COVID-19 Update (24 March 2020)

So following last night’s announcement I’m sure many more would have struggled to sleep last night and woke up this morning feel anxious, nervous, upset and even perhaps lost.

For many, today will be the day when you have to decide whether you fall within the Government guidelines of being ‘essential’ and thus determining whether you can still ‘open your doors’.

We cannot help you determine that, but what we can say is we made the decision ourselves to work remotely on Sunday night so as of yesterday morning our offices were emptied and we worked from home and will do for the foreseeable future. What we noticed was there was no disruption to how we serviced clients and if anything, processes and communication improved even further.

For some though; the idea of working remotely will not be possibly and you will now be looking at a scary period of financial uncertainty.

It goes without saying though that health is far more important that money so whatever difficult decisions have to be made, always put health at the forefront of things and we can support you with the rest.

I appreciate this will put people in what might seem an impossible position but at least you then stand the best possible chance of being healthy when the current situation passes.

Let us focus on the financial side of things for you and this is where we will step forward. We can naturally never make an guarantees, so we need to be honest, but what we can guarantee is that following Government guidelines reduces the risk of you being infected. You can then focus your efforts on working alongside us for structuring your finances accordingly to give you the best possible chance of coming through this and also coming back stronger than ever when normality resumes.

You might then ask where are we at as a firm?

The first thing I would say is that we have been preparing for this for quite some time now and working relentlessly the best we can to support you in amongst all of this uncertainty.

We actually had somebody new join us yesterday to strengthen our support for clients and bless Sam Oliver; who many of you know, turned 30 on Sunday and had this week booked off but instead cancelled this so that he could come in and support clients in this difficult time.

Our focus has initially been on keeping all clients calm and we cannot stress enough that this needs to remain the case.

Since then we have focused on getting your data as up to date as much as possible for those using cloud accounting software. For those not on cloud accounting software I suggest you move in this direction otherwise reliance will be on you for bringing everything up to date.

Our focus this week will be on accessing the Government grants and external finance and we’ve already had positive conversations with the director of Natwest, are speaking with Barclays tomorrow and will know about further lenders Thursday so we are ready in the knowledge of what they need and when by.

To reiterate what I have mentioned above, all I ask now is for you to remain calm and MOST IMPORTANTLY follow guidelines to remain healthy. Let us take responsibility alongside you for helping sort the finances and we will be in touch in due course regarding this.

Let’s now work together and beat this and reflect on some of the real life positive stories that I heard of yesterday and yes these all happened in the space of one day which prove that together we can fight this!

Some uplifting stories

Given the current climate I couldn’t help but mention stories I experienced and heard yesterday that literally gave me goosebumps:

  • As mentioned above, Sam Oliver; who most of you will be aware of in our office, turned 30 on Sunday and was due to have this week off but cancelled his week off to come in and help support clients.
  • Other people in the team are working extra hours to again provide further support to our clients to put their minds at ease and have even had staff offer to buy equipment for home as we start working from home; which I refused, but it shows how much everybody cares.
  • A client of ours had one of their biggest customers call them and say, given the current climate, they will be paying invoices sooner and if they wanted to invoice for work in advance of it being completed they would happily pay for this to support them.

They stories genuinely all came about in one single day and we as a firm have even taken the decision to support our suppliers as far as possible and continue paying them throughout this period; even if we get nothing for it, to help them come out the other side.

Let’s continue to look at the long-term picture, support suppliers and customers where possible, and ensure we have the necessary team around us, as we need one another now more than ever.

Sean Clifford - Clifford Aviation Limited

"Whether it is in person, or on the phone, I always feel better after speaking with you."

Sean Clifford – Director of Clifford Aviation Limited

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