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Enjoy your holidays with no cash worry; Take steps to keep money flowing.

HOLIDAYS can put extra strain on small businesses when key staff are away - especially in the finance department.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) has issued some helpful tips for small businesses on how to cope this summer.

Keith Proudfoot, ICAEW regional director, said: "When employees enjoy their well-earned break, it is essential for firms to examine their bill-paying procedures and ensure that proper safeguards are in place.

"Planning ahead can help minimise disruption and keep the cash flowing while staff are on holiday."

The ICAEW's checklist for summer survival is:

Getting cash into your business is as critical as paying out. At holiday times you will have staff away - but so will your customers so plan ahead.

Make sure invoices are still paid on time, otherwise you could incur penalties.

If the person who normally authorises payment is away, arrange for someone else to cover at holiday time.

Try to plan and anticipate employee holidays. How many staff and which staff can you afford to be away at the same time?

Once people have returned from holiday, give them time to adjust - but try to make sure they regain their productivity quite quickly.

Make provision for a proper handover between staff and allow enough time for this before people go away.

Ensure that staff use their out-of-office reply for incoming emails and that an alternative contact is given.

Check if staff are happy for others to have access to their emails. This may help avoid any nasty surprises when they return.

Debrief people when they get back - this will make them feel important to the organisation.

Do not contact staff members while they are away unless it is a real emergency - remember it is their holiday.

If you deal with overseas businesses, make a note of their national holidays.

If a staff member is not getting over the post-holiday blues, sit down with them to check that it is not something more serious.

Suggest that staff book their next holiday soon after they get back - this will give them something to look forward to and will also help you plan ahead.


RELAXING TIME: Keith Proudfoot, ICAEW regional director, recommends planning your company's holiday cashflow in good time
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 11, 2007
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