Ferguson Hannam Chartered Accountants logo

How We Can Help

At Ferguson Hannam, we use our many years of experience and depth of understanding to give our clients a clear picture of the problems and the solutions available. Monitoring business performance and position requires complete and accurate financial information to be clearly understood so that prompt action can be taken to deal with a financial minefield full of uncertainty.

At Ferguson Hannam, our expertise and experience can guide you through that minefield. Contact us to find out how we can help. For example, we can assist you with the following:

Sometimes business owners get so caught up with “running the business” and “doing what they do best” that financial matters are neglected because there just isn’t enough time. If this situation is familiar to you, rest assured it is also very common to many business owners and operators. BUT if it is left unchecked it can have devastating consequences. We can assist you by providing independent specialist financial assistance to help you accurately assess your current financial position, your recent financial performance and assist you to develop forecasts and budgets of profitability and cash-flow. We can also equip you with the tools for ongoing monitoring of your financial performance and position.

Contact us for a no obligation and free consultation as to how we can help.

You or your company might have had the misfortune of having a customer default on payment, or you have had an investment go bad or you might have incurred a loss, unexpected and due to causes beyond your control. (Remember the way COVID 19 impacted all of us).

Contact us for assistance in calculating your actual financial loss to form the basis of a claim to recover your losses.

You or your company might have suffered a downturn in business and be facing severe pressure from creditors and perhaps even from your bank or other financiers. By actively and promptly seeking independent professional advice you will be taking steps to avoid the loss of your business and your livelihood. 

We can assist you to accurately work out the state of your own or your company’s finances and provide you with realistic options for the future of your business. We can assist you to prepare cash-flow and profit forecasts and budgets and help you work through various “what-if” situations (often referred to as sensitivity analysis). 

And even if an insolvency appointment is unavoidable, did you know that a Personal Insolvency Agreement for individuals, and the Small Business Restructuring (SBR) and Voluntary Administration procedures for companies allows creditors to give you and your business a second chance? This can mean you continue your business and may preserve jobs for your employees, where the underlying business is potentially sound. 

A financial crisis does not need to end in bankruptcy (individuals) or liquidation (companies). For example, SBR (eligibility checks apply) can allow your company to continue to trade under your control as a director while a proposal for restructure is put to your creditors.

Contact us for assistance to accurately and realistically work out the options.

If you are managing a company, or seen to be managing a company, whether or not you have officially been appointed a director (hence the term “shadow director”), you might be putting your personal assets at risk if the company goes into liquidation and the company’s creditors or the liquidator makes a claim against you personally and the company is found to have been “trading whilst insolvent”. 

The Corporations Act 2001 provides for insolvent trading claims to be made against “directors” (whether validly appointed or not) who allow their company to obtain goods and services on credit from suppliers when the company is insolvent, that is, when the company can no longer pay its debts when they fall due. There are also criminal offence provisions. 

In addition, as a director you can now be held personally liable to the Australian Taxation Office for unpaid taxes and superannuation! If you have received a Director Penalty Notice (“DPN”) from the Australian Taxation Office contact us immediately as these notices contain very strict timeframes.

Although the Courts will determine whether a company was insolvent at the time credit was incurred, directors need to be aware of the tests that are applied by the Courts. For example, does your company have a history of making losses? Do your company’s liabilities exceed its assets? Is the company paying Statutory creditors on time (e.g. the ATO for BAS payments for GST and PAYG, superannuation to employee funds)? Is the company paying its suppliers (trade creditors) on time or is there a very long list of unpaid creditors, with collection agencies and solicitors demanding payment?

Contact us to understand and address your concerns by obtaining assistance to determine the financial position of your company and provide you with options to minimise risk.

If your company is insolvent, is placed in liquidation and does not have sufficient funds available to pay all employee entitlements it may be that the Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme (FEG) will assist. The FEG is a scheme of last resort, to assist employees who have lost their job because their employer entered liquidation or bankruptcy. The FEG will operate in relation to claims by employees for assistance to receive unpaid employee entitlements caused by employer liquidations and bankruptcies. FEG can make payment of employee entitlements (limited to type and amount) direct to employees providing claims are made within specified time periods and also after proper review of payroll records by FEG appointed Insolvency Practitioners for employer liquidations and bankruptcies. More information about the FEG is available at https://www.dewr.gov.au/fair-entitlements-guarantee.

Contact us to discuss this further.