Sean Farnell, Burgis & Bullock

Member Article

Accountant urges thorough business planning as Covid-19 restrictions tighten

A leading accountant believes SMEs are more prepared for a tightening of restrictions than in March – but has urged thorough business planning and forecasting to prepare for the economic challenges ahead.

Sean Farnell is a Partner at accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock, which has offices in Leamington Spa, Nuneaton, Rugby and Stratford-on-Avon.

It has been six months since the country was plunged into national lockdown and businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire were forced to close their doors overnight.

Burgis & Bullock has worked closely with businesses of all shapes and sizes throughout the pandemic and has provided free weekly resources and advice sessions to support business owners in their recovery from the impact of lockdown.

Sean believes that while all signs are pointing towards further restrictions, both locally and nationally, that businesses learned a lot of lessons in the first lockdown and that knowledge will serve them well going forwards.

He said: “The nation is certainly more prepared than it was six months ago. While it seems unlikely that any further rules will be quite as severe as previously, businesses across the country will be preparing themselves for the difficulties of the coming autumn and winter.

“In March, companies closed their premises overnight and were forced to assess how they could adapt their ways of work.

“With this rush and panic, some businesses failed to communicate with their customers in a way which should usually be normal practice.

“Businesses went into panic mode, rather than sitting down and rationalising what their position would be and how that impacts their staff, customer service, productivity and future sales pipelines.

“There was a lot of kneejerk reaction, planning went out the window and the eye was taken off the ball.

“We have been stressing the importance of planning ever since and are encouraging businesses to produce flexible plans not only for the next four months, but for 2021 and beyond.

“A lot of positives have emerged from lockdown, from the implementation of new technology, to the success of working from home and the development of the flexible working week.

“Businesses have had longer to prepare, have learned from March and hopefully won’t have overextended their resources in the last couple of months.

“The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership is coming from the position of treating all businesses as though they were start-ups. The world has changed and thinking as an entrepreneur is crucial.

“We’re encouraging proper business planning and cash flow forecasting. Many established business owners don’t ask themselves enough if they are delivering the right products and services, and asking those tough questions can be essential to survival in a crisis.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matt Joyce .

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