For any business owner, underperforming is one of the great fears, especially if you can’t locate the source for your lagging results. This is particularly true when pressure is applied from stakeholders, shareholders, etc. An independent business review can bring you some much needed clarity on your operation.

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What is an Independent Business Review?

Sometimes referred to as a viability report, an independent business review is an assessment undertaken by a company owner/shareholder/director into a businesses current financial performance, position, and health. The review will look into all areas of the business in order to help allow for higher-ups in the company to identify any underlying issues affecting profitability and performance.

Your Independent Business Review will be performed under the guise of providing a completely unbiased and unattached view on your firm’s performance and its short and long-term viability. The review will be performed using figures and data provided by the company.

The ultimate aim of an Independent Business Review is to spot any possible issues that could, if left unchecked, lead to a more serious problem. It can also be utilised to assist directors in establishing whether the company is trading while insolvent, and to help identify the best next steps to take.

An Independent Business Review is traditionally undertaken when a firm is facing difficulties causing it to underperform in certain metrics. The review is then requested so as to get to the bottom of the issues and so stakeholders and directors can gain clarity on their situation so as to better react and strategise.

However, it is also possible for an Independent Business Review to be requested by a creditor. In this circumstance, a creditor may hold some form of financial interest in the company in question and is looking for further transparency. The reports will then be utilised to support a decision regarding credit.

Why an Independent Business Review is Important

An Independent Business Review can be useful to your company as it will give a clear and balanced outlook on where your operation is at that exact moment. It is important as it will help to identify any potential issues and can provide you with an excellent base to move forwards.

An Independent Business Review is also important if you, as a business owner, are actively looking for additional funding. A review such as this will provide reassurances for any prospective lenders or investors as to the viability of your company as an investment opportunity.

Who Can Benefit from Independent Business Reviews?

While an Independent Business Review is generally requested by a lender or stakeholder of some kind, it can also have significant benefits for you as a business owner, such as:

  • Elements of the report could prove enlightening to you
  • Increased clarity regarding your company
  • Can help to build trust with lenders
  • Discussions resulting from an Independent Business Review can often prove constructive for all parties
  • Allows for more clear planning for the future

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What is Included in an Independent Business Review Report?

An Independent Business Review is by no means a one-size-fits-all situation. Each report is tailored to the individual company. Your review will seek to investigate the unique concerns surrounding your firm, taking into account specific challenges and issues that could present in your industry, your firm’s previous performance, future plan, etc.

A selection of other things that may be considered includes your current financial position, profit and cash flow forecasts and projections, the current value of your realisable assets, trading forecasts, business plans, market analysis, assessments of your operation, and more.

The complexity of an Independent Business Review can vary from one or two pages of detailed analysis to a lengthy report. The size will depend on the scope of the firm in question.

An Independent Business Review will also always include a conclusion, analysis of the options available going forward, as well as a practical action plan including recommendations of the best next steps for your company.

Independent Business Reviews are designed to be highly complex and comprehensive reports, including analysis of all aspects of the company in question. As a result, the management team is required to take part throughout the process so as to ensure further clarity into the day-to-day running of the business.

The aftermath of the review could result in changes to the operation, to the agreement between company and stakeholder, administrators could be appointed, and much more.

How Inquesta Helps with Independent Business Reviews

An Independent Business Review can be an extremely valuable objective assessment of your business. It can allow you to get a much clearer understanding of the position of your company, as well as allow you to plan for the future with more clarity.

To discuss an Independent Business Review in further detail, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our dedicated team or book a free, no obligation consultation.

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Also in Business Risk Management

Cash Flow Management

Opinion on Solvency

Fraud Risk Review

Business Intelligence

Our Specialist Team

The Inquesta team possesses decades of experience in providing all manner of services to business owners. Our Independent Business Review service is guaranteed to be as thorough, efficient, and effective as possible to ensure the best possible results for you.


Steven Wiseglass

Director of Insolvency

A co-founder of Inquesta, Steven is a licensed Insolvency Practitioner with over a decade of experience in the field. He is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association, Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3), and his insolvency licence is issued by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. In addition, he sits on the R3 committees of the North West Regional Committee.

Steven specialises in advising directors of small to medium-sized businesses, and has a wealth of expertise in providing the most appropriate advice whatever the firm’s circumstances may be. He has also been instrumental in helping company directors save their business and rebuild them into successful enterprises.


Rob Miller

Director of Forensic Accounting

A co-founder of Inquesta, Rob Miller is a chartered accountant, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), and a Practising Member of The Academy of Experts.

With decades of experience in providing specialist forensic accounting services, Rob has been instructed to assist with numerous cases — such as financial investigations, criminal defence and confiscation proceedings, commercial and contractual disputes, valuation matters, and much more besides. He has acted on behalf of claimants, defendants, and as a single joint expert.



The process for an independent business review is different for every organisation. However, the process will likely contain the following:

  1. An assessment of current finances and financial position
  2. A look into future profit and cash flow forecasts
  3. Reviews of corporate and management structures as well as competitor performances

Despite an Independent Business Review typically being requested by a lender or stakeholder, it is almost exclusively the company being reviewed that pays for it. The cost of such a review will depend on the size of the task, as well as the complexity of the company’s operation.

Once your Independent Business Review is completed, a written report will be formulated. The report will then be discussed between the reviewer, company director(s), and whoever it was who requested the review in the first place — likely a lender or stakeholder.

The types of assignment undertaken in a formal Independent Business Review include:

  • Monitoring and ensuring the business is performing as expected
  • Pre-lending and investment reviews
  • Objective view of firm liquidity and viability
  • Ways to raise additional working capital/reconstruct existing debts
  • Potential methods of turning around the situation

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