Financial Management – Things All Business Owners Should Know to Succeed

Statistics show that 87% of small business failures are due to one reason: Lack of proper financial management skills! This is a horrible statistic and it can easily be turned around for you! The formal definition of financial management is “the planning, directing, monitoring, organizing and controlling of the monetary resources of an organisation.” Basically; do you understand, track and control where and when your cash flows in or out of your business.

I have seen evidence of this statistic over and over again. There are so many small business owners out there that pay a fortune every year for their financial statements to be prepared by their accountant, and have very little understanding of what this document actually means. No sooner have they written out the cheque (with a very heavy heart) to their accountant, and the next cheque is on its way out -to the tax man!!!

Financial Management is not something you only worry about after year end, when you need to report to the tax man. Its a process of understanding and tracking how your business is performing on at least a monthly basis. Some business’ require a more frequent review depending on its size or even how desperately the business needs it. To prevent you from becoming part of this 87%, I have formulated a few DIY tips in my report so make sure you sign up for it before you go!

It is designed specifically for you (the local business person with little or no understanding of financial numbers or processes) and you can use them to gain an understanding and eventually confidence in your business today, and tomorrow…… your business’ future. You can also sign up for our DIY templates package to get you started “understanding, tracking and controlling” your business. Be part of our database and you will be able to get started “number crunching” the Turnover you desire – and qualify for 30 minutes extra expert time for FREE.

Financial management is a big part of a running a business and it’s likely to determine your long term success.

Every business owner should have a strong skill in the area of financial management. If not, it is important to have someone on your team who is a specialist. You should take on financial management with great focus and importantly, take into account the strategies and plans that offer growth, stability, as well as continuous profit for the business. Managing your finances will always involve some risks but these can be reduced with the assistance of experts like the team from “Confident Cashflows.”

Don’t become an all to common statistic!

You can learn and understand the basics of financial management, but as a business owner, it doesn’t mean that you need to know everything. It is your role to steer the ship and have an understanding of what is going on in the engine room is critical.

Sign up for our “Financial Health Check” which can help you truly understand how “healthy” or how “not-so-healthy” your business is. Don’t wait – tomorrow may be too late!

Regardless of what specific tools you adapt for managing your finances, you will certainly be on the right track if you consider a team of financial experts who can help and guide you well on how to handle your finances.

Benefits of working with financial experts

  • Financial experts let you focus on your technical and operational expertise of your business – but help identify potential stumbling blocks along the way – BEFORE your business falls down!!
  • Financial management experts help you employ BIG business principles to small(er) business enterprises. Remember you will never be able to handle BIG profits if you cannot manage smaller profits NOW!
  • Financial experts give you advice based on your specific industry and your specific business. Every business is unique – with its own strengths and unfortunately its own weakness’. Without the knowledge of where you stand – it’s very difficult for you to make informed decisions about your business’ future!

The key to success is always a solid foundation and knowing your goals and more than anything else, choosing the best financial management experts to help you reach your financial goals and run your business effectively.

Improving Your Profitability Via Financial Management System

A good part of the success or the failure of a business has to do directly with how much profit the organization realizes from the sale of the products or services that the company provides to its customers. In order to maximize a company’s profitability, it is very important to have a good and complete financial management system to handle the important aspects of money management.

One of the keys to a good business financial management structure is controlling the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly expenses of the operation. This comes down to simple math and cash management principles. Companies will not be profitable, and therefore won’t stay in business long, if they spend more than is required to produce and deliver their product, and end up trimming their profit margin so that it is just too thin to make the business viable.

Keeping overhead expenses in check and making sure that the cash in the business is managed effectively through a financial management system will help make a company better able to compete in the marketplace. When expenses get too high, it is hard to compete effectively and a competing company can easily start luring away customers based on price.

One of the most important people involved in good business financial management is the treasurer of the board. He or she is typically charged with the responsibility to oversee the money management for a corporation. The person in this role should come to the job with a wealth of business cash management experience, a strong level of wisdom and a firm understanding of corporate financial management. With the treasurer strongly armed with these money management skills, the corporation stands a much better chance of being strong financially and being able to ride out the storms of business and economic challenges.

Another key person on the team that oversees the entire business financial management practices for a corporation is, of course, the accountant. It is the corporate accountant and his team, depending on the size of the company, that will deal with the minute and detailed money management for the company on a daily or sometimes hourly basis.

