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“Will the company continue? What do you mean? Yes, what else?”

This is a typical reaction of many managing directors when they are asked about the problem of whether a running business is to be assumed in a valuation of the company. The reason for this question may be overindebtedness or payment problems. In this case, the regulations of insolvency law give reason to assume that the company (GmbH, AG, GmbH & Co. KG) can no longer be continued. Therefore, in this situation, the management responsible for preparing the annual financial statements should not rely on the fact that it can continue to prepare the balance sheet at going concern values. It must first be ensured that the going concern premise is met, i.e., that it can be assumed in the evaluation of the company’s activities that it can be continued.

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It’s the combination that makes the difference! Different skills, practical knowledge and solid expertise are the basis of our business. As diverse as our team is, our common basis is our affinity for medium-sized businesses and for the people who shape them.

Our Consulting Partner Karin Scherer

“If you want to know something, ask an experienced person and not a scientist” – Chinese wisdom

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What was previously very good for SMEs, but not mandatory, is becoming a “must have”: CSR reporting is moving into the SME sector and will be given a permanent place in the management report as of 1 January 2024. This puts non-financial, i.e. sustainable reporting, on the same pedestal as financial reporting.

The EU Commission’s planned changes to the extended reporting obligation are not surprising; after all, the sustainable contribution of all companies plays an important role in Europe’s sustainability transformation. Here, reporting is the toolbox to ensure the implementation of these sustainable economic measures.

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The topic of sustainability is gaining strength. The background is the EU Green Deal, with which the European states want to gradually make the EU climate-neutral by 2050. The financial markets have a decisive role to play in the implementation of the climate policy goals, as they promote and anchor the issue of sustainability. “Sustainable finance” is the new buzzword. It means that sustainable aspects of a company regarding the environment, social issues or corporate governance are included in the decisions of financial actors. Sustainable finance is synonymous with supervision and regulation of the financial markets towards more sustainability in companies – and that also in small and medium-sized enterprises. In the future, banks will give more weight to sustainable aspects when granting loans, regardless of the size of the company, and make sure that their loan portfolios are in line with the EU taxonomy, which will come into force in 2022 and place greater emphasis on environmental aspects.

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It’s the mixture that makes it! Different skills, practical experience and solid expertise are the basis for our business. As diverse as our team is, our common basis is our affinity for medium-sized businesses and for the people who shape them.

Our Managing Director Stefan Gutsch

“The future does not belong to those who have good ideas and great visions. It belongs to those who turn them into reality.”

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The decision to bring an external managing director into your own company requires a change in the owner’s leadership behavior.

In one of our client’ companies, this decision was made some time ago – with the best of intentions and a disastrous outcome!

The owner of a medium-sized company hired a managing director for a new subsidiary for the first time and renounced the usual board position himself.  He had decided to do so for a variety of reasons and postulated that competence and responsibility were inseparable. The newcomer could and must manage his area of responsibility independently.

This sounded interesting to the “new guy”. He had gained second-tier experience with a larger competitor and now wanted to have overall responsibility.

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The implementation of the EU Whistleblower Directive is on the agenda of many small and medium-sized companies. Managing directors and compliance officers immediately think of lawyers and software, but it takes a lot more to implement the guideline not only in a legally secure way, but also in a motivating and profitable way.

Our expert Karin Scherer puts it in a nutshell: “Many managing directors would like to receive information from the staff when the company is damaged, whether negligently or intentionally, internally by employees or by external persons. Our experiences range from reaching into the till, theft of goods to sexual harassment at the workplace. All incidents in which those in the know or affected did not know how to act, looked a way as a precaution – and in which the management would have liked to have been informed at an early stage, to protect the employees affected and the company.”

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Most small and medium-sized companies feel it clearly: the necessary employees are harder to find than ever before! In certain sectors or regions, the shortage of skilled workers has been painfully noticeable for some time, but finding and retaining well-qualified candidates is now a real art. It is not the employer, but the potential employee who holds the scepter. This paradigm shift in the labor market is one of the great changes of our time. Consequently, so-called employer branding, i.e. the development of an attractive employer brand and its marketing to the outside world, is increasingly coming into focus. No matter what size company and what budget it has available: If it wants to secure its own future, it must adapt to the requirements of potential employees with suitable marketing and recruiting strategies.

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Whether it’s a small family business or a globally active company: Finding the right staff is becoming increasingly challenging for every HR department. The shortage of skilled workers has become the bottleneck in German SMEs – and good staff has become a critical resource for success. New, good team players are rare. The constant development of the existing team, making it fit for the future and keeping it in the company, is a real challenge. Through professional and strategically anchored personnel work, medium-sized companies can improve their position to meet these challenges.

How to create a good basis for strategically operating human resources work

Not every company needs a whole HR department to effectively manage the human resources and the corporate culture. Sometimes, only one HR officer is enough. This depends on many individual factors of the company, such as size, industry, complexity or planned orientation.

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Within the last months we had the possibility getting an insight into various enterprises: from start-up companies up to international groups – every size was included. What we have noticed: there are still companies very hierarchically organized. And there it doesn’t play any role whether it is a small start-up company with five employees or an internationally operating one.

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