Posts Tagged ‘cash flow’

Remember What Your Business Is

Do you ever get so caught up in details that you essentially fail to remember what your business is? Of course this question is a little tongue-in-cheek as I doubt anyone truly forgets what they are selling. Rather this has to do with how we all can get so distracted by the nitty-gritty details of running a business that we Read the rest of this entry »

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Financial Literacy for Business Owners

If you are a business owner you may already be financially literate, but just how strong is that literacy? Even if you are there are likely some things your CFO, Controller, or in-house accountant can do to improve your understanding of your financial situation. On the other hand if you aren’t financially literate then these same people should be helping you to become so. Read the rest of this entry »

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Know What Causes Your Cash Balance

Do you really know what causes your cash balance? I suspect many people don’t really stop to consider this.

It’s Not the Cash

In the blog Cash Management-It’s Not About the Cash Account I wrote about this some, but now I want to reemphasize what I think is often overlooked. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sound Business Growth

If you want to grow a business don’t you want to do it in a sound method that actually improves the business? Say “Yes!” Trust me, you do.

What Are You Growing?

Typically the focus of business growth seems to focus on one of the following and perhaps more than one of them: Read the rest of this entry »

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Debt Can Kill Growth

It is very common for companies to go into debt to finance growth. Is that always a good idea?

Debt-A Financial Demon

Many a person has purchased something like furniture on credit. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with that, especially if they have ample income to make the monthly payments. However, many learn some very important lessons they hopefully will never forget. Perhaps after three or four months of making payments they realize how they hate making those payments. Not only that, these payments can restrict what they can do as the payments cannot be avoided, at least if they want to build and maintain a good credit rating. They may even find that the furniture they bought no longer looks as good to them as it did. But, this is just on the personal level. When it comes to business, debt can kill growth for similar reasons.

Servicing Debt

Servicing debt means making the agreed to payments of interest and principle. If cash flow is adequate this may not be difficult. But, if the total obligations that a company has for expenditures of any kind becomes excessive then a cash crisis can easily develop. When that happens the company may be surviving day-to-day. It’s easy to see why debt can kill growth. Any time a company considers taking on additional debt they need to ask a few fundamental questions, such as:

  • Will the cash generated be sufficient to cover payment?
  • What is the payback time for the debt?
  • If the debt is for something like equipment, how long will it take before they recover the cost through additional sales and profit?
  • Is there an alternative?

One example of how timing is an issue has to do with depreciation. Perhaps equipment is purchased using a three year note payable. If this equipment is depreciation over say five years then the depreciation deduction is insufficient during those three years of note payments to offset them. In that case the additional sales or efficiency the equipment contributes needs to be sufficient.

Some Key Things to Monitor

If you do find that your company needs to go into debt, be sure to consider a few key ratios, such as debt-to-equity, debt leverage ratio and debt coverage (see Debt Coverage). Since debt can kill growth, be certain you can justify it. One other thing to keep in mind is that anytime your company has debt it opens the door to additional pressure from outside the company.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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Avoiding Obsolete Inventory

Why do so many companies have difficulty disposing of slow-moving inventory? Inaction can be costly.

If It’s Not Selling

I’ve worked for or consulted for a few companies that seemed to struggle greatly with inventory control. Frequently they simply hated to acknowledge that certain items were not selling. Interestingly these same companies Read the rest of this entry »

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Financial Measurements that Matter

In business we typically measure a lot of things, but when it comes to financial information are we making and utilizing financial measurements that matter?

What Does That Mean?

To understand what I’m referring, let’s look back at the posting Some Key Financial Indicators where we briefly considered Read the rest of this entry »

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Make Profit Count

Ever wondered why a company that seemed to be doing so well suddenly failed? Often times the reason is that management took their eyes of the ball, with the ball being defined as cash. I touched on this earlier in Cash Flow – The Bottom Line. Basically the issue comes down to realizing that in order to make profit count it is essential that profit is converted to cash.

Cash is Critical

Without adequate cash a company will be hard-pressed to pay bills. I’ve had clients and been an employee of companies that were very profitable on paper. But, that’s on paper only. If you looked only at Read the rest of this entry »

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Accounts Payable is Not Long-Term Debt

This will be a very short article. It is a follow up to Current or Long-Term Debt that discussed the appropriate use of various kinds of debt.

Accounts Payable

A comment made in a forum about accounts payable is what prompted this brief update on debt and how it is used. The commenter noted that a company was reclassifying some of its accounts payable to a note payable. When I heard this all kinds of bells and whistles went off. This is usually an indication of Read the rest of this entry »

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Understanding the Statement of Cash Flows

A number of my recent postings have been related to definitions of financial terms, financial ratios, and how to make use of them. Among these, a large percentage related to cash and the various things that impact it. In my posting Cash Management-It’s Not About the Cash Account I pointed that to manage cash we needed to get away from focusing so much on the cash account. To understand how cash is generated and used, let’s take a look at the flow of activity that impacts the cash balance. Understanding the statement of cash flows will help accomplish that. Read the rest of this entry »

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