Last week (7th October 2011) Business Cost Consultants (BCC) hosted a seminar for accountants and lawyers involved in insolvency practice to discuss ways to reduce and recoup energy costs. A similar seminar for insolvency practitioners was held in Glasgow on the 24th June.
The seminars, which were attended by organisations such as Anderson Strathern, Biggart Baillie, Burness, Ernst & Young, Johnston Carmichael, Lindsays, PKF, PWC, Semple Fraser, MacRoberts and Shepherd and Wedderburn, to name but a few, took place at the Clydesdale Bank offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh. BCC explained to the insolvency experts how to manage utility suppliers when a company slips into administration. The seminars also allowed guests to share their experiences of dealing with energy suppliers in insolvency cases.
Recent figures from accountancy trade body, R3, estimate that an extra 2,000 companies a year could be saved from being wound up if creditors, namely utility companies, didn’t demand “ransom payments” when they slip into administration.
Utility companies are notorious for being credit risk averse, and usually withdraw competitive market rates for companies that have fallen into administration, crippling the businesses and making it hard for the administrator to find potential buyers.
R3 have since launched a campaign calling for a change in legislation which would prevent suppliers demanding ransom payments, increasing their prices or ceasing to supply as a company goes into formal insolvency. But in the meantime, insolvency practitioners must look for ways to challenge those heavy-weight suppliers.
Accountants and lawyers are increasingly working alongside independent utility consultants, BCC, to benefit from their experience of dealing with energy suppliers and managing bills. By analysing bills and correspondence, utility consultants can determine if a supplier is being unfair and pinpoint what a fairer tariff should be. They will use their expert knowledge of market rates and supplier procedures to guarantee that companies in administration are offered more competitive market rates. As Donald Maclean, Managing Director of BCC said, “With over 16 years of experience, our experts can bring to bear a huge amount of knowledge in their negotiations with energy suppliers”.
As well as ensuring that companies that have slipped into administration don’t suffer because of “ransom demands”, independent utility consultants such as BCC can suggest ways to reduce utility consumption.
Walter Clark, Partner at Burness said about the seminar, “I thought the presentation was excellent – BCC clearly know the utility companies inside out”.
Andrew Scott, Associate at Shepperd and Wedderburn added, “I had not been aware of the services provided by BCC and so was interested to hear how those services could be used to assist an insolvency practitioner dealing with utility companies.”
Glasgow based utility experts, Business Cost Consultants, have been working closely with administrators, accountants and lawyers for many years to challenge large utility companies. Recently, BDO LLP, administrators of a large multi-site UK-based hotel chain, appointed BCC to recoup utility costs resulting in savings of over £300,000.