Author: Greg Taylor

Business Finance: New year tasks

In his first Business Finance blog post for 2013 our CFO Greg Taylor shares some tips on the things small businesses should be doing to get their finances sorted at the start of this new year.  

The post Christmas period can be quiet for some businesses. I asked our business banking manager Stephen Skujins for five things you can do to help the cash registers ring for the rest of the year.

First up is a review of business basics. Make sure you have the key elements to managing your cashflow under control: your stock, creditors and debtors. Chase up any late paying debtors and get rid of excess stock. Do you need to change your systems to make monitoring these items easier this year?

Next, make sure your employees are on the same page as you. Does everyone understand your business vision and goals for the year? Make sure each staff member is clear on what they have to do to meet these goals and have the skills and procedures to do their job well.

Thirdly, do a tidy up. Whether it is your shop, factory, work car or ute, a well presented business looks more professional, engenders staff pride and gives customers confidence in the quality of your business. First impressions count.

You should have your 2012 accounts from your accountant by now. If you don’t, get them. Your accounts are tools for managing your business, not just something you need for the tax office. Look at last year’s figures and your business plan to work out what worked well and what didn’t work so well. You don’t have to do this alone. Ask key people for their input including staff, customers, your accountant, business banker and coach. Pick three priority areas to change.

Finally do a cash flow forecast for the year and make a diary entry to update it monthly. This is one of the best ways to spot issues before they become problems. It also helps you to identify your funding needs for the year so you have the necessary funds in place when you need them.

Happy New Business Year.

Please share your tips for the new year below.

This column also appeared in this week's Newcastle Post.