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Our business consulting services can help you improve your operational performance and productivity, adding value throughout your growth life cycle.
Business process solutions
We can help you identify, understand and manage potential risks to safeguard your business and comply with regulatory requirements.
Business risk services
The relationship between a company and its auditor has changed. Organisations must understand and manage risk and seek an appropriate balance between risk and opportunities.
As organisations become increasingly dependent on digital technology, the opportunities for cyber criminals continue to grow.
Forensic and investigation services
At Grant Thornton, we have a wealth of knowledge in forensic services and can support you with issues such as dispute resolution, fraud and insurance claims.
Mergers and acquisitions
Globalisation and company growth ambitions are driving an increase in M&A activity worldwide. We work with entrepreneurial businesses in the mid-market to help them assess the true commercial potential of their planned acquisition and understand how the purchase might serve their longer- term strategic goals.
Recovery and reorganisation
Workable solutions to maximise your value and deliver sustainable recovery
Transactional advisory services
We can support you throughout the transaction process – helping achieve the best possible outcome at the point of the transaction and in the longer term.
We provide a wide range of services to recovery and reorganisation professionals, companies and their stakeholders.
The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are a set of global accounting standards developed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for the preparation of public company financial statements. At Grant Thornton, our IFRS advisers can help you navigate the complexity of financial reporting from IFRS 1 to IFRS 17 and IAS 1 to IAS 41.
Audit quality monitoring
Having a robust process of quality control is one of the most effective ways to guarantee we deliver high-quality services to our clients.
Global audit technology
We apply our global audit methodology through an integrated set of software tools known as the Voyager suite.
Corporate and business tax
Our trusted teams can prepare corporate tax files and ruling requests, support you with deferrals, accounting procedures and legitimate tax benefits.
Direct international tax
Our teams have in-depth knowledge of the relationship between domestic and international tax laws.
Global mobility services
Through our global organisation of member firms, we support both companies and individuals, providing insightful solutions to minimise the tax burden for both parties.
Indirect international tax
Using our finely tuned local knowledge, teams from our global organisation of member firms help you understand and comply with often complex and time-consuming regulations.
Innovation and investment incentives
Dynamic businesses must continually innovate to maintain competitiveness, evolve and grow. Valuable tax reliefs are available to support innovative activities, irrespective of your tax profile.
Private client services
Our solutions include dealing with emigration and tax mitigation on the income and capital growth of overseas assets.
The laws surrounding transfer pricing are becoming ever more complex, as tax affairs of multinational companies are facing scrutiny from media, regulators and the public
Tax policies are constantly evolving and there are a number of complex changes on the horizon that could significantly affect your business.
In the immediate aftermath of COVID-19, businesses looked to improve their cash flow management and focus on day-to-day survival, leaning heavily on government support packages. But longer-term, businesses will need greater liquidity as they move to financial self-sufficiency after governments scale back support. They will need to invest in adjusting to the changes, to sustain operations and stay competitive. Raising finance to do so will be essential.
According to Grant Thornton's latest IBR data, 26.1% of mid-market businesses have spoken to or planned to talk to lenders about new credit, while 23.4% of global respondents said they'd either sought financial support from investors or are planning to seek support. Significantly, 46% of businesses identified a shortage of finance as a constraint on growth, up markedly from 37% in H2 2019.
Despite these concerns, there are pools of finance available for well-run businesses. Unlike the global financial crisis of 2008, there are many institutions currently sitting on cash.
Paul Gooley, partner and national head of corporate finance, at Grant Thornton Australia, says: "From an investors perspective, people need to put their money somewhere. Return figures in banks are negligible; the cash market is like putting money under the bed. So private equity and debt funds offer yields above inflation, there are pools of money that are looking for returns."
Continually assess what future liquidity you might need
Governments have generally supported businesses financially throughout the crisis. Tony Markwell, national managing partner private advisory at Grant Thornton Australia, says: "A lot of governments have given employers money to keep people on their books and that means a lot of businesses are reasonably liquid."
