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Managing Credit in a Crisis – Part 2

16 April 2020 Written by Stephen Cowan Category: Blog

As we are now all aware, the Government has offered businesses a package of support during the current crisis. Packages include sick pay, business rates, tax and insurance as well as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Cynics amongst us say that the only aspect that these offerings have in common is that they are all difficult to access, along with the uncertainty as to precisely when any payments will be made.

The Current Position

Welcome as the Government’s help may be, there are some steps which businesses can take to help protect themselves both now and in the future. So, what should you be focusing on?

  • Do you and your customers have sufficient stock to continue production and supply?
  • Are you in regular communication with your key customers and suppliers?
  • Do your invoices need to be sent to different locations during the crisis?
  • Do your customers have access to cash to pay your invoices?
  • Are any of your customers “vulnerable”? If they are, do you have a policy in place on how they are to be treated?
  • Have you examined your own terms of business and how they might apply in the current environment?

The Future

Whilst the Government has said that it is too early to contemplate relaxing the lockdown, there are some predictions which can be made about businesses once the lockdown is lifted.

  • Continuing support and flexibility will be required from banks and the Government. The former’s assistance will no doubt be unpredictable.
  • Because the restrictions are likely to be removed gradually, the recovery will come in fits and starts. The return to “normal” will vary from industry to industry. This in itself will not bring an end to business support.
  • In general, a business’s income flow will lag behind its costs including restocking and salaries.

How Can Yuill + Kyle Help?

Undoubtedly, a business’s cash flow will be critical to its ongoing success and survival. We can support you in determining which of your customers can pay and when.

  • If you have contacted your customers and they have “gone silent”, we will try getting a reaction from them. We are able to contact your customers to ask if they are able to settle your invoices and when they are able to do so. We are to enter into payment arrangements with them on your behalf and monitor these payments.
  • If we receive no response from your customer, we can then send them a “letter before legal action” demanding payment of all outstanding monies rightfully due to you.
  • Positive replies from your customers should improve your cash flow which is vital in these most challenging times.

Once the cycle is complete, you will be in a far better position to grasp what cash you will receive and when you will get it. It goes without saying that this will be imperative to the health of your enterprise both currently and in the future.

As ever, please contact me if you have any questions which you would like to discuss.

Best wishes and stay well,

Stephen

 

Stephen Cowan

Managing Director

Yuill + Kyle

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