Skip to main content

What we've been doing for our clients during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
By Cheryl Sharp
What we've been doing for our clients during the Coronavirus Pandemic

What we’re doing for you right now

Now we have all the furlough claims in, and money is starting to be paid out to our clients I thought it would be a good to take a little time out to update you on everything we have been doing during all this craziness, and what is still to come over the coming weeks and months.

Furlough - what a word?! And one I bet many of us didn’t even know existed 6 weeks ago!  So much has happened in the world the last 6 weeks, and what a lot of information we’ve all had to take on board, digest, understand and implement.  

I’ve got to say, I’m feeling rather proud of the fact that many people are going to be getting paid this week thanks to the furlough grants, all that stress last week has certainly paid off.  It certainly has been a tough 6 weeks, but businesses are starting to get the help they so desperately need, grants are being paid out, loan funding is being approved and paid out, even if slowly, and the new bounce back loans announced yesterday will definitely help businesses to survive these times, and even thrive with new income streams and changes they are making to their businesses.  I’ve seen some amazing ways that businesses have adapted, and it’s great to see how businesses are working together to support each other and come up with new ways to keep trading one way or another.

I know there have been some wobbles, and tears - and I’m not just talking about the kids haha!  I’ve certainly had some, we’re only human.  Who’d have thought 2 months ago many of us would be trying to save our businesses at the same time as home schooling our kids?  But we will all get through this, and at PPF we are here to help in any way we can - even if it’s just to listen while you blow off some steam - it’s good to talk :)

One of our core values is heart - we care about our clients, and are with them every step of the way.  And one way we demonstrated this was by sending every client a personal hand written card letting them know were are here for them, and that they would get through this.  I knew some of our clients were having a really hard time and this little touch would make them smile, even if only for a minute or two.  And for those who were doing ok it reminded them that even when times get bad we had their back and would be there for them.  Most of all it showed we care about them as people.

We’re all in this together, and together we will get through it.

So what have we been doing over the last 6 weeks?

Our support page and regular blogs - we’ve been keeping our website up to date with all the relevant information from the government (and translating into readable English!), and producing factsheets with the key points to know.  You can view our support hub at www.pinkpigfinancials.co.uk/support

Regular communication - we’ve been sending out emails on of all the help available as and when it’s announced, and when we have more information, to all of our clients, and explained how they can help our clients businesses.  

Weekly client Zoom check in calls - we’ve been holding weekly Zoom calls/webinars with our clients.  Initially these were to explain in more detail all the help available and answer questions, but we’ve taken this one step further and invited experts to join these calls to talk about subjects like credit control and how to chase money during these weird times, mortgage payment holidays, marketing, mental health, and this week we’re turning to start looking at planning for the future and adapting to the new normal.  We’ve also included drinks and a social aspect to these calls giving some of us someone to talk to other than our immediate family we’re isolating with.  It’s been great having a safe space to chat and ask questions, and I’m really pleased with how well these calls are going.

Cashflow planning - as one of the key challenges at the moment is having enough cash to see us through, especially for those businesses who have had to temporarily close, we’ve put together a free cashflow forecast spreadsheet and explained how to use this, enabling our clients to put together their own basic cashflow forecasts and then with us understanding what help they need and when, and how they can adapt their incomings and outgoings to keep them going.

Our client only private Facebook group -  we’ve set up a Facebook group for clients only, to share regular updates as well as discuss everything going on and  support one another.  It’s been great to see people connecting and helping each other, and new relationships forming.  And as it’s a client only group it’s a safe space to share and ask for help when needed. 

We’ve also been giving free of charge support to clients in the form of:

  • Regular calls and Zoom chats checking in with clients and going through the support they are eligible for and how to access it

  • Cashflow planning

  • CBILS application support

  • Business grant application support

  • Furlough calculations and claims

  • Keeping track of reliefs and tax deferrals available 

  • Guidance on VAT and self assessment deferrals

  • Arranging time to pay agreements for PAYE and Corporation Tax

  • Sanity checking business ideas

  • General business help and support for getting through these challenging times

  • Working from home support

  • Lending an ear for any client who needs it

What are we still getting done?

We’ve also kept on top of as much of the ‘normal’ work as possible.  We’ve been carrying on  with bookkeeping, although at times this may have gone from daily to weekly.  And all VAT returns, payroll and CIS returns have been completed as normal.  We've managed to get all the CIS refunds and SMP refunds submitted, ensuring these are paid to our clients as soon as possible.  We’ve also been preparing and filing annual accounts and directors’ tax returns, although we are prioritising those who need these for loan applications etc.  

We know it’s important for you to have up to date financial information so you can plan accordingly, so we’ve worked very hard to keep on top of these whilst also carrying out all the extra support work.  

We’re also keeping on top of all non urgent queries and emails, although at our busiest times our response times have been a little longer than usual.  We thank you for your patience if we’ve not been able to get back to you as quickly as we usually do.

What’s still to come?

As I mentioned before we’re now starting to turn our attention to planning for the future and adapting to the new normal.  We have are holding a Business Continuity Planning webinar on Monday 4th May at 2pm and will then be offering some plans for business continuity sessions, and more.  And of course we will have the May and June furlough claims to come too, possibly more if the scheme is extended further.  We will also continue to assist with cashflow forecasting, loan applications, and keep you updated with any further developments as they are announced.

Our support page will be kept up to date with all our plans and services, so please keep an eye out for everything that’s still to come :)

We’re here to help in any way we can.

Cheryl x