The accounting department of a company will keep the books for the organization, will generate the various financial statements that are required both by government agencies and by the board of directors, and will conduct the financial analysis of the financial reports. This is the department that is entrusted with managing and enforcing departmental budgets, which is such an essential part of financial management systems, and essentially handles and accounts for every penny that flows in and out of the business coffers.

Nowadays, with the ubiquitousness of computers at every level of business and commerce, there is no doubt that any company that takes advantage of a complete financial management system for their operation will also be using sophisticated money management software as well. Even though the people in the organization bring the expertise and knowledge to the task of business financial management, the software chosen to help them do their jobs is critically important and much be chosen only after careful research and comparisons, with regard to the options available.

7 Tips For Effective Financial Management

In some organisations, managers and leaders fall into the trap of believing that financial management is something that the accounts team are fully responsible for. While there will be areas like cash management, payroll, paying suppliers and collecting payments from customers that are likely to be handled by the accounts team, financial management falls into the remit of all managers and leaders. Mangers often have concerns about this area, often believing that it is difficult and complex. The truth is that if you are an expert in your area of the business, you can excel in financial management. So what are my key tips?

Tip 1: Be actively involved in setting a budget

Most businesses now devolve budget responsibility as much as they possibly can. As a result, managers have a chance to be actively involved in determining things like:

o Sales volumes

o Temporary staffing cover for vacancies

o Staffing levels to deliver the sales

o Buying preferences in terms of products that will be used in delivering agreed volumes

o Investment in new equipment or facilities

Don’t miss out on your chance to determine your budget.

Tip 2: Be clear on your assumptions

A budget is a plan for the future based on the best evidence you have at the time you prepare it. You will have to make assumptions about things like sales growth, staff turnover, sickness, price inflation, etc. Make sure that when presenting your budgets the assumptions are clearly stated.

Tip 3: Work with your accountant

Your accountant who works with you in the business is essentially your personal business advisor. Use your accountant in this way and you will reap numerous benefits. Your accountant gets a better understanding of your area of the business and what the key drivers of revenues and costs are, which will be immensely helpful when it comes to reviewing performance throughout the year.
In addition, your accountant can model results for you based on different assumptions and help you to get a much clearer picture of the risks that might need to be managed.

Tip 4: Share the budget with your team

As a manager and leader, your success depends on the results of the team. Take the time to share your budget with your team, including the key assumptions on which it is based. If the team know what they are aiming for in terms of financial results, they will look to do the right things operationally to get the best result.

Tip 5: Take responsibility

When the going gets tough it is so easy to start to look elsewhere for excuses. If you have been involved in setting a budget which you have signed up to, focus your energies on getting results rather than the injustice of the current situation.

Tip 6: Monitor performance and take action

Make sure that you have a process in place to carefully monitor your actual performance against the budget. If things are going well see if there is more you can do to boost performance even further. If on the other hand things are not going as well as expected, focus on the changes you need to make or action you need to take to get back on track.

Tip 7: Focus on the most important numbers

When it comes to financial management, managers can sometimes get lost in lots of detail and trivia. Be clear on what are the 2-3 big numbers that you need to pay attention to, as they will more than likely constitute about 90% of your budget. In most businesses this will be:

o Income from sales or services

o Salary costs of employees

o Major non salary cost such as materials

Make sure that you have as good an understanding of what impacts on these numbers at the business unit level so that you can keep things on track.

At the end of the day, internal financial statements such as budgets merely reflect what is happening operationally in a common currency called money. Keep this at the forefront of your mind and you have a great chance to excel as a manager.

Efficiency at Work – How Leaders Should Manage Teams

Working as a team leader can be challenging. There are so many pieces that need to come together in order to create an efficient work environment. Leaders are specially prepared for certain issues in executive leadership training, but there are still many unexpected issues that arise in the workplace. For example, social loafing and group norms are challenges that need to be handled carefully. In order to learn how to effectively deal with these problems, it’s important to first understand what they are.

Group norms are guidelines or operating principles that everyone understands and agrees upon. Groups benefit from having strong norms. However, norms don’t just evolve. Especially when groups are made up of diverse individuals, it’s important that they don’t take norms for granted. Executive leadership training explains that the difference between satisfied and productive group members and group members who are frustrated is often the difference between groups that have well-established norms and those that are floundering.

