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post sept surv 2

Surviving Another Lockdown (Partial Or Full)

A further lockdown

As we enter another state of lockdown in some shape of form; depending on what part and in which country you currently operate out of, we must stick together and that is the theme of our final newsletter for September.

We are going to focus on the positive support out there that we suggest you take advantage of so that we keep fighting, take the positives from the challenges faced and those that lie ahead whilst also recognising the strain it puts on us all so reach out for help where necessary.

We do however also appreciate that everybody is probably in a state of feeling overwhelmed to some extent hence we have focused on a handful of key areas this month to help you overcome this.

Cash flow support

Whilst we are uncertain as to what additional support there may or may not be from the Government we can realistically expect greater difficulty when it comes to collecting debt.

We have subsequently established a creditors services alongside an independent third party offering to support businesses in need that will not only do some digging around amounts you are concerned about receiving but will also chase these for you.

This initial exercise is absolutely free and from the cases we have seen so far; as this is handled externally to ourselves, a client recently received over £3,000 that they have previously written off and it cost them little more than £200 that was only taken upon successful collection of the debt.

If this is a concern for you, have any queries and/or just wish to discuss this further register your interest by e-mailing us at funding@gtaccountants.com

Group Event (Virtual I’m afraid)

Whilst we did initially hope some time soon we could commence face to face meetings and have this event as being a physical one we have had to think again but we won’t let it hold us back entirely.

In addition to the online community platform that we have established with Futrli Peer and for which you can access for no charge through this link here to chat with other business owners and get some tips, we are also doing more.

We as a firm will be the lead for Enterprise Nation where we bring business owners together through Zoom but this will be a great opportunity to just let off some steam and take away some great content and advice.

There is no charge for attending and the first virtual event is on 1 October from midday for an hour so if this of interest then why not book through the link here.

Going forward we are hoping to make this a monthly event and get some guest speakers along with hopefully some special offers from partners.  We will also keep those who attend aware of funding pots as these are shared with us in addition to sharing these with you by way of our newsletters.

External Virtual Client Events

In addition to our event being held on the 1 October we are delighted to share and invite you all to two further events that are detailed below:

Friday 9 October at 2pm
Is your business your pension?
To book click here

Thursday 8 October at 3pm
Why financial planning is important
To book click here

These are events are kindly being ran by our partners at St James’s Place so please feel free to book on directly or if you have any queries regarding either of these events then please just let us know again using the funding@gtaccountants.com e-mail address.

post 24 gov historical-buildings

Today’s Government Announcement

Today’s Announcement

So whilst we would usually wait until a little more detail is released, we thought we would share what we know already as we appreciate the urgency with which some people need some clarification.

As we find out more we will release a further update so watch out for any further updates in your mailbox.

The highlights are as follows:

  1. The current furlough scheme will be replaced by a new jobs support scheme as of November and will run for 6 months.  Broadly speaking current guidance is suggesting that employees must work at least a third of their normal hours, the Government subsidising a third leaving the remaining third unpaid.  Further guidance will follow around this.
  2. The self-employed grant will be extended but the exact terms of this are yet to be clarified.
  3. The deadline for applying for either a bounce back loan or coronavirus business interruption loans has been extended to 30 November 2020.
  4. Greater flexibility around bounce back loans including the possible opportunity to extend the term over which repayments are made.
  5. For those struggling with bounce back loan repayments there will be the option to potentially take a payment holiday for up to six months and make interest only repayments.  Again we expect more detail to be released around this and restrictions around those who can take advantage.
  6. VAT will remain at 5% for hospitality and tourism until 31 March 2021.

Cash flow support

Whilst we are uncertain as to what additional support there may or may not be from the Government we can realistically expect greater difficulty when it comes to collecting debt.

We have subsequently established a creditors services alongside an independent third party offering to support businesses in need that will not only do some digging around amounts you are concerned about receiving but will also chase these for you.

This initial exercise is absolutely free and from the cases we have seen so far; as this is handled externally to ourselves, a client recently received over £3,000 that they have previously written off and it cost them little more than £200 that was only taken upon successful collection of the debt.

If this is a concern for you, have any queries and/or just wish to discuss this further register your interest by e-mailing us at funding@gtaccountants.com

Group Event (Virtual I’m afraid)

Whilst we did initially hope some time soon we could commence face to face meetings and have this event as being a physical one we have had to think again but we won’t let it hold us back entirely.

