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Cash Management

36 Posts authored by: Inc.

by Mike Handelsman


Don't let your emotions--sorrow, anger, or a sense of loss--hijack the sale of your small business. Here are tips on keeping a level head.

 

Selling the small business you've built over many years, or even decades, is never easy. But for many entrepreneurs, the hardest part isn't preparing the business for the marketplace or finding the right time to exit.

 

As a business owner, you have invested a significant portion of your life in your enterprise. Over time, you likely have developed a personal connection to your company and for better or worse, your small business has become an important part of your daily life.

 

So when it's time to say goodbye, it can feel like you are losing a member of the family. Sorrow, anger, a sense of loss--entrepreneurs experience a wide range of emotions during the sale process. And if those emotions are left unchecked, they can have a real dollar impact on the outcome of your business sale.

 

Although it's natural to feel sentimental or even a little sad, you can't let emotions like anger and defensiveness alienate prospective buyers or dictate the terms of the sale. As much as possible, you need to find ways to remain objective, creating space between your emotions and your decision-making routines before, during and after the sale.

 

Before the Sale

 

Emotional baggage jeopardizes the profitable and timely sale of your small business. As a result, one of the most important things you can do to manage your emotions is to prepare a comprehensive exit strategy long before you are ready to list your company in the business-for-sale marketplace.

 

By planning your exit in advance, you will be more emotionally prepared for the transition when it actually occurs. Your family members should also be involved in the exit planning process since the business has likely been a major part of their lives and they may need time to adjust to the idea of someone else owning your company.

 

At some point in the exit planning process, you will need to seriously consider what you will do after the sale has been finalized. Sellers who lack a solid plan for the next stage of life find it difficult to let go of their businesses and are more likely to allow personal emotions to hijack the process.

 

During the Sale

 

During the sale process, it's critical to remain focused on operating your business until it has been legally transferred to the new owner(s) since deals can suddenly evaporate during due diligence or other stages of the process.

 

But to commit time and energy to running your business, you will likely need to rely on the assistance of third-party professionals (e.g. brokers, attorneys, accountants, etc.) for various seller functions. The added benefit of outsourcing specific seller functions is that professionals bring objectivity to the process so that interactions with prospective buyers are based on facts, not emotions.

 

It can also be useful to confidentially consult with peers during the sale process. Rather than wrestling with your emotions on your own, consult with trusted members of your peer network and seek advice about what they experienced during the sale of their businesses.

 

Also, you should think carefully about what role you may be willing to play during the transition of your business to a new owner. Many buyers desire that the previous owner remain with the business, on a consulting basis, for three to six months after the transaction, to help ease the transition.

 

Make sure that you're emotionally prepared to play this role in a professional manner. It is important to recognize that key decisions will no longer be your own and that you may not agree with all of the changes the new owner is making.

 

After the Sale


Business owners are frequently flooded with emotions after they have finalized the sale and transitioned out of the business. Now that they finally have time to reflect, sellers can feel a sense of loss, especially if they developed close friendships with their employees.

 

But unless the new owner has asked for your advice, it's a bad idea to check in on the business after the sale has been completed and you've moved on. It's likely that the buyer will have made changes in the business and it can be difficult to accept the fact that someone else is calling the shots in the company you built. Similarly, try to avoid talking about the business with your former employees in social situations since little good can come from second-guessing the new owner in front of current employees.

 

Although the emotions you may be feeling are real, the bottom line is that you and your business have moved on. Instead of looking backward, it's time for both you and the business to move forward and embrace the next stage of life.

 

Article provided by Inc.com. ©Inc.


Cash is paramount for running a business. Here are five easy rules for creating a positive cash flow plan for your company.

 

by David Evans

 

With Opening Day of Major League Baseball over, I breathe a deep sigh of relief as a ticket broker. It means my company, EasySeat, has started shipping all of the baseball tickets that it has been purchasing for the last 7 months.

 

That means cash flow will soon turn positive again.

 

In EasySeat’s business model, cash is king, and ensuring that we have enough cash to fund inventory and operations is critical to our success. Successfully managing, and understanding, cash flow is not a skill reserved for MBAs. Every business owner should understand their cash flow.

Here are five easy rules for creating a simple cash flow plan:

 

1. Project monthly sales (and curb your optimism). When projecting sales for cash flow purposes, don't be the optimist. Use worst-case-scenario estimated sales figures or historical monthly averages. Any sales figure used for cash flow planning should be something that is readily achievable. Remember, this process is used to make sure that the business has sufficient capital to operate, not an exercise in projecting success.

