Category Archives: Cashflow

EXAMINING THE VIBRANCY OF YOUR BUSINESS

EXAMINING THE VIBRANCY OF YOUR BUSINESS

Akin to a healthy body demanding routine checks and examinations, so too does a vibrant business in order for it to thrive.

No matter what phase your business is in, to keep it going you must examine its systems, pay attention to any ailments and prevent early attacks.

For any new business, the goals and system checks are relatively simple. Simply staying active and maintaining your sanity is a measure of accomplishment at this point in development.

The systems within any new business are very limited in the start-up stage.

Panalitix Pty Ltd, a business improvement and consultant entity, explain this is because there are usually only a handful of people working to increase capital, expand its cliental while at the same time trying to deliver a superior product.

Panalitix’s also describe the three most common causes of mortality at this stage of the business as being:

  • Atrophy—all capital and funds are exhausted, often due to the business being started underfunded
  • Brand Disregard— the marketplace has neglected to recognise your company’s product or service, as there is often discord between your branding and your company name
  • Stress—often the business owner has gone into business as a lifestyle choice not realising the implications and commitments required of running a successful business. All too often, the business owner wants to be the seller, the doer, and the book keeping all in one, which results in the business owner no longer able to handle the pressures of running a business resulting in sale or closure. The key message here is do what you do best and outsource the rest.
Why not call Murray Your Chartered Accountant and Accountability Partner at Insight CA on 09 3093222 or email murray@insightca.nz to commence your journey today

 

As your business evolves, basic survival is the next measure of success. However, hoovering on the edge of just making enough to survive is dangerous to anyone’s health, including a business. The systems and employees within this phase of the business are still limited, and while expenses are often covered, profit is marginal and cash flow can and should be projected.

Further, at this stage of the business, it is not uncommon for many businesses to get stuck, and failure to thrive is often attributed to lack of vision and professional financial assistance, insufficient funds, owner burnout and marketplace factors. It is these businesses that simply closedown when the owner has had enough or are unfortunately sold at a loss.

To prevent such demise, every business should endeavour to obtain optimal and vibrant health by training your business body, assessing and rigorously attacking the businesses weaknesses and making critical decisions, optimising the businesses strengths while simultaneously making critical decisions including how best to grow and expand your business and how to reinvest in its success.

To increase your business success and improve its potential of achieving optimum vibrancy constant examinations and monitoring of the business vital systems and procedures, will require constant monitoring.

Historically, Insight CA Limited has discovered that when business owners work with us to understand their business (specifically KPI’s, revenue, margin, overheads and cash in their business) and to establish extended targets, while concurrently monitoring both their business financial and non-financial key performance indicators every single month, healthier results are achieved.

Here at Insight CA Limited, we would be delighted to work with you, as your Accountability Partner, to check the vibrancy of your business or assist you in implementing any of the ideas reviewed in this blog. Please do not hesitate to contact us for forward thinking advice.

Call Murray at Insight CA Limited on 09-309-3222 or email murray@insightca.nz

SIX WAYS TO PROFIT FROM YOUR VACATION THIS SUMMER

SIX WAYS TO PROFIT FROM YOUR VACATION THIS SUMMER

Summer is just around the corner, and although it may seem strange, now may be the perfect time to increase the value of your company.

 

The most valuable businesses are the ones that can survive without their owner. A buyer will pay a premium for a company that runs on autopilot and levy a steep discount for a business that is dependent on its owner.

This Summer

Consider taking an extended break from your business to see how things will run when you’re not in the building. It’s likely that some things will go wrong, but use those errors as the raw material for making your business operate more independently of you.

Here is a six-step plan for profiting from your vacation time this summer:

Step 1: Schedule your vacation plus one day

Whatever day you plan to start working again after your holiday, tell your staff you’ll be back one day later. That way, you’ll have a full day of uninterrupted time to dedicate to understanding what went wrong in your absence.

Step 2: Bucket the mistakes

When you return, make a summary of the things that went wrong and categorize them into one of three buckets:

  • Mistakes: errors where there is a right and wrong answer;
  • Bottlenecks: projects that had difficulties because you weren’t there to provide your feedback;
  • Stalled projects: initiatives that went nowhere while you were gone because you’re the person leading them.

Step 3: Correct the mistakes

The first and easiest place to start is to simply correct the mistakes that were made. Usually mistakes are due to a lack of training rather than outright negligence. The right answer may be crystal clear in your head but not immediately obvious to your staff. Write up some instructions for next time the employees face the same situation. Make sure your instructions are clear, and share them with your team so everyone has them. A file sharing service like Google Drive or DropBox can be a helpful repository for your instructions.

