Monthly Archives: November 2014

Credit Firms Subject to Tougher Regulatory Regime

credit firm

credit firmThe Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) promised consumer credit firms a tougher regulatory regime than was the case when they held Consumer Credit Licences from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Additional Rules

Many firms are now subject to additional rules, which did not apply under the OFT regime. For example, there are new requirements regarding the handling of client money for debt managers and for payday lenders relating to rollovers, Continuous Payment Authority and risk warnings on promotional material.

More Inspections

Firms can now expect to be supervised more often. Smaller firms are subject to monitoring at least every four years, and larger firms are on a more frequent inspection cycle. All firms must be ready to be inspected more frequently, as this may occur as part of one of the FCA’s thematic reviews or in response to data provided by the firm in an FCA return. In many cases, the OFT only audited Consumer Credit Licence holders when complaints were received about a firm, or it came into possession of other evidence indicating issues of concern.

More Fines and Bans

The FCA has greater powers to impose fines and bans on those who break the rules. It can impose sanctions not just on the firm itself, but also on key individuals within a firm.

The FCA started supervising credit firms from the very first day it assumed responsibility for them. There is certainly no grace period being granted for firms to adjust to the new regime. Actions have already been taken against payday lenders Wonga, Dollar Financial and The Cheque Centre.

As of late October 2014, the FCA revealed that more than 30 debt management firms had been subject to actions (such as refusals of authorisation applications, freezing of bank accounts or being forced to carry out a Skilled Persons review) since the switch.

Three Reasons Alternative Residential Storage Options are Ideal

residential storage

residential storageThe last several years saw a significant increase in the use and popularity of self-storage units in Perth and many other cities across the globe. The quick accumulation of various material possessions has more people looking to find reliable storage facilities to store their stuff. Although there are now a wide variety of options for storage, there are also a growing number of alternative storage choices providing consumers an indispensable service when they need it most.

If you are among the many homeowners starting to find it difficult to navigate from the front door and into your living room or bedroom because too much stuff is lying around, then it may be time that you consider looking into your storage options. The following are the three biggest reasons why residential storage is necessary, according to Integrated Container Logistics:

Moving to a New Home

Moving to a new house can be extra taxing, especially since you cannot just put all your stuff in a van and then drop it off. Delays and other unexpected troubles are a reality that most movers encounter. If you ever find yourself in a bind when moving, residential storage can lighten your burden because the facilities allow you to store items safely and conveniently.


Today’s homes focus on clean and spacious locations and the avoidance of clutter whenever necessary. Those who live in flats and condos do not have the attic or garage space to store extra stuff. If you plan on renovating, using a storage facility to place all your furniture, gadgets, and appliances is a worthy small investment rather than merely placing a plastic protective screen on top.


The incidence of crime in some locations makes people afraid that a theft or break-in may result in the loss of items. This is when the use of a storage facility can give you peace of mind.

Need a secure area to store grandma’s precious China? Storage facilities feature 24×7 security services with perimeter fences and insurance to ensure it is securely stored until you need it. Think about these realities and select a service that fits your needs best.

Keep the Heat: Troubleshooting Your Water Heater

water heater

water heaterProblems with the water tank is one of the most common reasons homeowners get in touch with plumbers. To make the repair task easier, plumbing contractors suggest some easy-to-follow steps to help clients deal with the problem before they arrive.

Here are some helpful tips from

Dealing With Common Water Heater Problems

Before you start working on your water tank, figure out what the main problem is. Keep in mind that each of these problems would have their own solution. Some of the most common ones include leaking water tank, water not heating enough, noisy tank, and odious smell in the water.

Leaking Water Tank

A leaking water tank is typically caused by loose valves and connection as well as corrosions in the pipes. If that is what you are dealing with, try the following:

1. Check if the water is simply leaking or spraying out. If it is the latter, make sure you have the valve that controls the water flow turned off immediately. This would give you time to properly inspect the valves and the pipes.