 

2. Remember receivables. Not every sale is created equal when it comes to cash. Cash and credit card sales are available for ongoing operations immediately, but sales with terms can take 30, 60, or even 180 days or more to turn into usable funds. Factor this timing into any projections, and most importantly, remember the potential impact on cash flow before extending terms to new customers.

 

3. Consolidate predictables. Every business has a core monthly cash burn that includes things like rent, payroll, and telephone service that are consistent and predictable. Consolidate these numbers into one operating expense figure that reflects how much cash must come in the door every month to stay in business.

 

4. Adjust for growth. It’s critically important to account for the capital required to grow. Many successful businesses fail by not having sufficient cash to fund their growth. New sales often require new expenditures for equipment, employees, and marketing. In most cases, the expenses come before the sale which requires that the cash is available in advance.

 

5. Plan for the unforeseen. To quote Donald Rumsfeld, these are “known unknowns.” For example, if the Yankees make the World Series, it’s a huge opportunity for increased sales at EasySeat. At the same time, it will mean extra inventory to purchase, and therefore, extra cash to buy those tickets. Scenarios such as this need to be factored into any cash flow forecast to ensure that, when opportunity arises, the business is in a position to capitalize. If there is a place to be optimistic in planning cash flow, it’s here. If the situation never materializes, it simply leaves the company in a much stronger capital position.

 

These five simple rules can be used to create a basic cash flow plan, but it’s important to understand the ramifications of the numbers. The monthly "predictables" (#3) is the amount of cash required to run a business status quo. To grow, enough cash must be available to fund the new expenses that will drive growth.

 

Whether the plan is status quo or growth, any cash flow forecast must include a contingency plan or “slush fund” to account for potential new opportunities or challenges. Keep a running total of monthly cash flow, sales minus expenses, and the lowest net total is the amount of extra cash required to run the business or achieve a sales growth goal. If this amount is negative, it must be available to the company in the form or credit or existing capital. Once planning cash flow has been mastered, cash will still be king, but it’ll be more of a figurehead.


Article provided by Inc.com. © Inc.

by Eric V. Holtzclaw


Cash flow is the most important financial item for a small business owner to pay attention to. Here's how to speed it up.

 

My company, User Insight, works with a roster of customers including many Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies. While working with customers this large gives us some assurances and benefits, fast-moving cash flow is not one of them.

 

Cash flow--how cash flows through your organization from sale to invoice to receipt--is the lifeblood of a small company. Speeding up your cash flow allows you to do more and gives your company more stability.

 

Also, if you accept that your customers take longer to pay you than you pay vendors, you are, in essence, lending your customers money to operate their businesses. If a customer won't change payment terms to your company's benefit, you'll want to reconsider any favorable terms you offer him.

 

Here are seven ways to recoup your company's cash faster:

 

1. Offer a discount for early payment.


To incentivize your customers to pay you earlier, offer them a price discount if they do, and be sure to highlight it in the contract and invoice. Several of our customers take advantage of an early-payment discount we offer, and sometimes even overnight a check to make sure they don't miss our discount window.

 

2. Use online payment systems.


Several of our customers use online systems to submit invoices.  If we participate in those systems, we find many of them will pay off their invoices within 15 to 18 days of receiving them. The best part is that the money is electronically deposited directly into our account. If your customers are not using an online system, consider setting one up for your company. I work with a service called bill.com, which allows us to pay anyone or be paid by anyone electronically.

 

3. Require an upfront fee.


If you know that servicing a customer requires you to expend big dollars on its behalf, collect as much of that money as possible (if not all of it) right away. Submit an initial invoice, and insist it is paid on receipt, or outside of normal payment terms. Most companies understand the situation and are willing to accommodate.

 

When we work for clients, my company pays for travel costs and other fees that can sometimes be as much as or more than the payment for our work. To stay solvent, we must collect these out of pocket expenses as soon as possible.

 

4. Delay the work.


This is a hard one to do.  But if you find yourself in the middle of a project and your customer delays payment, stop the process, and insist on having payment in-hand before you or your team finishes up the work. Often, this is the most valuable leverage a small business has in its arsenal.

