Updated: Apr 21
What a week this has been with frantic concerns about health and equally frantic concerns about the financial health of our clients’ businesses and their families.
The government and the Chancellor have come up with solutions which have only raised more questions than they have answered. Everything is so confused because we are all waiting to see the legislation and all we have to go by are the announcements made late in the afternoon (if you want to know why, I understand that this is so that the stock market is not impacted) and the sparse documentation that follows in the middle of the night from the tax authorities.
By the time one wakes up, not only are there loads of queries waiting in the mailboxes, but the forums to which I belong are also buzzing with confusing claims and questions about exactly what the government is proposing.
My thinking, which was kind of encapsulated in my email of last Friday, is to step back and wait. Wait for the formal clarification from the lawmakers. In other words, just take a pause.
Not only are the forums including the groups on Facebook and the WhatsApp groups buzzing in collective confusion but I can tell you that even the groups of people who are working on this at the government level are not clear about the impact of the proposed solutions and what they should be doing to meet the expectations which have been raised. Through my connections I do know that the people in an advisory capacity are struggling to find the answers. In their defense all this has been rushed through in such a short time because of the exceptional circumstances, even they are prepared to admit that quite a lot of the details have not been considered as carefully as they should have been before the pronouncements were made. This is why they are still trying to unravel and explain everything.
So if you have questions on whether a director can furlough himself or if a self-employed individual can claim the relief for the self-employed when you’re no longer self-employed and other such questions then, while I may be able to give you an answer today, I would do so with the caveat that things will change and that this is why I make the point I have made on more than one occasion that it would be best to wait and see when the final details have been sorted out.
In the meanwhile I think we should all take this time to pray that this virus goes away quickly and use this time to plan to make a fresh start.
Talking of a fresh start I would suggest that we use this time to think of the things we would like to change for the better and use this time to develop those plans so that when our businesses are ready to open we will we can open with a fresh new perspective and with plans to not only grow our businesses but to be more profitable and more efficient. Think of cloud accounting, real time access to financial data and forecasting tools which firms like ours have been providing for years.
I shall be in touch again next week. Have a peaceful and relaxing weekend