Nick Levine is a Freelance Journalist who lives in North London. He's worked and consulted for a range of Alternative Finance and Crowdfunding businesses and helped some of London's leading restaurants to raise capital.
He is a contributor to Elite Traveler, Economia Magazine, Wired UK, Food Service Consulting, Real Business and Conde Nast publications. His opinion has been sought in The Guardian, The Times, The Evening Standard and Business Zone. He is also a mystery reviewer for an array of high end restaurants and hotels around London.
Always open to new writing assignments. Commission me by emailing: [email protected]
Accountants have undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, thanks in part to the invisible revolution of application programming interfaces or APIs. While accountants don't need to learn how to code or be technically proficient in API mechanics, it is worth learning the basics to understand the role they play in accounting processes.
While accountants are busy by nature, and in particular around self-assessment season in January, a new calendar year creates an opportunity for finance professionals to plan must-attend events for the year ahead. Taking time out to attend accounting or business events can be: Additionally, the importance of attending events has been heightened in recent years due to technological developments within accounting and broader business processes.
Over the last decade, the leading cloud accounting software providers have spawned rich and diverse ecosystems featuring hundreds of different functional add-ons. Between them, the Xero and QuickBooks app marketplaces feature close to 1,000 apps. Typically these add-ons focus on a single task: for example cashflow forecasting, receipt scanning or invoice chasing.
The time and effort that it takes to find and hire employees can be significant for high growth technology businesses. However, holding onto workers is even harder. The job for life no longer exists, and increasingly the millennial workforce seeks to move around in their career or in many instances prefer to start their own businesses after a few years experience.
Taking on your first employee can be daunting, but is a task that must be overcome for businesses that have ambition to grow. Hiring employees will allow you to be able to focus on what you are best at, as opposed to being a generalist covering all areas of the business.
Reconciliation is an accounting process which SMB owners and their accountants need to perform to ensure that the correct balances are recorded within their accounts. The task requires comparing two pieces of data - typically one created internally and the second by a third party such as a bank, supplier or customer - and ensuring that they match up to give the same value on a specific date.
Measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is critical for the management of small businesses to understand their overall health and how realistic their company goals are. Whilst every small business is unique, based on their location, sector and size, there is a common set of financial KPIs small businesses can use to regularly assess and better understand both the long and short term prospects of a company.
Back in 1983, the iconic Harvard Business Review published the five developmental stages that still apply to start-ups over 35 years later. Whether your company is launching a new app with minimal staff and infrastructure to consider, or a day-care nursery with over ten employees in a sprawling building, these are the five main life cycles that most small businesses encounter and the obstacles each bring into play.
Loveshark is an innovative UK based social augmented reality (an interactive experience of a real-world environment) games company, who describe themselves as "making camera games for Generation Z." The company, founded by Tara Reddy and Sam Weekes in 2018, have been working with Barnes & Scott for over a year.
Research & Development (R&D) tax credits were first introduced in 2000 (for SMEs) and 2002 for larger companies. The scheme is hugely popular ( recent stats reveal that HMRC currently pay out £1.8bn of R&D tax credits to SMEs annually ), due to being a generous and effective form of reducing corporation tax, or as a means of non-equity financing for early-stage companies who are sustaining losses.
iwoca has been partnered with accounting software platform Xero since 2017. As one of the app exhibitors at its recent UK roadshow series, we got up close and personal with a number of our accounting partners, as well as being able to keep up to date with the software's latest developments.
Pricing models explained and top tips for a winning pricing strategy
Brought to you by Propel by Deloitte Measuring KPIs can be beneficial for high-growth businesses in order to allow them to see whether they are hitting overall company targets, alongside providing investors and senior team members with up-to-date management information.
With the end of the tax year fast approaching (April 5), there is a timely opportunity for high-growth companies seeking finance to become assured for the government's SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) and EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) tax schemes.
An unfortunate reality of the construction industry is the difficulty of managing their cash flow and getting paid on time. In a sector responsible for 6% of UK GDP, these cash flow gaps can have far-reaching consequences for the economy. Guest writer Nick Levine weighs in on what could solve this pernicious problem, and get ...