Step 4: Unblock your bottlenecks

If you’re being asked for your personal input on projects, there’s probably going to be a bottleneck if you’re not around. Make sure your staff is clear on the projects where you need to have a say and the projects where you don’t. Some employees may wrongly think that you need to approve all decisions. Make it clear when you want them to act alone and when you still need to have a say.

Step 5: Re-assign stalled projects

The hardest part of making your business less dependent on you is dealing with projects that get stalled when you’re away. Start by asking yourself if you’re the right person to lead the project in the first place. As the owner of your business, projects often fall in your lap by default, rather than because you’re the best person to lead them. Categorize your stalled projects into two groups: a) strategic projects you need to lead; and b) non-strategic projects you are leading by default. Hang on to the strategic projects, but delegate the non-strategic projects to someone on your team who is better suited to drive them forward.

Step 6: Give every employee a blank check

At Ritz Carlton Hotels, they give every employee discretion to spend – without approval from their general manager – up to $2,000 on a guest. The $2,000 figure is a large enough number to make the message clear: front line employees should act first, make the customer happy, and ask questions later. Many employees know how to make a customer happy but lack the confidence to act. Giving employees some spending authority will speed up the resolution of customer issues and empower your team to do the right thing when you’re not there.

The sunshine is beckoning, so go ahead and plan that vacation – if you follow the six steps here, you may end up having a great holiday and a more valuable company.

HOW YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

HOW YOUR ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS

The benefits of having an accountability partner

Does Your Accountability Partner really cost you that much?
Have you set goals and measurable budgets for your business as yet?

 

Let’s face it, we all have a goal or two that we set every year, but somewhere along the journey, the goal becomes less and less of a priority.

With so many distractions and the occasions in which life gets in the way, meeting your personal and professional goals can seem nearly impossible to achieve. Whether you are looking to lose a few extra kilos, launch a new business, or save to purchase a new home, Your Accountability Partner can help you stay committed and focused. Reach out for that help

Connecting with Your Accountability Partner will help you to:

Prepare your measurable goals in writing

Yes, one of the first tasks would be to critique the past, and set up the forward looking sales, cost of sales and overhead budgets and then implement them into a cash flow budget as well. Remember achieving your profitability goals also requires knowing where the cash is coming from and where it will be spent to ensure you operate within your existing cash resources and knowing when situations might be tight and need to seek external funding in advance of the reality.

Keep Your Momentum

Sometimes, the journey to accomplishing your goals can mean a bumpy and hard road. It can be easy to lose interest when the road gets tough. Your Accountability Partner can help you stay committed and work toward slaying your goals by conducting regular meetings.

Bounce Ideas Off of Each Other

Four eyes are better than two, right? Your Accountability Partner can be an ear and a set of eyes to help you discover a new perspective that may not have been obvious to you. For example, when to recruit or retrench staff, when it is more cost effective to replace a fixed asset than to incur the constant repair bills

Provide Support

There are going to be times when you just want to vent or need someone to talk to about your specific needs. It’s good to be able to have a partner that can empathize with you because they are familiar with your journey. For example, I recently had a client considering relocating premises within the same industrial area, so we were able to objectively consider the pros and cons of such a move and whether that should be that they remain tenants or become landlords

Challenge Yourself

No one ever accomplishes their goals by staying stagnant! You should strive to be a better version of yourself each and every day. Your Accountability Partner can help you see beyond your current circumstances. Remember, if it were easy, you would already be doing it!

This is a big one! Staying focused is one of the hardest things to accomplish these days. With social media and endless entertainment on streaming sites like You Tube, you can easily slip out of focus. How many times have you sat at your computer to send an important email and found yourself on Facebook, scrolling and liking pictures for hours? YourAccountability Partner can make sure that you use your time wisely.

Connect with Murray of Insight CA Limited as Your Accountability Partner on 09-309-3222 or by email: murray@insightca.nz and start that journey.

CASH FLOW IS KING

CASH FLOW IS KING

In today’s business environment cash flow should be monitored weekly if not daily. Do you have systems and processes in place to receive this information daily? Additionally, issues associated with cash flow can start with having outdated terms of trade. So when did you last review these?

In this communication, we will again address the subject of “What is keeping you awake at night”, based on the research of B Star, a research house based in Australia. In this instance we will discuss CASH FLOW

Cash flow management is key to survival, and in order for a SME to succeed and grow, keeping track of costs, budgeting for expected cash requirements, and monitoring, analysing and adjusting cash flow are essential.

We watch our cash flow daily

Is the following statement you?

