Cutting costs and the return to work – business news 1 September 2020.

1 September 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

SMEs are cutting costs, the return to work and its implications,  another recession warning, a battle between landlords and tenants , covid-19, market and other business news.

Here are CPA we want to  share the business news stories we have seen that we think will affect our members and readers. Many of us are busy fighting to protect our businesses and therefore might have missed some of the news that could impact small businesses, their owners and those that sell on credit.

SMEs look to cost cutting

A survey by Hitachi Capital Business Finance shows that 61% of SMEs are looking to cost cutting, up from 39% at the start of the year.

The number of smaller firms targeting cashflow improvements as a priority rose from 22% to 32%, while those reviewing their borrowing commitments nearly doubled to 21%.

Hitachi Capital managing director Gavin Wraith-Carter said more business owners are treating these issues as top priorities, adding: “Many are making important decisions on reshaping their business so they can compete in the new economic climate.”

The poll also saw 27% of SME owners say they have had a positive third quarter, compared to 14% in Q2.

Four-day working week could create 500k new jobs

Research by think-tank Autonomy suggests a move to a four-day week in the public sector would create up to half a million new jobs and help limit an expected increase in unemployment as the Government’s furlough scheme is wound down.

The report says it would be possible for public sector workers to go on to a 32-hour week with no loss of pay, calculating that such a move would cost between £5.4bn and £9bn a year.

Will Stronge, Autonomy’s research director, said: “To help tackle the unemployment crisis we are facing this winter, a four-day week is the best option for sharing work more equally across the economy and creating much needed new jobs.” He added that the move would “boost productivity, create new jobs and make us all much happier and healthier.”

Bank of England forecasts suggest that the jobless rate will rise from just under 4% to 7.5% by the end of the year.

PM blows back to work message with threat

Boris Johnson has come under fire for suggesting those who continue to work from home could be more vulnerable to redundancy than those who go into the office.

Labour’s shadow business minister Lucy Powell said forcing people to “choose between their health and their job is unconscionable” while Tory MPs feared the comments would be seen as divisive and paternalistic.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, also criticised the approach, saying: “I will not countenance in Scotland any kind of narrative around this that is seeking to almost intimidate people back to work before, as a country, we have taken a decision that that is safe.”

Objections also came from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the British Chambers of Commerce, which slammed the Government’s “scaremongering” over its plans to rush workers back to the office.

Although the CBI warned this week of “ghost towns” if people do not return to their workplaces, director general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn admitted her staff will be allowed to work from home until the end of the year.

Office attendance on the up

Daily Mail analysis of 30 FTSE 100 and leading firms suggests that many have seen an uptick in employees returning to offices, with PwC saying around a third of its 24,700 office workers were now spending at least some time at their desks and that this was increasing.

Alistair Cox, head of recruitment firm Hays, has told the Mail that full-time remote working was unlikely to become “a permanent thing” but predicted offices will be closed as companies assess whether to switch permanently to a hybrid model, where remote and office-based working are balanced.

Transport data shows slow office return

A poll by the AA shows that 40% of people who normally drive to work are working from home all or part of the time, with the rate jumping to 54% among senior or middle managers and professionals. In regard to public transport, official figures show that trains carried only 28% of their normal passenger loads last Monday, while buses saw 45% of typical passenger numbers. The figures suggest people are opting to work from home, despite a government push to get people back into the office.

£500bn hit from home-working

Analysis suggests £480bn could be wiped off the economy over the next four years if workers fail to return to offices, with Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman of the Centre for Economics and Business Research and a former chief economic adviser to the Confederation of British Industry, saying the economy will not return to its pre-pandemic size until 2025 if home-working continues in its current form.

With a number of firms saying some staff may never return to the office full-time, Mr McWilliams has warned that a broad shift to remote working could hit the economy as it would leave a hole in economic activity generated by commuting and socialising, with large numbers of small businesses in town and city centres relying on income from staff and professionals. The British Chambers of Commerce says Britain is in the “eye of a storm” that will strike this autumn unless ministers take action that enables the economy to function more normally again.

Risk expert in recession warning

Philip Thomas, professor of risk management at the University of Bristol, warns that “driving the economy into deep recession” could cause unnecessary deaths and argues that it is “essential that we get back to work”.

