Talking about money is never easy especially when the problem is a lack of money. Covid-19 and government-led restrictions are threatening the livelihood of even the most robust businesses. Recent weeks have seen a number of Goliaths such as Debenhams, Carphone Warehouse and Laura Ashley go into administration. Unfortunately it is likely that there will be more to follow. This is having a profound impact on the mental health of business owners as they struggle to navigate their business, their employees, their customers and their supply chain through the choppy waters of this pandemic. So what is an Insolvency Practitioner?
Unless you are planning to sell your business or retire, few people actually want to work with an Insolvency Practitioner. The truth is, we’d rather you weren’t in the position to work with us either. However, this is why we work with our clients to offer information, advice and support to help them make choices that are right for them. This includes business recovery. In reality, we have to admit that sometimes there is no other option but for a business to close. That is when you need an experienced and compassionate Insolvency Practitioner (IP) on your side.
To find out more about what an IP does, we sat down with The InSOLVEncy Company’s Founder, Director and Insolvency Practitioner, Gareth Buckley.
Hi Gareth, lovely to speak with you. Let’s get straight to the point; some people think an Insolvency Practitioner is the Grim Reaper of business, is this true?
Well, that is straight to the point and I can see why some people might think that’s the case. IPs are not Grim Reapers or vampires trying to drain the last bit of life out of a company. Actually, we work with our clients to try to help them save their business where possible. We explore all the options with our clients, from business recovery to closing their business and starting again. We work to a strict code of ethics and are duty bound to act in the best interests of our clients. As a small, family-run business we are committed to helping in any way we can.
Wouldn’t a financial advisor or accountant give advice if they thought a business was in trouble?
Yes, they do give advice but often they are not specifically trained or qualified to advise clients in financial difficulty. IPs go through a lot of training and spend hundreds of hours gaining experience with individuals and businesses in financial difficulty before becoming qualified.
IPs are highly regulated and monitored by our regulators to ensure clients get the right advice and to make sure we maintain the high standards expected of our profession. Accountants and financial advisors are also regulated and monitored but only in their accountancy or financial advice, not their debt advice which is what we are monitored on.
So, if a business was in financial difficulty they would work with you instead of their financial advisor or accountant?
No, we tend to work with financial advisors and accountants to support their clients through financial difficulty. We offer specialist, professional and solution-driven information, advice and support if and when it’s needed. We like to let other professionals do what they do best, like accountancy and financial planning, so we can focus on what we do best which is helping individuals and businesses who are struggling. Accountants and advisors often recommend us to client knowing we are best placed to help their clients.
What if a struggling business or individual can’t afford your services?
As a business we offer a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to understand a clients situation. We are happy to answer any questions they may have, offer information, advice and support to help them make choices which are right for them. We are very transparent about the cost of working with us but it’s difficult to put a price on without knowing the circumstances. Each case is different. We always act in the best interest of the client and as a family-run business we work hard to keep our costs to a minimum. If we don’t think we can help, we’ll tell you.
Thanks Gareth, that’s helpful. How can businesses get in touch?
We understand that speaking to someone about personal or business finances can be difficult when worried or scared. It’s a difficult thing to admit and sometimes even harder to ask for help. Many people see financial difficulty as a personal weakness or a failing – it’s not. We always advise businesses (and individuals) who are struggling to get in touch earlier rather than later. This significantly increases the chances of recovering the business.
If you’re ready to speak to someone, give us a ring or send us an email at email@example.com. If not, we provide lots of free information and advice on our website at theinsolvencycompany.co.uk and on our blog which may help.