With the latest easing of the lockdown measures the retail and hospitality industries have been able to reopen their doors to welcome back their customers, which is a much welcomed sight.
Whilst having to deal with the challenges of maintaining social distancing, al fresco dining and making sure staff have the relevant PPE to maintain their safety, there is also the fact that workloads in back office functions, such as Finance & Accounting are quickly ramping again. But whilst for some businesses the use of the furlough scheme has helped them retain staff, others haven’t been so fortunate and have had to let many members of their staff go.
Latest figures from the BBC suggest the rate of unemployment between December and February is 4.9%, which is substantially higher than at the start of the COVID pandemic, and is expected to grow further as measures like furlough end later this year. So how does this impact businesses, retailers, pubs and restaurants?
Impact on Finance & Accounting teams
Adjusting to a reopened economy after a year of disruption will inevitably cause teething problems for some teams, and it’s likely that as volumes increase, they risk becoming overwhelmed.
A business that might have had a team of people to deal with the payment of suppliers, the checking of invoices and running the payroll could well now be relying on a much reduced team or even no team at all. The changes announced by the Government to legislation around the Prompt Payment Code, which will see suppliers who are classed as a small businesses (less than 50 employees) having to be paid within 30 days from 1st July 2021, will only add to the pressure.
Problems and errors can quickly turn into a crisis: suppliers issue stop notices on future supplies, the auditor challenges the accounting records, and cashflow gets dangerously out of control. It’s not a finance team problem any longer; it’s the highest priority issue in the business.
So how should businesses look to get back on track during challenging times, in a way that provides minimum disruption and quick results?
A rapid solution to get back on track
Liberata can deploy qualified UK-based staff to clear backlogs, work with suppliers and work with the management team to get to the root cause and advise on practical ideas to prevent future issues. We get up and running quickly and will work with whatever core accounting system you have in place – and we’re happy to work on the basis of a short-term commitment only.
Tangible results you will see for Accounts Payable include:
- Invoice backlogs cleared
- Costs reduced
- Fewer enquiries from suppliers
- Suppliers paid on time
- No more stop notices
- Improved cash flow forecasting
- Greater confidence in accuracy of accounting records
- Supplier statements reconciled and previously unknown credits uncovered
- Detailed understanding on the root cause of issues
- A practical to do list to execute
We are just as effective for Accounts Receivable teams too, dealing with all key areas where backlogs can build up, including raising invoices and credit notes, credit control, new account set ups and amendments, and allocation of cash receipts.
Preparing for the future
The economic outlook may be looking brighter than it did a few months ago, but businesses must remember that fast growth – and any period of change – can cause unforeseen problems.
With over 40 years of experience and having worked with over 500 different organisations across both the public and private sector, you can depend on Liberata to provide the resources to keep your business running efficiently.