I often encounter this situation when we are not hired directly by the end customer. The primary client may pay on time, but the company that contracts us holds off payment to improve its cash position. New regulations, especially for companies that perform work for the government, may help with this situation.

 

5. Take credit cards.


This will cost you an origination fee, but the percentage might be worth it to help get you your money sooner--whether payment for your services, or coverage of upfront costs. Many accounting packages already have a built-in ability to take credit cards, too.

 

6. Invoice for lower sums, but more often.


When we invoice customers for large amounts of money, we find the invoices get stuck somewhere in the payment process.  The dollar amount seems to have a lot to do with it.  If we submit an invoice to a customer for more than $30,000, it can take 15 to 30 days longer to receive payment than a smaller amount of money.  An invoice of less than $30,000 is more often than not paid very close to on-time.  If you review the size of your customer base and dollar amounts you work with, you may also discover a breaking point between invoices that are paid quickly and those that languish on your customers' desks.

 

7. Talk with your customers about accounts payable.


This might seem obvious but it's often overlooked: Have a conversation with your customers about their accounts payable processes at the start of your relationship. You will find that knowing your customers' processes will help you when you bid for new business, and when you structure invoicing milestones to shorten the payment cycle.


Article provided by Inc.com. © Inc.

Inc.

How to Get Paid Faster

Posted by Inc. Oct 26, 2012

by Jeff Haden

 

Here's a simple way to figure out how quickly you're collecting--and how to do it faster.

 

Dear Jeff,

I am applying for a business loan and the lender is scrutinizing every aspect of my business. He just asked for my Accounts Receivable Turnover. Is he digging too deep?

--Name withheld at request


Accounts Receivable Turnover (ART) is a measure of the frequency of payment on accounts receivable, the money owed to you by your customers you are waiting to "receive."

 

The lender is simply taking a close look at one of the factors that affects cash flow. In effect a credit sale is like a loan, so the lower the ratio the more slowly your customers are paying off the loans you make to them; the higher the ratio, the more quickly you're being paid.

 

How fast are you getting paid?

Here's the formula: ART = net credit sales / average accounts receivable


For example, say last year your net sales were $200,000. You don't take payment by credit card; you send invoices. The average, at any given time, of your outstanding receivables was $50,000.

 

200,000 / 50,000 = 4, so your Accounts Receivable Turnover is 4.

 

If your customers purchase goods or services through a purchase order, or you send invoices, the money you are owed is considered a receivable. If you're a consultant and you perform a service and bill the client later, the bill is a receivable--it is money you are owed but have not been paid.

But a credit card sale is not "credit" for the purposes of this metric; while the customer is using credit to make the purchase, you get paid right away (roughly speaking.) The credit card company extends the credit, meaning that's a receivable for it, not you. So don't include credit card sales in your net sales, at least for the purpose of this metric.

 

So, two main factors affect your ART: Your payment terms and whether your customers meet those terms. You may ask for payment on receipt, or within 15 days, or 30 days--whatever makes sense for your business, offset by customer expectations. If your terms are too tight some customers may find another vendor willing to offer more generous terms.

 

Many companies set payment terms of net-30, which means 30 days from the invoice date. Others set terms of 15 days, seven days, or even "on receipt."

 

Of course, if you specify net-seven and expect payment within seven days of receipt of invoice, the entire process typically takes longer: It may take you several days to generate the invoice, then another day or two to actually process the payment and make a deposit... all of which increases your ART.

 

You can do several things to increase your ART:

  • Shorten your credit terms, say from net-30 to net-15
  • Require initial deposits to reduce the total amount of credit extended
  • Improve your billing efficiency so invoices are generated and sent as quickly as possible
  • Create incentives for rapid payment of invoices
  • Work to shift more customers, especially new customers, to pay by credit card or bank transfer. (Sometimes this is as easy as saying, "How would you like to pay: by credit card or wire transfer?")

 

Keep in mind ART does not exist in a vacuum. Say you take credit card payments and fees are 3% of sales; if you can receive check payments within seven days from the majority of your customers, building in an intentional receivable delay may more than offset the fees you would be charged by the credit card company.

 

So if your ART is relatively high because you've made smart business decisions, walk your lender through that analysis. If it's low, work to get paid more quickly.

 

Even if you don't get the loan, raising your ART will help your business.

 

Article provided by Inc.com. © Inc.

