Hard drive no space but little program and data?

I experienced that my 500GB had only 85GB left and getting less by the week but programs and data showed they only took 112GB. So where was the rest?

Did the entire disk clean up using system tools. Deleted all restore points. Limited restore point space to 80GB, deleted temp files and log files not needed. Savings were 2GB. So what was using the rest?

Searching on Google got me from numerous forums that this was/is a common problem but with solutions scarce.

Used a good free utility Windirstat tried to find out what was using the space. It only found 112GB as I knew was being used by the programs and data. I then changed the options in the utility to also show “unknown “files and hey presto there was the missing 323GB with a list of file types including a 16GB text file. Every program installed had files in the unknown space but none were accessible.  Just a huge blank block shown on the utilities graphical view and nothing one could do. No path just a list of files.

Went searching my folders again to see if I could find it. No luck. I then noted there was an icon with my computer name. In the past it showed as empty of folders. But when clicking on it this time a pop-up came up with an option to manage the space used. Clicked on that and a new pop-up showed named” Manage Windows Backup Space”. There it was. My missing 323GB. It had backed up weekly my data in a format only recognised by Windows. Considering it had done this for 2 years since installing Windows 7 Professional 64bit not surprising it took as much space.

As I back up my data on the cloud using Dropbox the backups were superfluous. I deleted them and recovered all the “unknown” space.

I also disabled the auto backup which is the default position when installing the OS.

So if your hard drive space is disappearing find the icon with computer name and delete the backups  done by Microsoft and disable automatic backup. There may be another way to access that pop-up using the control panel but I have not searched for that.

Richard Terhorst

21 May 2013


Gabelle Tax Analysis: HMRC taskforce is targeting private landlords

HMRC announced on 19 November the latest business sectors to be targeted by their task forces. This is the latest in a series of initiatives by HMRC, designed to clamp down on tax evasion and reduce the tax gap (the difference between the tax that ought to be paid and is paid).

In addition to targeting buy-to-let landlords in the South East (excluding London), other taskforces will be focusing on the alcohol industry in Scotland, the rag trade in the Midlands, North Wales and North-West England.

HMRC have estimated that the newly announced task forces should raise in excess of £17 million from these initiatives and they’re on course to collect £50 million in total from the 30 Task Forces announced since May 2011.

The taskforces are designed to operate ‘short, sharp’ bursts of activity and concentrate on specific trades in areas which are perceived as ‘high-risk’, and conduct announced and unannounced visits to businesses. There is a real risk that the businesses affected will face a full enquiry into their affairs and in the most serious cases HMRC may pass information to the criminal investigation teams to consider prosecution.

HMRC are not offering any additional beneficial terms for making a voluntary disclosure in relation to these initiatives. It is therefore essential that anyone who operates in these sectors and feels that they might be at risk should seek specialist advice to assess their options.

Noel Hankinson is a Tax Investigation Consultant at Gabelle LLP.

If interested for more information either contact me using the contact email form or phone 08450095360 – R Terhorst

Is the UK paying the price for staying out of the euro, or paying the price for staying in the sterling area?

If you are a journalist, the French are great. They provide the juiciest copy, which can transform the driest topics into cannon fodder for xenophobes, and realists alike.
This time the task of ramping up Anglo/Gallic prejudices has fall to the Governor of the Bank of France Christian Noyer.  Talking to the ‘FT’, he suggested that the City of London should be stripped of its position as the financial hub of euro trading. So that’s bonds, derivatives, equities – in fact just about everything. If it’s finance and involves the euro, then London holds the position that should belong to Paris.
Mr Noyer said: “We’re not against some business being done in London, but the bulk of the business should be under our control. That’s the consequence of the choice by the UK to remain outside the euro area.”
The funny thing is, however, that Mr Noyer might be right – or at least partially right.
He is wrong about stripping London of its pre-eminent position. It is not up to governments to decide which centres should be hubs. You can’t wake up one morning, and say let’s rid London of its status as a financial capital.
But the markets can decide to do this. And there are signs that this is happening, and this is the price the UK pays for not being in the euro. It has nothing to do with the wishes of politicians, just the reality of markets.