In addition to the online community platform that we have established with Futrli Peer and for which you can access for no charge through this link here to chat with other business owners and get some tips, we are also doing more.

We as a firm will be the lead for Enterprise Nation where we bring business owners together through Zoom but this will be a great opportunity to just let off some steam and take away some great content and advice.

There is no charge for attending and the first virtual event is on 1 October from midday for an hour so if this of interest then why not book through the link here.

Going forward we are hoping to make this a monthly event and get some guest speakers along with hopefully some special offers from partners.  We will also keep those who attend aware of funding pots as these are shared with us in addition to sharing these with you by way of our newsletters.

External Virtual Client Events

In addition to our event being held on the 1 October we are delighted to share and invite you all to two further events that are detailed below:

Friday 9 October at 2pm
Is your business your pension?
To book click here

Thursday 8 October at 3pm
Why financial planning is important
To book click here

These are events are kindly being ran by our partners at St James’s Place so please feel free to book on directly or if you have any queries regarding either of these events then please just let us know again using the funding@gtaccountants.com e-mail address.

website photos improve

Business Update.

Making sure our support continues to be fit for purpose

We continue to seek ways in which we can exceed all client’s expectations as we look for ways in which we can improve the service we deliver to you and even more so in the current climate.

Improved Payroll Service Offering

The first thing that we have recently finalised is a strategic partnership that we have setup with a specialist payroll provider here in the UK that will mean that for those with a payroll subscription the current service will not only remain but you will also receive additional services on top of those received now including a personalised portal to access payslips and input timesheets among other things.

There is no additional cost for this service and if you have any further queries around this then please contact your client account manager.

The changes with regards to payroll will be staggered over the next three months as we gradually introduce this.

Postponed price freeze until 31 March 2021

At the start of the current pandemic we postponed any planned price increases and haven’t implemented any since then.

We now propose extending this price freeze until 31 March 2021 to all clients and in light of the current pandemic propose the following if you are in agreement:

  • For those that currently pay for us to submit their confirmation statements, we propose withdrawing this service as it is a simple task that takes no longer than 15 minutes but do instead propose putting a short video on our website to walk you through how you can do this yourself.
  • As many of you already know, we have for some time now been working towards going paperless and we’ve never demonstrated better than during lockdown.  We now propose to roll this out entirely so even paperwork associated with the sign off of your accounts will be provided to you in advance by way of a blank template and because they only need be kept by yourself we will again just provide a walk through video that can talk you through what needs to be put where.  The same will apply with dividends-and dividend counterfoils but these can be accessed through Xero for those that use this.

The above changes we see as a way in which we can protect the fee for you but not take any value away from the service bring provided.

We do however appreciate and respect that some clients may prefer for us to continue as we do and absorb any price increases and if this is the case then please let us know.

If we don’t hear back from you, we will be looking to introduce these changes as of 1 September 2020 but are more than happy to discuss any of the above with you also and again please contact your client account manager if you have any queries.

Again just to reiterate, by doing this it also allows us to offer the additional services below which we consider of significantly more value now and going forward.

Additional services (some new and some introduced as lockdown commenced)

  • Don’t forget that all clients on Xero do now all have access to:
  1. Cash flow software that will allow you to look three months ahead
  2. Credit management software

If you have any queries reference any of the above, please liaise with your client account manager or if you are not on Xero and wish to move across then please let us know.

  • We have recognised the changing needs of our clients and have the following dedicated e-mail addresses should you have any specific needs:

 

  • Creditors services offering – we understand and appreciate more than ever the fear of not being paid by a customer so have introduced a new service offering if you have any such concerns.  If you contact your client account manager with any such concerns, we can have a tailored report provided for you so that you can decide what action to take thereafter.

 

  • Finally, we know how important community is and we are now part of the Futrli Community where we are mentors and where there is a private group for our clients.  You can also get a significant amount of information across other areas including funding, marketing etc.

Hopefully from all of the above, you can see how we are adjusting our service offering internally to ensure that this is fit for purpose to help all clients with existing struggles and battles that they face and if we stick together we will be stronger for it.

resources 12.06

Support for your business. Returning to work. Mortgages.

We practice what we preach and have got ourselves well and truly prepared for the real storm that awaits as we face up to the challenges that lie ahead and are in a position to support you as needed.

