Category Archives: Covid-19

Why bother with a cashflow forecast?

With CBILS, Bounce Back Loans, VAT deferrals, grants etc there may be more cash in the bank now than ever before and your cashflow is sorted for the next couple months.

But what happens after that?

Lockdown has probably helped the bank balance with customers paying while you’ve been running down stocks or furloughing staff. However the problems will come when customers start buying again: you’ll need to buy new stock or pay wages for sales that take a while to be paid for.

Right at the point where your bank balance has run right down you’ll need to invest more in your business.

In addition to this you need to keep an eye on payments due in the future.
Corporation Tax: usually paid October or January
Self Assessment tax: due January
Deferred VAT: due March 2021
Loan repayments: starting May/ June 2021
Plus regular VAT due every quarter regardless of other cash spend

A lot of this cash is heading to HMRC so perhaps a phone call will stem the flow? But that only drains cash from next year’s profits and stifles growth potential.

A plan for the future is vital, which means some sort of cashflow forecast. Even if it’s just a rough estimate, that plan allows you to see what pressure you’ll be under and give you time to take action.

And if you’re going to take action, the sooner the better.

Sometimes getting started is the hardest step to take. If you need some inspiration, or a template to kick off your forecast then get in touch.

Covid-19 support navigator

At the time of writing the lockdown has been in force for 6 weeks, and in that time there have been a myriad of support packages (and revisions) announced by the government in an attempt to keep businesses in business. It has been a constant struggle to try to stay up to date.

But no longer: the government has added a “support finder” tool to the Covid-19 resources on the gov.uk website. Take a look at www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

The finder works as a series of questions with ‘yes/no’ and tick-box answers. It doesn’t require any identifying details (name, tax UTR, PAYE reference, etc) so you can investigate the support without creating a history. The questions, and the information you will need to know to answer them are:

1. UK nation in which your business is based
2. Number of employees (more or less than 249)
3. Annual turnover (<£85,000, £85,000 to £45 million, £45 million to £500m) 4. Are you an employer with a PAYE scheme?
5. Are you self-employed?
6. Rateable value of your premises (<£51,000, >£51,000 or N/A)
7. Business sector (retail hospitality & leisure, nurseries, other)
8. Eligibility for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief (on 11 March 2020)
9. Are you due to make an Income Tax Self-Assessment Payment-on-Account on 31 July 2020 (unlike the previous questions, this relates to a personal liability not related to your business)

Your responses to the above questions generates a tailored list of support packages for which your business may be eligible.

For each suggested package, there is a brief description of the measure and eligibility, with a link to take you to the relevant page of GOV.UK for further detail.

Start your search here or take a look at our resources and notes about the various options here