Looking for guidance through a business crisis?

Business: It's all fun and games until it isn't.

A business emergency isn’t too different from a health emergency. One moment everything’s going along swimmingly, the next you’re terrified and wondering how you’ll get through this.

Perhaps it was something you overlooked or maybe it’s an issue that’s been simmering for a while. Sometimes though it’s just plain bad luck.

Our business accountants work with clients to find a way through a crisis or tough time. We give you hands-on help to get your business back on track. There is nothing we haven’t seen before and we’re not here to judge. We just know that the sooner we get involved, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Have a read through some of the more common problems we come across and see how we’ve helped.

ATO audits are a very stressful time for a business owner. There is often a lack of understanding about the audit process and what the ATO is looking for. If not managed properly, audits can escalate and result in a poor tax outcome for the business. We also find that business performance suffers due to increased levels of stress in the management team.

Time is critical when dealing with the ATO. We recommend engaging with your accountant early so the issue doesn’t escalate further.

New clients Bill and Mark came to us after their business was audited. Unfortunately, they’d received some poor advice and the outcome wasn’t good.

We worked with them to re-examine the audit process, analyse the information they provided, and work out what could have been done differently. We then objected to the ATO assessments with different arguments and negotiated a new settlement which saved Bill and Mark $35 million.

Crisis management - ATO Audits

Tax returns are a part of life and for most people this annual ritual gets checked off before the due date. Sometimes though this process falls away and people find themselves getting more and more behind. This may be because of an inability to pay the debt, forgetfulness, not being in the country or being worried about the unknown.

Tim hadn’t lodged a tax return for over 10 years. His fear of the mounting debt was so extreme he went to see a trustee in bankruptcy. Luckily, he was advised to meet with us first.

We helped Tim get all of his tax affairs up to date and minimised his liability as best we could within the legislation.  Once we had the lodgements sorted, we worked out a cash flow strategy with Tim so he could pay down the debt. We were then able to negotiate with the ATO on Tim’s behalf and sorted out a payment plan they were happy with.

Crisis management - outstanding lodgements

Mary came to us after her old bookkeeper left and she discovered her accounts were in disarray. She was worried there may have been some fraudulent behaviour.

The only way for us to detect this was to go back to base records and reconstruct the financials. Which sounds extreme but there are times when it is easier and cheaper to simply start over.

Luckily, we found no evidence of fraud – it was just a case of some very messy bookkeeping. With some education and training, Mary developed a deeper understanding of her business and understood her important areas to monitor.

Crisis management - managing out of a cash crisis

It’s often said that revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, but cash is reality.  Because cash flow is so crucial to business success, and such a common pain point for small business owners, understanding what drives your business’s cash flow is essential.

Clients John and Jodie were constantly in cash flow crisis mode. They had a heightened interest in controlling it when cash was really tight but relaxed their monitoring when their bank account looked a little healthier. Most often their focus was on the next 30 days and not beyond that. We did an analysis of their cash flow cycle and it was clear that the amount of time it was taking to turn their product into cash was leaving them out of pocket more often than not. This meant that, in order to bridge the cash gap, they were resorting to overdraft facilities and not paying suppliers or the ATO on time.

We worked with John and Jodie to educate them on what drives their cash cycle, work out what their magic numbers were and develop a cash flow improvement strategy for the business.  In their case, two of the simplest strategies we focused on were reducing debtor days and managing the sales pipeline to stabilise revenue.

Young woman working in a business
Note: These are real case studies of clients we’ve worked with, though we have changed their names to protect their privacy.

If you think your business is in trouble, contact us for guidance

We'd love to help you get back in control.

How we help when business isn't going to plan

Business Turnaround

Our business improvement experts work with you to get an accurate picture of what’s going on, then get the situation under control. Be assured, if there is a way through it, we’ll find it.

Business Health Checks

A business health check is a process to evaluate current business performance and develop strategies for improvement. We look at liquidity, solvency and profitability and make a plan to get you back on track.

ATO Issues

We can negotiate on your behalf if you have tax or GST debts, need a payment arrangement, are under Audit, have outstanding lodgements or receive a Directors Penalty Notice. The sooner you get in contact, the better the outcome.

Accessing Finance

We have a large network of lenders and brokers we regularly work with and trust. Take advantage of our relationships to access finance or renegotiate a better deal.

Business Break Ups

You’ve built a business together but it’s time to part ways? Separating the finances of a business can be very complex and stressful. We can guide you through to a fair and agreeable outcome.

Cash Flow Improvement

There are few things more stressful than a cash flow crisis. We can conduct a thorough analysis of your cash management processes then treat the contributing factors. As your accountability partners, we’ll make sure you stay on track in future.

Profit Improvement

One of the key aspects of business turnaround is profit improvement. We can do an analysis of your current margins and calculate what your margins should be. We’ll work with you to improve your bottom line and keep you on course.

Budgeting and Forecasting

We can prepare complex business budgets and cash flow forecasts that help you plan and manage your business finances. When you’re back in control, you’ll have the confidence to develop, improve and grow your business.

Businesses of every size and shape make Marsh the place where things get fixed

"We have been dealing with Marsh & Partners for 20 years now, not only for all of our accounting needs, but also with business mentoring, which has helped us grow our companies. Fred Patten has given us incredible support and encouragement in order to help us move forward in business, and has guided us through the highs and lows that come with being in business. He and his team have made it a priority to know all aspects of our business and meet with us regularly to discuss growth & development strategies. We trust the expertise of Marsh & Partners and know we will only continue to move forward with them into the future."

Sonya JonesDirector, Concrete Partners

"I have worked closely with Marsh & Partners over the past couple of years on a development strategy for my business. It is great to work with a team that focuses on more than numbers and it's provided many positive results for my business."

Ian BurchillDirector, CoolTimes Industries

"Pohlmans Nursery have had a close working relationship with Fred and the team at Marsh & Partners for over 19 years now. During this time, Fred has offered us accounting expertise to assist our business to grow. Fred constantly goes above and beyond by guiding our business in the right direction in making business connections for finance and family law as well as assisting on our Board of Directors.
Fred is a consummate professional and an expert in his field. Throughout our partnership with Fred and the team at Marsh & Partners they have offered us peace of mind in knowing that we have such a strong team of professionals taking care of all of our accounting needs."

Robert PohlmanPohlmans Nursery

"Marsh & Partners have been our accountants for the past 20 years and have provided exceptional service that transcends the expected norm. They understand the importance of connection and relationships and build these ethics into their deliverables.
Marsh also appreciate the value of community and have provided pro bono assistance to our charity endED.org.au for the past 3 years."

Mark ForbesCo-Founder, endED

"I have used Marsh and Partners for over twenty years. They take my worries, whether it be tax or cash flow or the pain of business compliance, and make these worries theirs. It is the feeling of relief when I hand these worries over and the feeling of certainty that they will be fixed without any major involvement from me that that keeps me going back. "

Ashley TulleyCCO, McInnes Wilson Lawyers

"Marsh & Partners have been handling my financial affairs for approximately the last 15 years. It has been a working relationship I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Their knowledge, honesty, efficiency and integrity is of gold medal class. They install in me the confidence that what I’m doing is right. I couldn’t think of anyone else bar Mick and his team to entrust with my financial affairs."

Alan ThomasAlan Thomas Media Creations
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