Looking at efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic and avoid a second wave, he calls for policymakers to change tack, saying a “controlled spread” of COVID-19 will help avoid the loss of more lives to “national impoverishment”. Prof Thomas, who notes that national debt has risen above £2trn for the first time, adds that “by failing to reopen the economy, we are killing people.”

Big firms cut 255k jobs

Figures analysed by the Daily Mail show that more than a quarter of a million workers at stalwart British firms have been laid off since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, with Gatwick Airport, Pret a Manger and BMW Mini among the latest big firms to announce job losses. Of the 255,000 roles that have been lost since March – or are set to be cut – more than 153,000 are in the UK, with overseas workers laid off by British firms accounting for the rest. Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, has urged ministers to “boost the wider jobs market by reducing the burden of employment taxes, helping businesses to retain and hire staff.”

Bailey: BoE ‘still has firepower’ to help economy through pandemic

Andrew Bailey insists the Bank of England, along with other central banks, still has tools available to it with which it can tackle a recession. The Bank’s Governor told the Jackson Hole symposium, an annual gathering of central bank luminaries: “We are not out of firepower by any means, and to be honest it looks from today’s vantage point that we were too cautious about our remaining firepower pre-Covid.”

Small firms at risk as landlords refuse to compromise

Business bosses have warned that their firms are at risk because landlords are unwilling to negotiate on rent. Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, has urged ministers to consider measures to protect small companies that are close to collapse “because their rent is too high and landlords won’t compromise”.

Mr Cherry, who says many small firms have long leases, argues that it is “wrong for otherwise-viable small businesses to go under just because they’re tied into paying high rents that their landlords would not be able to charge new tenants in the current climate”. Meanwhile, Labour MP Stella Creasy has told Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick that she has received complaints about landlords taking public subsidy for their own businesses while continuing to charge their tenants full rent.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, argues that a number of small landlords who rely on property as their only or main source of income are being put at risk by “large, well-capitalised tenants who are refusing to meet their rental obligations”.

Landlords hit out at CVA abuse

Landlords have accused retailers of “weaponising” CVAs as part of a bid to cut costs, with the British Property Federation (BPF) saying that the restructuring method is being abused.

BPF CEO Melanie Leech said of CVAs: “Rather than as part of a sustainable rescue plan for those in genuine distress, they’re becoming a boardroom negotiating tactic for solvent businesses to rip up leases freely agreed with property owners.”

She added: “The process is discriminating against property owners, allowing non-affected creditors to vote on a CVA, yet forcing property owners to absorb the lion’s share of the burden.” Meanwhile, Vivienne King, CEO of retail property association Revo, has called for reforms, arguing that landlords are being hit by mistakes made by companies’ management.

Independent shops boosted by dip in commuting

Analysis suggests that independent shops in towns and suburban areas have seen positive sales throughout the lockdown period, with such businesses benefitting from a decline in commuting.

Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA), said members are unlikely to join calls for workers to return to city centre offices, saying: “I think at the moment if you are situated in a suburb or small town, or a more local high street, then you are doing better than those in the city centre.”

The Guardian notes that Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, has warned that city centres could become “ghost towns” if the Prime Minister does not do more to encourage workers back to the office.

Economist in debt warning

Philip Booth of the Institute of Economic Affairs says Britain’s pubic debt poses as serious a long-term threat to prosperity as climate change.

Mr Booth, who will tomorrow appear before the Treasury Select Committee to discuss tax after coronavirus, says the country’s borrowing levels could overtake Japan, currently the most heavily indebted of the G7 advanced nations.

With national debt passing 100% of GDP in July, he added that Britain should be more anxious over its debt-to-GDP ratio rising than Japan, where debt is largely financed by domestic savers and thus less reliant on international interest rates and foreign investors’ confidence.

Institute for Fiscal Studies director Paul Johnson has warned that Britain may struggle for finance as it competes with other nations looking to increase deficits post-coronavirus, saying: “There’s a risk the UK becomes rather unattractive given the risks we face around our less than fully competent government, Brexit and possible Scottish independence.”

