10 Warning Signs Your Business is About to Face Bankruptcy

Insights
| 4/21/2020

It is not uncommon for a business to experience financial hardship. If you can identify problems early, you can have a head start in rectifying them:

  1. Whatever product or service you are offering, there are inevitable marketing and growth elements to consider. You also need good accounting and budgeting. When revenue is not surpassing – or is even less than – expenses, it is a good time to discuss your debt solutions.
  2. Declining revenue might be caused by an actual loss of customers or clients. Whether they have cut back on their orders or scoped out your competition, this is a sign of significant trouble.
  3. Staff members who are dealing with problems in their personal lives, particularly those responsible for supervising others, can also indicate problems. This may trickle down in the form of neglected finances because the person in charge of handling them is distracted.
  4. Alternative staff problems, such as layoffs and resignations, will significantly impact the operations of your company, too. It is often clear when employees are not happy, but making an effort to turn this around rather than be complacent can help you avoid insolvency.
  5. Not having proper insurance for your company can be a major setback if an employee or client happens to sue. In order to defend complaints and allegations, while keeping your reputation in check, you will also need the help of a lawyer who likely charges high fees.
  6. Creditors may wish to pursue legal action if you are not handling your business with them well, which can lead to major problems in keeping your operations running. Canada Revenue Agency may even seize your business accounts, halting your ability to continue working.
  7. Regularly missed payments to creditors likely indicate that you or another person responsible for the finances is poorly organized and/or the money is not readily available. High interest rates to penalize you for the missed payments will also end up costing more in the long run.
  8. A major drop in accounts receivable usually symbolizes problems for a business.  Could that drop by caused by a loss of clients?  A major increase in accounts receivable can also be a sign of a business struggling.  Could that increase be caused by customers not paying or a lack of controls to collect?   Ideally, you want a relatively high number of clients, unless your smaller circle of loyal clientele produces large orders. An obvious lack of either, however, can spell trouble.
  9. Likewise, if you notice a slower rate at which you are unloading inventory, you are probably not making as many sales as you anticipated. Or, arguably just as bad, if you cannot seem to replenish inventory at a substantial rate, you may lose out on business because you cannot satisfy the orders you do receive.
  10. Loans are usually inevitable for a business, but having trouble getting them because your numbers are not reflective of success means you are probably relying heavily on less reputable lenders, which does not put you in a good position.

Once you have identified that your business is struggling, it is important to avoid further expenses. While professional assistance will endure some cost, this is arguably necessary to help you find debt solutions.

Connect with Crowe MacKay’s Licensed Insolvency Trustees today to begin rebuilding your business’s financial foundation.

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DerekLa
Derek Lai
Partner, Incorporated, Insolvency and Forensics Lead
Senior Vice President, Crowe MacKay & Company Ltd.
Russ Law
Russell Law
Partner, Incorporated, Insolvency Lead
President, Crowe MacKay & Company LTD