As the masks come off and businesses enter a “new normal”, owners are gearing up for what it will take coming out of the Pandemic. As a small business owner, you are most likely filling the role of a CEO, and CFO (Chief Financial Officer). It’s also not unusual for business owners to rely on their CPA’s for a one stop shop to cover all their financial concerns. Could building a team of subject matter experts help you climb your way to recovery?
Let’s take a moment to pause; What does your financial picture look like coming out of the Pandemic today?
– Do you have more money in your bank accounts than ever before?
– Are you willing to consider adding more disciplines in managing your financial arena?
– Do you know how to forecast your cash reserves to insure you will NOT run out of money by the end of the year?
When Should You Hire a CFO / Cash Flow Consultant: In today’s business landscape, outsourcing is a less expensive way to go when wanting to “hire” your subject matter experts!
Benefits that a CFO Cash Flow Consultant Can Provide: We cannot be “experts” in all aspects of our business. The goal is to look at the good, the bad, and identify what is not working.
Who is Watching Your Cash Flow? Take Advantage of the SWOT Analysis Package before Investing in a CFO. If you want to know where you stand, take advantage of the SWOT Analysis Package – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Click here to learn more about this offering.
Be Proactive with Your CPA as you Enter the 2nd Half of 2021: Now is the time to be collaborating with your CPA and CFO/Cash Flow Consultant to plan for end of year tax liabilities.
A CFO/Cash Flow Expert offers security and an education. Offering a different perspective on your financials, a CFO can take a 360 view: not just a two-dimensional view of profits and taxes.
If you are interested in learning more about how I work with my clients providing leadership in the management of financial activities and collaborating with your CPA, I welcome the opportunity to help.
Read more on how to take charge of your financials.
Many business owners try and tackle their financial situation alone with the notion that they’re saving money. The truth is, hiring a team of financial experts can actually save you more money than the fees of its respective members. Adding a CFO and/or Cash Flow Strategist to your financial team, is an investment that owners will reap rewards from long into the future. A business is only as strong as its cash flow. Becoming proactive in creating strategies to help you not run out of your PPP money, is the goal to recover strong out of the pandemic!
From my own experiences, most business owners are spending money as fast as it is coming in and then some. Being accountable and aware of your business spending is the most important step towards finding solutions towards money woes. What were your money habits going into the Pandemic? Did you already have a cash flow problem and were “saved” by the PPP gifts and EIDL Loans? Have you taken the time and put forth the energy in rebuilding a more solid financial foundation?
Spring is upon us! Let May be the month that you plant the seeds to a good financial garden and begin to watch it grow. Centennial Revenue Management wants to help you get off to a good start! Take advantage of the Spring SWOT Analysis Package – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This snap shot will help you to plant the financial seeds to build a strong financial foundation. Click hereto learn more about that offering:
Now that you are sitting on more money in your bank accounts then ever before, what will you do to ensure and empower yourself that you will not run out of money by the end of this year? The Dirty Little Secret about Cash Flow is that it’s not about the next 30 or even 60 days from now. The sweet spot is 90 to 120 days out to see if you are brewing a cash flow storm or will already be in one!
Top 5 Strategies that I highly recommend paying attention to when creating a plan in the very near future.
Bring Outside Eyes to your Financial Arena: Take the time and consider investing your money into a cash flow expert that can identify the top money habits that you can change to get a better outcome with managing cash flow. If you went into the Pandemic with a cash flow problem or already struggling with cash flow; it’s more than likely you will come out of the Pandemic with the same cash flow problem. It will just take a longer time to spend the cash reserves that you have stashed from all the loans the government gifted you!
Identify what your Average Monthly Revenues are each month: To determine this number, I recommend using a 4-month trend taking the total of CASH revenues (not accrual) and divide by 4 months. This will tell you a starting place of what your monthly revenues are likely to be in the months ahead.
Next up; Identify your Average Monthly CASH Outlay: To determine this number, you need to look at both the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet. On the P&L, I also recommend looking at the total of 4 months of Expenses on a CASH basis and divide by 4 to get an average monthly amount for each expense line. PLUS, you need to look at the Balance Sheet and determine the monthly amount of debt servicing and Owner Draws/Dividends that are being posted. The total amount will get you close to understanding what your Average OUTLAY of cash is each month.
