The start of 2013 is shaping up as a challenging year for a number of industries, in particular mining services, retail and hospitality.
Historically, the first quarter of each year brings cash flow pressures for many businesses, as some have either used Christmas sales to repay historical debts and have nothing left in the bank, or have not saved sufficient funds to pay for Christmas purchases, BAS payments or to service their loans. These three types of payments create a perfect storm on managing cash.
The biggest payment often overlooked after Christmas is the December quarter BAS which is payable in February. I have heard from clients (and their customers) that trade has been soft over Christmas for many retailers and those involved in hospitality resulting in insufficient funds being retained to pay the December BAS.
Given the current politial environment and the need for cash by the Government, I consider that the ATO will also closely review submission and payment of the December BAS across all industries which pose a relevant question for clients – have you saved enough for the ATO? Staying close to your clients and understanding their forecast is extremely important to mitigate any unexpected surprises.
If you need help, calling out sooner rather than later is always the best policy. Talk to your customers and understand their needs or speak to your financiers about what additional financial accommodation you may require. Or reach out to me for a chat about what I can to do help…