The CFO'S Perspective

Vendor Management – Pay Now or Pay Later?

Effective cash flow management requires careful control of both money coming in and going out. While practices like shortening payment terms, offering variable pricing, and pursuing collections can increase the timeliness and amount of money coming in, delaying payments to vendors can slow cash outflows, providing the float needed to sustain operations during difficult times.

In an article about re-opening your business, Jeff Dunn explains succinctly, “Determine which vendors are critical to your day-to-day operations and pay them as timely as possible; which are important but can be paid slowly; and which are not important going forward that will be paid when able.”

How do you decide who to pay now and who to pay later, and how do you abide by vendor management best practices while doing both? This quick guide will help you answer those questions to improve your cash flow position right away.

Topics: Planning Cash Flow Expenses Strategy COVID-19

Which Financial Statements are Required to Get Funding?

Lenders and investors will always ask for financial statements as part of the application process. When applying for funding, you will be required to provide both historical financial data and projected financial figures. Banks and investors will then analyze where the company has been and where it appears to be going to determine if its trajectory fits within acceptable risk parameters.

Topics: Funding Financial Reports Financing

Cash Flow Management: 6 Best Practices for Small & Medium Businesses

Never take your eyes off of the cash flow because it’s the life blood of the business.
- Richard Branson

Staying on top of your cash flow is vital to running a small business smoothly. According to a U.S. Bank study, poor cash management is the cause of 82% of business failures. Cash flow is critical to the survival and success of your business. Without it, you cannot hire or pay employees, buy inventory, expand your operations, or secure a line of credit or financing. 

Building good cash flow management habits will help your small business weather rough terrain and double-down when opportunity strikes. To help your business avoid becoming just another statistic, here are six best practices to manage your cash flow and help you grow your business at the same time.

Topics: Cash Flow

Business Continuity Planning and Risk Management

One of your most important tasks as a business leader and manager is mitigating risk. Understanding what kind of risk exists, planning for the impact of this risk, and executing continuity plans to keep the organization operational during a disruption is of paramount importance. The earlier risk can be identified, assessed, managed, and integrated into strategic planning, the better.

Typically, this burden falls on the C-Suite, but leaders at all levels should be included in the planning stage to ensure buy-in across the company. According to CFO Magazine, CFOs have seen risk management fall under their umbrella more over the last decade. They explain,

“The CFO’s role has expanded in recent years, perhaps most notably in the area of risk management. Finance chiefs frequently took charge of assessing and guarding against risk during the financial crisis, and as the economy has slowly recovered, few have relinquished the task. More than half of the finance executives responding to CFO’s latest Deep Dive Survey say their responsibility for risk management has increased.”

Not much has changed in the years since, with CFOs taking more ownership of risk than ever before, whether they want to spearhead this role or not.

While it is easy to task an individual with overseeing risk management, ideally, it should not roll up to a single person. An emphasis on risk mitigation should be ingrained across the organization with alignment and compliance at every level. CFOs leading the charge can get their organizations on board to share the responsibility by taking a four-step approach to business continuity planning.

Topics: Planning Risk Management Transition

Financial Scam Checklist During COVID-19 (for business or working from home)

Your most Important Tip: If you receive an email asking you to wire money or send gift cards, assume it is a fraud – every time. CALL the sender to confirm, at a number you know is correct.

We are seeing, and hearing about, an increasing number of online scams and other negative internet-based activity related to COVID-19 and the mass exodus from company offices to home offices.  

As thousands of information workers recreate office processes and routines to work in an online-only world, the scammers, spammers, information manipulators, and meeting hijackers have been busy as well.

Topics: Fraud Security Risk Management COVID-19