General Insolvency Advice
Many individuals and businesses experience financial difficulties at some point and it is important to be able to seek advice at the earliest opportunity. The pressure of dealing with issues such as a bad debt, creditor pressure, cashflow problems and the loss of key customers can be overwhelming and getting sound advice is essential in these circumstances. This can alleviate the stress for those involved and enables a clear strategy to be established.
At turpin barker armstrong we are always sensitive to each scenario and our professional team includes licensed insolvency practitioners and qualified accountants who are skilled in providing services to companies and individuals facing financial difficulties.
We are always happy to provide a free no obligation initial consultation so that advice is sought without delay.
In many cases we have been able to act on an advisory basis in order to reach the best outcome without the need for a formal insolvency procedure. This is often helpful when relationships between different stakeholders breakdown and we can intervene to achieve a resolution for the best interests of all parties.
Our advice is always clear and comprehensive and our services include the following:
- Negotiations with creditors (including H M Revenue & Customs);
- Protection for Directors;
- Cashflow projections and budget assistance;
- Equipment purchase and capital expenditure;
- Credit Control;
- Payment plans with HMRC
- Loans and other methods of finance
When creditors are pressing for a financial settlement, a Company Voluntary Arrangement or CVA can be a very helpful mechanism. A CVA ensures the survival of the business while guaranteeing fair treatment for their creditors.
With the help of a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner, you would come to an arrangement with your creditors about the scale and the timing of the repayment of debts. There are no set rules for this. The agreement is entirely between the company and its creditors. Not all creditors have to agree: a majority of 75% by value is sufficient. The creditors can suggest changes to the proposal which the directors have to agree if the scheme is to be taken forward.
The key benefit of a CVA is that it enables you to continue to trade, so increasing the chance of a turnaround, while safeguarding your personal financial position.
Additionally, only the creditors are advised of a CVA, so the kind of publicity that might damage the company’s prospects can be minimised.
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In these unprecedented times, many small and medium-sized businesses have reported significant problems with cash flow. In addition to drawing on Government-backed financial support, there are a number of measures you can take, to manage cash flow as effectively as possible.
If your company has cash flow problems you should seek immediate, professional, independent advice. Not doing so could result in penalties for wrongful trading if you continue to trade whilst knowing that you are insolvent.
Clearly, turnover will be important for the business, but you need to ensure that you do not fall into the trap of ‘over-trading’. Blindly chasing turnover can be risky because of the up-front costs you will inevitably incur. What happens if payments are not received until weeks or even months down the line? How will cash flow be affected as a result?
No-one wants to turn away business in the current economic climate but you may wish to consider asking for advance payments to cover materials and supplies.
Think carefully about committing to purchase any large pieces of equipment which could take a chunk out of capital reserves.
If the equipment is necessary to keep the business going, consider a hire purchase agreement or bank loan so that they can offset the cost over a number of months or even years.
Take a good, hard look at fixed overheads. Now might be the time to outsource payroll and HR services to minimise the fixed costs of having in-house staff.
Freeing up funds in this way leads to leaner working practises so that you remain flexible with a focus on staying profitable.
Every business suffers the pain of late and slow paying customers. The coronavirus crisis means that many more suppliers may default on their payments, leading to a knock-on effect for business cash flow.
Now is the time to ensure that the credit control function is working efficiently. If you don’t have a dedicated in-house facility, outsource this business function in the short term to help the business ride the economic storm.
A good credit control system is reliant on the business issuing invoices without delay so that any lapses in adhering to terms of payment can be followed up as soon as they become due.
The Government has announced a raft of measures to help businesses including extended time to pay and tax holidays.
Businesses did not have to make VAT payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020. They will also have additional time to pay any tax that has accumulated during the deferral period. HMRC has confirmed that deferred amounts will not be subject to interest or penalties.
The Government has also announced an extension of the business rates holiday to all businesses in hospitality and retail sectors regardless of rateable value. This means retail outlets, pubs, cinemas and restaurants will pay no business rates for 12 months.
Additionally, a £25,000 grant was granted to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. These grants which are non-repayable, are available by applying to your local council.
HMRC has put routine tax compliance checks on hold currently, although the work of its Fraud Investigation Service will continue.
Our experts are here to help your business. We will explain what measures your client can take now to ensure that their tax burden is minimised. We can liaise with HMRC on a company’s behalf if a revised tax payment plan is necessary to sustain the business and we can also mitigate this against and tax refunds due.
The Government has announced a raft of business assistance to help companies large and small.
We are able to assist with enquiries for finance for the business including traditional sources of finance such as business loans, invoice finance and bridging loans. We can also assist with enquiries concerning CBILS and Bounce Back Loans.
The Government will absorb interest costs in these loans for a prolonged period. It is important to remember that the borrower is ultimately liable for the debt.