Treasury officials call for tax hikes

The Sunday Telegraph’s Harry Yorke reports that Treasury officials are pushing for tax rises to help boost public finances hit by the coronavirus crisis, with Downing Street said to be resisting moves that could see the Exchequer pull in an extra £20bn a year. Sources tell the paper that proposals under consideration include aligning capital gains tax with income tax and cutting pension tax relief, with the introduction of an online sales tax and simplification of the inheritance tax system also mooted. Mr Yorke says that while Downing Street may not be opposed to some tax rises, especially the closing of perceived loopholes for the wealthiest in regard to capital gains and pensions, those around the Prime Minister fear a major tax raid risks derailing the economic recovery. He adds that senior Downing Street figures would rather reduce spending, with senior economists and business leaders also against increasing taxes, saying Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s focus should be on stimulating growth. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, says tax rises will be needed “eventually” but it is unlikely they will be rolled out soon due to uncertainty over the state of the economy. A Sunday Telegraph editorial argues against “massive tax hikes”, saying the Prime Minister and Chancellor “must go with their instincts and rule out these tax rises”. Elsewhere, the Sunday Times says Mr Sunak is planning a “£30bn tax raid” in November’s Budget, with increases in capital gains tax and corporation tax on the cards. An editorial in the same paper considers the mooted tax reform, saying that while “nothing should be done to jeopardise the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in its early stages … the Government cannot allow the hole in the public finances to remain unfilled.”

Business groups question tax increase plan

Following the above reports that the Chancellor could be looking to raise taxes to help cover the cost of the coronavirus crisis, Stephen Barclay, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has refused to rule out tax increases, saying such issues were a matter for the Budget. His comments came after the Sunday Telegraph reported that the Treasury is considering a £20bn tax increase and a Sunday Times article said capital gains tax and corporation tax may be increased in the autumn, with the latter possibly jumping from 19% to 24%. The FT cites Treasury officials who describe the reports as “nonsense speculation”, but also notes that a Government insider admitted “difficult options” are being considered to boost public finances. Meanwhile, business groups have spoken out over the possible tax increases, with Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, saying: “Raising the tax burden on business and entrepreneurs before they have a chance to recover could create serious issues for the trajectory of the UK’ s overall recovery.” He added that while the business sector understands the need to repair the economy, doing so too early risks “choking off growth at the crucial moment.” Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Given we’re in a recession the last thing policymakers should be doing is hiking taxes on those we need to invest, create jobs and generate growth over the crucial months ahead.” Matthew Lesh, head of research at Adam Smith Institute, urged the Government to “get its own house in order” by cutting spending before increasing taxes, while Institute for Fiscal Studies economist Stuart Adam believes that “in the short run the Government should probably be looking to cut taxes and increase spending.” EY’s Chris Sanger notes that the UK has “prided itself on having the lowest corporate tax rate of any G20 country”, with any increase set to be seen as a sea change in tax policy.”

Tax pledge to spare Treasury’s big earners from increases?

Tthe Chancellor’s options for balancing the books in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic are limited, with a manifesto commitment not to raise the rate of income tax, national insurance and VAT “problematic” as they are the Treasury’s biggest earners, accounting for £460bn of £735bn in revenue pulled in during the 2018/19 tax year. With it suggested corporation tax, which bought in £56bn in 2018/19, could be targeted, Chris Sanger of EY comments: “If you’re looking to make sizable increases in taxation, it is not obvious that corporate taxes would be your tax of choice. We get two-thirds of our total taxes from national insurance, VAT and income tax.” “By the time you add in duties that rises to about three-quarters, so anything other than those is only going to be providing a little bit of additional revenue,” he adds .

Labour urges Chancellor to push ahead with tech tax

Labour has told Chancellor Rishi Sunak to push ahead with a levy on technology giants, with shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds voicing concern over reports that the digital services tax may be axed because it could jeopardise a post-Brexit trade deal with the US. Ms Dodds said: “This government promised to make tech giants pay a fair share of tax to support our public services. Scrapping the digital services tax will do the opposite, costing millions in revenue that could pay for thousands of nurses, teachers or police officers.”

Early advice can save a firm

Richard Bathgate, a restructuring partner at Johnston Carmichael, says that while speaking to an insolvency practitioner about restructuring a business may be “right up there with a trip to the dentist” when it comes to things people want to put off, seeking early professional advice to assess the options available “could be the difference between life and death for a business”.

