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The Importance Of The Finance Manager

One of the most important functions in any company is that of the finance manager. For those who are uninformed, they tend to think the sole function of this position is that of the head of Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, but it goes far beyond that capacity. In fact, the finance manager is in charge of any financing and accounting function throughout the company.

The role of this position involves that of not only financing functions such as Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Billing, but it also involves that of budget projections and working with the Chief Financial Officer to make sure that the company’s funds are stable and assisting with any budget cuts that become necessary.

The finance manager is the head of both the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable areas of the company. As such, he will be the one to set policy and direct procedures for both areas of business. That includes hiring staff based upon need, following budget guidelines for expenses including staffing, assuring that procedures are followed by all staff members, setting reasonable quota system to assure work is completed in a timely fashion, and interacting with department supervisors on a regular basis in order to stay abreast of happenings within the department.

The finance manager will also compile reports that show all of the conditions within his department including expenditures, open invoices, production standards, quality control standards, and timeliness of both payment of invoices and processing of payments. The finance manager is also responsible for the billing operation of the Accounts Receivable Department and making sure that guidelines for timely billing are followed as well.

The finance manager also is the one who will work with other executives in order to develop the budget for each year. He will work with the Chief Finance Officer and Chief Executive Officer in order to develop an equitable solution for each year’s expenditures in both staff, office supplies, and any other needs that they company has including training, business trips, out of town meetings, and staff entertainment expenses. The finance manager has a very important position within a company, and his decisions will determine the financial stability of the company, at least within the areas that fall under his control. It is also his job to make certain that other departments and areas of the company follow their budgets and make the most use of the company’s money by avoiding frivolous expenses.

The 5 Biggest Myths About Invoice Finance Exposed

Although invoice finance has grown in popularity considerably in recent years, and the product continues to evolve and develop, some age-old myths about it still exist today.

It’s niche, and perceived as being far more complicated than conventional lending products, and as such a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding surrounds it.

Which arguably the industry has still not done enough to address.

I’ve come across most of them in my time and here, in no particular order, I address the most common:

1. ‘People will think my business is in trouble.’

Invoice Finance doesn’t have the stigma attached to it that it once did – nowadays it’s first resort, not last. Over 40,000 businesses in the UK, and thousands more worldwide, are using it for funding.

It’s now widely acknowledged as a superior working capital solution for growing businesses, not failing ones.

2. ‘My customers won’t like it and will stop buying from me.’

Thankfully, a myth that is phasing out as invoice finance becomes more mainstream.

Some of the largest firms in the UK, including many household names, have absolutely no issue with their suppliers using invoice finance.

And often the customers that kick up the biggest fuss are also the slowest at paying their bills.

But if disclosure really is an issue, the product can be provided confidentially (subject to status). Your customers will have no idea you are using invoice finance.

3. ‘I will lose control of my business.’

With hundreds, potentially thousands, of clients your funder does not have the time nor the inclination to run your business for you.

And the product can be as high-touch or low-touch as you want it to be; one of the most notable advancements of invoice finance in recent years is that it is no longer ‘one size fits all’. An invoice discounting facility, for example, will allow you to retain complete control of your sales ledger and collections.

4. ‘You will lock me into a long term contract that I can never get out of.’

Short term contracts and notice periods are available, from as little as 28 days. Most funders also offer trial periods, usually of between 3 and 6 months. You don’t have to sign up to a lengthy contract period.

However, reputable funders are committed to the principles of Treating Customers Fairly and will always endeavour to resolve any contractual issues amicably, regardless of term.

5. ‘It’s too expensive.’

Compared with what?

The tendency is to compare invoice finance with a bank overdraft or a loan but that is like comparing apples and pears.

Invoice finance will always cost more than a traditional lending facility, but the cash flow benefits greatly outweigh them too. Quite often, it is the only option that will generate the funds required to support growth.

What is the cost of doing nothing?

Understanding What Cash Flow Is All About

Why It is Important

Knowing what cash flow is and why is it important to understand how it affects a given budget is something that can get confusing. Specifically, when there are periods of unabated spending. When a business unit or an individual begins to create a budget, one of the first things scrutinized is where the money is coming from and secondly how and where their money is spent. Knowing the inflow of cash and the outflow of cash are what makes up the road map, as it were, for seeing the big picture of the financial health of a given situation.

Some may equate spending, cash outflow, to an automobile moving forward at a certain speed, thus accelerating in a direction that can deplete the financial resources faster than expected. Therefore, using this same analogy, if the driver of the vehicle was to apply steady pressure to the brakes of the automobile the velocity of cash outflow would slow to an acceptable level. Not a bad way to look at things, and we all are aware of need to have a visual representation of our financial resources including how and why these resources diminish over time.