2. Once the water supply has been turned off, check whether the point where the leak has sprung is corroded. If it is, you might need to have it replaced. Contact a professional plumber to do this. If the problem is a worn out gasket, empty out the water first before replacing the gasket.

Water Does Not Heat Properly

Not producing hot water is considered one of the most common water tank problems. When dealing with this issue, keep the following in mind:

1. Verify if the water heater you have is the right size for your tank and for the volume you use on a regular basis. If that is the case, have it replaced immediately.

2. If, however, you have enough water, but it does not seem to be as hot as you expected, check whether your lines have sprung a leak. You should also check your water temperature settings and make the needed adjustments.

While there are some plumbing issues that you can DIY, more complex ones require the help of professionals. Know their differences and save yourself from costly repairs.

Lifehacks on Making the Most of Your Household Appliances


FridgeMany electrical supply companies believe that one of the most common causes of high power bills is the fact that owners do not take care of their electrical appliances. Old units tend to use more energy than new, energy-efficient models. To keep them working like new, owners need to conduct regular maintenance.

All Industrial Electric Supply, a premier provider of electrical parts solutions in America, offers some tips on how to make your electrical appliances work for you:

  1. Refrigerators

Do not put your refrigerator in a place where it is near heat-producing appliances or under direct sunlight. Doing so would cause your unit to work doubly hard to maintain its cool temperature. If possible, don’t go for refrigerators that have ice or cold water dispenser, as this increases your energy consumption.

  1. Dishwasher

Make sure you always fully load your dishwasher before running a cycle. Keep in mind that, in a dishwasher, the biggest use of power is in heating the water. It is also better to go for the air-dry option rather than the heat-dry.

  1. Electric Bulbs

Always keep your light bulbs clean. A dusty bulb could seem to give off a dimmer light, which could lead you to open up another light source. At the same time, make sure you are using the correct wattage for your room.

  1. Washing Machines

Front loading machines tend to be more energy efficient and budget-friendlier than their top loading counterpart. In addition, you might also want to consider using cold water instead of hot water. See to it that you use the unit in full load instead of doing small loads over a period of time. Now, once you have finished washing your clothes, consider air drying it instead of using the machine dryer.

It is also highly recommended to go for brands that have an Energy Star rating. These appliances have been tested to make sure they do not take up too much of your electric bill.

Payroll Software: Avoiding Costly Mistakes

Payroll Computation

Payroll ComputationPayroll software has helped organizations of all types – commercial, small and large businesses to pay their staff on time. A smooth and well-managed system keeps staff. Not paying the right amount can lead to tax related issues and invite a government audit, which is not a very good idea.

The tax code governing payroll is complex, no matter the country a business operates in. The cost of having to deal with an audit can bankrupt businesses – some insurance companies even have policies to cover such eventualities.

When one starts a business and employs workers, payroll activities seems daunting. Online payroll software helps avoid mistakes and ensure that records are up to date.

Payroll Software Tracks all Employee Figures

Software helps companies to track leaves – whether maternity or paternity – and their starting and ending dates. It also calculates different premiums properly and deducted at source.

In case there are doubts about available tax exemptions, it is easy to seek explanations and apply them accordingly. Some online payroll software, such as that of Salarium, assists employees to sign up for benefits they are eligible for.

Payroll has to account for new employees and those who have quit the company by tracking dates. Payroll software can also send reminders to meet tax payment dates and reporting information to the right government agency.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Not every person who works for a company is a full time employee – if a company has freelancers and contract workers, check the rules carefully. There is legislation to cover such situations – make sure to read the rules and apply them properly to avoid trouble with the tax authorities.

It is also important to understand different payroll tax codes properly as these can change. Software makers usually offer updates to reflect these changes. Still, it pays to have an accountant ready to double-check before entering the codes so that information is accurate.

Payroll programs automate menial tasks and provide insight and reminders where an accountant may slip up or miss entirely. Using online payroll software and cloud technology to store financial data is a good idea; this helps to have information handy in case of disasters of any kind.

