Paul Browne shares an article on stress testing and cash management as a means to help business survive another COVID-19 shutdown.
Cash Management and Stress Testing
The full force of the COVID-19 pandemic is now hitting the UK with most businesses either completely shut down or working well below capacity. Most law firms are in the latter category. The key challenge for managing partners, after ensuring the safety and well-being of staff, is to ensure the firm survives this hiatus, which couldn’t have come at a worse time with most firms year-ends fast approaching.
They need to ensure their firm’s cash flow is secure, that they stay within their credit facilities, and that the firm is able to trade profitably, if not immediately, then in the near future to ensure compliance with the SRA Code of Conduct for Firms, specifically:
2.4 You actively monitor your financial stability and business viability.
3.6 You notify the SRA promptly of any serious financial difficulty relating to you.
Firms should prioritise the collection and conservation of cash.
However, this can only effectively be done against the backdrop of an up to date cash flow forecast which is regularly stress-tested for a number of different scenarios, including the loss of significant time recording at least over the next three months, a dearth of new client instructions and clients, similarly, experiencing severe financial pressures, either unable to settle bills or looking for more favourable terms.
Key points include:
- Collecting and conserving cash
- Talking to your bank
- Alternative funding
Read the full article, COVID-19 Pandemic-Survival Steps for Law Firms, on LinkedIn.
David Burnie’s company has published a timely blog on the 21 common mistakes many companies make when rolling out their business continuity plan.
A business continuity plan is essential for preventing and recovering from emergencies and incidents that can disrupt a business.
We recently shared our top 13 priorities for a strong BCP. While not having a BCP is a sure-fire pitfall to successful business continuity, there are other things to keep in mind. Here are some of the common pitfalls to look out for when executing business continuity plans.
The mistakes covered in the article include:
- Business continuity preparation
- Communication approach
- Systems failover
Read the full article, 21 Things Companies Do Wrong When Executing Business Continuity Plans, on the Burnie Group website.
Luca Ottinetti provides an article that reflects on past recessionary crises to help business leaders move through the current situation productively with examples of strategies from TMSC, Ford, AB InBev, Home Depot, and Verizon among others.
Managing through a recessionary crisis requires more than laying low and waiting for the storm to blow over. It takes proactive management to prepare and then take advantage of the general economic weakness.
Recessions come from different starting events, for example (1) stagflation from OPEC’s quadrupling oil prices in 1973-1975, (2) the Fed’s elevated interest rates to combat inflation in 1981-1982, (3) the savings and loan crisis in 1989, (4) the boom and bust of the dot.com businesses in 2001, and (5) the sub-prime mortgages in 2007. Today, a recession is starting to take hold, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether V-shaped, U-shaped, or L-shaped remains a subject of speculation. But the real question now is: What needs to be done today
to get through this crisis and come out ahead?
Areas covered include:
- Expanding market share
- Mergers and acquisitions
Read the full article, Managing Through A Recessionary Crisis, on the Great Prairie Group website.
Andrew Hone’s company has developed a 6-week program which takes businesses through each step of our three-stage framework for responding to COVID-19.
COVID-19 represents a formidable challenge to businesses of all sizes. Necessary policy responses have caused significant disruption to the global economy, with simultaneous demand, supply and financial shocks. Most businesses are experiencing a sharp decline in near-term revenue, requiring actions to mitigate the impact on cash flows and potentially to secure additional funding.
Based on our own experiences with clients on turnaround and performance improvement programs, we have developed a strategic framework to assist businesses in working through their response to COVID-19. There are three key elements to this framework:
- Ensuring immediate business continuity
- Securing the near-term financial viability of the business
- Positioning the business for medium-term strategic opportunities
Read the full article, Responding to COVID-19, on Zenith Strategy Associates’ website.
James Bowen takes a look ahead to the end of this year, and shares his thoughts on four likely scenarios that may come to pass.
Today we live in an environment of extreme uncertainty. More than 26 million Americans who had jobs a month ago are now unemployed. No one can tell you whether that number will be bigger or smaller a month from now. We have seen negative prices for the West Texas Intermediate oil contract, but that same barrel traded yesterday for $28.82 for December delivery, giving a tremendous premium to anyone who can store crude oil. As I previously posted, the expectations of risk priced into equity markets have unquestionably increased; it’s difficult even to estimate how much, because any estimate of future cash flows at this point is mostly guesswork. Point estimates are worthless and even probability distributions of future outcomes are likely based on shifting sands.
The four outcomes explored are:
- International Competition
- Prolonged Recession
- Robust Recovery
Read the full article, Four Scenarios for Year-End 2020, on LinkedIn.
While the businesses community is working hard to deal with the current difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the next step is recovery. This post from David Burnie’s company shares ten priorities for a strong business recovery and business continuity plan.
With the spread of COVID-19 and the establishment of corresponding emergency measures, now is a crucial time for organizations to review and update their business continuity plan. While the organizations fortunate enough to transition to a work from home strategy are just adapting to this new way of working, the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic will quickly be upon us. High absenteeism will soon become the norm due to sickness and the need to care for loved ones who are ill.
We expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will result in business interruptions for at least six to eight months, with a worst-case scenario of interruptions lasting for twelve to twenty-four months. With that in mind, we are sharing our top ten considerations for planning, developing and executing a business continuity plan and a business recovery plan.
The steps covered include:
- Establish clear succession planning and assignment of authority
- Prepare for reductions in resource availability
- Plan for large swings in demand
- Establish rules to triage requests
- Ensure critical systems are redundant
Read the full article, Top 10 Priorities for a Strong Business Recovery and Business Continuity Plan, on the Burnie Group website.