We are worried about cash flow. There’s been a slowdown in receivables. We have ballooning debtors and some major contractors are now really slow to pay“

Cash flow management can be challenging for SMEs, particularly when they lack relevant, up to date information. Only 65% of SMEs are producing accurate, timely internal business reports. If not done well, the consequences can be dire. The top nominated cause of financial failure for businesses is ‘Inadequate cash flow or high cash use’ (44%).

For some SME’s outsourcing collections allows them to remain focussed on their business, so if you are a small SME why not consider outsourcing this function? Yes there is a cost, but the results will be beneficial. The outsourced agency soley concentrate on contacting your suppliers and have follow-up procedures in place. The end result is more cash being introduced into your business often faster than you would have achieved as it is typically not your core skill, in fact many business owners phone their debtors when they experience cash flow shortages. Additionally, do not forget, the cost of outsourcing offsets the cost of having that function performed internally within your business, providing you with additional savings and more cash flow.

Why not invest 3-4 hours with your Trusted Advisor / Accountability Partner to implement an effective cash flow monitoring system, especially as the slowdown is fronting us all with Christmas just around the corner.

Why not call Insight CA Limited to discuss the next steps? 09 3093222

IS YOUR BUSINESS SHOWING “WARNING SIGNS” OF A BUSINESS IN TROUBLE?

IS YOUR BUSINESS SHOWING “WARNING SIGNS” OF A BUSINESS IN TROUBLE?

IS YOUR BUSINESS SHOWING “WARNING SIGNS” OF A BUSINESS IN TROUBLE?

The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing. It often helps to get the perspective of a Chartered Accountant or Business Advisor. An insolvency practitioner (liquidator) came up with a list of warning signs of trouble in a business.

We all want to stay positive and not talk ourselves into a recession, but it pays to be realistic. These signs are not meant to alarm, but to alert you to the need for some proactive steps, rather than waiting until it’s too late.

Here are the ’Business-in-Trouble’ Signs

  • Your overdraft is near or at its limit for a significant period of time.
  • Difficulty meeting your suppliers payment terms.
  • Your staff are spending time on telephone with suppliers about outstanding payments.
  • Your suppliers are threatening COD terms or stop supply.
  • Your suppliers are putting your business last for service priority.
  • Your cheques start to become dishonored by your bank or if using electronic payment methods, your payments do not process due to being at your bank limits.
  • Your suppliers issuing demands or threatening legal action.
  • Your Creditors balance increasing whilst debtors and inventory/WIP remaining static.
  • You experience difficulty paying GST and PAYE tax deductions to the Inland Revenue Department.
  • You have hesitation in lodging GST returns when they fall due as funds being required elsewhere in business.
  • You start to receive correspondence from Inland Revenue Department about outstanding GST lodgements or overdue payments.
  • You are needing to sell capital assets to fund ongoing trading.
  • You are unable to place orders for stock due to cash constraints.
  • Staff morale down due to perception of Cash flow difficulties.
  • Higher than normal staff turnover as a result of above.
  • Bank requiring more information or security in order to maintain credit facility as you have now triggered warning signals at the bank.
  • You start to put off costs of maintenance on equipment which could cause an interruption to running your business.
  • Your bank has suggested refinancing.
  • You become behind with insurances e.g. Accident Compensation payments, product and public liability.

 

If you are experiencing some of these problems then consider reaching out for an initial chat with Murray of Insight CA Limited: email murray@insightca.nz or call the office on 09-309-3222

7 WAYS TO REDUCE CASH FLOW PROBLEMS IN YOUR BUSINESS

7 WAYS TO REDUCE CASH FLOW PROBLEMS IN YOUR BUSINESS

One of the most common tools directors, management and advisors use to assess business performance is profit, but profit doesn’t always mean debts are being paid as and when they fall due, being the test of “solvency” that so many directors are aware of but do not consider in terms of implications or reckless trading

 

Which is why many profitable businesses fail by running out of cash

We’ve all heard the story. A new business arrives on the scene, powered by a fantastic business model. It does really well, and manages to increase its profits year after year.

But then there’s a hiccup. A major customer can’t (or won’t) pay their account. And while they’re still making a profit, they don’t have enough cash on hand to pay the bills. The business becomes insolvent, and ultimately fails.

You can’t monitor or assess a business’ true performance solely on profit. Heard of the expression “cash is king”? Well, when it comes to ensuring your business not only survives but thrives, it’s the truth.