Implement an Accounts Receivable Process: This is money that you have earned but have not yet collected. Anything over 45 days outstanding is “low hanging” fruit in the cash flow arena and should be aggressively pursued to collect from your clients. First step in implanting a process is to assign an “owner” on your team to make client relation calls and send monthly statements asking for money owed.
Implement an Accounts Payable Process: This is money going out that you want to slow down and control how you pay your vendors. I’m not suggesting that you violate payment terms. I am suggesting that you have your bookkeeper enter vendor invoices into your accounting system and then pay on a weekly or bi-monthly process. Big picture, you want to collect as much of your accounts receivable as possible, make payroll, pay vendors and service debt with you being empowered by the timing letting money go out of your bank accounts!
Moving into a new normal will take creating some proactive strategies! Partnering with a cash flow expert can help to empower you to hold onto your cash reserves. What if you could learn to manage the outflow of money against your revenue trends and make a profit and optimize cash flow? Take back financial control and learn how to be proactive by scheduling a complimentary consultation with me at the number below.
The goal is to focus on optimizing cash flow and to educate you on what your minimum cash on hand balances need to be to sustain your business in the months ahead.
Centennial Revenue Management is here to help by creating proactive strategies, identify, and transform money habits to ensure you won’t run out of your money. Contact Debra today at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-835-7992.
As a CFO, I can tell you that the most vulnerable area in the financial arena is bookkeeping. In my cash flow arena, I refer to the Bookkeeper as the “Keeper of the Cash Flow”! I have learned that one of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success as a business owner is to surround yourself with people who are great at what they do. My seat at the table in the financial arena is as a CFO/Cash Flow Strategist. Take a moment to identify who your trusted advisors are in the financial arena. Once you have the right “subject matter experts” in your sandbox, you should be able to maximize profitability and optimize cash flow!
Let me ask you:
What is your relationship with bookkeeping in your business?
You may think your bookkeeper is doing a great job, and “need” to trust that they are, but what if they are not?
Are your financials up to date or are you “winging” it with making financial decisions?
Why do you need a bookkeeper?
You and your Bookkeeper: The bookkeeper is the keeper of the cash flow. This person is the “subject matter expert” of your books and records the day-to-day transactions accurately. Please, please do NOT minimize the importance of this subject matter expert.
Bookkeeping Hazards: If you are a business owner that has employees, has credit card debt, has a business loan, and/or has clients that owe you money; you can afford to have a bookkeeper on your team. Top hazards that business owners tend to tolerate:
Doing your own bookkeeping! I encourage you not to try saving money by doing your own books. Why? This is the highest and best use of your time, and you are not a subject matter expert in “following” your own money.
Paying Bills and Accounts Payable: A bookkeeper can set up a process for entering vendor bills and producing an Accounts Payable report for you to see what is on deck to be paid in the weeks ahead.Why? It is important to control the outflow of money against money coming in. Paying bills “carelessly” is not a good discipline in the cash flow arena.
Accounts Receivable: It is a challenge for business owners to ask for money owed. Having a bookkeeper set up a process for collecting from your customers removes the uncomfortable feelings of asking for money.Why? You have a 45-day window to collect money from your customer. Each day after that it is harder and less likely that your customer will pay.
Who Signs your checks? DO NOT allow your bookkeeper to sign or pay bills through your online banking account(s).Why? This opens a potential area of fraudulent activity (EMBEZZLEMENT) that you can easily avoid by having your bookkeeper set up the checks to be signed and you sign your checks or pay online with a credit card.
One of the “Dirty Little Secrets About Cash Flow” is that most owners are not holding their bookkeepers and other trusted advisors accountable. Having good processes to manage all the bookkeeping activities helps optimize cash flow and maximize profitability. Do not minimize the importance of bookkeeping in your business. You are as good as your team.
The COVID-19 stimulus bill, signed this March, sent much needed relief payments to tens of millions of Americans. Now that the money has arrived, the biggest question is how to manage it, pay bills, and ensure it carries through longer than six months. Some news outlets are reporting that we still haven’t seen the worst of the pandemic. What’s it going to look like for your business in the month’s ahead? Will your PPP Loan and EIDL Grant monies keep you afloat into next year? Or will you run out of money because your business was already struggling with cash flow going into the Pandemic?
– Using your business to fund your personal home budget. What about having a business budget that funds your owner compensation proactively instead of “robbing Peter to pay Paul”?
–Taking on too much debt with loans and credit card debt. Now you took on more debt; what’s your debt servicing strategy?