We do now have three new members of the team that I’m sure you will all hear from in due course but also wanted to highlight some of the other changes that we are implementing over the coming weeks and months off the back of what we have learnt from lockdown and where we will be investing further in terms of time and resources:

  • We will; within our newsletters, be making our content more operational as well as financial based to assist you with the new challenges you are likely to face.
  • We will be issuing not just one newsletter per month, but as many as we see fit depending on announcements made to keep you as well-informed and up to date as possible.
  • Appreciating that not everybody will love the reading our newsletters and some would prefer something more interactive, we are currently considering the idea of fortnightly ‘huddles’ where we will have a dedicated hour for clients to join us and ask us whatever questions they wish.
  • We will maintain the idea of running webinars and are currently looking to run maybe one a month that will either be ran by us or an external expert from outside our field.
  • We will continue to update our resources page on our website; which can be found here for those that have not yet visited this, so if you miss anything you can go back and take a look at a time convenient to you.
  • Yes we have not started blogging as well to share our personal views and experiences as well so these too can be found on our resources page with one of favourites being the increasing importance of data.
  • We are in the process of fully rebuilding our website to again make this of more value and ‘future-proof’ for us and clients going forward.
  • We are also having some full customer-relationship software built to further tailor the content and support provided to you as clients and potential clients.
  • We are introducing new service offerings that we have already been providing during lockdown that we consider will be needed more than ever with one of these being the role of helping be your bank manager.  In the current climate, not everybody has a dedicated bank manager, but for those that do; including us, it has been invaluable and we will help breach this gap so we can support you when it comes to accessing finance.
  • In addition to our dedicated resources page, we have built out dedicated communication channels for specific support that include the following:
    • xero@gtaccountants.com – if you have any training needs or suggestions about content that you would like then please use this e-mail address.  Specific queries about your data within Xero should continue to be fed back directly to your client manager for a quicker and more tailored response.
    • funding@gtaccountants.com – should have any funding needs or questions then feel free to send them here and these can be picked up by our dedicated funding team.
    • enquiries@gtaccountants.com – we would ask that should you have any general comments, suggestions or even just improvements you would like for us to consider implementing, please feel free to share them here as we want to keep moving forward and improving so that we can do the same with our clients.

What I want to leave you with; at the bottom of this section, is that I remain cautiously optimistic about the future.  We must acknowledge that we are all at a crossroad or junction in our business journeys, and those that are looking optimistically ahead have taken similar actions to those above but tailored to their own businesses.

Have you done enough to prepare for what lies ahead?

Returning to work

One of our clients has kindly shared some recent work that they have been working on that might be of use for those returning to their usual place of work soon.

Feel free to contact Paul directly.

Mortgages

As the financial landscape right before us changes so rapidly, we have been chatting with mortgage brokers about what this means for those about to renew their mortgage this year and we are all in agreement that if this applies to you, then chat to your mortgage/financial advisor as soon as possible just to make sure you are prepared.

Blog - up

Words Are Good. Actions Are Better. Results Are Best.

Accountability has never more important than now, so why are we not seeing more people stepping up and showing real leadership?

Doing so could be the deciding factor in whether your business survives, and even thrives.

The press does its best to question the lack of accountability with leaders across the world. Closer to home, we’re seeing business leaders who are unwilling or unable to step forward in the current climate.

Why?

Distraction

Thanks to modern-day technology, we’re a click away from it. Whether that’s your phone, your laptop, or the TV or whatever, this on a day to day basis means it’s easy to lose focus and fail to achieve what you set out to do.

We need to stay focused and keep the end goal in sight.

What do you want to achieve? How will you do it? When will you do it by?

Let’s focus on three key areas:

  1. Time
  2. Information
  3. Money

Time

We want everything done yesterday.

The younger generation gets, possibly, unfairly tarred with this brush, but we’re all guilty of it. Can you say you’ve never paid extra for next day delivery with Amazon instead of going down the high street?

From a business perspective, everyone wants success. And they want it now. Right now.

And should we expect anything else? There are so-called business gurus out there who lead us to believe we can make a million pounds in a day. Yes, a day.

The volume of ‘how-to’, cheat guides and inspirational LinkedIn posts mean we expect more, quicker and easier whilst paying less for it.

Information

The amount of information you have at your fingertips can be overwhelming. And most of the time, you don’t have to go seeking it. It interrupts your day, with most of it being unhelpful and irrelevant.

Last week (yes, last week) I received a COVID-19 support email from a technology company I’d never heard of – several weeks after the pandemic has started. Talk about a waste of time.