For B2B businesses in financial difficulty, CPA can help uncover a hidden source of finance within the business, late payment compensation due on previously late paid invoices.  If you were paid late by business customers in the past you will be due compensation. See CPA is passionate about late payment below, or call us today on 0330 053 9263

Eat out scheme serves up a boost

Lloyds Bank analysis shows that spending in shops and restaurants was up 38% on days when the Government’s eat out to help out scheme was running, with spending just 2% lower this August than in August 2019. Mark Gregory, chief economist at EY, said the initiative has been “surprisingly effective”, adding: “Fair play to the Chancellor – it really did help give a short-term boost.”

Covid-19 general news

The global number of reported infections exceeds 25m, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, with 6m in America alone.

AstraZeneca Plc has begun a large-scale human trial of its coronavirus vaccine in the U.S., with plans to enroll as many as 30,000 adults. The shot, invented by researchers at the University of Oxford, is one of the farthest along of numerous Covid-19 vaccines in development. In addition to the U.S. trial, a final-stage test of the inoculation is under way in the U.K. and could yield preliminary results as soon as next month.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps declared on LBC Radio on Friday  “we are saying to people it is now safe to return to work”. There have been reports that the government is concerned about the impact of working from home on offices and city centres.

France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, said he was doing all he could to avoid another lockdown following an “exceptional” rise in covid-19 cases. Over 7,000 new infections were recorded in the country on Friday, the most since March.

Researchers in Nevada identified the first known case of covid-19 reinfection in America. A man tested positive in April and then again in May, with a different strain. It is the first case of reinfection in the world known to have brought on severe symptoms

Four people at the Republican National Convention in North Carolina this week tested positive for covid-19. ​

Scientists are looking at the 5% to 20% of people who show persistent long lasting problems after contracting Covid. Mysterious lingering symptoms after viral infections aren’t new and is seen with other virla infections. Some of the most common issues involve the nervous system, including everything from memory and sleep disturbances to dizziness, nerve pain and “brain fog.”     Numerous studies have been started that may give doctors and patients badly needed answers to why some people can’t seem to recover from Covid-19.

India set a new world record for the highest daily number of new covid-19 infections confirmed by tests. The country reported 78,761 new cases of the disease on Saturday, beating a daily record America set in mid-July.

Russia became the fourth nation to pass one million confirmed covid cases,just as it opened it schools.


The US dollar succumbed to selling following the Jackson Hole symposium and dovish remarks from the Federal Reserve. Sterling climbed back above $1.34 and is heading to $1.35. The pound is also gaining against the euro up to 1.236 euros. The S&P 500 conversely gained for a seventh straight day on Friday  and closed above 3,500 for the first time, the Nasdaq Composite also finished at a new record high

Abe Shinzo resigned as prime minister of Japan because of ill-health, although he will stay in post until a successor is chosen. Mr Abe is the country’s longest-serving prime minister; his current period in office started in 2012. He has endured a long battle with ulcerative colitis, a chronic intestinal disease. The Yen softened mildly but the Nikkei strengthened.

Investment flows up North

The North’s fast-growth businesses continued to attract investment during despite the coronavirus crisis, according to the Venture Pulse Survey by KPMG Private Enterprise, which shows venture capital totalling £263m backed 82 businesses across the North in the first six months of 2020.

Scrapping small councils could save £3bn

A report by PwC for the County Councils Network claims that replacing small councils with larger unitary authorities would “drive forward the devolution and levelling-up agendas” of the Government and also save nearly £3bn.

Maturing Child Trust Funds set to hand 18-year-olds up to £70,000

The FT reports on the child trust funds set to mature on September 1st, which Moore Kingston Smith says could now be worth as much as £70,000, providing parents maximised their contributions.

HMRC: Duty cut yet to impact buying data

Myriam Toua in the Sunday Express analyses the property market and price activity since the sector reopened after the coronavirus lockdown. Provisional HMRC data shows that more than 70,000 properties were sold throughout July, marking a 14.5% increase on June – but data on prices has yet to show clearly whether there has been an increase.

Rightmove’s property index, which is based on asking price rather than sold price, reported a 0.2% drop in prices in August, while Nationwide’s July index, which is based on mortgage lending, reported a 1.7% month-on-month increase and Halifax reported a 1.6% increase.