Upon arrival at Café Hampstead, guests enter an elegant dining room adorned with deep green velvet chesterfield sofas, while skylight roofing provides a bright and airy feel. There is also the presence of counter top dining facing the open-plan kitchen, nestled towards the back of the restaurant away from the buzz of the ground floor bar.
Ted Nash has been active in entrepreneurship since his early teens. His interest in enterprise was piqued as a pre-teen by encountering a neighbour who was just a few years older than himself, and ran an online affiliate marketing company called Veoda.
On the face of it the range of funding options for early stage startups could seem pretty limited. If they are under two years old then debt funding, other than startup loans, might not be accessible to them. Alternatively, there is the option to sell equity.
Nick Levine is ICAEW's new Head of Enterprise, taking over from Clive Lewis, who was in the role for 25 years. In his first monthly contribution to London Accountant, Nick introduces himself and what he hopes to achieve from the role.
Cash flow forecasting is the lifeblood of early stage and high-growth companies. Typically, the profile of these businesses will mean that they are not yet profit-generating, and in some instances may be pursuing a strategy of growing their top line revenues in place of being focused on their profitability.
The UK’s love affair with dining out is showing no signs of wavering post-Brexit. A CBI report released in August revealed that spending on services grew over the previous three months. A large proportion of this was attributed to restaurants and bars.
The world of work is changing. An ever increasing number of people are becoming self employed and are responsible for generating their own work - and getting paid for it. These changes have been facilitated by technology, with smart devices and ubiquitous wifi making it easy for individuals to transact in the digital economy.
Open Banking, a new UK directive introduced this year that aims to promote competition in the banking industry, is generally viewed by accountants as being a positive change; a recent survey commissioned by iwoca revealed that 88% of respondents think that Open Banking will have either a high impact or some impact on how businesses access funding.
Taking on a business property can be a significant commitment. It pays to be considered when choosing business premises and not taking the first property you see. Nick Levine, head of enterprise at ICAEW, shares advice.There are a number of issues which you will need to should address.
Angel investors and early-stage venture capital funds receive scores of decks per week. It is important to just present succinct and relevant information. In this article we list the key requirements to include in your deck to maximise your chances of investment success.
Forecasting is essential for early stage and high-growth companies. Typically, the profile of these businesses will mean that they are not yet profit-generating, and in some instances may be pursuing a strategy of growing their top line revenues in place of being focused on their profitability.
Douglas McMaster's quixotic mission to create a "zero-waste restaurant" began with a sense of disillusionment. An award-winning chef, Mr McMaster has worked in some of the world's best restaurants, but found himself falling out of love with his job. During a stint in an Australian restaurant that se
Next1 of 5Los Angeles has enthralled travellers for decades with its turquoise beaches, epic views from flower covered hillsides, modernist architecture and innumerable creative spaces and galleries. It is the second most populated city in the US after New York and home to a fast evolving food scene.
Ahead of this year’s Accountex next week, we asked ourselves: How can we make sure we keep things at HQ moving while we’re at Accountex? How can we come back to an even healthier practice post-conference? Preparing for the conference in advance can enable you to make the most of this annual event, which is fast building up its reputation to be the unmissable event for forward-thinking accountants. Guest writer Nick Levine weighs in.
Running a modern accounting practice requires a flair for multi-tasking and a diverse range of business skills.
Measuring KPIs can be beneficial for high-growth businesses in order to allow them to see whether they are hitting overall company targets, alongside providing investors and senior team members with up-to-date management information.
With the end of the tax year fast approaching (April 5), there is a timely opportunity for high-growth companies seeking finance to become assured for the government’s SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) and EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) tax schemes. Both schemes offer generous forms of tax relief, with personal investors being able to claim back up to 50% of their investment as a reducer against their income tax. As these reliefs have to be used up in the current year, this...
Nick Levine kicks off a series of articles about the various ways in which a foodservice business can raise funds for expansion and growth
Situated on the ground floor of White City House, The Allis is an all-day bar and eatery from Soho House Group, which is likely to appeal to under 35 creatives and media types as a working lunch or pre-drinking spot. The interior provides a nostalgic nod to the building's famous previous occupant, the BBC's Television Centre.
