Solutions for Small to Mid-Market Businesses
Financial management of a business is a complex, forward-looking process. It is not just about getting a set of monthly financial statements and checking the bottom line, although your financial statements are the starting point for your financial management cycle. Financial statements and other key financial metrics are tools to build a stronger, more successful business. Your business’ financial statements can tell you much about your business; they can help you:
- Identify opportunities for improvement,
- Isolate trends that suggest strategies are successful or require refinement, and
- Spot troublesome performance requiring immediate attention.
Sound financial management of a business involves a constant process of performance review and analysis, highlighting areas of opportunity, working on improvement execution, and refining and updating the business plan and longer-term strategies. Every set of monthly financial statements provides information on opportunities for improvement as well as feedback on strategies previously implemented. This information is used to evaluate results, revise and refine strategies and forecast future results. When done correctly, it is a constant process – a continuous improvement process that can make a real difference in your results!
Financial Management Process: Continuous Cycle = Results!
For larger businesses, these activities are typically performed by a CFO. However, for many small to mid-sized businesses, it is often not economically feasible to hire a full-time experienced CFO, typically costing in excess of $150,000 plus benefits annually. If the Business Owner is managing these activities in addition to the many other responsibilities demanding his time and attention, it can often become overwhelming. Suncoast CFO Solutions can help!
The ultimate goal of Suncoast CFO Solutions is to:
- Assist the Business Owner in overseeing and managing all financial affairs of the business so that he or she can focus on customer service and growing sales,
- Provide the Business Owner with peace of mind that the business is operating with a firm financial footing,
- Help provide a higher level of certainty as to the strength of the business, financial performance and cash flows for the next 6-18 months, and to
- Work together with the Business Owner as a strategic partner to help guide the business to greater success.
To gain an understanding of the complete role that Suncoast CFO Solutions can provide, it will be helpful to understand the necessary tasks of financial management of any business, as diagrammed above.
There are 10 primary steps to sound financial management, some are strategic in nature, meaning that the steps impact the overall business and its direction for future success. Other steps are more tactical in nature, meaning the steps have more to do with the ongoing management of the business:
- Develop and implement a Business Plan that describes the overall business, it’s customer value proposition, it’s competitive differentiators, a marketing plan and a 3-year financial plan.
- Revisit the Business Plan on a quarterly basis to compare against actual performance and update as needed.
- Report monthly Key Metrics of the business– those performance indicators that measure critical aspects of business performance.
- Maintain and monitor a weekly Cash Flow Forecast looking ahead 13 weeks to add predictability to future cash balances.
- Assure that timely and accurate Financial Statements are produced on a monthly basis.
- Conduct a comprehensive Financial Analysis of the monthly business performance, including a review of significant plan variances for potential performance improvement opportunities and strategic development implications.
- Conduct a monthly Operations and Financial Review meeting to discuss with key members of management the business performance to identify improvement impact and strategic implications.
- Oversee a Financial Planning process that includes the development of budgets and rolling forecasts.
- Work with management to optimize Cash Management tactics such as working capital management and expense oversight.
- Continually monitor the Financial Systems of the business to assure integrity and timeliness of information flow, as well as adequacy of internal checks and balances.
Responsibility for the financial management process described above is generally that of the business’ CFO. Suncoast CFO Solutions can assist your business with all of these financial responsibilities, allowing you, the Business Owner, to focus on other critical business priorities.
For a more complete look at our solutions, please visit our services page.