Helping you respond to Coronavirus and access financial help
Coronavirus is here and the impact of this virus will be a significant concern for all of us for some time to come.
We would like to reassure you that our utmost priority is the health and wellbeing of our clients, our staff and our local communities, including friends and families. Please be assured that we are following the latest government advice and whilst this is changing on a regular basis, we will continue to act on this advice for everyone’s wellbeing.
Below is a summary of the measures we have already introduced or will be introducing shortly to maintain our service level to our clients with as little a disruption as possible.
We also recognise that this is an extremely difficult time for our business clients who are or will be suffering financially as a result of this pandemic. Please see further information below outlining guidance and the current financial measures that have been introduced by the government, both in the recent Budget and subsequently, to assist small to medium-sized businesses.
How will HF maintain service to their clients during the outbreak?
- We have three offices with around sixty staff. Many of our senior staff already have work mobile phones and laptops with the ability to work from home by securely logging into our IT infrastructure. We recognise that you don’t always liaise with senior staff so we are rolling out the ability to work remotely to many other front-line staff so that work we are carrying out for you will continue.
- Should an office need to close then you can continue to contact us either by telephone or electronically by email. Where possible, work will continue in our other offices or our staff will work remotely. Further details will follow if this situation occurs.
- We are sure you will understand that we will need to reduce face-to-face meetings with our clients for the time being. Instead, we will be encouraging more telephone calls and electronic contact between you and our staff. We are also looking to introduce video calling in the coming weeks and will let you know when this is available.
- We already have in place a secure online portal which allows us to exchange documents with you. This portal also provides an e-approval facility so your accounts, tax returns and other documents can be viewed and approved at the touch of a button. If you don’t already make use of this facility then please ask one of our team – it is easy and quick to set up.
- Many of our business clients already make use of cloud infrastructure (Xero / QuickBooks Online / Receipt Bank) in respect of their internal bookkeeping. We will continue to be able to offer support and advice to those clients as we will be able to log into those systems on your behalf from any internet-enabled device, whether it be in the office or at home.
- Where at all possible, compliance deadlines will continue to be met by us. We will continue to have the ability to submit documents and returns to Companies House and HMRC, whether we are working in the office or remotely.
How can we help?
Please do contact us if you need further assistance or clarification.
This is a challenging time for all individuals and businesses. If we can help you or your business with preparing cash flows, forecasts, VAT returns or payroll then please do get in touch.
Information for our business clients
The government have prepared guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus which is updated on a daily basis. You can find the latest guidance here.
These are unprecedented times for the business community, at least for quite a few generations. The coronavirus outbreak has put significant financial pressures on all businesses, across all industries, but particularly retail, leisure and hospitality.
The government have introduced a number of financial support measures for (mainly) small and medium-sized enterprises (“SME”) to try and help them through this incredibly challenging time. You can read more details about this here.
However, these measures are outlined below.
- A statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs: ‘Coronavirus’ SSP is payable from Day 1 but employers can now recover SSP paid to eligible employees for up to two weeks
- A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England: Where applicable, this ‘holiday’ will be granted by the local authority from April 2020. More details to follow
- Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief (“SBRR”) or rural rate relief (“RRR”): If your business already pays little or no business rates as a result of the reliefs above then you could be entitled to further funding to help meet ongoing business costs. You should be contacted directly by your local authority
- Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: Funding of up to £25,000 is also available for eligible businesses operating in premises where SBRR or RRR is not available
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance: Provided by the British Business Bank, this temporary loan scheme of up to £5m (subject to individual circumstances) will be launched shortly, be 80% guaranteed by the government and be interest-free for the first six months
- The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme: HMRC have recognised that, as a direct result of the coronavirus, businesses will find it increasingly difficult to pay their taxes, whether it be VAT, corporation/income tax or PAYE. More details are provided here.