Today’s Government Announcement

Today’s Announcement

So whilst we would usually wait until a little more detail is released, we thought we would share what we know already as we appreciate the urgency with which some people need some clarification.

As we find out more we will release a further update so watch out for any further updates in your mailbox.

The highlights are as follows:

  1. The current furlough scheme will be replaced by a new jobs support scheme as of November and will run for 6 months.  Broadly speaking current guidance is suggesting that employees must work at least a third of their normal hours, the Government subsidising a third leaving the remaining third unpaid.  Further guidance will follow around this.
  2. The self-employed grant will be extended but the exact terms of this are yet to be clarified.
  3. The deadline for applying for either a bounce back loan or coronavirus business interruption loans has been extended to 30 November 2020.
  4. Greater flexibility around bounce back loans including the possible opportunity to extend the term over which repayments are made.
  5. For those struggling with bounce back loan repayments there will be the option to potentially take a payment holiday for up to six months and make interest only repayments.  Again we expect more detail to be released around this and restrictions around those who can take advantage.
  6. VAT will remain at 5% for hospitality and tourism until 31 March 2021.

Cash flow support

Whilst we are uncertain as to what additional support there may or may not be from the Government we can realistically expect greater difficulty when it comes to collecting debt.

We have subsequently established a creditors services alongside an independent third party offering to support businesses in need that will not only do some digging around amounts you are concerned about receiving but will also chase these for you.

This initial exercise is absolutely free and from the cases we have seen so far; as this is handled externally to ourselves, a client recently received over £3,000 that they have previously written off and it cost them little more than £200 that was only taken upon successful collection of the debt.

If this is a concern for you, have any queries and/or just wish to discuss this further register your interest by e-mailing us at funding@gtaccountants.com

Group Event (Virtual I’m afraid)

Whilst we did initially hope some time soon we could commence face to face meetings and have this event as being a physical one we have had to think again but we won’t let it hold us back entirely.

In addition to the online community platform that we have established with Futrli Peer and for which you can access for no charge through this link here to chat with other business owners and get some tips, we are also doing more.

We as a firm will be the lead for Enterprise Nation where we bring business owners together through Zoom but this will be a great opportunity to just let off some steam and take away some great content and advice.

There is no charge for attending and the first virtual event is on 1 October from midday for an hour so if this of interest then why not book through the link here.

Going forward we are hoping to make this a monthly event and get some guest speakers along with hopefully some special offers from partners.  We will also keep those who attend aware of funding pots as these are shared with us in addition to sharing these with you by way of our newsletters.

External Virtual Client Events

In addition to our event being held on the 1 October we are delighted to share and invite you all to two further events that are detailed below:

Friday 9 October at 2pm
Is your business your pension?
To book click here

Thursday 8 October at 3pm
Why financial planning is important
To book click here

These are events are kindly being ran by our partners at St James’s Place so please feel free to book on directly or if you have any queries regarding either of these events then please just let us know again using the funding@gtaccountants.com e-mail address.

Webinars: Family versus work versus you / What to expect next

One of the first and most important lessons that I have learnt is the time lost with family whilst I was working on the business and this is where Joe Laws of Joe Laws Photography will be joining us to discuss what he has planned to help people always appreciate this.  Already I have scheduled in our family photoshoot and these are memories that whilst might have in the past have been forgotten, but in the future, will always be remembered.

Family versus work versus you
Book here to join us at 11.30 on Thursday 18 June.

In our second webinar, planned for two weeks’ time on Thursday 25 June, I will be discussed what I think lies ahead and what we can potentially anticipate.

What to expect next
To join click here on Thursday 25 June at 11am where I will discuss my thoughts and make this as interactive as possible for those attending to help people plot a route forward.

Webinars: finance, cash flow, Government support

Building on what might lie ahead, please do make a point of registering for as many of these webinars as possible; even if you just access the recording at a later date.

Protect and build a better business and life
Tuesday 2 June, 2pm (book here)

Covid-19 has forced us all to rethink.  Our teams have been working in different ways, our customers have wanted to interact with us differently, and our supply chains have been disrupted.

Join us for our “Protect and Build Better” webinar, where we’ll share a 5-step framework for delivering short-term actions while looking forward and (re)building a business based on purpose, values, and profitability.

We’re only at the start of the financial struggles, we have a long road ahead!
Wednesday 3 June, Midday (book here)

As uncertain times ahead loom, but a degree of optimism returns, we must be cautiously optimistic.

Join our webinar where we consider several ‘what-if’ scenarios around cash flow, Government support and how best to act to avoid losing your business.

Finance not just for today but for the future
Thursday 4 June, 11am (book here)

With the amount of financial support out there it is very easy to consider that once accessed that is it – job done!