Decorative Window Film: Brightening Up Your View

decoration window film

decoration window filmAre you tired of blocking out unsightly views and noisy neighbours using heavy draperies? Does the task of washing the curtains and cleaning the blinds on a regular basis weigh you down? Perhaps it is time that you did away with the draperies and installed decorative window films instead.

Decorative Window Films

Essentially, decorative window films, according to providers like Cleargard Australia, are thin plastic sheets that are available in different colours, patterns and designs. These are non-adhesive sheets that are to be installed on the window panes to lend them an elegant look. They can also be used on glass doors to serve a similar purpose.

Decorative Window Films Add Beauty

Earlier, the trend in interior designing was to have etched glass windows for those who were not keen on letting the outside view inside. Today, however, this trend is being quickly replaced by the decorative window films as this is a much cheaper option.

Since these films are available in a selection of colours and patterns, you can choose one appropriate for the theme of the room. As a matter of fact, if you have a film that has a nature-inspired design, you can bring nature inside the house and yet block any unsightly views on the outside.

Use the Films However You Want

The advantage with the decorative window films is that they can be used however you want. That is, you can-

  • Use them as the focal point in a room
  • Use them as a background that highlights other decorative pieces in the room
  • Use them to cover an entire window
  • Use them to cover a window partially
  • Use them as tints to create varied colours in the room

Being such a versatile home decorating product, the decorative window films are certainly a great tool to use and jazz up the look of your home. Indeed, their use is more than just as a decorative piece; they are also functional, as they-

  • Improve privacy
  • Block out the sun’s UV rays
  • Allow the sunlight to be dispersed softly
  • Block unwanted outside views

Given these multiple applications of the decorative window films, you should think about replacing your draperies right about now.

Moving Out East: Why Singapore is an Ideal Place to Start a Business

singapore investment

singapore investmentExperts attributed most of the economic developments across the globe to countries in the West. Their prowess in business and trade encouraged many companies to invest or branch out their businesses on the opposite side of the world. This was the situation until Singapore became a reason to go east.

The country is currently among the most advanced nations in the world, far from its swampy lands back then. Many analysts recommend entrepreneurs to register their company in Singapore because of the benefits they can get. Compared to other countries, the whole process is relatively easier.

Tactical Location

Singapore may be a small country, but it is strategically located at the centre of Southeast Asia. This means you have better opportunities to expand your network in the neighbouring countries, which is essential for starting businesses. The country is easily accessible through the land, sea, and air.

Unconfined Laws

Unlike most western countries, Singapore imposes flexible immigration laws. Getting a visa is easier, making it a top choice for most shareholders and investors around the world. The national government made the necessary documents and permits for relocation easy to obtain. This support shown by the authorities assures foreign investors of relatively worry-free transactions.

Better Taxing

One of the factors that make a country suitable for investment is the tax. In Singapore, tax rates and tax incentives are highly favourable compared to neighbouring countries, with a corporate tax rate of as low as 17%. This attracted many global investors, leading to the development of the economy of the country.

There are many other reasons to start your business in Singapore. It earned a distinction from top organisations as a practical place for investment. With all these news claiming that Asia is gradually emerging, economic leaders may soon welcome new countries into the fold.

Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your Home with a Storm Door

storm door

storm doorWinter is here once again. But are you better prepared to handle winter with respect to the increased electricity bill this year? Have you ensured that the mercury dropping below zero outside does not make your energy consumption soar inside the house? That is, have you made your home energy efficient?

Install a storm door

If you have not already worked on making your home energy efficient, do consider having a storm door installed on your Salt Lake Cityhome, says This will prove to be a very worthy expenditure because the entry door is one prominent area through which significant amounts of heat from within the home can escape. In fact, statistics say that by just installing one storm door at the entry point to your house, you can increase the energy efficiency of your home by as much as 45%.

What the storm door does

So how does a storm door installation make your home more energy efficient? Well, essentially, the storm door helps increase the energy efficiency of your home in two ways-

  • It seals the door opening.
  • It creates an insulating pocket of air.

