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

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

Re-opening: A CFOs Perspective on What Businesses Should Focus on in the Near Term

What now? You have your PPP loan (or determined you did not need or qualify for it) and every state has begun easing stay home restrictions, but there is still economic uncertainty ahead. One thing is certain, most businesses have been impacted and their 2020 results will differ significantly from previous budgets and forecasts.

Now is the time for serious planning and strategizing. Business owners and CEOs should be considering what reopening looks like in all markets in which they operate. Will your business return to normal operations or will there be significant changes needed? Involve your key leadership team and advisors in these planning sessions.

Topics: Planning Leadership Change Management

Where to Get CARES Act Resources

The recently signed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") contains over 800 pages of legislation to provide financial relief during this time of crisis. The bill provides emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

In response to numerous requests, we are providing resources to help you understand the CARES Act. To the best of our knowledge, these resources are current, but please check with the appropriate agencies to confirm the details.

Find out what the CARES Act means for you, your family, and your business.

Topics: Economic Trends News Planning Resources

Understanding the Role of Advisory Boards

The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” - Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer

Entrepreneurs and CEOs quickly learn how lonely it can be at the top. In many cases, you may be the sole employee when your venture is first created. When it grows, and you have a more complex organization with a sizeable staff, accountability for success still rests mainly on your shoulders. 

As your company’s leader, employees look to you for guidance and vision. Investors expect you to successfully manage the company and provide them with an excellent return on their investment. When dealing with a difficult situation or approaching uncharted territory, the CEO has no peers in the organization. 

It is for these reasons that CEOs form a board of advisors to give them guidance or expertise. An increasing number of organizations are forming advisory boards. But how can you best define the role of your board and its members?

Topics: Planning Leadership