San Francisco evokes images of awe inspiring bridges, glistening bays, skateboards, skyscrapers and tech billionaires but it is also home to a fast evolving and fascinating foodie culture.
In the third and final instalment of his series, Nick Levine explains how restaurants can eliminate the need to borrow money by using new, tech-enabled means of increasing sales – and thereby income
Well suited to families and young professionals, the Belrose is a recently refurbished pub serving up a selection of familiar Italian dishes and pizzas from a wood-fired oven, alongside a huge variety of craft beers.
Stroll down one of London's most beautiful Mayfair streets and tucked next to The Royal Arcade is the glistening new London outpost of Indian Accent. The original Indian Accent of New Delhi is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world.
Next1 of 4This story originally appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Elite Traveler. The city of Venice conjures up a constellation of colorful, dreamlike images for any sanguine traveler. It is a place bursting with art, history, music and romance, where visitors relish majestic architecture, glorious churches and unrivaled food.
Nick Levine examines the current fashion for investing in restaurants and how a tasty business model is as important as delicious food Nick Levine examines the current fashion for investing in restaurants and how a tasty business model is as important as delicious food Throughout the economic down-turn, and at a time when their high-street neighbours have suffered, the restaurant industry has continued to fare surprisingly well.
With an app allowing high street restaurant chains to provide food delivery, serial entrepreneur Rich Martell (Floxx) might be about to give the industry a real boost. Nick Levine reports. Serial entrepreneur Rich Martell has decided to disrupt the restaurant industry.
On Wednesday, at the London School Of Economics, Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, documented the rise of the social web, by presenting a series of case studies on the company acting as a force for good. One of the main ideological strands running throughout the talk was the superiority of the social web over the information web.
It is an exciting time to invest in ambitious early stage and scale-up companies in the UK. London is now a top-three start-up ecosystem globally and attracting record levels of investment. Fintech, in particular, continues to attract substantial capital.
The internationally renowned Michelin Chef, Jean Georges Vongerichten, opened his new restaurant in late summer at London's iconic 5-star hotel, The Connaught. It is the latest addition to his French and Asian inspired cuisine empire, which now has restaurants all over the world including New York, Los Angeles, Dubai and Japan.
Over the last year restaurants have established themselves as a successful vertical category within the crowdfunding space. Crowd2Fund During the economic downturn, the sector has continued to be an attractive investment proposition. One reason for this is that eating out is a relatively cheap leisure pursuit in comparison to alternatives such as going to the theatre or holiday.
In the second article in his series on foodservice funding Nick Levine looks at alternative sources of finance for restaurants
The only way for savers to counter this risk is to seek out investments in higher yielding asset classes, such as our IFISA, which has an average 8.7% APR.
After it was first announced in 2014, by former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, London's night tube service finally came into being in August of this year. It's introduction has come at a pivotal time for for our capital.
Read about 'Increased Probability for Interest Rate Rises in 2018' at Crowd2Fund - simple finance for great businesses
Why has Crowdfunding become popular? Over the last few years western economies have suffered the most prolonged and severe recession since the Second World War. As a result, SME businesses are finding it harder than ever before to borrow and raise.
To get what you want from your career, assertiveness is crucial, but charging in all guns blazing isn’t always the best approach
Accountancy is reinventing itself. Once considered a staid profession, with practitioners who apply tried and tested processes but rarely challenge status quo; it is now embracing efficiency, technology and automation. The rise of cloud accounting has put accountants at the forefront of a new range of technologies, which empower them to streamline workflows and apply new layers of commercial insight to their work.
Nick Levine has returned to accountancy after a five-year absence. Things have moved on a bit since he jumped ship…
Adding value for your practice and your clients
In a start-up’s early days, culture is easy to define. It’s set by the small team who are working together to get a company off the ground, and the founders are very closely involved in all the details. Culture becomes harder to shape as the company grows in size. This is generally because founders have more demands on their time and physically cannot work with everyone in the business on a regular basis. There are ways to implement a great company culture no matter how fast you scale.