Like the storm window, the storm door adds an extra layer of protection to your home by sealing the door opening. When the door opening is sealed, winter drafts cannot enter the home just as the heat within the house cannot escape.

Another way by which the storm door increases the energy efficiency of your home is by creating a pocket of insulating air between itself and the entry door. This again prevents the heat inside from escaping and does not allow cold air to enter.

The savings in terms of money

With a storm door, you can save anywhere between $20 and $30 on energy bills in a year. And as the years go by, remember the savings will only go on multiplying, although the money spent on a storm door installation was only a one-time affair.

The How-Tos of Search Engine Marketing

search engine marketing

search engine marketingWebsite designers rarely consider the need for promotion of the website when they plan the layout and its content. Once the website is up and running, however, the need for marketing it arises. This is a challenge, as a visible online presence is the reason for having a website in the first place.

The website promotion or online marketing can be through many channels like email, display advertising, SEO, pay-per-click, etc. Search engine marketing (SEM) is the most effective channel for online advertising. You can hire a good consulting firm to help you with the strategy.

Before you begin looking for an SEO consulting company, heed these information:

What is SEM?

SEM implies using search engines to market your company’s services and products online. With expert advice from the professionals, a little patience, and time, your website will soon produce good results.

SEM Methods

There are various ways that these firms can help you, but their work will typically go about in a pre-determined fashion.

  • They will first want to know more about your business, your target audience, their location, the market pattern, your business goals, your competition, and other relevant information. They will then create a strategy tailored to your objectives and goals, revolving around the information that you provided. They will also factor in the search trends of users, and develop strategies to incorporate targeted keyword phrases.
  • Your consultant will also tell you how to be flexible enough to allow for multifaceted professional campaigns. The multi-phase approach comes in several cycles to allow for agility. This gives you enough room to tackle multiple strategies.
  • A good SEO consultant will also look for ways so you can trim costs. They will do this by suggesting that you budget for SEM in a way that costs are smaller but spread over a longer duration.

The consultant’s bottom line focus is on the conversion rates. The strategies aim at improvement and optimization of the website. Thus, by fine-tuning the SEM strategy your website will get greater visibility, improved rate of conversion and your business will eventually make good returns.

Important Things you need to Know about Sedation Dentistry

sedation dentistry

sedation dentistryMany people, from little children to senior citizens, have their apprehensions going to the dentist. After all, the field has always had this reputation for inflicting pain before providing relief.

Sedation dentistry providers in Meridian and other places aim to offer a safe, relaxing and pain-free dental treatment. This is for patients who suffer from “dental phobia” or those who need to undergo oral surgery. This article will provide more information about this particular procedure.

Understanding the procedure

This procedure is to establish a relaxed, easy and calm state through the use of sedatives. Keep in mind that only licensed dental experts can perform this procedure. They may use prescribed sedative drugs, which may include depressants, nitrous oxide, and anti-anxiety medications. The drug they use also depends on the type of surgery and severity of the case.

Development of sedation dentistry

Before, intravenous sedation(IV) was the most popular option. This is where sedatives delivered by injecting into the blood vessels of the hand or arm.

Oral sedation

Another popular technique is oral sedation. The procedure is easy and requires no needles. According to patients, this is the most comfortable experience that most of them do not remember anything about the surgery or operation. Most patients think they are asleep when the procedure is ongoing. The truth is, oral sedation maintains a level of consciousness for your own safety and cooperation.

Keep in mind that this procedure is different from anesthetic injections. While some forms of sedation like nitrous oxide gas may raise your threshold for pain, some dental procedures still require a form of anesthetic injected into the mouth. As mentioned above, it depends on the severity and type of procedure needed.

Professional assistance

If you are considering this type of operation, make sure you are dealing with a registered dentist. Ask for reference and do your research. Check their background by reading testimonials and client feedback. This will help you gauge the quality of their services.