Begbies Traynor Group

Launch of Red Flag Alert; The First Comprehensive Corporate ‘Health Rating’ System Widely Available

Date Published: 07/12/2009

The commercial launch of the Red Flag Alert system is set to bring new levels of financial transparency and in‐depth analysis to the general market for the first time. Red Flag Alert, which contains more than 6 million constantly updated records on businesses throughout the country, will revolutionise the means by which corporate and financial distress is measured.

Red Flag Alert is the innovation of Begbies Traynor, the UK’s leading business rescue, recovery and restructuring experts and part of the Begbies Traynor Group, which specialises in working with distressed and insolvent businesses. Until now, Red Flag Alert has only been used as an internal resource and a source of news and information for the media. The commercial launch will see it become available as an online annual subscription service, fully supported by a dedicated Red Flag Alert helpdesk.

Operating as a unique lifecycle database, Red Flag Alert covers sales, credit control, collection, risk and compliance, enabling identification of new business opportunities as well as protecting companies from bad debts and failing suppliers. It also takes traditional credit scoring methods to a new level with its bespoke “Health Rating” system, helping businesses to identify bad payers and thus reduce risks to operating cash flow.

Recent Red Flag Alert statistics indicated that the worst for insolvencies is yet to come, with approximately 130,000 UK companies showing significant signs of financial distress in the third quarter of 2009. Information within Red Flag Alert is tracked on a sector‐by‐sector basis; a recent Red Flag Alert on the Retail Sector indicated that 310 UK retailers were experiencing critical problems in the third quarter of 2009.

Red Flag Alert will now enable company owners and managers to access detailed financial information about their customers, competitors and potential new clients, which can be analysed by region or sector.

Ric Traynor, Executive Chairman of Begbies Traynor Group, commented:

“We know first hand about the business benefits of Red Flag Alert as we have operated and refined the database internally for the last five years. It has been of huge benefit to our business and is, without doubt, the most comprehensive database of its kind with millions of records on every business in the UK, from sole traders through to limited and quoted companies.”

“As the economy remains under pressure, pro‐active risk management can make the difference between success and failure. A growing number of businesses are struggling to maintain a healthy cash flow as customers demand extended credit terms or simply fail to pay on time. As trading must go on, early detection of businesses that are on the brink of failure is crucial to minimising the risk of financial losses and bad debts, whilst it is also increasingly important to identify healthy new business opportunities.”

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Ric qualified with Arthur Andersen in 1984 and founded Begbies Traynor in 1989. Ric specialises in practice management and has considerable experience in financial turnaround and dispute resolution within professional practices.

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