The Government issued new guidance yesterday in an effort to delay the spread of Coronavirus. The practicality of the advice is hard to fully comprehend. The health and safety of our staff and clients and their families must always be our top priority. It is also essential that we do all we can to help our clients without compromising the safety of your people or ours.
At Hillier Hopkins we are well placed to handle the changes in working practices that are necessary in the coming weeks and months. Our IT systems and other infrastructure are robust and capable of working remotely. Our phone systems allow you to use the same phone number to contact our staff wherever they may actually be seated. This means that we can and will continue to provide you with the advice, support and services that you need with minimum disruption.
Here is guidance on our current plans:
- We are recommending our teams work from home. We will hold meetings by telephone conference call or video conference where feasible. If you were due to meet our team you will be contacted directly to make suitable arrangements.
- Our London office will close at the end of today until further notice, however our Watford and Milton Keynes offices remain open with a skeleton team of staff. We are making arrangements to ensure that post and deliveries to the office are dealt with.
- You will still be able to contact your usual client service team on their office or mobile telephone numbers, or by email. If you have difficulty contacting anyone, please call 0330 024 3200 and we will be able to help.
- We would encourage you to use our client portal or secure document exchange rather than posting your files to us. If you don’t currently use either of these facilities please contact your usual adviser who will be able to help.
- Our audit team are contacting clients regarding arrangements for any planned on-site audit work.
We will be quickly reacting to changes in government advice, and to circumstances that may change among our staff. We ask you to inform us if we are due to meet and there is any change in your own (or your staff) risk profile. Informed decisions will be critical to the management of people-based businesses.
Advice for business clients
This will no doubt be a challenging time for many businesses, but as you will have heard in the budget speech, the Chancellor has provided a number of reliefs which may help. We have taken a closer look at these arrangements and offer some guidance on what impact they may have and how to access the reliefs in our Coronavirus – Advice for business article.
HMRC and Companies House are both attempting to increase flexibility but because most penalties are enshrined in statute, they have little scope. If accounts due to be filed are delayed because of absences or difficulties caused by coronavirus, you can apply online or by post for an extension. This should be done shortly before the filing deadline but must not be done after it as it will be rejected. HMRC are providing a more flexible time to pay regime for those with cash-flow issues resulting from the pandemic. If you need help, please contact us and we can advise on the specifics.
This is a fast-changing situation and we will keep you informed as and when we know more. If you have any concerns or queries, please speak to your usual adviser or contact us on 0330 024 3200.
Stay right up to date with all the latest developments and guidance on our Coronavirus Updates page.