Why is keeping up with finances so complicated – I really don’t get it. It should be more straightforward. Maybe we don’t have the right people; maybe things aren’t organized enough? I constantly struggle to know what’s coming in, what bills to pay, where we stand with the bank. I need to catch up with everything and then stay caught up.
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Getting your arms around finance includes sorting out who handles what. Prioritize organization. Reconcile accounts regularly. Decide what reports are needed and how frequently.
It feels as if, at the same time last year, we had more saved up in the money market account. And I know that last year the line of credit was paid off, while this year we’ve got quite a bit outstanding. Should I panic, or keep going forward?
Thoughts of the Day: There are several reasons that you could be dipping into cash reserves and the credit line. Set in motion a plan to get things back on track. Treat underlying problems as warning signs and fix them permanently.
I usually think of our open invoices with clients as gas in the tank waiting to be put to use. Unfortunately our clients don’t seem to be paying their bills as fast as usual. It’s getting overwhelming. These outstanding accounts are going to bury our company and then take our house if they don’t get paid.
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Get others on board to help you collect as much as possible as quickly as possible. Figure out why invoices aren’t being paid. Implement new practices to manage collections in the future. Begin workout with clients that are seriously delinquent.
Last year we wanted to get annual net income down so we could avoid some taxes. Did it with leases; might have overdone it. Now we’re wishing we had more cash and net income to work with this year. How do we find the right approach to tax planning vs. running the business?
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Don’t leave tax planning to the end of the year. Put money away throughout the year, so that the year-end tax bill isn’t so intimidating. Look further out than one year. Make sure you understand the impact of principal payments on your future tax picture. Rely on the professional advice of accounting and tax experts you’ve come to trust.
We’re hitting our numbers in terms of new sales, but we’re still off in overall revenue and profit forecast. We’re trying to figure out what’s working and what’s not working. Is it mix? If the mix is OK, maybe our forecast was off? What about the time it takes to ramp up and show results?
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Delivering according to plan can be complicated. Coming up with a plan that makes sense can be just as challenging. Look at the puzzle from multiple points of view. Take a critical look at the timing of income and expenses.