How many support emails have you received? How much of this information can you read, process, and act on while staying on task with the important jobs you’ve got to do?

You need the right information at the right time. It’s critical to your success. So make sure you have measures in place to manage it correctly.

Money

How much money have you saved during this lockdown?

Despite the obvious financial strain the pandemic is putting on your business, you must’ve noticed you’re spending less than usual; ignoring food and alcohol costs perhaps.

This shows the amount of money we’re used to wasting. Look at that! There is food in the fridge after all, and you do have something to wear.

Like success, people want more money, easier and quicker. But money alone can’t fix problems caused by information overload and lack of time. You can’t buy either.

The Key To Solving All Three

You!

Many business owners are sitting on their hands waiting for it all the blow over. They think in a few weeks everything will be back to normal.

It won’t.

Other people read and regurgitate information to make it look like they’re doing the right things, without actually implementing anything they’re learning. They think that’s enough.

It isn’t.

Other business owners are keeping their sights firmly ahead. They’re leading by example. They’ve made a plan, communicated it clearly with their staff and fellow business leaders, and are doing what they promise. They trust that be doing this, they’ll see real results that will drive their business forward.

They are correct.

So, ask yourself which of these three people you are? If you don’t like the answer, it’s not too late, but time is running out.

You need to act now. You need the right information at the right time, which is something your accountant should be able to do for you.

The accountant you need in your corner right now is one that gives you the relevant and timely information you need to form a plan, communicate this to your staff, and do what needs to be done to survive and thrive COVID-19.

Get in touch today to find out how we can work with you to implement the action steps you need to get the results you want.

WEBINAR 29.05

Webinars: finance, cash flow, Government support

Building on what might lie ahead, please do make a point of registering for as many of these webinars as possible; even if you just access the recording at a later date.

Protect and build a better business and life
Tuesday 2 June, 2pm (book here)

Covid-19 has forced us all to rethink.  Our teams have been working in different ways, our customers have wanted to interact with us differently, and our supply chains have been disrupted.

Join us for our “Protect and Build Better” webinar, where we’ll share a 5-step framework for delivering short-term actions while looking forward and (re)building a business based on purpose, values, and profitability.

We’re only at the start of the financial struggles, we have a long road ahead!
Wednesday 3 June, Midday (book here)

As uncertain times ahead loom, but a degree of optimism returns, we must be cautiously optimistic.

Join our webinar where we consider several ‘what-if’ scenarios around cash flow, Government support and how best to act to avoid losing your business.

Finance not just for today but for the future
Thursday 4 June, 11am (book here)

With the amount of financial support out there it is very easy to consider that once accessed that is it – job done!

We need to be looking at our finances on an ongoing basis and putting these to work and ensure the right sort of finance is accessed at the right time and utilised in the right way.

In this webinar we will cover some common mistakes currently being seen and look at how best you can structure financially for what lies ahead in these uncertain times.

Blog - data is your director

Data Is Your New Director, And It’s About To Make MD

Without recognising the importance of embracing the digital age, every day you are throwing time, money, and effort down the drain.

Now; more than ever, data is the key driver; built of the back of the correct financial software, and here’s why.

The old days

You remember those days of not-so-distant-past, don’t you?

When a Simplex D book was the core part of any set of financial statements and without it, you’d be lost.

And then there were the old spreadsheets. Remember how they’d get passed from computer to computer, each person making their own amendments without anyone controlling a centralised version of it? When it came to making a report, the copies would be stitched together until you got something that ‘looked right’.

It took teams of people, with teams of people helping them, all under the watchful eye of the finance director.

Expensive stuff.

You’ll be glad to hear that’s a thing of the past. Nowadays, digital accountancy software does the job of a full finance team and finance director, with one big difference: the software does it better.

By design, the software keeps everything organised and in one place. It’s simple to use for anyone, and the data updates itself. Teams of people can work on an account at once without worrying about deleting or duplicating data.

You can use the software to pull reports in an instant that would take finance teams weeks, saving you time, money, and effort.

Here are three reasons why the right software, and the right accountant, is now all you need.

1) Data Input

Sick of logging expenses? With our accountancy software, all you need to do is take a photo of a receipt with your smartphone and poof, that’s it sent and logged for you.

Plus, we can link your bank account with the software. This way, the two systems communicate with one another and update themselves.