Getting into position for capital infusion

 

Just as you wouldn’t head to the car dealership’s finance desk before being ready to make a deal, it’s just as critical to put some work into preparing for presentations to potential investors in your business. Whether you’re seeking a Small Business Administration loan from a bank or big bucks from a venture capitalist, it’s critical to put your best financial foot forward to show that your business is a good risk, says former banking executive Denise Winston, founder of Bakersfield, California Money Start Here, a financial education company.

 

She suggests spending some time on the following four key areas before meeting with prospective lenders or equity investors.

  • Beef up your business plan. When your business is smaller, your business plan can be a simple document that outlines the broad strokes of your business, plus some basic financial projections. However, as you grow, both in terms of your company’s size and its capital needs, it’s critical to show lenders and investors that the company has leadership depth and vision. “We want to see that the company is not just reacting to the market, but that they’re thinking strategically about their role and how to recognize opportunities and make the most of them,” says Jonathan Dowst, senior vice-president, Credit Products Executive, Bank of America. 

In the plan, highlight any strengths, such as key personnel, exceptional location, or lack of competition in the market, that might work to your advantage. Prospective lenders and investors will look for strong positioning and indications that the company understands how to disrupt the marketplace in ways that will allow it to grow and capture greater market share.

  • Clean up credit. The first thing a prospective lender or investor is going to do is pull your credit—both business credit and those of company owners, says Winston. It’s important to review each of these profiles to ensure they are accurate and reflect the business and individuals in the best possible light, she says. Do this several months before meeting with lenders or investors to allow time to correct any errors, outdated information, or inaccuracies. A spotty or incomplete credit history can raise red flags even for established, growing middle-market businesses.
  • Make the money a priority. When your company was smaller, handling the finances in between other leadership responsibilities was fine. For bigger businesses seeking outside funding, lenders and investors will want to see a chief financial officer or, at least, an employee or team dedicated to ensuring that the company’s payables, receivables, and other financial functions are being addressed competently on a daily basis. Proper invoicing and collections are a critical part of this process, says Winston, as a company with significant collection issues may trigger lender or investor concerns about cash flow.

“A lot of business owners, are not great at collecting because they’re the business owner and they have these relationships. So, they need to put somebody on the job and make a concerted effort to get their accounts receivable up to date,” Winston says. If it’s possible to collect a portion of your receivables upfront or offer discounts for early payment, that can help ease the receivables crunch, too. 

  • Forecast the future. Any investor is going to want to see an ability to repay. Lenders will want to see projections that illustrate how the business will bear the financial load of the loan payment each month. An equity investor, such as a venture capital firm, angel fund, or super-angel investor, is going to want to see how the business plans to generate a significant return—usually three to five times the initial investment—within five to 10 years for the investor. Your financial statements and business plan should fully illustrate these projections, presenting the business as a good risk.

 

By spending some time on these key areas, growing businesses can become significantly more attractive to lenders and investors. Fewer businesses would have trouble attracting outside capital if they put more time into showcasing their strengths, shoring up weaknesses, and putting their best financial foot forward when speaking to lenders and investors.


Article provided by Inc.com. ©Inc.


Inc.

Budgets and Budgeting

Posted by Inc. Jan 17, 2012

A detailed explanation of how to budget, types of budgeting, the benefits, and the critiques of the budgeting process.

 

In the broadest sense, a budget is an allocation of money for some purpose. The word once used to mean "pouch" or "purse"; a budget therefore is "what's in the pouch." Budgeting as an activity ranges in extent from managing household finances on up to the preparation of the Budget of the United States, undertaken yearly by Congress; that document is nearly 1,400 pages in length. This article will focus principally on "formal budgeting" as practiced in corporations, sometimes called the "budget process."

 

Budgeting has always been part of the activities of any business organization of any size, but formal budgeting in its present form, using modern budgeting disciplines, emerged in the 1950s as the numerical underpinning of corporate planning. Modern corporate planning owes much to operations research and systems theory. A pioneer in that field, Russell L. Ackoff, worked closely with General Electric, Anheuser-Busch, and other major corporations. His first book on the subject, the first of four, A Concept of Corporate Planning, had a major impact.

 

Modern formal budgets not only limit expenditures; they also predict income, profits, and returns on investment a year ahead. They have evolved into tools of control and are also used as a means of determining such rewards as profit-sharing and bonuses. Unless the budgetary process is managed with extreme skill and care, the very virtues of budgeting can turn into negatives—and have, of late, emerged into a movement actively working to change this process.

