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8th April 2020How we have been supporting clients through Covid-19

Preparing to Keep a Healthcare Company Afloat in the Absence of Patients

Partner: Joel Courts
Client: Dental sector
Advising on: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

My client is in the medical/dental sector and was forced to stop seeing patients due to government advice.

When we discussed what the options were, we came to the decision that all staff apart from himself, being the director and owner, should be furloughed as they could not work from home. Liaising with the payroll department we came up with a plan of how to process the March payroll whilst we waited for the government portal to open. At the same time, the client needed to start planning how he would be able to keep the company afloat whilst there was no income.

We first went through which overheads could be cut or delayed. The client went through negotiations with their landlord who offered good commercial terms. As we were already carrying out monthly bookkeeping, we could very quickly produce management accounts. The director then worked closely with Shaun Tillery from the Business Solutions department to produce a cashflow forecast as the bank had initially asked for 6 months. A guidance was updated and Shaun helped the client to project further to show a full 12 months.

This allowed the client to speak to their bank to find out what further information was needed for the CBILS. Shaun then provided further assistance in completing some of the financial information on one of the lengthy forms. The client has now been able to apply for a loan from their bank which we are waiting to hear back on.

Client feedback

The financial position this Coronavirus crisis has put my practice in is worrying and although the government has tried to come up with support solutions for businesses, the process is onerous. I could not have produced financial projections, management accounts, nor completed all the paper work the banks are requesting without the help of Joel Courts, Simon Michaels and Shaun Tillery at HW Fisher. The support that I received from HW Fisher was immediate, focused and showed a true concern for the viability of my practice.

Contact Joel Courts for advice and support for your business during Covid-19.


Steps to Protect Cash Flow in the Social Care Sector

Partner: Darshna Choudhury
Client: Care home operator
Advising on: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and year-end audit extension

On the day the Chancellor announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, I was contacted by one of my clients who operates a group of care homes, enquiring about whether this scheme would be of any benefit to them. Unfortunately, they had a number of staff who were having to self-isolate in line with government guidelines and I advised the client that they would not be able to furlough these employees under the guideline stated in the CJRS. In addition, as the company has more than 250 employees, I noted that they were also not entitled to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Given the huge pressures on social care at present and the difficulties which the client was facing to protect both their staff and residents, we discussed delaying the year-end audit which was scheduled for mid-April. I advised the client that we could apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts at Companies House so that they could prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus on their business. I assisted them with making the application through a fast-tracked online system which automatically and immediately granted a 3-month extension.

Subsequently, we considered what steps the company could take to help with cash flow during this time. We discussed delaying corporation tax instalment payments and I advised the client that HMRC have set up a specific helpline to call to negotiate revised payment arrangements based on your specific circumstances.

Contact Darshna Choudhury for advice and support for your business during Covid-19.


Partnering with Clients to Make the Best Decisions for their Business

Partner: Mandy Janes
Client: Consultancy business
Advising on: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

My client has built a very successful and profitable cost consultancy business from scratch over the past 6 years, which is now turning over circa m and employing around 100 people. This is a strong business with no debt, so when we reviewed their cashflow workings on 18 March and realised that using even reasonably optimistic assumptions for cash receipts (given the circumstances), they were likely to be cash negative by November, reality really hit home.

We have since been speaking on a regular basis to discuss the ongoing government announcements and initiatives. In the early stages we were asked about the implications of delaying payment to HMRC for VAT, PAYE and the July personal tax payment on account. We advised opening an early dialogue with HMRC to arrange a Time to Pay arrangement.

My client also contacted their bank at an early stage to discuss the Covid-19 Business Interruption Loan scheme and on looking at the application form, were interested to know our views on the requirements for personal guarantees (a request from their own bank) in comparison to other banks. We were able to give comparisons based on the conversations we were having with other clients and banks.

Whilst we did debate the Covid-19 Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) my client has decided not to take advantage of the scheme, but will instead consider across the board pay-cuts.

They have made plans on their next steps confident in the knowledge that they are doing what is right for their business, even if that is in contrast to others. We remain in constant dialogue looking at other ideas and to support them through this unprecedented time.

Speak to Mandy Janes for advice and support for your business during Covid-19.

Key contacts

Joel Courts HW Fisher

Joel Courts
Partner - Accounts

020 7874 7812
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Darshna Choudhury HW Fisher

Darshna Choudhury
Partner

020 7874 1166
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Mandy Janes HW Fisher

Mandy Janes
Partner - Audit

020 7874 1162
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