Arran Post Office update

I met a chartered accountant at a guitar thing I was and he kindly agreed to look over the figures for me. This he did and was surprised to discover that all we had were extracts of the accounts. So we requested the full accounts, including for the last financial year which we did not previously have. We just heard from our bank manager that he has received those accounts and has forwarded them on to us and a copy to my accountant friend. Unfortunately my accountant friend (to whom I shall henceforth refer to as Charles, since that is his name) is leaving for Spain tomorrow and there’s no way he’ll get the docs before he leaves.

The bank manager also got a copy of the lease which he has forwarded on to our solicitor. The solicitor has to confirm that the lease is being transferred into your name, that there is sufficient
time to repay your 10-year obligation and that there are no restrictive or onerous clauses. The solicitor also to confirm the purchase price of £x.

We did get an encouraging e-mail from the bank manager today, in which he said that the seller seems keen to sell to us. Encouraging news indeed.

We were asked by the bank to put together an income and expenditure forecast based on what we will be earning and spending once we get to Arran. This put me into full procrastination mode as it seemed such an impossible task, but thankfully Lorraine is a bit more together than I and she put together the document very well. I did the whole business plan and current income and expenditure form, but then ran out of momentum. It seems we make a good team when all is said and done!

So, what’s up now? The bank manager has authorised a commercial survey, now that he has the full set of accounts for the last three years, and we should hopefully get an estimated valuation of the business. Hopefully Charles will get a chance to look over them soon, and we’ll get a second valuation that way.

Charles also mentioned that it would be worthwhile forming a limited company rather than buying the business as a sole trader, which was what I was initially planning to do. That kicked off a weekend of research and much head-scratching. Seemingly it’s not quite so clear cut as that, but there do seem to be many advantages to proceeding this way. I got in touch with someone from the National Federation of Sub Postmasters to find out whether the PO is okay with appointing the subpostmaster position to an individual who was an employee of a limited company and this seems to be okay. So more head-scratching to come about that.

We’ll wait until we get the full accounts before we submit our income and expenditure forecast as the most recent year’s figures are apparently better than we had hoped and it could put us in a stronger position regarding the bank loan application. It’s doubtful that they will arrive before the weekend, which is a shame, so it will be the middle or end of next week before we get the next task completed.

So, all in all, we are making progress. It’s a long and difficult process and sometimes the whole thing just starts to seem impossible and a bad idea, but it’s my nature to think that way, particularly when I’m feeling overwhelmed and am facing seemingly impossible tasks. If I were on my own, I’d have stumbled and fallen long ago. Thankfully, the teamwork seems to be pulling us along. We really do want this to happen, so we’ve just got to keep plodding along and dealing with each piece of the puzzle in rightful order.