It is our goal to help businesses survive this economic storm and for them to come out stronger on the other side. There has been a ton of content pushed out about the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the CARE Act.
The enclosed links do a good job of summarizing those Acts. Read them if you are not familiar with the details. Today we are going to discuss actions business owners should take and things they should be thinking about.
During challenging times, the key to surviving this is cash. You need to figure out:
1) How are you going to keep generating cash (via revenue and collections)?
2) What expenses can you cut or reduce to conserve cash? Do you have underperforming employees that it makes sense to let go? Can you negotiate a pause on rent if your landlord has a pause on their loan payment? Take a deep dive and evaluate your expenses. That being said, try to help out your fellow local business owners where you can.
3) What programs (in the links above) could help provide you with cash?
You need to model scenarios with what your cash looks like based upon scenarios incorporating plans under 1-3. Almost everyone we’ve heard from is focused on number 3, which will only result in temporary benefit. You need to think deeper than that.
Think Outside the Box
A lot of press has been given to the stimulus programs but you should not view them as the only tools to attack your current challenges. Consider the following actions and opportunities:
- Evaluate Business Interruption Insurance as an option. Read this piece from our Fraud and Forensic Team regarding Business Interruption Insurance Claims and Coronavirus to learn about whether that applies in your situation.
- Figure out how you can adapt your business model to the current regulated limitations.
- Collaborate with a group of peer business owners from around the country. The accounting industry has been really great with this over the last few weeks.
- The IRS has finally released updated forms to process credits related to paying employees during the Hurricane Florence shutdown. That will provide an opportunity to put money back in your pockets as we work through the list of potentially impacted business clients.
- Use other recent tax law changes to amend prior income tax returns and receive refunds.
- Will your mortgage company suspend payments? Most are heading in that direction.
There are some potential traps with all the programs and money available. Just because money is available doesn’t mean you should take it.
We Are Here to Help
- You need to determine if you participate in a program is it going to allow you to rebound or is it going to postpone the inevitable. Sometimes the tough but right decision is to shut down.
- The payroll protection program is the bright shiny object in the room. However, it may not be the best answer for your particular situation. It’s worth evaluating all the options and the pros and cons of each.
- Don’t delay in taking action. Two weeks of conserving cash can be the difference between life and death in business. In addition, there is a limited amount of government funds that your peers are going to rush to.
Feel free to reach out to myself or the team to talk about your specific situation.
Caroline Montgomery, CPA (NC License Number 39017), MSA, is tax manager and partner of Adam Shay CPA, PLLC. The most rewarding part of what she does is helping business owners and individuals achieve their goals, all while working with a dynamic team that is growing quickly. The firm focuses on a proactive approach by encouraging clients to minimize taxes via income tax planning and projections, or by focusing on other areas of their business as part of the firm's Virtual CFO services. The firm also offers tax preparation, fraud and forensic accounting and tax issue resolution services. She moved to Wilmington in 2014 and started at the firm in 2015. Caroline graduated with her her undergraduate and graduate degree in 2010 from East Carolina University. She is actively involved with NourishNC as their Treasurer and enjoys volunteering with various organizations throughout New Hanover County. In her free time, Caroline enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike, and dog, Mason, as well as travelling and going to the beach.