Survival Plans A High Priority

Accountant's Minute 226

In the last 21 days the Australian government has released three stimulus packages relating to COVID-19 Coronavirus.  There are a range of direct payments, subsidies, investment incentives and loan opportunities now available with a strong emphasis on businesses with turnovers under $50 million per annum.

The government has done its job – they have supplied a financial injection of around $300 billion to assist Australian businesses to survive one of the most significant challenges ever presented to businesses in this country.

Most small and medium-sized enterprise clients will need assistance to understand how this range of assistance packages will be of benefit to them, particularly as some of your clients are probably very concerned about their businesses, homes, families and their employees and might not be fully comprehending the various announcements that have been made, some of which have subsequently changed, but just the quantum of the money involved and the speed at which these stimulus packages have been released can be quite mind-boggling.

Now it is up to accountants to brief your clients on the benefits they can obtain from these various packages and to develop for each of your clients a “COVID-19 Survival Plan” which will assist the business to navigate through this very difficult business and health environment.

The various packages and the decisions that need to be made now, are as follows:

  • “Boosting Cashflow for Employers” – no application required for the payment relative to PAYG tax on employees' salary and wages will be calculated and processed by the Australian Taxation Office.
  • “Jobkeeper Payment Scheme” – a decision needs to be made as to whether the business will register for this scheme which commenced from 30 March 2020. The government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months for employees who were employed at 1 March 2020. The first payment will be made in the first week of May.  Businesses will need to take into account in their cashflow forecast the delayed payment.  Businesses must be able to identify a reduction in their turnover of 30% when compared to a corresponding period last year.
  • "Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme" – the government is supplying a 50% guarantee to banks to provide loans of up to $250,000 per borrower for a three-year period with an initial 6 month repayment holiday. A decision needs to be made by businesses as to whether they wish to participate in these loans which will be available until 30 September 2020 from the funds which have been supplied by the Reserve Bank of Australia
  • "Instant Asset Right Off" – this is available now and operates until 30 June 2020 for the purchase of new or second hand assets first used or installed ready for use prior to 30 June 2020 for purchases up to $150,000.
  • For businesses employing apprentices with less than 20 full-time employees, there is an "Apprentices/Trainees Wage Subsidy" calculated at 50% of the apprentice's wages for the nine months 1 January – 30 September 2020. The maximum subsidy is $21,000. Eligible businesses have to apply.

Once these decisions have been made you can then encourage your client to think about the future and start a “COVID-19 Survival Plan”. 

The client will have an indication of the funds that they're going to receive from the Federal government, the loan funds that they're applying for and they can then start thinking about all the other aspects of their business so that an updated Budget and Cashflow Forecast can be prepared.  The key items for consideration include:

  • weekly income projections for the next 6 months
  • manpower requirements for the budget period
  • communication with suppliers so the supply chain will not be causing any unexpected surprises
  • negotiations with landlord relative to rent reduction
  • follow-up discussions with debtors in relation to monies owing and implementation of payment plans
  • analysis of stock – what cash could be generated from sales in the short term?
  • review of assets to identify any surplus assets – what cash could be generated from surplus asset sales in the short term?
  • you could then prepare a “Survival Budget and Cashflow Forecast”
  • you can then assist your client in the submission of a loan application or in reviewing capital raising opportunities

The key thing is that you will being able to assist your client to understand the various government packages that your client might be eligible to participate in and to then use that funding certainty as the springboard to assist your client to undertake a full review of their business so that a “COVID-19 Survival Plan” can be developed to guide the business through this very difficult period.

ESS BIZTOOLS has developed the “Survival in Difficult Times Product Package” to assist accountants and business advisors to discuss survival strategies with your clients and then implement the “Survival Plan".

You are invited to visit the ESS BIZTOOLS' website - Survival in Difficult Times - Learn More where you will be able to gain a full appreciation of the package which will assist you to deliver a range of “Business Improvement Services” for your clients.

We are presenting a FREE webinar titled “COVID-19 Survival Plans to Assist Your Clients to Survive” on Tuesday 7 April 2020 at 12.30am AEST – to register – click here.

We have prepared an article on the “COVID-19 Coronavirus Stimulus Package” incorporating packages 1 – 3.  You can obtain this article by clicking on “Want To Know More?”

I invite you to view the Accountants Minute video which gives you more details on the significant services that you can offer by proactively developing “COVID-19 Survival Plans As a High Priority for Your Clients”.

If you have friends or colleagues who you think might find this article interesting, please forward it to them.

Have a great day!

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