But it doesn’t seem very likely that Paris will take over from London, however, not as long as France insists on anti-market friendly policies. A recent survey from the Conference Board in the US recently forecast that
France will be the worst performing economy in the world over the next ten years or so.  The report may or may not prove to be right, but even if there is only a miniscule of truth in the report, it is hard to see Paris taking over from London in anything. See: Is France really set to be the worst performing economy in the world over the next ten years? 
Moving away from France and the UK, there is the issue of tax avoidance. We hear about the evils of Amazon, Google, Starbucks and co avoiding tax, but the truth is that they are multinationals, and an advantage of being a multinational is that you can channel profits into countries where tax rates are lower. There is only one possible solution and that is to have some kind of minimum worldwide corporation tax rate (either that or have no corporation tax, at all).  Getting international agreement for such as idea is probably impossible, but a reasonable half-way measure might be an EU-wide corporation tax. Alas, the UK’s influence in the EU is such that it is unlikely to get such an idea through, even if it wanted to. This is another disadvantage of the UK’s EU cynicism.
On the other hand, a new series on ‘Sky News’ is set to expose the way the UK’s economy’s woes are focused on certain regions. As Ed Conway, the presenter of the TV series, said in the ‘Telegraph’: “It transpires that London and the South East of England never experienced a double-dip recession at all, they simply did not shrink through 2011 and 2012. The economic contraction that led to the national ‘double dip’ happened exclusively in the North, the Midlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.” See: Prosperity across the South is hiding a recession in much of Britain


Here is the irony. While some may lament the disadvantages of not being in the euro, the UK suffers from its own single currency.


Truth is that the success enjoyed by the City has pushed up the value of the pound so much that regions outside the South East struggle to compete.

So should London and the South East have their own currency, let’s call it the Boris? Maybe an independent Catalonia needs its own currency too.

You may think this is a daft idea. You may be right.


It is probably the case that if indebted European countries left the Eurozone, their economies would, after an initial shock, enjoy a strong economic recovery.


But if you accept that the idea of London having its own currency is daft, this would suggest you believe the euro must survive, at any cost.

To see the online version of this article, and to comment click here 

source: ©2012 Investment and Business News

Dividends – Some pitfalls

Many directors of SME companies take both a salary and dividend from the company with salaries set at a tax effective level. This is accepted to HMRC and should not give cause for concern.  The salary itself should be treated in the normal way via the payroll system and normally is.

However with dividends it’s a different story. And here problems start to arise. Not only from a compliance perspective but also because of tax issues arising. Continue reading

SME’s and Cash flows

It’s tough being a SME especially when it comes to cash. Banks are restricting their lending especially to SME’s and when they do lend charge interest rates well above that extended to the large corporates. The average interest rates for loans less than £1 Million are double that for loans above £20 Million (N Blake Economic Advisor Ernst & Young).

Corporates further put pressure on their SME suppliers by paying suppliers on average 34 days after term dates (range 30 to 90 days). In the UK late payment is endemic despite an EU directive for all companies to pay within 30 days and a public sector commitment to pay invoices within 10 days. Ask any SME owner dealing with Government (Inst. of Credit Management).

Yet the SME sector is significant as proven by some statistics:

  • SME’s comprise 59.1% of private sector employment
  • 48.6% of private sector turnover
  • Turnover in the SME sector is £3.2 Trillion!
  • They employ 22.5 Million people

(Dept. for Business Innovation & Skills)

Yet their experience of the economic climate is vastly different then for the corporates. The increasing delay in both international and domestic payments (British Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey) combined with the lack of access to funding is playing havoc with cash flows.

So what can be done? Many strategies can be adopted but one which is neglected in that 90% of invoices are still submitted on paper is e-invoicing. Aside from cost savings it will ensure early arrival at customers. The use of direct debit systems is increasingly being adopted with SME‘s lagging as perceived to be difficult to set up. Using DD will be especially useful to SME’s selling B2B. A scheme which uses this is the SEPA B2B Scheme and is used for lending decisions as well as it ties in well with the increasingly tightly integrated physical supply chains.

Enlightened corporates such as Tesco, B&Q and M&S have introduced supply chain finance to ensure that not only suppliers are paid more quickly but also enables these suppliers to borrow at a lower rate of interest. The key to this model is the visibility of the supply chain finance which enables banks to make decisions on real-time information as opposed to the traditional historic based balance sheet lending. This model will work less well when the customer base is themselves SME’s.

Relying on paper based invoices and traditional accounting processes leaves the SME with little bargaining power. By adopting both sales and supplier invoice e-invoicing with direct debit payments mechanism this will ensure terms are adhered too and payment will be sooner and being visible and transparent to banks easier to fund at better rates.

