British Gas

One in three Manufacturers risk debt by not planning for financial year-end
• Nearly half of sector say support to help with year-end is confusing or too expensive
• British Gas team up with Enterprise Nation and Business Debtline to launch free advice toolkit

Despite the looming deadline of financial year-end, nearly two in five (38%) small to medium sized manufacturers admit they do not set aside the money they need to cover their tax liabilities, according to new research commissioned by British Gas.

One in five (21%) SMEs in the manufacturing industry say they have lost out financially at the end of the financial year by not properly preparing, with many businesses citing a lack of affordable and simple support as a barrier to properly closing their accounts.

The research reveals that:
• Two in five (41%) manufacturers think the support available on financial year-end is confusing or too expensive for them to use
• Nearly a third (29%) say they are concerned about incurring unexpected debt by not properly preparing
• One in five (22%) manufacturers say they are worried about being fined for not meeting their financial year-end obligations
• Nearly a quarter (23%) say they are concerned that not being prepared for financial year-end could lead to the insolvency of their business

In response, British Gas is today announcing a unique partnership combining its experience as the largest supplier of energy to UK SMEs with the financial expertise of the Business Debtline and the business growth advice of Enterprise Nation. Together, they have created a free online toolkit to support businesses with advice on topics including closing a financial year, creating a business plan and tips on how to reduce energy costs.

Stephen Beynon, Managing Director at British Gas, said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy and their success will play a crucial role in creating the UK’s future jobs and growth.

“However, from listening to the concerns of our small business customers we know that many feel it hard to find and access help to help them meet their financial and legal obligations. By working with Enterprise Nation and the Business Debtline, we are confident that we can help small businesses across Britain cut unnecessary costs, time and stress spent on the admin involved in running a business, giving them more time to focus on the things that will help them grow.”

Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “The best performing businesses are those that achieve financial fitness by innovating to increase sales, managing costs and keeping on top of the books so amounts to pay at year-end don’t come as an unwelcome surprise.

“There is help on hand from accountants and software packages, but there’s more to be done in bringing this support to the attention of small business owners. This is what we’re looking to achieve with British Gas. This partnership will provide businesses with the tools and advice they need to keep their business running smoothly throughout the year, meaning their energies can be focused on success and growth, rather than rushing to close their books at year-end.”

Nicola Connop, from Business Debtline said: “Getting a young business into a sustainable financial position requires not only skills of the trade, but also business skills. In tough times when many people are looking to turn their trade skills into small business success, or just trying to ensure a steady income, the value of real business acumen cannot be understated.

“Simply mastering the basics such as preparing for financial year end can be the difference between a business surviving and failing. The good news is that help is available, even for those in serious difficulty. Business Debtline offers free, impartial advice that can help your business get back on the road to success.”

Advice to help SMEs prepare for financial year-end, better understand and manage energy costs and discover the help available when things aren’t going well can be found at:


Notes to editors:
For further information:
Joanne Smalley
Communications Manager, British Gas Business
07557 613664
[email protected]

About the research
The research, carried out by Research Now, surveyed 597 SMEs online between 7th March and 14th March 2013.

About British Gas
British Gas has over one million business supply point contracts and 650,000 customers, making it the largest energy supplier to small businesses in the UK. For more information go to:

About Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation provides support for UK homegrown businesses through its membership, books, events and on its website. Whether you’re dreaming of becoming your own boss, turning a talent into a business or taking over the world from your kitchen table, Enterprise Nation can help.

About Business Debt Line
Business Debtline is the UK’s only free, impartial debt advice service specifically for small businesses. It is run by leading debt advice charity the Money Advice Trust. Self-employed people and small business owners or directors can call 0800 197 6026 to speak to an adviser. Lines are open 9am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively visit