As part of Menzies commitment to sharing #BrighterThinking, our teams of accounting and business advisors have been providing their opinions on some of the leading hot topics raised within some of the UK’s leading national, regional and specialist press titles.
Here follows a summary of Menzies in the media for April 2020.
Spotting financial distress in suppliers
Management Today – 1st April
Business Recovery Partner Simon Underwood explains how and why it’s so important to be able to spot financial distress in suppliers.
“By recognising and reacting quickly to financial red flags, companies may be able to relieve some of the immediate pressure on cash flow and maintain business continuity through the crisis. If it is becoming increasingly difficult to pay creditors or employees on time for example, this could be a sign that there may not be enough cash in the bank to weather the storm.”
Support for the self-employed during Covid-19
Financial Planning Today – 2nd April
Private Client Senior Manager David Ansdell assesses the Chancellor’s new funding grants for the self-employed and the eligibility criteria to claim this much needed financial aid.
“To be eligible for the funding, the individual must be genuinely self-employed, however there is no discrimination against any specific trade and being an off-payroll worker on IR35 will not discount anyone from being eligible.”
The rising demand of HR
Ed Hussey’s assessment was featured in Personnel Today and HR News
Personnel Today – 3rd April
People Solutions Director Ed Hussey evaluates how essential employers can manage the rising demand for HR services.
“For those experiencing a massive uptick in demand for goods and services, these are incredibly challenging times. As well as protecting the interests of existing workers, by adhering to the rules surrounding social distancing and providing access to protective products and equipment, they also need to find a way of scaling up operations and recruiting more staff quickly, at a time when absenteeism is rising.”
Unlimited leave policies
CEO Today – 3rd April
People Solutions Director explores the implications of tech company Buffer’s decision to change it’s annual leave policy and how other businesses can design the right reward and remuneration packages around what their staff really want.
“Two years after introducing such a policy to encourage employees to use their holiday entitlement, it was forced to rethink its approach, realising that it was having the opposite effect. Instead of using up their holiday allowance, workers were taking less holiday than before.”
Avoiding Coronavirus fraud
Gavin Cunningham’s advice was featured in Business Matters and Enterprise Times.
Business Matters – 3rd April
Forensic Partner Gavin Cunningham outlines his advice for business owners and individuals on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud during the Coronavirus crisis.
“A sharp rise in fraud is expected and often follows periods of uncertainty and economic shocks. Scammers are adept at preying on the financial vulnerability that many businesses and individuals experience at such times and can be incredibly creative when it comes to finding new ways to access their money. Changes to Government policy and the announcement of a new grant-based support scheme are also likely to peek the fraudsters’ interest.”
Debenhams files for administration
Simon Underwood’s comments were featured in:
This is Money
Various – 6th April
Business Recovery Partner Simon Underwood responds to the news of department store chain Debenhams entering administration.
“Debenhams has been experiencing significant financial difficulties for some time and last year announced plans to close 50 stores over three years. The decision to place the business in administration will provide some protection and help to hold off creditors for the time being. This will effectively buy the retailer some time, so more permanent decisions about how to proceed with the current restructuring plan can be made once the trading outlook becomes clearer.”
Diversification in business
Business Matters – 17th April
Business Recovery Partner Simon Underwood provides an assessment of how businesses can successfully diversify their model in order to open up new revenue streams and reduce their risk during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
“A growing number of businesses are attempting to turn their fortunes around – some with considerable success – by making fundamental changes to their product offering and/or their way of working. Most have been forced to do so because their revenue stream has either disappeared completely or shrunk considerably. Whilst businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors are among those worst hit by the new stay-at-home rules, suppliers to these sectors, such as specialist food producers and wholesalers, have also been affected.”
Businesses failing to access financial support
Business Matters – 17th April
Corporate Finance Partner John Foundling comments on why so many businesses are failing to access the financial support e.g. the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and possible alternatives.
“Government statistics published last week indicate that 6,020 loans have been approved, a figure which is rising daily – so it is clear than applications are coming through. It is also possible that some businesses have chosen to make use of the job retention scheme first, before deciding whether a business interruption loan is required. The Chancellor’s decision to launch the Future Fund (announced yesterday), which will be available from May, is the latest welcome piece in the jigsaw for SME business owners. This scheme will provide loans of £125,000 to £5m to match the value of private sector investment secured by innovative businesses.”
Capitalising on the insurance tech trend
Fintech Futures – 25th April
Corporate Finance Director Alex Duffy explains why the ever-increasing exposure to a range of risks is driving demand for predictive data analytics in the insurance sector.
“Already widely used within sectors such as retail to help businesses anticipate and react to market trends, insurance companies are increasingly using such technologies to identify where, and when, risks are likely to occur, allowing them to adjust premiums accordingly. With a reduction in risk of just 0.5% likely to represent a significant uplift in profits, investing in the right software now could help them to bolster their margins in the long term.”
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