With the economic outlook remaining poor SME’s will need to look at alternatives to managing cash flow from the traditional methods.

(Additional sources AIA July/August 2012)

Warning signs of a business in trouble

Below are the signs that a company is in trouble. Some of these should be an indicator to the directors but some will be apparent to companies extending credit as well. If any are pertinent to your company you should seek advice from turnaround specialists.


  • The overdraft is always at the limit.
  • The bank always wants more information.
  • The bank has returned cheques.
  • The bank has refused to increase the overdraft or wants its facility reduced.
  • The bank refuses to provide a term or EFG loan.
  • The bank wants to introduce investigating accountants for an independent business review. Note, the banks uses the big six so fees, which are paid by the company, are huge with amounts of £6,000+ the norm.
  • The bank asks for increased security.
  • The bank wants personal guarantees or increase them.
  • The bank wants a charge on personal property.
  • The covenant with the bank is often contravened. Continue reading

Gabelle Tax Analysis: Draft legislation for statutory residence test published

On 21 June 2012 the Government published its response to the consultation on the introduction of a Statutory Residence Test (SRT) along with draft legislation for Finance Bill 2013.  The SRT will take effect from 6 April 2013.

(In the commentary which follows we also highlight the specific changes from the original proposals.)

There will be three tests to determine whether an individual is resident in the UK:

  • The ‘automatic overseas test’ (formerly referred to as Part A: conclusive non-residence).
  • The ‘automatic residence test’ (formerly referred to as Part B: conclusive residence).
  • The ‘Sufficient Ties test’ (formerly referred to as Part C: other connection factors and day counting).

Continue reading

Memo to Bank of England: it’s time for a new 3i – that’s innovation, innovation and innovation

Article by Michael Baxter 18 June 2012

©2012 Investment and Business News. 

The Bank of England bravely turned its tail and fled. By the standards of the UK’s central bank the plan that was unveiled last week was revolutionary. By the standards of what the UK economy needs, it was totally inadequate.

Credit where it is due, George Osborne was in fine form when he made his recent Mansion House speech. Full of jokes, and witticisms: they say laughter is the best medicine, and if that was true, Mr Osborne revealed a cure to the UK’s ills last week. But then if that was really true, the cabinet should resign and make way for Michael McIntyre, Eddie Izzard and the rest of the gang. Greece could say to the rest of the Europe: “tatty bye everybody.”

But in fact the UK chancellor and Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, fell short – a long way short – of what is required. Alas the duo showed themselves unaware of the seriousness of today’s crisis, and indeed its causes.
Continue reading

HMRC arrest five plumbers for suspected tax fraud


‘These arrests are just the start,’ said a senior HMRC official as the department announced the arrest of five plumbers in London, Hampshire, Surrey, Middlesex and the West Midlands.

Earlier this month HMRC said more than 600 civil investigations targeting people in the plumbing industry would be under way by the time the Plumbers Tax Safe Plan disclosure opportunity closes on 31 August.

‘People should not underestimate the amount of data that HMRC is holding,’ said Gary Ashford, who represents the CIOT on HMRC’s Compliance Reform Forum.

‘What we are now seeing is HMRC starting to use that information. The net is tightening on those who break the law.’
Continue reading


In order to maximise the value of your business and the ease in selling the business needs to be prepared to look attractive to any potential purchaser.

The purpose of this note is not to give guidelines as to valuation, selling methods but to address the practicalities which will influence a buyer once he starts looking at the business and to ensure any due diligence will go smoothly without the need for renegotiating the price.


Bring the accounts up to date as to year-ends as well as the monthly management accounts.

  1. Ensure there are no outstanding entries or other information that should be included
  2. Have the accountant tidy up the ledger so that all unresolved items have been finalised
  3. Ensure all supporting documentation supports the ledger entries, are logically filed and cross referenced.
  4. Have a note of all expenditures which are not fully business related and which require an adjustment to the accounts. These typically are;
    • Excessive directors salaries
    • Family members employed but not active in the firm
    • Two cars per director
    • Computers and equipment for private use at home
    • Staff and material used for private purposes
  5. Have a set of accounts prepared with the adjusted figures per 5. The valuation should be based on this 2nd set of figures as the true value.
  6. Have a full asset list with all assets clearly identifiable, when purchased, purchase value, depreciation and current book value. If possible have current market value included
  7. Have all accounting processes documented.
  8. Have all accounting policies documented

