At Bessler Hendrie, we pride ourselves on seeing things through when the going gets tough. If something needs to be done then we will get it sorted, and if we can’t do it then we’ll find someone that can and work with them.
This “can do” attitude means that we advise on a wide range of issues, and no one day is ever the same as another. Maybe not what is expected when one thinks of an accountancy firm.
This breadth of services provided is demonstrated by the case of Mr A and his family business.
Mr A’s business had a complex structure, with a UK trading company operating from a property owned by a BVI company, which was in turn owned by a trust.
When we started acting, the company was struggling. With no regular management information, it was unable to manage its cash flow and did not have adequate internal controls. All of these factors made it difficult to negotiate bank funding on good terms, further compounding the issues facing the company. The business had worked with a number of accountants, who were primarily focused on compliance and did not provide the guidance, steering and support that was needed.
When Peter Nicholls first met with Mr A, it was clear that the business would need support and guidance to reach the next level.
At the time, one of the companies was subject to a tax enquiry, which had not run smoothly under the previous accountant. Peter and his team worked hard to win over the tax inspector, obtaining the time required to properly resolve the issues. It was accepted that the offshore company had actually always been UK tax resident, and we therefore needed to bring all of the filings up to date, both at Companies House and with HM Revenue & Customs. This involved preparing accounts going back twelve years, including reconciling all intercompany entries.
Once we had dealt with the “firefighting” and resolved the enquiry, we worked to ensure that problems of this type would not reoccur. We designed a reporting pack for the bank which included commentary demonstrating the financial controls that were in place, and regularly monitored cash flow and profit forecasts. We advised on investment into the business, including a review of available capital allowances on refurbishment and extension works.
When the business expanded into France, we worked with a French lawyer to design an appropriate structure and advised on the UK tax implications of the proposed approach.
Once the business was back on track with good management information and controls, we worked closely with the client to achieve a successful sale. This process began shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic, which added its share of problems to be resolved. We were involved throughout: project managing the sale, providing management information, providing tax advice on the structure, advising on tax residence, wrangling BVI advisors and also keeping the client’s spirits up!
Many of our clients produce a vast range of advisory projects and as demonstrated in the case of Mr A, the diversity of services provided on issues that needed resolving reveals exactly the kind of clarity we can deliver.