To all Lanop Accountants’s Clients

The Coronavirus will effect everyone and every business including yours. We would like to assure you that in this time of crisis all of us at Lanop Accountants remain at your full disposal and are ready to continue servicing all our clients. In this time of need we feel the best way to get through these difficult times is for all us to continue to stand by and support each other. Lanop Accountants is doing exactly that as we will do everything in our power to continue to support you and your business.

We are also doing our part to slow the spread of the virus which is why, as of today, we have closed our office in Putney to limit physical contact between staff and clients. We will instead all be working remotely and have systems in place to provide all our services as usual. All staff remain fully contactable via our usual office number and email. For meetings we can support Skype video calls and conferencing. So for what ever you need please feel free use any of the above digital platforms to get in touch with us but please do not stop by our office until further notice as no one will be there to assist you!

While we wait on further government advice our initial expectations is that the coronavirus is not going to disappear in a just a few weeks but looks likely to stay and effect the movement of people and businesses till well into the summer. So all businesses need to prepare for the worse and try take advantage of all support available to them. We have outlined at the end of this email the financial support the government is currently offering businesses and how you can get access to that support. The situation is always changing so we will endeavor to keep you fully updated with any new regulations that come into place so that you can access that support as it becomes available.

For those clients that are looking to close their offices but want to keep working remotely, such as we have done, but are not sure how to do so then please feel free to get into contact with us and we can advice you on how to get setup. This is not a service we will be charging for, we want you to be able to keep doing your business. To give you some idea of how we do this these are the services we are using:

Office telephone – VOIP digital online service. Be reachable on your normal office number from where ever you have internet access on your mobile or computer.

Office 365 – Full access to all office products such as Excel, Word, Sharepoint and many more. Office applications can be installed on your computer or accessed via their webpage. Very affordable monthly subscription where you only pay per number of users.

Cloud based Storage – For accessing all your files from any device where you have an internet connection
Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft One Drive
Both these services come with Office 365 and are great for storing all your files in the cloud and then allowing you to share them with other users in your organisation. Sharepoint allows users or groups of users to access the same set of files in the same location and even allows for two people in different locations to work on the same Excel file at the same time.

Conference and video calling
Microsoft Teams and Skype for business
Again both these services come as part of the Office 365 package. Microsoft teams is and a more complete package for inter team communications and group video calls within your organisation. You can also do conference video or voice calls to other outside landlines and mobile numbers if this feature is active.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme

A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses.

Bank Loans and Overdrafts

We advise that you should get in touch with your bank ASAP and start by arranging an overdraft facility. This should be a starting point and should ease up cashflow problems in short term.

Statutory Sick Pay for 14 days fully refunded by Government

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

HMRC dedicated helpline

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Many businesses are concerned about their cashflows. We will recommend speaking to HMRC and agree deferring any PAYE, VAT and CT liabilities for next 2 months (but agree in advance with HMRC, they know everyone is in it together and should be accommodating) if you are struggling with cashflows.

Cash Grants by local authorities

There will be a £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2 billion.

Business Rates relief for small businesses

Finally, the government is temporarily increasing the business rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.

Further Advice

For Further Advice please refer to below link by National federation of self employed and small businesses Ltd.

All the best from the team at Lanop

17th March 2020