Are you concerned about your ability to trade post COVID-19 lockdown?
At PBC we are already receiving calls from people who are seeking help and guidance due to trading concerns.
Cashflow management and forecasting will be the most challenging area for most businesses and, at the risk of sounding like a stuck record, taking advice at an early stage usually promotes the chances of resolving matters.
PBC are following Government guidelines on social distancing and are holding meetings with those who seek our assistance by telephone, Microsoft Teams or Zoom. We will hold face-to-face meetings if preferred, provided social distancing can be met.
SOME PRINCIPLE AREAS TO CONSIDER:
- Manage your cash flow. Remember the saying, “Cash is king” and look at your immediate cash requirements but also look forward, particularly if you have deferred VAT or self-assessment tax, both of which will fall due early 2021. In addition, any CBILS or Bounce Bank Loan repayments will need building into next year’s cash-flow forecast.
- Review your costings. Question, “Is this a luxury or a trading necessity?” As we have all discovered during lockdown, does a meeting need the expense of travel or could we achieve the same result by a virtual meeting, like Microsoft Teams or by Zoom?
- Ensure your credit control procedures are upheld and customers are paying in accordance with your terms. Remember, a good customer is a paying customer – an unpaid sales invoice does not pay your bills!
- Stay calm and avoid management disputes where possible. In these challenging times it is too easy for management to have differing views on trading decisions and for matters to escalate. Listen to the differing views and their reasoning – do not simply dismiss those views.
- Review your salary as a director. If you are paid by a minimal salary with the balance by way of dividends, then consider whether the company has sufficient reserves to pay a dividend. In a recent Court of Appeal decision, it was determined that dividends drawn where there are insufficient reserves are unlawful and could not be rectified (into salary) retrospectively.
- Maintain copious notes recording your critical decisions. Remember, a decision under duress may not appear the appropriate decision with the value of hindsight. Note what the decision is and what are the benefits of taking that decision.
- If you have any doubt, seek early advice. Insolvency, together with its accompanying legislation, is a complex and highly specialised field. PBC are experienced in advising on these matters and assisting businesses experiencing financial difficulties.
Government Website – Keeping you up to date on what help is out there:
Government Website – helping employees:
Citizens Advice – Personal Debt problems:
ACAS – Advice for Employers and Employees:
Government Business Support: