Managing Business Finances Through The Pandemic

Our Financial Statements for the year ended 30th September 2020 have now been filed at Companies House – but what do they really show?

When I accepted the role of Finance Director at Robinson Manufacturing I was looking forward to a new challenge…. My first day was 23rd March 2020 – a date that will be etched on most people’s memories.

A new challenge was definitely what I would be facing. I was immediately facing a situation where actions needed to be put in place quickly to protect our employees, customers, suppliers and our financial results.

With a full closure of all factories there would be no income, as such we had to mobilise quickly to ensure we had funding to meet payroll and supplier payment runs. An ocean of CBIL loans, Bounce Back loans and furlough claims lay ahead, along with ensuring results were produced accurately and quickly to support the rest of the senior leadership team with decision making.

Tough decisions had to be made, we supported our employees by paying 100% salary, but had to cover this with the removal of discretionary payments when the business first reopened, not an easy decision. Elsewhere across the business we reviewed every element of spend, all discretionary expenses were eliminated, and further tough decisions were made.

What was the outcome? We paid all of our employees on time and in full, we made our supplier payments and maintained relationships, we streamlined the company costs to help position ourselves well for the future and we maximised our cash position. On a non financial note, we communicated, daily, to all employees – whether furloughed or working. We drove engagement across the business and retained a motivated workforce who could not wait to return and help the company return to a pre COVID position.

It was an induction into a new role the likes of which I doubt I will see again, but I could not be more proud of the company I have joined, or the results (tangible or intangible) that we delivered.

Sam Gartside, Finance Director

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