As advisors to many owner-managed businesses at varying stages of growth, we see a range of different approaches that SMEs take to managing and understanding their finances.
Many of the business owners we work with already have a good grasp of their financials and they are confidently able to make timely decisions to optimise their position in the marketplace.
However, some businesses are borne from an appreciation of a gap in a market, the development of an innovative product or service conjured up over late night musings, and in true entrepreneurial fashion the business owner ploughs straight into making it happen. In the whirlwind that is often the early months or years of a business, the importance and visibility of strong financial information can often take a backseat.
This is where a dedicated and proficient Financial Controller (or FC) can be worth their weight in gold.
In our view, a Financial Controller is there to make sure that accurate and timely management information is presented to the board or management team on a regular basis, looking at potential opportunities or threats from a financial perspective. Whilst we don’t like to admit it, a business can quickly face big challenges if it doesn’t have a good handle on cash flow!
Such reliable information also puts your business in a far stronger position when it comes to applying for credit; banks and finance providers will almost always want to see a recent set of accurate financial accounts, to ensure your ability to repay. Many suppliers too will want evidence that you can pay. So, having this information close to hand – in its most current format – can be invaluable, at any stage of your businesses’ development and growth.
We have certainly noticed a marked increase in the requirement to produce accurate financial statements promptly, as a result of applying for financial support during the pandemic, which has forced many businesses to prioritise this activity even if they weren’t doing so before.
Having a good Financial Controller who you trust to oversee the day-to-day transactions of the business will allow you as the business owner to focus on your strengths and add strategic value, without worrying if the numbers support your actions.
If you’re unsure about what financial coordination and support your business needs, talk to your accountant or business advisor. They will certainly be knowledgeable in the market and may be able to help you with recommendations or come up with an alternative solution, be it temporary or permanent. For example, at Inspire we offer a popular FC on Demand service, providing additional support and expertise for your business, when you need it.
Whatever provision you have in place for ensuring that finances are all in order and the business is running smoothly, will ultimately give you the peace of mind that you need to develop and grow the business!