What are the key questions to ask ourselves as a business?
Some examples of the key questions to ask include:
- Is there still a viable underlying business that is likely to continue beyond the current crisis?
- What does the revised short to medium cash flow look like and will the company continue to be able to pay its liabilities?
- Does the company have the support of all of its stakeholders – lenders, shareholders, customers, suppliers and banks – even though the business might be in breach of its own obligations?
- What measures could (and should) the board put in place to protect creditors, including making sure that exposure to creditors (both collectively and individually) is not increased, assets are not sold at less than value and no creditor is treated more favourably than another?
- Is there still a reasonable prospect of the business avoiding liquidation or administration?
The key question is always whether accepting the money is in the best interests of creditors as a whole bearing in mind that accepting Government support and continuing to trade might increase the company’s overall liabilities. Directors should be mindful that if the business fails, their decisions during this critical time may be scrutinised and it is therefore important that directors have up-to-date financial information and projections to form the basis of any decisions, take stock, get the right advice and document the decisions that are taken.