What UK accountants and small business owners think about recent technological changes and the future of accounting
Nick Levine, Advisory Lead at Propel by Deloitte, explains more about Propel and how it’s helping start-ups and SMEs grow with its subscription-based accounting and analytics packages.
Will accountancy experience the same dizzying change as other industry sectors, such as retail and financial services? You better believe it.
Whilst the role of interim and portfolio finance directors is not new in itself, it is a trend which has grown over the last few years. Research from IMA, published earlier in the year, indicates that interim finance director roles increased 23% between 2013 and 2014.
In an exclusive interview, Rod Drury explains how his cloud-software company, Xero, is shaping the future and what that means for your career
Nick Levine spoke to some of the UK's leading Financial Directors in Startups to find out about this emerging and nascent skill set. The accounting and finance function is one of the most crucial departments in businesses, with the success of traditional companies judged on short term profit maximisation.
Rapid changes to technology, the macro economic landscape and compliance now mean that a long track record of success does not necessarily act as an indicator of future performance. Companies, which can innovate quickly, are able to challenge legacy businesses, brand names and disrupt business models.
Tips to help creative businesses to focus on the accuracy and timeliness of systems and identification of risks to allow them to make better commercial decisions, identify cost savings, better cash flow management and inevitably succeed.
Cloud software like Clear Books has enabled a new generation of accounting firms to emerge who are thinking more entrepreneurially. Common features of such firms are that they have no set physical location, outsource services which are not part of their core competencies and utilise the power of the internet and social media to be proactive in winning new business.
Cash flow is one of the most common challenges that business face. In a survey by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, four out of ten SMEs (42%) cited cash flow as being an obstacle, with 7% classifying its management as the main thing holding back their growth.
Do you know what is really going on in your own firm?
An accelerator programme for student-led businesses has grabbed the country's attention for playing its part in supporting the UK's next big entrepreneurs. Run by early-stage investor Matthew Stafford, and undergraduate student Christian Jakenfelds Student Upstarts is not your average accelerator. The goal of Student Upstarts is to invest in 100 student-run businesses by 2015.
The New Year is a great time to review your personal finances. Something we are all guilty of is being tempted by headline offers of time limited high interest rates associated with financial products from incumbent institutions.
Outsourcing is not a new concept but, for young companies across the world, it’s an integral part of their business. New technology has now unlocked an unlimited pool of global talent
Having weathered the storm of economic downturn, PwC chairman Ian Powell tells Nick Levine that he is hoping for calmer waters in his second term The current economic climate is not the easiest time during which to lead one of the Big Four accounting firms. Against a backdrop of audit reform, litigation, and a high-profile debate on tax avoidance, Ian Powell, chairman and senior partner of PwC UK, is steering a steady ship towards calmer waters.
Last year, we looked at the major trends transforming accountancy. One year on, what’s changed?
20-year-old Josh Buckley started programming aged 11 and has since launched and sold a number of businesses. His latest startup, MinoMonsters, has attracted the investment of Mind Candy. Wired.co.uk caught up with him Josh Buckley is a prodigious 20-year-old from Kent, who at the age of 18 emigrated to San Francisco to start up and run MinoMonsters, a game which allows users to collect and battle monsters against each other.
Whilst costs relating to entertaining staff and clients are a common cost of doing business, and are perfectly valid to include within your profit and loss account, only certain associated expenditure will be allowed to be deductible for corporation tax and VAT purposes.
Reasons can range from wanting to take on a fresh challenge, focusing on family life or re-assessing your priorities. The benefit of solid experience in accountancy, as well as holding a recognised accounting qualification is that your skills will always be in demand.
This propensity for business creation is matched by a desire for employees seeking to work in new fast growing companies. Innovative technology companies like Facebook, Uber and AirBnB have captured the imagination of prospective job seekers who are motivated by opportunities at a newer breed of startup companies.