The next issue that can arise involves something called social loafers. Social loafing is when group members get away with not doing their share of work and when other group members let them get away with it. Sometimes this occurs if a worker is likeable, other times it occurs because the other group members just don’t want to speak up about the other’s performance. It’s important to speak up and to be proactive. Right from the beginning, group members need to know what will happen to social loafers. If the group has specific operating principles in place, and everyone understands the consequences, social loafing is much less likely to occur.

Similarly to executive leadership training, in financial management courses future managers are taught the importance of honestly addressing social loafers because they can affect productivity negatively. Financial managers learn how to communicate with different levels of executives as well as communicate strategies, which is important in motivating people to meet goals. It is the financial manager’s job to deliver results, which directly depends on the success and organization of their team.

It’s necessary to have an organized and cohesive team in order to thrive. There are ways to see if you have a cohesive team on your hands. For example, you should first think back about all of the teams that you have belonged to whether it is in the organization you are in now or in previous positions that you may have held. If you think about the best group experience you have ever had, chances are that you are thinking of a highly cohesive team. A cohesive team works together, and you feel valued. You feel your contributions are valued and that people listen but may not necessarily agree. In fact, one of the hallmarks of a cohesive team is that members feel comfortable disagreeing with one another but do so respectfully. Financial management courses discuss how managers should deal with disagreement respectfully in order to be successful.

Overall, leaders can successfully manage their teams by recognizing social loafing before it negatively affects the rest of the group members, harming morale and the team’s performance. Also, managers can be effective by communicating honestly with all team members. Organization, strategy, honesty, and speaking up are keys to establishing strong group norms and ensuring that diversity is a positive influence on the group.

When do You Need a Financial Management Company on Your Side?

We live in a crazy world. Someone ought to sell tickets. It seems that people, especially those in the US, are always clamoring for products and services that they don’t need and ignoring those that they do. Financial Management is a prime example. Companies that provide financial management services are often inundated with requests from potential clients that really can’t benefit from their services while many people that should be using a financial manager of some kind are literally flying by the seat of their monetary pants without anyone to navigate for them.

So, how do you know when you need an accountant or financial manager of some kind working for you? Just ask yourself these questions:

o How many bank accounts do you have and what are the balances in each?

o How many investments do you have and what are their values?

If you couldn’t answer these questions without getting out files and statements to look up the answers, you may need to higher a company or individual to meet your financial management needs. If your bank accounts include a checking, savings, and maybe a CD or IRA account and you own ten shares of stock in some XYZ company, you probably don’t need a financial manager at this time.

Most reputable financial management companies will let you know up front whether you can benefit from their services. A few, however, will take on as many clients as they can, regardless of whether that client really needs a financial management team working for her.

Financial management companies can do a wonderful job of helping you turn your money into more of your money. Everyone would like to see a thousand of their favorite dollars become ten or twenty thousand of their favorite dollars. If, however, a thousand of your favorite dollars represents all of your dollars, you don’t need to worry about a financial manager at this time.

Property and Financial Management

Property and financial management are both important aspects when you own commercial or residential real estate. There are many things to consider when trying running an organization or association, and many little things that need to be taken care of behind the scenes. This is why most associations will hire a management company to take care of things both little and small, so they can focus on dealing with homeowners and board members, instead of worrying about landscaping, security, and other maintenance issues that can become a nightmare. Placing the right personnel to run something smoothly will be the key to keep an association happy, and to keep members of a neighborhood or board of investors happy.

Some functions of the financial aspect of a management company are to collect paperwork and document everything accordingly. It is also their job to collect all fees and dues that are due each month from homeowners. If a homeowner is behind on paying their association fee, they will have to be properly warned and notified before fees can be issued. The financial management company will take care of all the paperwork during this process, and will be in charge of fines being sent to that specific homeowner. This part of management will also take care of paying out any services that have been hired by the management company, such as maintenance and repair work.

Property management works hand in hand with the financial aspects of the association. They take care of contracting on people to take care of the property. They will make contracts for yearly maintenance, monthly maintenance, and emergency maintenance. They will also take care of complaints from people who pay the association fee, such as streetlights that no longer work, or other problems. They will also be the ones who take in the bids of contractors looking to perform necessary work for the association. Everything that they do, they will send their bills and paperwork for the financial management team to take care of.

Property and financial management is very important to keep everything running smoothly for an association. This is also a big concern of homeowners. People who are living within a neighborhood want to be reassured that their association fees are being put to good use by hiring these types of companies to take care of their concerns, their requests, their association fees, and to make sure that the neighborhood is safe and worth living in.