Insolvency warning signs

It is rare that directors or business owners wake up one morning to find that disaster has suddenly struck. Financial problems tend to be insidious.  Indications that something is wrong may be more obvious to others than they are to you. Busy firefighting and juggling your budget it is understanding that you might fail to spot the warning signs. If you are in any doubt please get in touch, invariably the earlier you contact us the more we can do to help.

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How can we help?

We can spot the warning signs when you might be too close to see the dangers.

Early intervention nearly always leads to more options and better outcomes. If action is taken early there is often a good chance of a successful business turnaround. However, once decline has set in the chances of success become more remote and formal insolvency ends up being the only option.

We see many business owners who have had their heads in the sand for months or even years. We understand why! Facing up to the situation can be harsh, painful and involve difficult decisions. But the sooner it is done the better outcome there is likely to be.

We help directors and business owners of SME and family run businesses throughout East Anglia and London who are in this situation all the time – our expertise and sympathetic approach means that you don’t need to face financial problems alone.

Our services include:

  • Free advice line.

  • We refer preparation of management accounts, financial forecasts and tax work when we can.

  • We can help raise finance from lenders that specialise in distressed business lending.

  • Most of all we work tirelessly to give you client the best advice for their specific circumstances.

Not all insolvency practitioners are equal. Choose your insolvency practitioner carefully so you can be sure that no stones are left unturned to avoid an insolvency altogether. 

Hayley Watson


Norwich office contact details:

Cambridge office contact details:

Hayley started her career working at McTear Williams & Wood in 2005 and is a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner advising companies and individuals experiencing financial difficulties and works with a variety of stakeholders to establish and implement the best strategy for individuals and companies experiencing financial difficulties.

Hayley acts as an Insolvency Practitioner in all forms of corporate insolvency including creditors’ voluntary liquidation, compulsory liquidations, solvent members’ liquidations and company voluntary arrangements as well as advising individuals and acts as an insolvency practitioner for individual voluntary arrangements and bankruptcies.

Hayley qualified as a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner in 2019 and was appointed Director in March 2024. She is currently Chair of R3 Eastern Region committe and have over 19 years of experience in insolvency.

Insolvency traffic light system green

Go ahead but keep under review

  • You are not losing money and do not need any credit.
  • You can’t pay creditors in accordance with normal terms but they continue to provide credit and services subject to interest charges and late payment penalties.
  • You can pay current tax but you have tax arrears. You have agreed a schedule with the HM Revenue & Customs to pay off those arrears.
  • You have to increase your overdraft facility to take out a new loan in order to pay your creditors near enough on time.
Insolvency traffic light system amber

Proceed with extreme caution

  • You can’t pay creditors within agreed terms. They have put you on stop but have agreed to give you longer to make proposals to pay.
  • You can only get limited credit from new sources and you are using this to fend off your existing creditors.
  • You can’t accept new orders because you can’t purchase raw materials or pay for the overtime required to fulfil them.
  • Your bank has decided to claw back your overdraft facility and you are missing payments to non-essential creditors. Your bank wants you to agree to an independent business review.
  • Creditors are threatening legal action.
Insolvency traffic light system red

Stop & seek advice immediately

  • You are on stop with key suppliers, cannot raise working capital to fund your order book and turnover has dropped to below break even point.
  • Your income will not meet your outgoings once interests and penalties are taken into account.
  • County court claims, CCJs and statutory demands regularly land on your doormat
  • You are having sleepless nights and are on medication to steady your nerves.
  • You have received notice of a winding up petition.

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