Controlling Cash Flow is all about Setting Goals

No one in their right mind ever wants to run low on money or get behind on bills. In the same instance, we all enjoy spending money on things we want. There is nothing wrong with controlled indulgence. The important factor is however, knowing when we can purchase that new set of dishes or take on a new car payment while not over extending or going outside of our budgets. This is where setting financial goals become paramount in creating a lifestyle we can enjoy. In the realm of business, it is all about the ‘bottom line’ or ‘profit.’ Businesses that spend more than they make will never show a positive cash flow. This means that there should be a balance between the profits and expenditures a business has.

More to the point a positive cash flow is where there is a higher amount of cash coming into the company than leaving the business through spending on its liabilities. This same principle is applicable to a family or even an individual. This is a point of view not everybody understands. When we are young we get a job and we enjoy spending our hard earned money for fun and frolic, as we get older we begin to understand the latitude and the importance of setting financial goals, which result in lower spending and higher savings for critical investments, such as a retirement fund.

This is a goal, as is, wanting to buy that first house or condominium, or our first car or motorcycle. Although the latter two items aren’t really financial goals per say they are reasons to set a budget and create a plan for controlled spending or using the analogy from earlier, driving a car using steady braking to slow down when it is necessary for our safety. Things like this begin to take precedence when a family is involved. A goal may be to send your child or children to college. At the same time, life continues and there are times when spending can get out of hand. Specifically, when we allow credit to enter and get involved in the financial scheme of our life.

Most Things Considered

Credit is not a bad thing, however, it can get out of control if used and applied in a less than prudent manner. When we are setting financial goals, knowing the amount of credit available is just as important as knowing the full extent of the resources and expenditures that make up our financial landscape. The reason is because is can be part of both the inflow of cash and the outflow of cash at the same time.

Although, credit is not a constant input, it represents available funds for spending over and above what actually enters the financial picture through profit or earnings, whichever the case may be.

That stipulated awareness on the danger of overusing credit is apparent. This is when having a keen eye for observing the nature and frequency of cash outflow is important to knowing when to apply the brakes, so to speak. Controlling the input of money for an individual is the easy part in most cases, for simplicity, we can put it this way, a person gets a job, this creates the inflow, the out flow begins with paying for a home, apartment, or condominium, a car or truck, food, clothes, utilities and furnishings for comfort. Credit enters the picture when the earnings reach a state that entice and enhancement.

Where it gets out of hand is when a person adopts the attitude that extra money is gained through this credit, which can speed up the amount of cash outflow. The best way to curtail this situation is to re-evaluate how money is being spent and to decide how the spending fits into the financial goals, or if it fits at all. It all boils down to managing our money wisely and prudently to facilitate getting what we want without going broke and meeting our goals at the same time. I connection with the analogy used earlier, set a speed limit for yourself and make sure to treat spending opportunities as stop signs so you can take the time to evaluate whether or not to move forward or to turn away.

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What Is The True Meaning Of Finance

The definition of finance is the provision of funds or loan supplied to an individual or company. Often this term is used for the study of economics and how money is controlled. It can be also defined as the management of funds and capital required by a business and private activities. Management of finance has also developed into a specialized branch within the financial sector and is carried out by finance managers.

Managing this involves dealing with the optimization and allocation of funds to various areas either by borrowing or by using those available from internal resources. The word Optimizing may sound strange but it refers to taking measures that minimize the cost of financing while simultaneously attempting to maximize the profits out of the employed finance. Bad debts are poor finance management where rules have not been followed; the result of this is depressed markets, low production and a cash crisis. It is for this very reason that finance managers are very careful with finance they agree too and where it is funded from.

It is not uncommon to hear finance managers referred to as bean counters as they are looking at immediate returns and initial costs against the potential at a later stage. Finance managers are the pessimists whereas sales managers are the optimists who look to the future and not to the past! Often though, problems occur with small businesses who fail to see the distinction between a business loan and a personal one. Most lenders will cancel the loan if they feel they have been deceived this way because they are unsure what the money is to be invested in.

Hopefully by educating the small (and large) business owners of their fiscal responsibilities they may build the basis of an improved company in the future. Small businesses can be very flexible, however, and call upon friends, other businesses, family members, even their own bank for finance.

Finance managers can help improve their company’s profits by using external sources which also lessens the risk on them at the same time. The famous comedian Bob Hope best summed up the subject when he once said; a bank is a place that will lend you money but only if you can prove that you don’t need it.