Author: Howard Walwyn

In Business or In Employment? Freelancers and IR35

This blog goes slightly off the beaten track compared to my other finance-related blogs. But IR35, the so-called ‘intermediaries legislation’, is an important topic for freelancers. It doesn’t seem to go away, and influences the way we do business.

The idea is to present this freelancer’s understanding of the contentious HMRC rule.

To illustrate it in practice, I reveal the defences I would put up if, hypothetically, the HMRC were to argue that Prism-Clarity should be within the IR35 net.

Not much of this is original. It borrows heavily from other sources including a helpful account at freelancesupermarket.com. The only truly original material in this blog is the illustrative defence relating to Prism-Clarity.

Please note: this blog does not represent advice. This is a contentious topic. If in any doubt, consult your accountant or a professional Human Resources adviser.

Clear Business English for Financial Services Professionals: Structure, Content and Story

Many people in financial services and other professions would like to be able to write clear business English in their day-to-day working lives.

Especially – but not only – non-native English writers.

English is a complicated language. It’s hard to know how to achieve a balance between being clear and fulfilling the rules.

But it’s possible to rise above the rules, even while paying attention to the ones that matter. Some principles – like consistency – matter more.

Any piece of business writing, however long and whatever the format, has three essential elements: structure, content and story.

Keeping these elements explicitly in mind will help you write more confident, more effective business English.

BOEPrism

Risk & Regulation Round-up: September to November 2016

A quarterly round-up of key announcements and developments in UK financial risk and regulation: covering 1st September to 30th November 2016.

Links to underlying source stories or documents are contained in individual articles in this blog.

After covering Brexit in some depth in the last round-up, this time we include only a short section on Brexit, simply noting a few key publications and developments relevant to financial services.

Instead in this edition we focus more on routine technical and policy announcements from the EU/EBA, Basel/FSB and UK national regulators; including an important set of banking reform proposals from the European Commission issued on 23rd November.

The articles in this blog do not constitute advice, but please contact Prism-Clarity for further information, including where to get the best advice.

Flesh of my Flesch: Readability Matters

This blog explores the concept of readability.

It looks at some common readability metrics – notably Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid and a couple of others – and wonders why as writing and editing professionals we don’t make more use of them, to promote our skills and measure our own performance in an objective way.

The metrics are now widely available in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools and word processing software – including Microsoft WORD.

There are whole websites devoted to readability, with free tools to check your own content in lots of different ways.

The tools themselves are objective, intuitive and easy to understand. And they function well for relative comparisons – across multiple authors or over time – even if you can argue about their absolute value.

We already use them at Prism-Clarity to assess our own blogs and try to make them more readable. The argument now is to try using them for other purposes, and to get more people tuned in to them.