featured image

As COVID-19 continues to develop in the UK, we expect to see an increasing number of our clients and businesses in our communities being adversely affected financially. These are clearly extremely challenging and concerning times and the message we wanted to convey from the team at Shorts is a simple one: we are here to help. Shorts is nothing without our clients and we are ready to do whatever we can to help you get through the current period.

Below are our thoughts on the broad areas where we could potentially help you get through. In addition, as always, we are also here to act as a sounding board for any concerns or ideas you may have. Please do get in touch with your normal Shorts contact to talk things through, it’s what we are here for.


1. Helping you understand your current financial position and your likely cash requirements

An increasing level of support is being made available from the government and financial institutions and the first step for many will be understand what their exact financial need is, especially in terms of their future short term cash flow requirements. Both of our Genus and Corporate Finance teams have extensive experience in this area.  It will be critical for business to ensure that any projections are based on up to date information and our Genus team have great experience in ensuring that this can be done in the most efficient and effective way possible. Once a sound understanding of the current financial position has been obtained (we can do this very quickly), we recommend that businesses look to produce a detailed short-term cash flow forecast to understand their cash needs, as well as considering the various ‘what-ifs’ that could arise. We have the expertise, scale and a number of tools to be able to help our clients rapidly and effectively.

We can help. Please contact your usual Shorts contact or Malcolm Pope / Andy Ryder to discuss.


2. Helping you understand and obtain support from HMRC

The Government has already announced that its ‘Time to Pay’ arrangements will be extended and will be much easier to access; to that end a dedicated support team has already been set up by HMRC.  The specific details of this can be found here but given the likely demand from UK businesses in relation to this service, we would recommend that businesses look to apply in plenty of time. If you do need assistance then contact our tax team who are experienced in negotiating with HMRC. For any businesses where a tax refund is due, or likely to be due, we understand that HMRC have been instructed to expediate any refunds. Accordingly, we would recommend that businesses explore now, if any refunds could be due or indeed generated through simple tax planning ideas. We will be drafting our thoughts on the best ways to generate cash from tax reliefs/planning in the next couple of days.  

We can help. Please contact your usual Shorts contact or Scott Burkinshaw to discuss.


3. Helping you understand and access the support available from financial institutions

The Chancellor announced yesterday that the level of state backed loans to support businesses has increased to £330bn, although details of how this may be accessed have yet to be made available. We will provide further guidance on this once it has. That said, we have long-standing relationships with a number of financial institutions based locally and conversations so far have highlighted that the traditional loan application process will need to change in order to cope with the unprecedented demand. It is likely that any speedy loan decision will favour those business who were financially sound prior to the Coronavirus outbreak. It is also possible that applications will focus on the ability of a business to cut costs over the short-term if required, rather than detailed projections over the medium to longer term. With this in mind, the preparation of short-term cash flow projections as per Point 1 above becomes key. In addition to the government backed loan scheme, businesses may also be able to leverage additional debt on any unencumbered assets and a number of financial institutions may also look to allow payment holidays for existing loan arrangements.

We can help. Please contact your usual Shorts contact or Malcolm Pope / Andy Ryder to discuss.


4. Helping you understand and access grants available.

In addition to the Chancellor’s announcements on state backed loans, a series of cash grants of between £3k and £25k are being made available depending on business type and size. Again, the specific details are not yet available but we understand that local authorities will be responsible for the distribution of these grants. As more details emerge, we will ensure that we signpost businesses quickly and effectively to the relevant local authority departments and if needed we can prepare any grant claim documentation required.

We can help. Please contact your usual Shorts contact or Scott Burkinshaw to discuss.

Contact us

Other related news:


Malcolm Pope

Malcolm is an Audit & Accounts Partner at Shorts, a Chartered Accountant and registered Auditor. He heads up the Genus team and has been instrumental in developing the firm’s cloud accounting strategy and offering for clients.

View my articles