Four Seasons Health Care Group is the UK’s largest independent health care provider, looking after over 10,000 residents in 300 care homes.

With an annual turnover of £700m, they have a centralised Accounts Payable system based in Doncaster and Wilmslow, run by a team of 10.

We were introduced to the client by one of their senior managers, who had successfully used the services of S2M at his previous organisation.

The Health Care sector are in the main exempt from VAT, so for S2M to focus on this area was unique and different in itself. However, following discussions with the clients A/P team and HMRC, we very quickly realised that many of the clients suppliers had historically applied VAT to the provision of Care Assistants, Nurses, Doctors and other key resources.

So a 4 year review and analysis of A/P spend identified a material volume of invoices where VAT had been incorrectly applied by these suppliers.

Following discussions with the client, S2M made contact and had positive, but sensitive dialogue with the selected suppliers. It was agreed with them that they would retrospectively apply the correct policy and reclaim the VAT through HMRC; and then in turn remit the funds directly to Four Seasons.

Over a 12 month period, we successfully recovered £350k for the client, who was of course delighted with this unexpected ‘windfall’.

Gary Hall, Head of Group Corporate Finance stated:

“We were amazed that S2M were astute enough to recognise and identify this potential loophole in our supply chain. Their ability to build relationships with our teams meant they very quickly understood our procedures and policies. Throughout the whole process, S2M led the way and took the brunt of the workload, allowing our staff to focus on their day to day commitments.”

Phil Thomas, Chief Financial Officer said:

“As this was a very sensitive process, culminating in over 12 months work, we were more than impressed with S2M’s negotiations, follow-ups, determination and professionalism; not only with our staff but also our key suppliers. An extremely positive and fantastic result and a much appreciated injection of funds.”

We continue to work closely with the client, offering many of our other services, including Duplicate Payments Recovery and Contract Compliance.

To date, our successful relationship has spanned over 4 years.

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