Suppliers can email the software, cutting out time usually spent emailing back and forth and logging everything manually.

And that’s what’s available right now. The world of accountancy software is moving at a fast pace and new ways to save time, effort, and money are being developed every day.

2) Basic Reporting

The data you need, at your fingertips, from any location.

What can you use this data for?

  • Comparing figures over whatever period you consider relevant and being able to manipulate this
  • Running customer and supplier reports
  • Establish payment patterns
  • Chasing debts

Finally, you can take control of your business to the fullest and get a clear, overall view of what’s going in in the best way possible: the numbers.

Any information you need is readily available to you. The answers to your questions answered, instantly, meaning you can get back on with your job.

3) Advanced Reporting

We can build you a bespoke dashboard of key features within your financial software to give you the information you need to make the right decisions.

We can set up your software to tell you when a customer’s credit rating changes, or when an internal target is missed. The best thing about this is the fact that once we set it up, it takes no effort from you to maintain it. All you get bothered with are the results and information you want and need to hear so you can force on the actions needing to be taken.

Our world is a smaller place than ever, so we are all competing with one another globally in some shape or form. This might be daunting, but with digital financial software, it doesn’t have to be.

If it’s that easy, where does an accountant come in?

The implementation, training, and overseeing of this technology are where your accountant comes in.

You need to focus your energy in the places that will give you the best return.

Give your business the best chance of success. Get in touch today to get started.

resources - Covid Guide April

Small Business COVID-19 Help Guide

Now more than ever, as a small business owner you need to know the key numbers to focus on and how to make them better. Understanding the key metrics in your business means you can form a plan that you can work towards in the short term, that will get you through to the long term.

Read more about  Small Business COVID Help

april 10

COVID-19 Strike Back.

Now that the dust has settled and we should have digested the support there and how we access this; though some finer details are still yet to be clarified, let’s hit back with all of this rather than feel sorry for ourselves and our business.  If you don’t, you more than likely won’t have a business to return to.

To start with we are ecstatic that we can now share our co-branded document that has been produced alongside one of our software providers that has a walk-through of how best you can do this.  This can be found here.

Following on from this, I am going to run two further 30 minute LIVE work-out webinars without the spandex next week:

  • Understanding and improving your cash flow in such troubled times (register here)
  • Pivoting your business to bounce back (register here)

Please note that neither of these sessions will be recorded.

Following on from this I am opening up the diary for the team for the week commencing 20 April 2020 for you to have a 30 minute one-to-one free session to discuss anything we cover next week in more detail.

To summarise our four step approach from next week to strike back:

  1. Register for our deep-dive into improving your cash flow
  2. Register for pivot your business session
  3. Schedule a 30 minute on to one session in the diary

Please note that if steps 1 to 2 have not been followed we will not have the meetings as time is of the essence and we need to be best prepared to make the most from the 30 minutes that we have.

Just to stress, now is not the time to stand still, it is the time to strike back!

A friend or contact in need

Never has it been more important to stick together in such times and no more than ever we are here for you to support you however we can.

Can we kindly ask that you listen out across social media, in your circle of friends and contacts, for anybody who too would benefit from the same support that you too are receiving.

Even if they just registered for our newsletter; which they can do by just clicking onto our website here, or if they were to take advantage of our newly introduced and dedicated COVID-19 (click here) and Cash Flow SOS page (click here), you would be helping them out.

Together, we can get through this.

Further guidance

Following our previous e-mail people have been asking for further guidance around:
  • Help for the self-employed (to book on click here)
  • Furloughing of staff (to book on click here)

As a result of this we will be doing two separate 30 minute live webinars next week covering the above two areas and will add access to finance to each of them also.

To book on, click either of the respective links above.

Finally – Client Exchange (APRIL ONLY)

Don’t worry we are not exchanging any clients.

During such unprecedented times we are going to support one another and we won’t always be able to do this for free.

We can however help one another out in exchange for goods/services to the value.

In light of this; and only for the remainder of this month as a trial, if you need some assistance but are struggling financially, can you email what you need to enquiries@gtaccountants.com and we will try to see if we can match you up with another customer.

Please note this is not a free advertising tool but instead to help those clients in need so that we can be specific.

If you are looking to advertise, let me know and I will do a separate client-led newsletter with content provided by you so you can advertise your services but by way of a newsletter rather than direct e-mail as I don’t think any of us would appreciate being sold to in the current climate unless we were looking to buy.