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Careful preparation is key

Experts at a Shropshire accountancy firm have warned local businesses to prepare now for even stricter conditions as Coronavirus continues to spread.

Mark Bramall is the corporate director at Dyke Yaxley Chartered Accountants in Shrewsbury, and he warned that the Government was constantly updating its advice in a fast-moving and increasingly serious situation.

“Naturally businesses will be concerned about the effects of the ongoing pandemic, but there are steps they can take to keep their company in the best position possible, for as long as it is feasible and safe to do so.”

Mr Bramall said business owners should make sure they were up-to-date with their invoicing and should be quick to chase any debtors – and now would be a good point to review current credit terms and limits.

“Plan your cashflow to help limit any surprises further down the line as the crisis progresses, and maintain a 13-week rolling cashflow forecast to identify any pinch points. Review your supply chain too. If you rely on any key suppliers, identify where supply delays will impact on your business, and look at sourcing back-up suppliers just in case.”

Mr Bramall said as the pandemic continued, many staff may need to work from home and company bosses would need to review the new-look operation.

“Look closely at the options for your staff and your business – consider using staff holidays, reduced hours or unpaid leave, or defer staff costs. It’s unclear how long the Coronavirus crisis will last, so your new approach will need to be sustainable and flexible.

“Ensuring business continuity will be vital, so make sure your staff are set up for remote working, embrace technology and encourage online meetings wherever possible rather than face-to-face contact.

“With such a fast-moving situation, you need to be fully aware of the support that’s available and make the most of it. Our team can help you to assess your financing needs and options quickly, and help you maximise the Government packages that could benefit your business including the Time to Pay scheme for delaying tax payments and support for Statutory Sick Pay. The Government has also announced increased support with business rates and grants for small businesses.

“The challenge for all of us at the moment is obtaining the detail on the initiatives to guide everyone through these uncertain times. The key message is that advisers are here to help so do seek professional advice.”

Pictured: Mark Bramall

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