Debtors Ledger

Have an current aged debtors listing

  1. Write of all bad debts.
  2. Ensure you have a credit control policy documented
  3. Have all debt collection activity documented, especially any subject to legal follow up.
  4. Have all debtors correspondence filed and cross referenced, not forgetting E-Mails.
  5. List poor payers
  6. Have all terms give fully documented and on the accounting system, especially special arrangements

Creditors Ledger

Have a current aged creditors ledger

  1. List all items under dispute with full motivation
  2. Ensure all terms obtained are documented and entered onto the creditors ledger
  3. List any special terms negotiated and whether applicable to any buyer.


All loans should be centralised with full documentation for each loan

  1. Prepare a schedule of loans taken, due and payments required each month
  2. If there is an overdraft facility have the limit and conditions documented


Have a budget ready which reconciles to the forecasts prepared in the Sale Memorandum

  1. Have a full motivation ready for the entries especially where changes from historic performances are made.
  2. Prepare a valuation with motivation – this is for internal use only for negotiation preparation


Have all tax up to date. This includes corporation tax, PAYE, NIC and VAT

  1. Resolve any outstanding tax issues or fully document those that cannot be resolved as yet
  2. List all tax dates applicable to the company.
  3. Have a note on file of the directors tax position and whether this requires input from company data or has a knock on effect on the companies tax position


Have all legal documentation centralised. These should comprise as a minimum;

    • Premises lease
    • Shareholders agreements
    • Insurance agreements
    • Equipment/asset rentals
    • Asset leases
  1. Any litigation currently under way or contemplated should be fully documented
  2. Check if premise leases are transferable to new owners.

Company secretarial

  1. Ensure all company secretarial data is accurate and up to date.
  2. Check share certificates are issued and correct
  3. List all shareholders with their holdings and loan accounts if any
  4. Have directors board minutes filed and available
  5. Ensure all board decisions are documented have been acted upon or are in progress


Check all employees have a valid employment contract

  1. Have job descriptions for each employee
  2. Prepare an organigram showing reporting lines and position
  3. List all employees with years service, age and pay as well as qualification/experience
  4. List critical employees – that is employees critical to the on-going operations
  5. Prepare a confidential report on each of the critical employee
  6. Ensure all compliance issues have been addressed or are in progress, especially those pertaining to the sale of the company
  7. Have all policies and other employee manuals up to date and fully compliant

Health & safety

Bring all H&S documentation up to date

  1. Ensure policies are documented
  2. Where required ensure all safety certificates are up to date and current


Take a stock take and identify obsolete and slow moving stock

  1. Dispose of all obsolete stock and sell of slow moving
  2. Tidy up stock rooms/areas with locality and item bins clearly marked
  3. Ensure stock records are up to date and accurate
  4. If computerised check link into the accounts are correct and have been updated
  5. Have stock records available for inspection



  1. Factory should be tidied up
  2. All lights and plugs should be working and be safe and neat.
  3. All machinery should be clean and fully operational with appropriate certificates
  4. All machinery manuals should be centralised for easy access and use
  5. All machinery and adjacent areas should be clearly marked and signed
  6. All safety issues should be addressed
  7. The environment should give an impression of light, ease of work and cleanliness
  8. All manufacturing processes should be documented


  1. All redundant stock to be removed
  2. Review the merchandising of the outlet and improve where possible
  3. Declutter the area and ensure clean.


  1. Tidy up work areas removing unnecessary equipment/documents to store rooms
  2. All machinery to be fully functional
  3. Try and have staff keep desks/work tops reasonably tidy and clean.

Policies and processes

Have these documented and up to date.

  1. If having special registrations – e.g ISO 9001, then ensure documentation and certificates are up to date.


List suppliers and reliability/quality

  1. Any IP issues
  2. Have a copy of the market and sales plan ready for review
  3. Have a clear idea at all times what is being sold – e.g. company including debtors/creditors?.

What re-organisation is required with shareholders leaving

Have some notes on what any buyer will have to think about if a deal is consummated and the shareholders leave. Typical are;

  1. 2nd tier staff that could take over
  2. Personalities of clients
  3. Personal contacts with clients and suppliers and the effect
  4. Retention of skills/knowledge
  5. Premise lease
  6. Loans – transfers

To find out more, call us on 0845 009 5360 or email us at richard@rhtbusiness.com