Hentons is a national chartered accountancy, tax and advisory firm with offices in Sheffield, Leeds, York, Thirsk and London. We spoke to Sheffield-based director Tim Baum-Dixon, who is leading Hentons Crisis Management Team, to find out what they are doing to support UK businesses throughout this challenging period.

The current situation of COVID-19 is affecting many businesses across the country, particularly those in retail, hospitality and leisure who have had to close down. These businesses still have costs but unfortunately cannot earn any money right now which is causing severe disruption for business owners and, of course, the economy.

Prior to the UK going on lockdown we set up a crisis management team to ensure that we had the most suitable talent ready to respond and drive the business during this unpredictable situation.

By identifying the key experts within the firm to form a solution for our clients, we were able to have everything prepared in advance to ensure a seamless transition despite the business facing an array of new challenges.

From the very beginning we have kept on top of developments, sent daily updates to clients, signposted clients in the right direction and provided them with the most up to date information – all of which has been paramount to the continuation of every business.

Due to the cash flow shortage caused by businesses having to close, many of our clients are under extreme pressure so we are consistently watching government advice very closely, so that we can relay that information to our clients to ensure they are aware are of their options and the support that is available.

The changes we have had to make from creating a crisis management team to the team working from home have shaped the way we operate as business. Adapting the way we service our clients means lines of communication are stronger than ever as our accountants strive for success.

As a business we have used our strong relationships with the banks to gain a detailed understanding of what businesses need when submitting any applications so that they can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

We have received a variety of enquiries from our clients with the focus initially relating to furloughing employees and the Job Retention Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan along with the various Business Rates Reliefs and Grants for Small Businesses and those in the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality sector.

We have supported UK businesses by keeping on top of the changes to all these schemes and as a result offered the most-up-to-date information and practical advice to help our clients through this crisis.

It is paramount that as good accountants we keep our clients informed on the support that is currently available from the UK Government so that they can make the right decision for their business.

There is a lot of help out there, but it can be confusing for businesses owners in this ever-changing landscape which is why clients need their accountants to give them impartial advice to help survive these unforeseen circumstances and succeed once again.

To find out more on the existing Government schemes available for businesses or how we can help you, please visit info.hentons.com/covid19

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