We need to be looking at our finances on an ongoing basis and putting these to work and ensure the right sort of finance is accessed at the right time and utilised in the right way.

In this webinar we will cover some common mistakes currently being seen and look at how best you can structure financially for what lies ahead in these uncertain times.

The challenges we can expect next

The Easy Part Has Now Passed. Whilst we won’t deny the fact that the past few weeks and months have been challenging; as we fast approach a further announcement regarding the potential easing of lock down, more troubled times await us in the business world.

I have said on a number of occasions already that the business curve is most definitely behind the health curve and will be very different to it also.

We don’t say this to make people feel uneasy as we want to remain calm, but we don’t want people to grow complacent over the coming weeks and months.  To maintain this calm, we must retain control to the best of our ability and that means not letting up as we strike back against the current challenges that we have faced and those that still await us.

Let’s first start with some fairly obvious issues that lie ahead:

  1. These Government-backed loans will need repaying and whether they are 80% backed or 100% backed, if they are not repaid, it will impact your credit rating as a minimum.
  2. Aside from the loans, the Government has provided significant financial support such as local authority grants, furlough payments, self-employed grants etc.  These will all need to repaid but indirectly; in some shape or form, and we expect this to be via any or all of the following:
    1. Increase in personal tax rates
    2. Increase in company tax rates
    3. Increase in national insurance
    4. Increase in VAT

Some of these may come subtly through the reduction of some allowances and some may just be in terms of a hike in rates such as a jump in company tax from 19% to 30% would not be beyond the realms of possibility.  Whilst it would unreasonable and probably unlikely that these hikes will come immediately; we would be shocked if they don’t come at all, and whilst some industries might benefit from some respite such as hospitality, they may also not benefit at all nor may anybody be given any degree of leniency.

  1. Whether you have accessed any of the financial support or not, we cannot realistically see any way in which you will not be part of the repaying of it!

There are then the operational challenges that may await such as:

  • Suppliers reducing or revoking credit terms
  • Delivery timescales for materials being longer
  • Staff not wanting to return to work
  • Customers delaying orders, cancelling them or wanting extended credit
  • All of the above and more!

You might even think a lot of the above might not apply to you but it will impact you in some way or another as prices just in day to day life with regards to shopping are likely to rise!

Our key message and support

The support you have benefited from to date must continue in some shape or form to help you through the times we have ahead.  We encourage you to engage with us over the coming days and weeks to discuss this support in greater detail as we grow our team and other resources to be able to deliver this on an ongoing basis for you.

We know concerns will remain and cost will be a barrier for some if not many, but we have worked hard to find solutions to this that we can discuss at the same time.

Remember these two messages

  1. With the government support to date and the announcements made and pending, they may have whetted our appetite with regards to more positive times ahead, but it will not go far enough to quench our thirst.
  2. Finally, never forget – calm is the word but not complacency.

Webinars (NOT TO BE MISSED)

With us coming back of the bank holiday we have focused on just the one webinar this week that is ran alongside our software partner that assists with cash flow management.

Cash flow planning beyond COVID-19
Friday 29 May, Midday (book here)

Would you like to have the answers to all of the questions I have raised in the section above?

Join us for this webinar to hear how we as a business have adapted, how other businesses have adapted and how you too could to not just survive but really strike-back!

Webinars (NOT TO BE MISSED)

As promised, we have lined up a fantastic range of speakers that perfectly dovetail the support that we have already provided to help you ‘Strike-back’ when this time passes and not just make a difference now but make an ever lasting impression and actually come back stronger.

For next week we have the following webinars for you to book onto:

Strike Back Strategy Session – Survive and Thrive with Steven Briginshaw
Tuesday 12 May, 11AM (book here)

Are you in the thick of this lock-down and have a number of things you want to do but not sure what to do, when by and what the impact of these decisions would be?  If so, this is the webinar for you.

In this session we will be focusing on how you take the necessary actions and are held accountable for this spare time you have to not just know your numbers, but improve your numbers, your business and ultimately you personally.

You should have already seen the information we have shared about the Clarity software but if you want to watch our webinar on this click here.

Your Marketing Bounce Back with Ford Henderson
Wednesday 13 May, 10.30AM (book here)

Are you struggling with marketing your business in the current climate and even uncertain as to whether it is ethical that you do market your business?

In this session we will be looking at how you can shake up your marketing and you know how I have already mentioned that you should take your business, turn it upside down and put it back together again, well this adds onto this how you then know what your marketing plan will look like to get the financial return for the changes you’ve made.

We’ve known Ford for some time and worked alongside him but if you want to know a little bit more information about him and his business, you can access his website here.