– Not having an Accounts Payable process. You lost control of your revenues due to the shutdown. Now you as you begin to open; how do you learn to control the outflow of money if you don’t have a good process in place?
Has government money arrived? Now, you may have more money in the bank than you have ever before. Getting the PPP loan will be a gift from the government when you can apply for the loan forgiveness. Do not squander this gift. Use the money to gain control and begin investing in building a better financial foundation for your business.
Here are my top key financial indicators that I recommend you learn from your current financial story. Let’s agree; you may have lost control of your revenues in the past few months and are working on ramping that financial indicator back up. However, you DO have control of the outflow of money. Remember that CASH IS KING. Review your business financials asking your bookkeeper these questions:
1. What is your monthly average outlay of cash? This is not just your total expenses each month. This number includes your average monthly expenses that you track on the Profit and Loss. PLUS it includes what is on your Balance Sheet that has nothing to do with profitability and everything to do with cash flow. This will include (but not limited to):
Debt servicing for your loan principal payments.
Credit card payments.
Shareholder/dividends paid out.
2. What is your average monthly CASH revenue coming in against the outlay of cash going out each month? I will tell you from my experience, most businesses are spending money as fast as it is coming in. If you are a $1M business, you may be averaging $83K/month in revenues. You have to look at the monthly spend on your Profit and Loss + the money that is posting to your Balance Sheet. Then add that sum to the monthly outlay of spend each month. If you don’t know this number, you will most definitely run through your PPP loan in no time.
3. What does your monthly CASH RESERVES need to be maintained to help you sleep at night without worrying about running out of money? Do you even know where to find this number in your financial reports? Here is a Dirty Little Secret: It’s on the Balance Sheet and it will be the total of all your bank accounts when you close your financials the month before. Let’s use the example that you’re a $1M business that is averaging a monthly outlay of cash of $85K/month. Your monthly payroll is probably the biggest expense and it averages $48K/month. Should your cash reserves be maintained at 3 x your monthly payroll expense? Should it be 1 x your monthly outlay of cash? What happens when you have expenses that are above your monthly spend such as, quarterly tax estimates, bonuses, and/or a 3rd monthly payroll that occurs twice a year? Will you have enough in your cash reserves? Or will you have to “rob Peter to pay Paul”?
Trying to do it yourself. Many business owners try and tackle their financial situation alone with the notion that they’re saving money. The truth is, hiring a team of financial experts can actually save you more money than the fees of its respective members. Adding a CFO to your financial team could be an investment into building a more improved financial foundation that allows you to become proactive in creating strategies to help you not run out of your money!
Take back financial control and learn how to be proactive in managing your cash flow. Schedule a complimentary consultation, and let me introduce you to my cash flow forecast processes.
Centennial Revenue Management has tools to help, including templates and spreadsheets to help organize your PPP usage and monthly forecasts. Contact me today at email@example.com or at 303-901-4823.
“It takes 21 days to break a habit.” That’s how the old adage goes. Unfortunately, experts have agreed that this simply isn’t true – but don’t be discouraged. In my two-plus decades of working with business owners from various industries, I’ve encountered quite a number of bad habits. And fortunately, with some diligence from the business owner alongside education and support from myself and the rest of their team of financial experts, I’ve seen those bad habits broken with big payoffs. What follows is a selection of some of the most common bad habits I’ve encountered during my time as a cash flow specialist, as well as how to address them.
Comingling money between business and personal finances It’s important for business owners to remember that the company is not their personal cash bank account. Keep business and home separate! One of the easiest ways to break this habit is by opening a business credit card account that you use exclusively for business needs and expenses. This will help you avoid intermingling expenditures and simplify matters related to budgeting.
Racking up loans or credit card debt to buy what you “want” While it can be tempting to use your line of credit to invest in things like new software or technology, this kind of spending can quickly get out of hand and leave your business in a cash flow crunch. If you cannot pay off your credit card each month, it is a red flag that you are spending more than your monthly budget can support. Create a proactive debt servicing strategy to eliminate credit card debt before buying things when you want them, at least until you can afford them.
Not having an accounts receivable process Money that is owed to you is an important component of cash flow. By not having a good process in place to ask for money that you’re owed results in minimizing your cash on hand balances. The ideal timeline for collecting outstanding receivable is 45 days. Our recommendation is to assign an “owner” to this process to remove the emotion felt by the owner when clients are late in paying their bills. Some techniques we use include sending courtesy reminder statements and doing client relation touches to be sure the invoices are going to the correct person. Hopes and prayers are not a proactive strategy in collecting more money faster in your cash flow equation.
