COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORT

March 18, 2020

In light of the ever-changing situation around Covid-19, we wanted to share with you what support and help there is available. I personally got one of the last flights out of Spain on Monday night where they announced a complete country lockdown on Friday.

 

 

Firstly, we want to assure all our clients we are happy to support you on a case by case basis without any additional charges. Rethink Accountancy is a fully digital, remote firm, so nothing will change in the service to you. All team members have remote access, working 100% in the cloud with Xero as a business platform in collaboration with a series of business software partners. 

All meetings going forward will be moved to the telephone or Zoom. We’ll ask what you prefer when we book the appointment.

Talking to several clients this week it is clear the community is already experiencing cancelled orders/events/contracts, supply chain issues and some challenges with cash flow.

 

So with this in mind, we have put together some useful information that may help guide you through this period of uncertainty.  

 

Cash flow

We partner with a cashflow app called Fluidly and offer a cash flow reporting to all our clients. If you are not a client but can give us access to your Xero account we would be happy to also give you this report along with a free cash flow business review summary. Fluidly also has available some amazing scenario planning functionality so we can look at some of the scenarios that may affect your business in the next few months and plan regarding staff, overheads and sales changes. This software will allow you to automatically build a detailed baseline cash flow forecast, the artificial intelligence uses your data to crunch the numbers giving you peace of mind and confident business planning in minutes. 

 

Review your overheads

If you are predicting cash flow difficulties it is sensible to review the overheads in your business and pause any spending you feel may not be necessary at this time. The first thing to do is categorise expenditure (both personal and business) into “essential” and “nice to have”. Once you have those numbers you can better appraise your situation and we can support you further with short term cash flow forecasts.

 

We also offer all our clients Hubdoc for free but we are happy to help other firms integrate this software into their business. Hubdoc extracts key information from your receipts, invoices and bills. Your important financial records are organised automatically for you, backed up forever and available on any device. Hubdoc is a secure digital filing cabinet in the cloud. 

 

HR Support

Our HR support is through Markel who have a dedicated team of HR & Legal specialists, if you email us on rethink@rethinkaccountancy.co.uk with a brief overview we can get you some specialist advice on your situation. 

 

Your own Bank

Contact your own bank, either your dedicated manager if you have one or your business call centre to discuss your options should you need a new or increased overdraft limit, asset finance, credit cards or other forms of temporary finance.

 

Our funding partners

Funding options:-

https://www.fundingoptions.com/?affid=525&override_existing=true&utm_expid=.VlrrH75hSY6aCbXGxnJXbQ.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fundingoptions.com%2Fpartner%2F525%2Fdashboard%2F

Iwoca - https://www.iwoca.co.uk/

We have a full integration with Xero and a portal to the software so we can oversee any loan applications. 

Satago - https://www.satago.com/

 

Turning now to the Government support…

In the Budget 2020, the Chancellor made an initial announcement that a ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ (CBILS) will temporarily replace the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), becoming available over the coming weeks.

It will operate in a similar way to EFG and be provided by the British Business Bank but will offer more attractive terms for both businesses and lenders, with the aim of supporting the continued provision of finance to UK businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

As it stands, we do not know any more than this. More information will be available in the coming days and weeks, please click on the link below for updated advice:-

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/

 

Yesterday the chancellor made further announcements with £10k grants available to those eligible for small business rates relief available. Providing up to £25k grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.

With the further support of no business rates to some business sectors for 12 months and 3 month mortgage payments breaks available.  

They also advised that for pubs, clubs theatres who have taken government advice and closed that this is sufficient for them to claim insurance if they have cover for pandemics and business interruption in place but it is advised to talk with your insurance provider first. 

 

HMRC and Time to Pay

HMRC have launched a helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Again, this appears to be a “work in progress”. You will find more details below, but if you have any concerns about making payment to the tax authorities please call us immediately for support.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19#to-support-businesses-experiencing-increases-in-costs-or-financial-disruptions

 

 

Companies house

If COVID-19 has affected your business and you have accounts that are due to be filed you can apply for an extension so no fines will be applied but only businesses who have applied for this will not have fines applied, there is further information available here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-more-time-to-file-your-companys-accounts

 

Official guidance for employers

For HMRC’s guidance for employers, please follow the link below:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

 

Statutory Sick Pay SSP Support

To support businesses experiencing increases in costs or financial disruptions:-

· The government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

· The eligibility criteria for the scheme will be as follows:-

o This refund will cover up to two weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19. Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible.

o The size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020. Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19.

o Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note.

o The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to self-isolators comes into force.

o The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible. Existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP.

The information above has been taken from the following Source:-

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/871900/Covid-19_Budget_fact_sheet_FINAL.pdf

Again, it is unclear how this will be organised and how quickly the payroll software will catch up with the situation.

 

Self employed

HMRC has set up a helpline specifically for the self employed and businesses who are struggling, the number is 0300 4563565.

If you have a moment can you please sign the petition below for SSP to be available for the self employed during this period. Parliament will consider this for discussion once the petition reaches 100,000 signatures. 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/300336?fbclid=IwAR1olpUW3gmy1bCddlqdRqvPI4M5mP-zFK0z7eN-Y6OzgUSqgpH09S1qYgI

 

IR35

The government have announced they will postpone the introduction of new IR35 legislation on the private sector until 6 April 2021

 

We are more than happy to discuss your individual circumstances and advise on the best way forward.

We appreciate these are unprecedented and challenging times to be in business and we all face a period of uncertainty. No one can predict the future but we believe we can all pull together as businesses and support each other. 

The Rethink Accountancy team is here to help you. If you need a sounding board, some advice or a steer in the right direction, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

P.S. Please be kind to one another, we are in this together! 

 

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