Posted - 27/09/11 | 0 Comments

US President brought to book – with a $300k bill!

Got any overdue library books?  Forgetting to hand them back on time may cost you 20-50p per day. And the numbers rack up if the delays run into months.

But surely no-one could beat George Washington’s infamous record!

According to the BBC, staff at New York’s oldest library recently discovered that the first president of the United States of America still owes them for two unreturned books.

Apparently, he borrowed them from the New York Society Library in 1789. One was a dissertation on international relations and the other was a volume of debates from Britain’s House of Commons. They were due back a month later – and have been accruing late charges ever since.

Librarians identified the culprit while making a digital copy of the library’s historical ledger where the name ‘President’ had been scrawled by an aide.  With adjustments for inflation, it’s reckoned that Washington now owes $300,000 (£195,000) in fines for being 220 years late.

The library is happy to waive the fines. Instead, it wants the books back. But they appear to have vanished.

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Posted - 01/09/11 | 0 Comments

E-invoicing’s role in the recession

Since December 2007 we have been told that economies worldwide are facing a recession. The evidence close to home such as the steady increases in VAT, escalating spending cuts and the unemployment statistics we seem to always be bombarded with certainly do point in that direction. However the signs are not only visible within the UK, but can be seen across Europe most notably in Greece, Ireland and most recently Spain and Portugal.

Over the last couple of years, there has been something which has caught the eye of the European Commission and that is the broad-scale implementation of e-invoicing by 2020. The plans have long been drawn up, and the process already begun with the technological revolution ready to sweep across Europe. The justification for this is varied. There are the environmental aspects and of course the time savings ones, but at the root of it is an extraordinary figure; E-invoicing could save the European economy €238 billion a year.*

You may ask how this is possible. It is not only money saved from posting invoices (and re-posting those ‘lost’ ones), but from 25% lower administrative costs and the saving of 13 working days,**a huge saving for SMEs, some of whom have definitely felt the sting of the economic crisis. It is amazing that something as simple as the adoption of e-invoicing could save so much money across the continent, not only for public sector bodies, but also for private companies. The big question which remains to be seen is how well received this shift actually is.

*http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_HU/hu/services/tax/17f7773b93912210VgnVCM100000ba42f00aRCRD.htm

**http://www.finextra.com/community/fullblog.aspx?id=4911

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