Ted Nash is a 21-year-old English entrepreneur. Already noteworthy for a number of pub humour-themed viral hits, he is ready to leave his youthful endeavours behind with the imminent launch of Appdaq, an app which lets users trade virtual shares in some of the App Store's most successful downloads.
Whilst holding an accounting qualification means that you are unlikely to ever be out of work, smart accountants are equipping themselves with a diverse and changing set of skills, allowing them to increase their earning potential, marketability and future proof their careers. In this post we highlight six ways to invest in your future self.
"Teach the world to program," reads Codecademy's mission statement. "[It's] a skill we think will be the most important in the 21st century." Launched in August of 2011, it acts as a free platform to teach people with no coding experience how to program software.
The mass adoption of smart phones, tablets, e-readers and computers in every facet of our lives has created a culture whereby we are becoming information junkies, constantly connected and turned on.
The recent Volkswagen scandal, in which the car manufacturer manipulated their emissions tests is one of the highest profile corporate disasters of recent times. In the aftermath, millions of cars were recalled, and the share price of the company dropped by around a third.
The new calendar year is a great time to take stock of your finances. Reviewing your finances in January and February provides sufficient time before the end of the tax year, at the beginning of April, in order to make sure that you are fully utilising all of the tax reliefs which are available to you.
Accountancy is experiencing its greatest period of change since the introduction of the computerised spreadsheet. This transformation is being felt in all corners of the profession, affecting sole practitioners and Big Four accountants alike. No job description, whatever the level, will ever be the same again. Much of the change is driven by technological advances. Even socio-economic changes, such as the move away from the annual paper tax return, are grounded in digital innovation....
The benefits of working at a startup company were detailed in our previous blog post, do you have the risk appetite to work at a high risk start up? However, getting a job at a high growth startup is not necessarily any easier than bagging an entry-level role at a blue chip company or on a top grad scheme.
Shortly after the UK voted for Brexit on 23 June, sterling hit a thirty year low against the dollar and the UK has had its credit rating downgraded by two different agencies. It is currently unclear whether these repercussions will be long term or whether this is a blip and that stability will soon be restored.
At Crowd2Fund, we believe that this shift is symptomatic of a wider cultural trend whereby individuals are realizing that large corporations are riddled with inefficiencies. This transition has been facilitated by technological changes which have resulted in the mass adoption of social software which empower individuals by allowing them to trade with one another, with the added benefit of minimal transactions costs.
Being proficient with cloud technologies, customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems is becoming increasingly necessary for a modern accountant. A recent report from Xero , reveals that 83% of accountants believe that understanding technology is as important to their role as understanding accountancy.
With accounting firms increasingly retreating from the high street and moving to the cloud pro-active accounting companies are becoming more creative in their approaches to winning new clients. Previously, accounting firms tended to pick up new business from referrals by other service providers such as law firms, and through the personal networks of partners. However, due to the anytime anywhere nature of cloud accounting software, firms are now winning clients from a range of different...
In 2014, a study by McAfee revealed that cyber crime's cost to the global economy exceeded $445 billion. As an ever increasing amount of what we do and how we transact takes place online, on mobile and with contactless technology, there have been a number of high profile hacks and phishing scandals.
Being a superhero is not one of the reasons most commonly cited for people wanting to become accountants. However, latest research commissioned by AAT shows how accountants and the accounting profession are a force for good within society.
In the United States healthcare providers are being put under ever-increasing pressure due to an ageing population, and an increasing demand for care with a decreasing number of practitioners. In addition, cuts in government spending, and additional regulations are placing additional burdens on the industry. Integration of the Ariba Network into the procurement process can counter these pressures by improving supply chain efficiencies and effectiveness and cutting costs.
Being able to sell is not a skill that is commonly associated with accountants. Whilst the numerical and technical ability of accounting professionals is second to none, accounting qualifications do not explicitly cover sales, and regular accounting jobs do not give individuals the training or exposure to develop their sales expertise.
Memories were born, legend was made. And, for the first time - underground acts of Sweden were given a platform to showcase their wares. Or backing tracks. Here, founder Nick Levine sums up the history of Tack! Tack! Tack! re-counting some of his favourite shows and experiences.