So how do you prevent the same thing happening to your business? Here are seven ways to improve your cash flow:

  • Invoice regularly with payment terms that match your business’ cash cycle. If your wage cycle is weekly, invoice weekly. You will need to ensure your terms of trade reflect this, if not amend them. Unless you are big business, where B2B is typically 20thmonth following, why not endeavour to reduce your debtor days by invoking same day, 7 day credit terms.
  • Set due dates for your customers so you can pay your creditors within their trading terms.
  • Set small credit limits for customers (as mentioned above), and follow up trade references. You may also want to conduct credit checks. And be more rigorous on stop credit iif limits are breached.
  • Outsource your credit collection. The benefits of a professional service provider far outweigh the cost of your own staff providing this often hap hazardous service by reducing receivable days and increasing cash flow
  • Negotiate extended creditor payment terms (if possible) and pay your creditors on their due dates.
  • Review your cash flow and budgets regularly. Get an expert chartered accountant – business advisor to review and challenge your assumptions, and help you develop ways to improve your cash flow.
  • Have contingency plans for worst-case scenarios, such as access to a line of credit or overdraft and if you are a fast growing business consider an alternative form of finance being Debtor factoring

 

All too often business owners consider working with their chartered accountant- business advisor to monitor cash flow is a cost they wish to avoid, however we challenge you to think of it as an investment in your business.

At Insight CA we can’t stress this highly enough. Most new clients we see don’t even have a cash flow forecast, which is a real worry , so this is our mission in 2017 to introduce business owners to this discipline of regular cash flow forecasting, a healthy habit to adopt…

Cash flow forecasting is one of the first documents we, as business advisors, want to see for a turnaround or restructure engagement. And if the business doesn’t have a strong cash flow, a corporate turnaround strategy becomes much harder to achieve.

Don’t let your business become another statistic. Review your cash flow regularly. And if you’re worried about your business’ solvency or ability to meet its debts when they fall due, don’t hesitate to GET IN TOUCH WITH US. Call Murray on 09-309-3222 or email murray@insightca.nz. As qualified, independent experts we can provide honest advice and help you develop a strategy to get through what can be a stressful and challenging time.

Symptoms of failing to manage your Cash Flow!

Symptoms of failing to manage your Cash Flow!

Whether you’re just starting out in business, finding your feet in the market or confidently growing, cash flow management forms a key part to business survival and success. Failing to instil good cash management disciplines can and will threaten the very livelihood and future of any business, almost as quick as it was started.

 

So what are the symptoms of failing to management your cash flow?

  • You’re struggling to pay your bills on time.
  • You’re struggling to meet the wages bill each week or month, or to pay the rent.
  • You’re forced to pay cash for new stock and supplies due to a poor past credit record.
  • Some suppliers are paid earlier than they need to be.
  • Customers are slow in paying you for work done or products sold.
  • Your struggling to meet your tax requirements; PAYE, GST, or income tax.
  • You’re leaving your invoicing until the end of the month to send out, thereby giving customers extra days of free credit.
  • You have insufficient reserves to handle unexpected additional costs or expenses.
  • Business growth is constrained by the fact that any extra resources needed, have to be paid in advance of extra revenues generated. Places extra pressure on existing funds, resources and reserves.
  • Your management style is more reactive than proactive.
  • You have too much stock and a need to off load quickly, usually at a discount.
  • Your fixed costs are too high which limits your ability to react effectively to a downturn in revenues.
  • Your margins and volumes suggest you simply aren’t covering your cost base.

While not exhaustive, the list is compelling enough to suggest a catalogue of faults in your cash and business management approach can quickly accentuate your cash flow problems, especially those of small businesses who generally have shallower pockets.

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Cash flow challenges for Small businesses.

Cash flow challenges for Small businesses.

There is no greater pain for a small business than not getting paid.

 

Today, data trends extracted using the Xero platform indicates that it is taking longer and longer for small businesses to have their invoices paid.

Late invoice payments are already a huge problem for small business owners. 87% of invoices issued by small businesses in New Zealand are overdue. And this seems to be a mounting issue. In the past year, the number of invoices which were more than a month overdue grew from 24% to 40%.

So what are some things you can do about it?

  • ask customers to make deposit payments at the time of order
  • focus on repeat business
  • change the terms of trade for slow paying customers
  • help customers pay on time by offering discounts for quick payment
  • invoice your customers as soon as the job is done

If your current practices in terms of credit control and debt collection are not working for you then why not call Insight CA Limited to discuss how you might better manager the task of debt collection.

Contact us today – we will help you achieve your business goals!

10 Tips to improve your cash flow

10 Tips to improve your cash flow

Cash Flow Management

Cash flow is one of the main concerns impacting businesses in NZ today. With the global financial crisis now thankfully behind us, there is still a more reserved confidence in the market to that that existed prior to 2007.

Even organisations experiencing significant and sustainable growth are finding they are faced with a range of difficult challenges. None more so than cash flow management.

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