skip to content

5 steps to communicate with your stakeholders


This is an extraordinary time for Canadian businesses. And owners such as yourself need to keep your stakeholders informed about how the business is performing.

Stakeholders are used to receiving financial statements, but those are more difficult to produce due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Timeliness is also a key factor. There's certain information you should disclose to your stakeholders.

You should work with a trusted advisor to help:

Conduct a review to determine your financial situation.

Cash flow projections should be created that take into account different scenarios around how long it takes for your business to return to normal, whether there will be a lending covenant or other breaches in the short term that need to be addressed immediately, and to deal with the new realities of your business.

There are also various financial ratios that will indicate the health and stability of your business. Liquidity ratios measure whether your business can meet its short-term debt obligations while profitability ratios measure your business’s ability to generate income. Having this information will help you move in the right direction, prioritize spending, and make the necessary business decisions for your business.

Also, are your growth plans still feasible? Are your suppliers and customers still operating? The customer and supplier base may be different after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Stakeholders will be understandably concerned about the company’s cash and liquidity.

Consider communicating with them about changes to financing agreements, access to lines of credit, and other sources of financial support such as updated agreements with suppliers, shareholder loans, and government relief programs.

What is the plan for managing costs through the crisis and eventual economic recovery?

Consider tax deferrals, capital expenditure deferrals, flexibility related to contract deferrals, or reviewing leases to see if all the office space you’re renting is still required.

You should also look for opportunities to restructure debt and use long-term financing instead of short-term financing. Invoicing customers much more quickly, putting long-term growth plans on hold, selling assets, receiving government incentives, and reducing overhead can also boost your liquidity. 

Being agile and adapting to a changing business or economic environment can give you a competitive advantage.

Now is the time to improve systems, make strategic investments, and update your business plan to adapt to the new normal. Stakeholders will want to see articulated strategies around:

  • Supporting your workforce both with physical environment changes, as well as productivity and mental health support.
  • Changes to your business model, where applicable. For example, is switching to online sales going to be a long-term change for most retailers? What’s the plan to move back if not? Are there overall changes needed for a post-COVID-19 world?

As the economy begins to stabilize and reopen, business will begin to recover.

Therefore, you will want to conduct an enterprise risk management assessment to help you prepare for any future events that can affect your business and create a response plan.

This may also be an opportunity expand your business and look at potential acquisition opportunities. Additionally, it’s a great time to review the organization’s functions (such as IT or processes and controls) and take the opportunity to make changes that will benefit your company over the long run.

How BDO can help

It's important to keep your stakeholders up to date on your financial situation and everything is under control. Our team of Advisory professionals have advised many companies on how to get the information their stakeholders need.

Contact us

This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our privacy statement for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.

Accept and close