of acquisition analysis, whether it’s an industry-specific acquisition or asset based. This can involve a number of factors, and the process is absolutely and entirely different depending on the company which they are taking a closer look at on your behalf, but the most basic of everything to look for is a good, long look at the employment records of your new purchase.

For instance, looking at the types of employees within the company itself indicates the varying functionality of the company, such as production, materials management, accounting, treasury, and so on. Key employees will usually crop up during this investigation, as will customer linkage, pay history, and most importantly, pay freezes. As a buyer of a business, you’re more than entitled to know if there’s any past problems with the business that have led to financial difficulty.

Furthermore, a good accountant can find if there’s any employment agreements such as a certain amount of severance pay should a company decide to terminate their employment. This of course will still stand even under your company, so it’s best you know of any issues before they become them. Knowledge is, after all, power.

Risk can be easily identified by a good accountant as part of due diligence, as well. A good accountant will be able to determine if there are any factors such as discrimination claims and injury records. This is of course highly important – discrimination claims can enable you to see where risk lies within your new investment, and in the case of there being an excess, whether or not your brand new management team all need retraining, or whether or not you can isolate the occurrences to an individual.

In manufacturing environments, injury records are absolutely vital for the information they can provide. Should your accountant find that the new business suffers an inordinately high proportion of injuries and/or workers compensation appears to be excessive, you’ll likely be advised to bring in a safety expert to view the company's’ facilities.

As you can see, there’s a wealth of knowledge to be found in something as simple as a company's’ employment records, and the services of an excellent accountant can enable you to go into a situation with both eyes truly open.  


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