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Business recovery FAQs

Simon Underwood - Menzies Accountant

Simon Underwood – Business Recovery Partner

The following are some of the common Business Recovery FAQs we receive on a regular basis. With access to the entire Menzies accountancy practice, we have a wide range of in-house services that we can call on, in order to offer a complete resolution to your business challenges.

We understand that the pressure faced by individuals and company directors when dealing with financial challenges can be overwhelming. The uncertainty of the situation can create an environment where it is difficult to plan clearly and, due to the complex nature and time sensitivity of the matter, it is important to get the best possible advice quickly.

Q. Business recovery help – Creditor pressure?

Any letter which arrives on your desk with an unexpected demand for payment can cause alarm. It’s bound to. That is, after all, its intention. But it doesn’t need to.

Ignoring the problem won’t make things better. And you can’t make a genuine debt go away. But you can buy yourself time.

Consider a Home Counties law firm we worked with. Despite a respectable turnover of £3.5 million a year, recession tipped it gradually into loss. Its bank debt climbed to almost £750,000. That began to worry bank executives. Other creditors started grumbling too.

Within days of getting involved, we took the pressure off by negotiating a standstill agreement. Not just with the firm’s commercial creditors, but also with the tax and VAT authorities. That gave the firm the breathing space to work out which parts were still making money and restructure its activities to stem the losses.

As one of the firm’s partners said to us later:

“Thanks to you, we’ve been able to turn chaos into order. We’re now seeing real progress after months of fire-fighting.”

Q. Am I personally liable?

For the debts of your company, no, you’re not personally liable. But if you operate your business as a sole trader or a partnership, or if you’ve personally guaranteed the company’s loans, you probably are.

Either way, there’s no getting around it. Being involved in a business in trouble can be hell – emotionally as well as financially. It can be embarrassing if your friends find out. Frightening, too. In a family-run business, the strain can spill over into your home life as well.

Not all professional-service firms understand the pressures. Some large accountancies deal with so many businesses that each one becomes merely another item on a book-keeping list.

Our clients, however, tell us that Menzies Business Recovery is different. Howard R, for example, wrote to us after we helped him sort out the future of his London hardware shop:

“Thank you so much for your guidance in settling my affairs in such an efficient and friendly manner. You relieved my wife and I of untold stress and worry. We can now face retirement with confidence.

Q. Who can I turn to?

Finding yourself or your business in financial trouble is rare. Most people never experience the terror of what one of our clients calls ‘that dentist’s-chair moment’.

So most business people who do find themselves in financial trouble, don’t have close contacts among experts in the field. Understandably they’re also reluctant to ask friends for names.

To reduce the anxieties and risks of this uncomfortable situation, we make all our clients two promises:

  • Your first meeting with us will be without obligation – and free. We will not charge you any fees at all until you agree we should.
  • We won’t reveal your identity to your creditors or your rivals – until and unless you give us permission to do so.

Q. Is there hope?

Always. Even in the bleakest circumstances, faced with what seem like insoluble problems, you always have options. It may take time to work out the best solution or set of solutions. It will take more time to put the solutions into practice.

We won’t pretend that the journey will be easy, or that the available options will all be attractive. There are almost certain to be bumps along the road. And sometimes what looks like a possible way forward can turn out to be a dead end.

But our clients tell us we’re among the best in the field. Indeed, in a survey taken by business people in September 2013, the Menzies Business Recovery team were rated as ‘trusted advisers’ by every single one of the respondents.

Clients who we have previously helped are also unanimous about one other experience: however painful your initial situation, and however the situation plays out, you will at the end feel better than you do now.

Contact Us

To speak to a partner or for more information about the services we offer please contact one of the Menzies LLP offices or complete our online contact form.

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  • “Menzies provided, audit, tax and company secretarial services to SFW. Their work was always to a  very high standard and we found them easy to work with. When we sold the business Menzies provided significant help during due diligence and completion activities. They were highly responsive, particularly, when we had last minute requests for assistance and were thoroughly professional. I have no hesitation in recommending them.”
    Steve Elliott – SFW Ltd Director

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    SFW Ltd, SFW Ltd August 17, 2016

  • “We Menzies over the past year and we continue to be impressed with their knowledge, efficiency and the high calibre of support they provide. The Menzies team look after our year end accounts in a timely and efficient manner, and continue to provide proactive advice in many areas of our business, from keeping track of our product margins and fixed costs to providing us with beneficial forecasting advice. We are also liaising with other teams within Menzies, for example they are assisting us with crowdfunding options and have advised us on building a strong business plan.”

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    Luxury British Brand, A luxury British Brand August 17, 2016

  • “Throughout our many years of working with Menzies, we have always found them to be professional in all aspects of their work. The team currently deal with our UK trading company and the holding companies which includes acting as the group auditors for a large international group. Their historical knowledge of our company and operations is highly important to us especially as we have a fairly complicated group structure. The team are reliable, friendly and organised in their approach.

    We would have no hesitation in recommending Menzies to any other company.”

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    Crabtree & Evelyn, Crabtree & Evelyn August 17, 2016

  • “Menzies LLP have acted as our auditor and advisors for a number of years. The company has a holistic range of services to offer, from the compliance aspects of our business and consultancy services which are undertaken by specialist teams. The firm have recently undertaken a business valuation for a successful acquisition of an overseas subsidiary that our group acquired as it continues to grow and branches out into the overseas markets. We have found Menzies to be reliable, honest advisors and would not hesitate to recommend them.”

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    Contechs Holdings Limited, Contechs Holdings Limited August 17, 2016

  • “We have known Menzies for a very long time. The firm acts as our auditors and advisors for the company and our family’s own personal matters. The team fully understand our affairs and come up with pro-active solutions that are in our best interest and tax efficient for the business and family. We also utilise the services of Menzies Wealth Management so the teams work closely together to ensure our affairs dove tail in their advice. The team are trustworthy and reliable and we would not hesitate to recommend them for your personal or company affairs.”

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    Down Street Electrics Limited, Down Street Electrics Limited August 17, 2016

  • “We have been working with Menzies for a number of years on compliance and advisory matters. The team are approachable and proactive, offering constructive and helpful support, Menzies have over the years during the development of our business consistently met our needs. The team work well to ensure that we achieve our internal deadlines and communicate with us along the way. We would happily recommend Menzies to others.”
    David Moss, Head of Finance – Emmi (UK) Limited

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    Emmi (UK) Limited, Emmi (UK) Limited August 17, 2016

  • “We are a very long standing client of Menzies and they deal with all our financial requirements from day to day bookkeeping through to higher level advisory support.  They are always courteous, professional and considered – and relevant to our sector – providing us with solutions that are prompt and accurate and help us to run the business as efficiently as possible.  We would have no hesitation in recommending their services.”
    Takashi Kamimura – Mary Quant Limited

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    Mary Quant Limited, Mary Quant Limited August 17, 2016

  • “What really pleases me is that I’m now, for the first time, proud of my business, seeing it grow and spending less time at work! I’m learning how to have fun and relax again. My hard work is starting to pay off, thanks to Menzies”

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    FTI, FTI May 25, 2016