Manage the impact of coronavirus on your organisation

Grant Anthony, Partner, Business Solutions

The COVID-19 crisis has now reached a new critical phase around the world. While the main emphasis is on containing and managing the disease itself, it is important to understand and prepare for the economic impact as many organisations will need to respond rapidly to the evolving economic landscape.

At this stage, the full and long-term impacts of the crisis are unknown, so it is important that the focus is on business continuity and keeping up to date with what is happening at a global and local level. 

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Business continuity preparedness is essential at a time of uncertainty so we have prepared a summary to help you, focused on six key areas:

Key focus areas for organisations

1. Your people

  • Ensure that you have a means of contacting all your staff in the event of sudden changes in official advice.
  • Implement and promote measures to support hygiene and health for your employees, including restrictions on travel.
  • Initiate flexible work arrangements which allow people to work safely.
  • Review resource allocation ensuring your team is engaged and aware of your strategy.

2. Your customers

  • Understand the demand impact specific to your organisation.
  • Communicate with your key customers, understanding their current needs and ensuring that they understand your organisation needs in the light of recent events.
  • Update your customers on any potential disruptions to your service offering.
  • Offer flexible solutions and payment terms to promote and drive business.
  • Understand your contractual obligations.

3. Your suppliers

  • Assess the strength of your supply chain.
  • Communicate with your suppliers to obtain the best possible solution which works for both parties. Be prepared to compromise where appropriate.
  • Re-negotiate your payment terms if needed.
  • Understand and assess alternate sources of supply in case your present suppliers are unable to meet your requirements.

4. Cashflow and financing

  • Reforecast trading and cashflows – revise your assumptions based on current and deteriorating market conditions.
    • Stress test your forecast for variable scenarios
    • Significantly reduced sales over the next 10 weeks
    • Disrupted supply chain
    • Deferred HMRC payments by way of bespoke time-to-pay arrangements.
  • Determine your working capital headroom and plan ahead.
    • Understand your covenant obligations and the impact the crisis may have on your compliance requirements.
    • Proactively engage with your lenders to request flexibility and initiate funding requests if necessary.
    • Understand the government initiatives available to support you and your organisation should you experience financial difficulties arising from COVID-19 disruptions.

5. Regulatory

  • Understand your regulatory obligations and be aware of extensions available.
  • HMRC has set up a phone helpline to support business and self-employed people. If you have concerns about paying your tax due to COVID 19 – you can contact HMRC on 0800 0159 559 for help and advice. Subject to your specific conditions you may be able to:
    • secure an instalment arrangement plan
    • suspend debt collection proceedings
    • delay payments and cancel penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC.

6. Cyber security

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 panic, targeting individuals and companies across the globe.

  • Beware of increased risk of cyber-attacks exploiting COVID-19 crisis.
  • Review your cyber security procedures as more employees work remotely.
  • Ensure that staff know how to identify and report suspicious activity.

View our on-demand COVID-19 and cybercrime webinar

Our team of specialists are here to assist you to navigate through the crisis and plan for the future.

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Grant Anthony
Grant Anthony
Partner, Business Solutions