On The Pulse readers over the years would be aware of what insolvency is, how it works, and how Worrells can help. Readers would also be aware that insolvency is naturally viewed from the stakeholder's perspective, examples being:
- For the trade creditor, it's the monies I am owed and how do I recover it.
- For the secured creditor, it's how do I recover my security to minimise my commercial loss.
- For the solicitor representing the creditor, it's about how do I advise my client on taking formal steps to recover the debt via demand, negotiation, or commencing legal proceedings.
- For the accountant, it's my client (and often friend) who's at risk of failing and how can I help, (and contemplating the loss of a client).
- For the director, it's how can I survive and deal with the risk of losing everything.
- For the employee, my job and entitlements are at risk and what will be my next job and when is my next pay coming.
From our perspective as insolvency practitioners, it's all of the above and more. Part of our role is to impartially and carefully deal with all stakeholders; and ensure proper and adequate communication informs all stakeholders of what is happening and why.
Included in this, above the facts and figures, is the story behind a company and its business and its people. If we are to properly and fairly represent all stakeholder interests, we must understand more than just the facts and figures. We must understand how this business and its people came to the position it's in now, so we can assist in trying to take it forward for the benefit of all involved. That's because behind every business, every company, every creditor claim, every accounting client, every director, and every employee-there is a story to tell. It's a story of where we came from, the decisions we've made, and why we are where we are right now. We are ready with open minds to listen to that story and take the necessary steps to relieve much of the financial and emotional burden being carried. We appreciate (despite what might be the current financial circumstances) people are involved and how each can be impacted in very different ways.
Tough situations need a balance of genuine care matched with an expert understanding of the options and impacts on a range of scenarios. By listening and asking the right questions (as do all professionals to their clients) we get the insights from their stories about how they came to be where they are now, and where they want to go from here. Sure, we're here to provide advice, and where possible solutions. But at the end of the day, it must be relevant to people's needs and wants and fit with their story. For example, there is no use trying to convince a director of a car repairer business to change careers to a real estate business as it could be a lucrative and secure industry in today's market. Their story is as a car mechanic and repairer. This has been their career and wheelhouse for the last 30 years. The challenge is finding a solution to continue their story, not our own.
As insolvency practitioners and professional advisors, we want to listen to the stories being shared and entrusted with us. We appreciate what is often many years of hard work and dedication.
Our challenge is to allow that story to continue and help it evolve if we can.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.