The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales has recently published its Business Confidence Index for the second quarter of 2019. And pretty grim reading it is.
Times have been pretty tough for most businesses over the last few years, and many have gone to the wall. Seeing lots of empty shops as you walk down the local High Street, or boarded-up factories on the industrial estate is a sad sight, each telling a story of a business that’s failed. What’s even sadder, is that many business insolvencies might have been prevented.
Even if you have the world’s greatest products or services, and even if you have the world’s greatest business model, your business will never succeed or be profitable if it doesn’t get paid for what it sells.
There was a time when it was fairly easy to agree a time to pay arrangement with HMRC. It was simply a matter of ringing up, asking politely, and the answer was “yes” without too many searching questions.
How times change. It’s probably fair to say that, in the early days, HMRC managed to provide a cash flow boost to businesses that had no particular cash flow problems whilst, at the other extreme, putting off the evil day for a number of hopeless basket cases.