The issue for many, however, will be when those support packages retreat and when businesses need to start making investments; upgrades and fundamental changes to their business models to adjust to the new operational environment. Markwell says: "You need to have a good look at your liquidity, is it sufficient to get you through another wave, lockdown or a slowdown?"
Pallavi Bakhru, chartered accountant at Grant Thornton India in New Delhi, says: "People want to hold onto their cash. In fact, in India, people have gone and raised more money through rights issues from shareholders. They've gone and got more limits sanctioned, not they've necessarily drawn on them, but they want the comfort of knowing that if needed, if business demands, this line of credit is available to them."
Businesses are looking at money for many different reasons, "Some are looking for money for R&D and technology. And some are just looking for basic working capital because they've got their money stuck in debtors, the money's not coming from their customers, or if they need to kickstart production, they need working capital. So there is a money requirement for different gestation periods."
Understand what banks are looking for
Banks are being supportive of their existing clients, but most are tightening new lending conditions. Gooley says: "It's one thing to provide waivers of covenants or an extension on facility due dates, but it's another if bank clients need new money. Banks will go risk-off, and the amount of capital that banks provide will reduce. The willingness of banks to provide cash flow lending is likely to disappear."
While conditions for bank lending are tightening, it is still the cheapest option so, as Markwell says, being a good bank customer, has never been more important for businesses. Markwell says: "Banks want to deal with people who are a pleasure to lend to. They don't like businesses that are short on collateral, short of explanations for missing budget, short of business plans."
"Having a banker who understands your business, knows where you're going, knows your critical reasons for being and what your business model is about is key. They love lending to people who are in control, who do what they say they're going to do, and who can articulate their plan."
Consider the range of alternative finance options
In the private market, there is a whole range of different providers outside the banks. Gooley says: "If your bank says no, it does not mean you're out of options."
"Private equity is still sitting on dry-powder and some regions are more active than others. There are also credit funds, family office for high-net-worth individuals, neo banks and fintech who have raised capital and who are able to play in that alternative debt market above where traditional banks would play."
"There are large pools of money out there in the hybrid space, high yield debt, or that debt plus little bit of equity kicker, which are available for mid-market companies to access, particularly high-quality ones. They can be a more attractive option than raising further equity, and a lot of companies just aren't aware that that money is out there."
Carlos Ferreira, US national managing partner for private equity, Grant Thornton, says: "Tech-enabled businesses, especially those in the US and target markets as diverse as Israel and Brazil, that are addressing cybersecurity for remote working, online training and education, telehealth, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, food-tech and distribution and delivery, are all on the radar of private equity houses.
"These businesses are thriving, and alongside their private equity backers are looking for opportunities to reinvest through leverage while interest rates are low."
Private equity in the mid-market: reshaping strategies for 2021
Prepare balance sheets and have a good future story to tell
Preparation is key to raising finance, but successful applicants will also have a compelling vision for growth in a new business environment.
Gooley says: "It will be a race as to who has the best story and who has the best business case. We're encouraging people to get ready and make sure you have a well-articulated story, particularly on what does it look like in the next couple of years as you come out of COVID.
There will be opportunities to fund across the market, and these providers will have the choice as to where to put their money. Being prepared for that and seeing how the market will level out for you – and how you will service the debt you're going to ask for – will be critical."
Businesses that are working on their resilience and recovery plans are identifying the market opportunities and their accompanying investment requirement. Smart businesses are moving ahead of the pack by getting their balance sheets ready to take advantage of the situation. Having a robust story about how you are going to adapt to the new paradigms and where the demand is going to be will help you stand apart.
Thriving in 2020: Capitalising on resilience
Finance can be a lubricant for business – it ensures all the parts run smoothly and in harmony to drive it forward. Getting the right liquidity for your business’s future is essential to ensuring to staying on track and ahead of the competition.
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Take a pit stop
We’ve built a series of insights to help mid-market businesses look at the external drivers and internal enablers that will underpin their strategy and programmes and work in sync to boost performance and increase resilience.