Leading Your Team To Strike Back with Alison Reynolds
Thursday 14 May, 11AM (book here)

If you have furloughed your team; have you considered how their morale will be when they return to work?  If you haven’t furloughed your team have you considered how they might be feeling right now; whether they are working remotely are not?

More than ever you are going to need your team around you; pulling in the right direction, when lock down is lifted and Alison will go through not just what should be done now but what should be done moving forward also.

For a little bit more information about Alison and her business; aside from the fact she is amazing and has worked with our team, you can access her website here.

There are more amazing webinars to follow over the remainder of this month so keep an eye on these newsletters.

Bounce Bank Loan Update: Webinars

Continuing on from our newsletter earlier this week we just wanted highlight a few things that have been picked up since:

  • There has been further guidance issued which can be found here
  • The record time between application and receipt of funds has been 7 hours so there is the opportunity to access this money very quickly
  • Although the application process is very straight-forward, unless you are 100% confident in the figure you need and why, then please do not apply without first speaking with us
  • If you have not yet applied, we strongly suggest you consider this as this is a great opportunity to use this funding if you have a justifiable reason for doing so, so please do not ignore this
  • We have heard on the grape vine; though this may be incorrect, that this loan will disappear before the CBILS loan, so don’t delay too long, though we don’t have any fixed timescales just yet
  • For those that have accessed the larger CBILS loan; thus taking more than the £50k limit, we are seeking guidance from the banks as to whether a repayment could be made by an imposed bank deadline to bring this debt to £50k or less then switch this across to the bounce bank loan scheme thus benefiting from the lower rate of interest.  We wouldn’t suggest you do anything reference this yet though so don’t start contacting your bank reference switching as we are still unsure as to what the future months hold.

In short, don’t ignore this and speak with us if you want some guidance and assistance.

With everything that has been going on; and if you are still unsure as to what support you can get access to, why not try this Government link that can be accessed here to self-assess what you might have missed and can get access to.

Self-assessment grant eligilibility

First of all, the portal is still not live and we have no further information regarding this other than are told that this should be live by the middle of this month.

There is an eligibility status check that you can use though that can be accessed here and you can set up your personal government gateways at the same time if you do not have one already.

Webinars (NOT TO BE MISSED)

As promised, we have lined up a fantastic range of speakers that perfectly dovetail the support that we have already provided to help you ‘Strike-back’ when this time passes and not just make a difference now but make an ever lasting impression and actually come back stronger.

For next week we have the following webinars for you to book onto:

Strike Back Strategy Session – Survive and Thrive with Steven Briginshaw
Tuesday 12 May, 11AM (book here)

Are you in the thick of this lock-down and have a number of things you want to do but not sure what to do, when by and what the impact of these decisions would be?  If so, this is the webinar for you.

In this session we will be focusing on how you take the necessary actions and are held accountable for this spare time you have to not just know your numbers, but improve your numbers, your business and ultimately you personally.

You should have already seen the information we have shared about the Clarity software but if you want to watch our webinar on this click here.

Your Marketing Bounce Back with Ford Henderson
Wednesday 13 May, 10.30AM (book here)

Are you struggling with marketing your business in the current climate and even uncertain as to whether it is ethical that you do market your business?

In this session we will be looking at how you can shake up your marketing and you know how I have already mentioned that you should take your business, turn it upside down and put it back together again, well this adds onto this how you then know what your marketing plan will look like to get the financial return for the changes you’ve made.

We’ve known Ford for some time and worked alongside him but if you want to know a little bit more information about him and his business, you can access his website here.

Leading Your Team To Strike Back with Alison Reynolds
Thursday 14 May, 11AM (book here)

If you have furloughed your team; have you considered how their morale will be when they return to work?  If you haven’t furloughed your team have you considered how they might be feeling right now; whether they are working remotely are not?

More than ever you are going to need your team around you; pulling in the right direction, when lock down is lifted and Alison will go through not just what should be done now but what should be done moving forward also.

For a little bit more information about Alison and her business; aside from the fact she is amazing and has worked with our team, you can access her website here.

There are more amazing webinars to follow over the remainder of this month so keep an eye on these newsletters.

 

COVID-19 virus

There is a lot of panic and scaremongering in the press at the moment and the first thing that we are asking clients to do is to remain calm but naturally some steps do need to be taken and that does not include panicking which is going to do no good whatsoever and we are here to guide you through these uncertain times.

First of all, all any planned price increases that had previously been communicated to you; due to come in from 1 April 2020, have been postponed indefinitely, as we look to support clients through these troubled times.