While the Chancellor has introduced temporary cuts to stamp duty, HMRC says the move is unlikely to impact on buying figures until late August or early September.

Ashley requests meeting with PM over ‘crippling’ business rates

Mike Ashley has warned Boris Johnson of “disastrous consequences” for jobs, if the Government fails to the reform “crippling” business rates. In a letter to the PM with Chris Wootton, CFO of Frasers Group, Mr Ashley said: “We believe that the exchequer is putting the jobs of a significant percentage of the UK workforce at risk. Other businesses are entering insolvency from which they cannot feasibly return due to the crippling impact of business rates. Without change these businesses will simply disappear. We believe the Government can and should act now.” Mr Ashley and Mr Wootton requested a ten-minute meeting or call with Mr Johnson “at any time of the day or night, to discuss the issue of business rates and potential solutions”. The Government said in July that it would delay a revaluation for the tax until 2023 to “reduce uncertainty for business”.

Treasury seeks ‘more robust’ rates system

The Treasury has warned of widespread evasion and avoidance of business rates, with the near-£5bn of reliefs granted to firms one of the avenues most commonly used to underpay. With reforms to business rates being considered, the Treasury’s consultation document on the issue says: “There is evidence that some ratepayers are avoiding paying rates through the misuse of reliefs, particularly empty property relief”. It adds: “The fundamental review of the business rates system will consider how the system can be made more robust to abuse.”

Over two-fifths of financial services workers consider career change

According to research by KPMG and the Financial Services Skills Commission, COVID-19 has led 44% of financial services workers to consider a possible career change. Among those financial services workers looking for a career change, 13% said they would not choose the sector again for their next career move – rising to 16% of 18-30 year olds. Those who said they would not work in the sector again cited long hours (15%), long commutes (13%) and heavy regulation (9%) as key factors driving their decision. The survey showed the sector has retained its reputation for strong remuneration and career progression. Competitive salaries (54%) and good employee benefits, such as insurance and private healthcare (35%), were listed by employees as top drivers towards the sector.

Tax dodge informer payouts hit £473k

Analysis by law firm RPC shows that HMRC payments to those tipping the tax office about tax dodgers has increased, with informants paid £473,000 in the 12 months to April 2020 – up from £290,250 in the same period the year before. HMRC is currently investigating 30 cases, with more than a third relating to the financial services sector, according to Moore Kingston Smith. Businesses are required to have reasonable prevention procedures to stop their employees facilitating tax evasion. Tim Stovold, the head of tax at Moore Kingston Smith, said: “Even with the threat of criminal prosecutions and fines, compliance with these rules is patchy at best, with many businesses not even being aware of this regime.”

Fintechs keep £10m awards despite dropping commitments

Currencycloud and Modulr Finance have failed to meet commitments given to secure cash from the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR). However, neither of them will have to pay back the £10m they each received. The body, which is managed by Mazars, was set up to distribute £775m to boost competition in finance but has been criticised for a lack of transparency and accountability. Modulr said that it had delayed the rollout of a service enabling small companies to process payments through their accounting firms while Currencycloud has dropped a commitment to integrate its platform into three big accounting software systems. Aidene Walsh, a director at BCR, said: “The last quarter has been difficult for a number of awardees. BCR is keeping a close focus on awardees’ delivery and is reassured that they are adapting to deliver on their commitments to support UK SMEs that need access to business banking products

Ban on evictions hands landlords £20,000 bill

The ban on landlords evicting tenants who find themselves unable to pay their rent due to the pandemic could leave landlords without any rental income for two years, according to the National Residential Landlords Association. The lobby group said with the time it takes for courts to hear eviction cases, combined with the extension of the eviction ban, landlords could be £20,800 out of pocket – based on an average weekly private rent of £200. Ben Beadle, of the NRLA, called on the Government to intervene and cover missed rent payments. He added: “Stopping landlords from legally ending failed and disruptive tenancies is not a solution. The Government must act to cover the costs of providing homes, they cannot expect landlords to foot the bill for their failure to support households.”

