A view from the top | Friday 31 July Edition

July 31st, 2020

A view from the top | By Ged Cosgrove, group managing partner

The Coronavirus has brought with it many uncertainties that are proving to be transformational for some businesses, whilst others face a minefield of issues.

For every company that is taking measures to prepare for the worst-case scenario they feel is yet to come, there is another that is confident it has survived the storm and doesn’t need to continue contingency planning. But if you asked me to be honest about where I would advise our clients to sit, it would be the former.

The pandemic, its effect on our economy and its natural tendency to change with just a moment’s notice isn’t going away. So, this is a reminder to all that we are here to help you and help you build a reactionary strategy, with scenario planning front and centre.

For example, have you considered what might happen if a local lockdown takes place in your area? Our team will help you understand how this situation might impact your operations; what it would mean for your bottom line; what to do if it happens more than once, and how to manage communications with your team so you can provide realistic updates.

If you are using the Government’s furlough scheme, there will be an ongoing impact on your cashflow. Have you factored the NICs and other contributions that must be paid from August onwards into your cashflow? And while flexible furlough is a great incentive to bring employees back to the workplace, there will be an impact on payroll. Those who had to shut up shop during the lockdown are working with less capital than before, but we are working with businesses to identify the available resource to balance the books after furlough.

Sadly, some businesses are in the process of, or are considering making redundancies. It may seem like a cost-saving scheme, but redundancy packages are expensive and require significant resource. Our team can provide a top-level view on the impact redundancy might have on your business, with advice on everything from the pressure it places on HR to the risk level of your finances.

While March 2021 might seem a long way off, those who chose to defer their VAT payments will find it comes around quickly. We’ll help plan out your capital and resource for the next nine months and beyond, to ensure this valuable lifeline remains exactly that and doesn’t become a drain on struggling businesses.

In the meantime, anyone still keen to make use of the CBILS should remember the initiative has an expiry date. On average it takes three weeks for a claim to be successful (but it can be significantly longer in some cases), so businesses who think they will require an influx of cash should seize the opportunity now.

Consider Champion as a helping hand for every aspect of your business. Going beyond traditional accountancy, our expertise is here to fill the gaps in yours so that together, we can protect your greatest assets.

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