In this newsletter we are going to cover:

  • the quickest and easiest way to not have HMRC liabilities adding to any current cash flow concerns
  • how information is more critical than ever
  • some new software you will get access to for no charge to help you make better decisions sooner
  • quick access to finance both through the banks and other parties at favourable rates
  • the latest government announcements

For clients we are recommending the following actions be considered; as appropriate, and in this order:

  1. If you have outstanding liabilities with HMRC, contact the HMRC hotline that has specifically been set up to assist in light of the COVID-19 virus. As a matter of principle we are urging clients with any concern to even just set up some form of arrangement in principle; even if they believe they should be able to make payment, as it will just ease the stress and hopefully the payment arrangement will not even be needed.

The main caveat to the above is that naturally this helpline has just been opened and we are yet to see the results from this so you’ll have to bear with it.

  1. Information is critical at this point in time and this alone will help you and us; alongside one another, to make the best possible decision as soon as possible. For those clients already on Xero we are plugging in two extra bits of software that we were initially going to just launch in April but are doing this early that you have the following key benefits:
    • This will enable us and you to best predict your cash flow in the future based on historical trends that in turn helps pin point financial concerns within your business together with the financial impact of certain decisions being made along before they have to actually be made.
    • You will also gain a better understanding of the cash flow position of your customers and have access to unlimited credit searches that will better allow you to anticipate issues before they become issues and this can even be automated to the point at which you receive an e-mail when any of customer credit ratings change.

We will as a firm starting issuing these licenses as soon as we can over the course of the next couple of days but the main caveat with either of the two above bits of software is the data that comes out is only as good as the data that goes in so work with us to ensure that this is as accurate as possible.

I appreciate that not all clients are on Xero and this will be a concern to you. The above process can be replicated manually and; though not quite as accurate or as timely, is still a valuable exercise that needs to be completed.

  1. Access to finance naturally has to be a consideration and once the above two options have been exhausted we will explore this option ALONGSIDE YOU; so please do not go and do anything without our involvement first and foremost. We have excellent relationships with the banks and Natwest and RBS have already publicised ‘mortgage holidays’ for customers along with offering quicker and cheaper access to finance (see here).
  2. Government announcements; yes there were some last week but they were vague to say the least and lacked detail behind them so are still awaiting information around these and do expect more information over the coming days and weeks but the latest guidance can be found here.

The main thing we want to reiterate though is to remain calm and explore each of the above steps.

Now we have already had a number of phone calls and e-mails to us over the course of the weekend and today and expect many more and ask that you do please get in touch if you have any concerns as we would do any other time.

In addition to ensuring that we continue to support you either here in the office or remotely we are also running daily group webinars from 12pm until 1pm up until and including Friday 27 March starting from Wednesday of this week whereby we ask that you attend one of these live chats so that Graeme can run through some of the features of the software above and he can field any questions that you have which I’m sure many others might have also.

It is just that; us a firm, we feel that this is first and foremost the quickest way to put your minds at ease as naturally we don’t have the resource to have one to one meetings with everybody. We will however, follow up these sessions with one to one calls with any clients that wish to discuss things in more detail following the webinars as appreciate some matters may not want to be shared in a group environment.

The links for these live webinars can be found below:

Wednesday 18 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244196/register

Thursday 19 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244198/register

Friday 20 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244199/register

Monday 23 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244201/register

Tuesday 24 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244204/register

Wednesday 25 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244205/register

Thursday 26 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244206/register

Friday 27 March https://graemetennick.webinarninja.com/live-webinars/244207/register

Some further additional/immediate points to note

  1. Post – please only post things to us that can not be transmitted via other means. As most of you already know, we are almost completely paperless so let’s work towards making our means of communicating with you and vica versa much slicker. Similarly; unless we have no option otherwise or you insist upon it, we will no longer be using the postal service in the interim to ensure that there is no break in service.
  2. Meetings – all meetings will go ahead until further notice as we all need to proceed as normal. Should circumstances drastically change we will still hold meetings but do these remotely via the internet so again there is no break in service.
  3. Cloud software – if you are not already on cloud software then this is the time to venture down this path and a lot of the software companies offer 30 day free trials for which we can organise for you.
  4. Social media – please monitor our feeds with regards to additional information being shared as we use all channels possible to keep clients informed but don’t worry we will still be e-mailing but social media and newsletters will often be the quickest; particularly when sharing regular and more generic updates from third parties.

Also, note that updates are naturally coming all of the time so keep an eye for these.

Together we stand the best chance of getting through this but by being calm, collective and maintaining control is critical with all information consolidated and centralised in one place so that we are best positioned to tackle this together head on.

Let’s not forget the budget.

For an excellent summary of the budget announcements there last week please click here and these can be downloaded and shared.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you build your business legacy

If you are looking to shape your businesses future through a strategic approach to accountancy we’d love to hear from you.