The CFO'S Perspective

Growth Strategies - Risks and Possibilities

There’s nothing wrong with taking your business in a different direction. Some of the world’s most successful companies started out doing one thing and ended up succeeding at something else. Cell phone giant Nokia began as a rubber bootmaker, and oil conglomerate Shell was an importer of actual seashells. 

You can certainly reinvent yourself at any time, and sometimes it’s the best idea to guarantee success and longevity. But have you considered all of the risks and possibilities as you plan your roadmap for the next chapter of your organization’s growth?

Topics: Planning Growth Risk Management Strategy

Should Your Business Perform Due Diligence on Prospects & Clients?

Imagine signing your company’s largest contract of the year with a new client. Sales staff celebrate bonuses, and production goes to work on deliverables. When final payment is due, however, the client defaults and won’t return your emails or calls. It doesn’t take long, or much effort, to learn that this isn’t an isolated incident with this customer. 

Could you have prevented this costly mistake by performing due diligence on that prospective client before signing on the dotted line? What are the benefits and risks of integrating this practice into your business process? And if you do, how would you go about conducting due diligence on prospective clients?

Topics: Risk Management Due Diligence

4 Essentials When Conducting Due Diligence on a Prospective Client

 

Business owners find due diligence daunting because of the cost and time required to do it effectively. They worry that the conversation with potential clients will be awkward to initiate and the process difficult to execute, lengthening the buying cycle. Furthermore, they fret about the risk of losing prospects from their sales pipelines, reducing overall conversion rates. However, the benefits far outweigh the risks of doing due diligence.

Topics: Risk Management Due Diligence

Financial Risk Assessments - What Are They & Why Your Company Needs One

Risk isn't just for actuaries! As a business owner, there are risks everywhere, and a financial assessment can help identify areas where your company might be vulnerable to risk, determine your company's attitudes towards risk, reinforce your strengths, and ensure that you are able to take advantage of valuable opportunities.

The key focus of a financial risk assessment is a deep dive into a company's financial preparedness and it includes pieces of other areas as they relate to financial stability. The assessment can point out areas that are working and those that are not, in time to make necessary course corrections.

Every business owner should think about performing a financial risk assessment of their company on a regular basis. The cadence is different for every industry, size, and type of company, but at a minimum once per year.

The results of a financial risk assessment will feed into the strategic planning process and budgeting. A consistently profitable company who is not worried about potential risks may still be missing something that could either blow up or cause them to miss opportunities.

Topics: Analysis Risk Management Assessment

The CEO Email Fraud

Carl in accounting receives an urgent email from Erica, the company CEO. 

The unusual email captures Carl’s attention, so he verifies that it is from Erica’s email and notes how the tone and writing style is consistent with her other email messages.  The CEO is requesting a wire be sent immediately to the bank displayed in the email.  Since Erica is out of town, Carl complies and sends the wire as requested. 

Topics: CEO Security Risk Management CFO Responsibilities Controller Responsibilities