Size of final salary pension transfer values soar during lockdown

Lane Clark & Peacock has found that the average value of defined benefit pension transfers reached £556,000 in the second quarter of 2020 – a rise of 30% compared with the previous quarter. Although the value of pots being withdrawn has increased, the number of people choosing to pull their money out has fallen by 25%. “It’s no surprise that this quarter has seen such a dip in pension scheme members asking for quotations, or taking up quotations they had already received, given that it coincided with the height of the pandemic,” said Bart Huby, a partner at Lane, Clark & Peacock. “But it seems as though those with the largest pensions have been the least likely to be put off from completing a transfer.”

One in four women miss out on staff pension

Research by the Resolution Foundation think-tank shows that 24% of working women are not eligible for an automatic enrolment pension, compared with 15% of men. The discrepancy is partly down to rules which mean that companies only need to enrol staff in a work pension if they earn £10,000 or more in a single job, with this excluding many part-time workers, who are predominantly female. Office for National Statistics data shows that 39% of female employees worked part-time last year, compared with 11% of men. The Resolution Foundation study says women are also more likely to be under-enrolled than men, with this particularly common in low-paid industries. Resolution Foundation economist Foundation Hannah Slaughter said: “The problem is particularly acute among agency workers and those on the minimum wage, where around one in ten workers are not getting the pensions they deserve.”

Moss Bros sizes up restructuring

Suit-seller Moss Bros has called in KPMG and could look to a CVA, having been hit by a ban on large weddings amid the coronavirus lockdown. The restructuring could see some of its 125 UK stores close and rent reductions at others, with talks with landlords over switching to rents linked to turnover yet to deliver an agreement.

Designer thought OBE was tax bill

Fashion designer Amanda Wakeley was scared to open the letter revealing she was being awarded an OBE because she thought it was a tax bill. With the brown envelope arriving at her office and being handed over by her accountant, she said: “I thought, ‘Oh God, here we go, it’s a tax demand which I really don’t need’.”

Don’t let Covid-19 bust your business!

It will if your cash flow dries up, either sooner or later.

The Credit Protection Association (CPA) has been assisting thousands of UK businesses to get paid since 1914. We have seen many financial crises, this one will be particularly deadly for suppliers for sometime to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. Above all tactfully, because maintenance of goodwill is paramount.

To meet the needs of creditors in the current crisis, we have designed a “critical care” package especially tailored for the situation.

  • The annual package costs start at very low rates
  • A minimum performance warranty is provided
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Clients instruct CPA on-line via their PC or phone, completely user-friendly. Your late paying customers are told to pay you direct (not to us).

A very recent report shows a 23% increase in the number of unpaid invoices since March 11th THIS YEAR – are you getting a build-up of late payers?

 Right now, overdue accounts must be a concern and CPA has a great track record of encouraging slow-payers to pay their suppliers quickly.

It takes less than 17 minutes to see how you would benefit, do you have the time now?

No face-to-face meeting required – just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email today.

When you see your money come in, you will be so glad you used CPA.

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

Those customers will look for the easiest option  to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When your customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

You might be hesitant about contacting a debt collection agency. What are they going to be like?

Can they help your particular type of business?

There is no need for concern. CPA are courteous, helpful and very probably have had direct experience of working with your type of business.

Debt collection agencies are not all alike.

Success lies in both recovering money and keeping customers happy. The Credit Protection Association was founded in 1914 and  has helped tens of thousands of UK businesses to collect outstanding payments and reduce the risk of incurring bad debt. We believe that creditors deserve to be paid for the work or goods they have supplied but we fully understand the need to maintain
the best possible relationship with customers!

At The Credit Protection Association, we provide solutions, advice and back-up in all areas relating to the supply of services or goods on account. Client-members receive everything they need from a single source to reduce debtor days and write-offs.

The Credit Protection Association has helped has assisted tens of thousands of UK businesses with their credit control requirements, since the First World War.

We are polite, firm and efficient when it comes to recovering outstanding debt.

“We have used CPA for a number of years now. The website is easy to navigate around with lots of helpful reports. The staff are always at hand and very friendly. CPA has  helped us reduce our debt over the years and keep track of potential issues with our customers.”
~ CPA client in Buckinghamshire

“The service from CPA has proved to be everything that you said it would be. We have already seen a huge benefit. We have had a number of overdue accounts paid promptly and directly to us. It is also a huge weight off our mind to know that once we have passed an overdue payment over to you, you take care of everything whilst keeping us informed.
~ Credit Controller client in Warrington

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


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For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit.  You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners  who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections

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