Articles

Small Business be aware….especially if you are in debt!

By mike | April 13, 2010 | Improve business

Official figures published earlier this month suggested that the number of corporate insolvencies had peaked late last year. But the reports from administrators and receivers suggest that insolvencies are rising as banks and the ATO take a harder line with those debtors who are showing little progress on the reduction of debt outstanding.

Where does this leave you?

If you have a debt with the ATO contact them now to take advantage of the offer by the ATO to not charge interest on the debt outstanding – See http://www.ato.gov.au/businesses/content.asp?doc=/content/00196536.htm for further information. This offer expires on 30th June 2010.

If you have a debt with your bankers talk to them – but be prepared! Show them your business plan – including cash flows – and explain how the business will progress over the next twelve months. If they agree to a proposal, keep them informed on a monthly basis  as to how you are travelling against your forecast that you provided – irrespective of good or bad monthly results.

Cash-flow is critical as we come out of a downturn – update your cash-flow forecast at least monthly – if cash flow is critical you need to do this for a rolling 7 day period.

If you need assistance call Mike Harding now on 0401 63 904. As an elderly partner once said to me a few weeks after I started my accountancy training with one of the big 4 practices – ‘Don’t kick a client when he is down…..He may well get up again!’ We are here to help.

Does experience matter?

By mike | March 11, 2010 | Improve business

The following is an often recounted story at accountancy seminars….

An accountant was overheard in a pub dressing down one of his employees about his inability to complete tax returns and financial accounts efficiently and without errors.

‘But he has been qualified for 3 years and is still making mistakes – you just can’t get newly qualified staff these days to do the job’ he was heard to say…….

Another accountant who had known him for a number of years pointed out that he has 30 years of experience……and his member of staff has 3 years…….experience is not something you can buy….you have to earn it!

Why am I telling you this story, about the inefficiency of newly qualified staff you may wonder. For two reasons:

  1. Use your own experience in your business the best way you can. Guide and mentor your staff, whilst at the same time give them enough room to learn – pass on your experience where you are able. Point out to your customers that you have experience in your industry and that you understand their needs.
  2. I have over 25 years experience in dealing with SMB’s – not just as an adviser but at the coal face in industry as CFO. I understand what it is like for an accountant to tell you that you have missed to claim $10 extra gst – does it matter? Experience teaches you to focus on the key points that matter – if you want to discuss how Mike can help you in your business call me now on 0401 631 904 and I will give you a free copy of ‘The E Myth’ – a must read book for all entrepreneurs!

Can you see your Dashboard!

By mike | March 11, 2010 | Improve business

Can you see your dashboard?

  • If you don’t have one then the answer will be no……
  • If you do have one but it is set up badly, then you may be making decisions on inaccurate or out of date data….

If you don’t have a company dashboard, read on……

A dashboard gives you up to date data in the key areas of your business. For small businesses it may be something as simple as:

  • Up to date cash at bank figure
  • Total receivables and details of those overdue – Do they need chasing and by who
  • What quotes need to be done today!
  • What quotes need to be chased today
  • Sales this month to date versus same month last year versus budget

These are just examples of key information that you need, but it must be visual. How many of you look at a page of numbers and come away not knowing whether they are showing a good or bad picture. My dashboards always use graphs – you get the picture straight away!

Most modern accounting packages have a dashboard facility – but is it set up for your use? The best one that I have found is from the new accounting software supplier XERO – Not only does the accounting process save you time, it is built around a dashboard that will give you key accounting information.

The dashboard has to focus on both what motivates you – how many orders have you received this month? – and on the important issues currently affecting your business – cashflow?

If you dont currently use a dashboard – call Mike Harding now on 0401 631 904 to discuss how it can help you.

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