Not having an accounts payable process Money going out of your business should be slow and controlled. Consider paying your company bills differently than the way you would pay your personal bills. For example, you may pay your bills at home as soon as they come in so you don’t forget to pay them; however, this is not a great strategy in the business arena. This component of cash flow should have a process in place that is based on a monthly budget as opposed to paying bills by “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Pay attention to vendor terms and create a system that is followed on a weekly or bi-monthly basis which aligns with your payroll cycle. Look at your Balance Sheet to see how much money is available to pay bills – not your online banking account.
Trying to do it yourself Many business owners try and tackle their financial situation alone with the notion that they’re saving money. The truth is, hiring a team of financial experts can actually save you more money than the fees of its respective members. A bookkeeper can regularly post your money coming in (revenue) and money going out (expenses) to keep you aware of your financial picture (in good times and in bad), so that you can be more prepared when challenges arise. A cash flow specialist can then use those numbers to build valuable cash flow forecasts, eliminating the stress of uncertainty.
Don’t let these bad money habits stifle the success of your business. Take back financial control and learn how to be proactive by scheduling a complimentary consultation with me at the number below.
Centennial Revenue Management has tools to help, including templates and spreadsheets to help organize your PPP usage and monthly forecasts. Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-835-7992.
Cash reserves/cash on hand are the amounts of cash accessible to a business once outstanding balances have been paid. It’s an important metric to measure and determining the correct amount can help business owners get a full perspective of their business’s health while reducing the stress that accompanies uncertainty.
However, it can also be a major pain point if cash flow isn’t optimized. For example, if your ending cash on hand balance for May was $30,000 and your monthly payroll is $50,000, you’re likely struggling to make payroll each month and pay your vendor bills. This is because there is simply not enough cash on hand on a monthly basis.
Identify your cash on hand
To identify your cash on hand, simply look at your balance sheet (not your online banking account) ending on the last day of the previous month to determine the ending cash balance going into the current month. Once you have this figure, the next step is uncovering where your cash on hand needs to be in order to produce the best cash flow results.
There is no magic number
Unfortunately, there is no magic number that determines the right amount of cash on hand. This important figure varies from business to business. Essentially, the sweet spot for a particular business can be determined through cash flow forecasting. The most effective ways to conduct cash flow forecasting are either by working with a cash flow specialist who focuses on these metrics, or by using cash flow forecasting software. The best versions of this software can provide an 8-month projection of the beginning/ending cash on hand balances based on a 4-month trend of the user’s business financials. It should also allow the user to easily plug in different metrics, such as projected monthly revenues and projected monthly outlays of cash to create the forecasts that will be most helpful to them.
If you’re wondering what your cash on hand balance should be, consider these scenarios:
Should your beginning/ending cash balance be 2x your monthly payroll amount?
Should it be equal to the average monthly outlay of cash, meaning are all of the expenses paid on your profit and loss + debt servicing + owner’s distribution?
Should it be 3x your monthly expenses?
The Bottom Line
Bottom line, this figure is different for every business. It’s best to educate yourself on what will work best to help optimize cash flow, and if you are not doing any cash flow forecasting, you are basically “winging it.” Stop being reactive and acting upon the feeling of pain each month when you are struggling to make payroll or paying your vendor bills. Learn to be proactive, create a strategy to help you know what this key figure should be and feel empowered when reviewing your monthly financials.
To understand what this looks like in “real life,” let me share an experience I had working alongside a CPA and a dental consultant for a dental practice. The CPA was focused on minimizing the bottom line to help reduce tax liabilities. The dental consultant was focused on production to collections and driving the dental team toward that production number. They were following the numbers in their dental software and not watching the balance sheet. My role was to follow the money into the bank accounts, and record those balances on the balance sheet. This added another level to the financial conversation because until I brought all the pieces of the financial puzzle together, the consultant was not including debt servicing in their conversation to drive the production numbers. At the end of the day, the dentist could see that we needed to add another $10K to the production goals to help manage the cash on hand balances so that the practice didn’t run out of money or struggle with low cash balances each month.
From my seat at the table, the correct amount of beginning/ending cash balances will be defined by how easily a business owner can find peace of mind at the end of the day and go to sleep without worrying about cash flow each month.
Find confidence and comfort in the financial health of your business. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by calling (303) 835-7992.