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May 29, 2020 | Risk Management

Finance Review for SMEs: Can you afford not to?

After the initial shock and uncertainty resulting from the pandemic, many businesses are having to review and plan their finances to help them through what is clearly a very challenging situation.

Guest blog by Andrew Scorer, Regional Director of the FD Centre

Uncertainty around government support for loans, grants, statutory sick pay and furloughing, added to the need to review cashflow and renegotiate finances is understandably making many anxious.

The need to resolve supply side issues such as finding alternative suppliers due to a break in supply chains is challenging. Likewise, the necessity to review and uphold financial processes is vital to protect business, but the pressure to find quick resolutions can leave some at risk of making poor decisions. This is compounded when, for many, the impact on sales including the delivery of goods and services is also potentially significant.

Many SMEs have been focussing on immediate cashflow requirements to ensure staff and suppliers are being paid so they may be missing out on opportunity. For example, government financial support or restructuring loans can be complex, even if for some the recent change in consumer behaviour may have presented an opportunity to grow. As a firm that specialises in providing part-time and interim finance directors to businesses, we have seen at the FD Centre that many small and medium size organisations are coming to us for support and resources to upskill their finance departments in order to cope with these new constraints.

Companies are reviewing their most critical tasks to help them get through the coming weeks and months and put themselves in the strongest possible position for the post-crisis period. With complex requirements coming into play, the urgent need for objective, expert advice has never been greater, but investing in this level of expertise may feel untimely, particularly when many are focussed on immediate business requirements. We’ve often been told by smaller organisations that they feel that, to meet these challenges, they need the finance acumen usually found in large corporations. For many of them, the solution has come in the form of contracting interim specialists to help them plan and manage change.

As a business what have you done to deal with international suppliers and customers dealing with the lockdown?

As part of our engagement with our client base at the FD Centre, we have been conducting free scenario planning calls with clients, which have been a lifeline in terms of helping owners navigate a situation they have never encountered before such as short term loans, restructuring debt, support with payroll, insurance renegotiations and forecasting through change.

We’re happy to extend this offer to hold such sessions with Western Union business customers and contacts. If you would like to arrange a consultation with one of their high calibre Finance Directors, please click below and one of their team will arrange it. www.thefdcentre.co.uk/scenarioplanning

About the author:

Andrew Scorer has extensive knowledge of catering, hospitality and recruitment and selling B2C services with a broad experience within operational and commercial management. He has a successful track-record working within the corporate environment at FD level managing a £150 million catering business before setting up a number of successful start-up businesses.

Over a 15-year period Andrew has set up 4 SME businesses, won the Surrey entrepreneurial business of the year award and created the second fastest selling business App in the UK.

Since exiting his own businesses, he is now keen to support other SME’s to achieve growth and improved profitability through The FD Centre and increase market share within the London area.

https://www.thefdcentre.co.uk/our-team/andrew-scorer-regional-director-london-south/