 

BUDGETING AS A PROCESS

 

In large corporations, budgeting is a collective process in which operating units prepare their plans in conformity with corporate goals published by top management. Each unit plan is intended to contribute to the achievement of the corporate goals. Unit managers prepare projections of sales, operating costs, overhead costs, and capital requirements. They calculate operating profits and returns on the investment they intend to use. The budget itself is the projection of these values for the next calendar or fiscal year. As part of this process, each unit presents its plans and budget to a reviewing upper management panel and may, thereafter, make whatever changes result from instructions from or negotiations with the higher level. Texts presenting, documenting, and defending the rationales underlying the numbers are usually part of the planning document. Approved budgets then become the road-map for operations in the coming year. Ideally monthly or quarterly budget reviews track performance against the budget. As part of such reviews, changes to the budget may be approved. At year-end managers are judged by their performance against the budget.

 

Many small businesses try to operate without a formal budget. Even some businesses that have a budget seldom consult it, meaning they are not gaining the business advantages that they could be through budgeting. For startup entrepreneurs, a budget is like a roadmap that can help them set goals and assess the validity of their business concept. For established small businesses, a budget can be used to take the pulse of the business, determining how the business is performing through the years, and helping identify possible future investments. By regularly consulting a budget, business leaders can compare actual figures and catch potential business shortfalls or other problems early. Budgets can also be instrumental in winning over investors, convincing banks your business is a good loan risk, or bringing on new partners or customers.

 

While budgets are developed bottom up, managers must strive to meet top-down business goals (e.g., "Annual growth in after-tax profits of 39 percent."). Because performance is measured based on meeting or exceeding positive projections (of sales, returns, and profits) and meeting or coming in below negative projections (fixed and variable costs and capital expenditures) managers have strong incentives for projecting the lowest possible "positive" and the highest possible "negative" results. The more successful they are in understating sales and profits and overestimating costs, the higher the likelihood of "meeting the budget." Top management's incentives, by contrast, are to do the opposite. Therefore the budgeting process is inherently marked by potential conflict.

 

Such difficulties can be, and usually are, mitigated by rational policies, good will on both sides, and straight forward implementation. Projections should be as realistic and quantifiable as possible. If projections are out of line with historical patterns, up or down, management must question the planning. Thus, for instance, a sharply rising projection of costs must have some real-world justification. Overly ambitious revenue projections must also be questioned. Conversely, managers must resist pressures sharply to raise revenue targets unless tangible changes in the market or compensating raises in sales expenditures are present. If the negotiating levels are honest and realistic, the right projections will result. Ideally, operating units should not be measured on activities over which they lack full control. An operation which does not operate its own debt collection, for example, should not be measured on how rapidly invoices are collected. Since budgets are often at least 50 percent guess-work, formal budgetary review at reasonable intervals and realistic adjustments based on actual events must be part of a well-functioning process. All too often, the spring budgeting event is rapidly forgotten.

 

BENEFITS AND COSTS

 

The single-most potential benefit of formal budgeting lies in ensuring that responsible managers take time each year (and then at fixed intervals throughout the year) in thinking about their operation by looking at all of its aspects. Budgeting creates a comprehensive picture of the future and makes both opportunities and barriers conscious. This foreknowledge then helps guide day-to-day activities.

 

The chief cost of the budget process is time. In some corporations the process takes on a life of its own and becomes a convoluted exercise of excessive complexity which, moreover, prevents unit managers from doing any thinking: their time is consumed in efforts to comply with a vast array of requirements dictated from above. Much of the negative attitude that has developed concerning this activity has its roots in unnecessary bureaucratic impositions on the one hand and unreliability because of rapid change a few months out.

 

TYPES OF BUDGETS

 

The two dominant forms of budgeting are traditional and zero-based. Business planning is usually a combination of the two. Traditional budgeting is based on a review of historical performance and then the projection of such findings to the future with modifications. If inflation is high, for instance, cost trends of the last several years are projected forward but with adjustments both for inflation and for projected growth or decline in business activity. Historical sales patterns, using established trends in sales growth, are projected; new sales from planned new product introductions are then added. Zero-based budgeting is the creation of a completely new budget from the ground up—as if no history existed. When using this method, the operation must justify and document every item of expenditure and income anew. Brand-new operations will utilize zero-based methods.

In government planning, but only very rarely in business, performance budgeting is used as a third alternative. Under this method, the budget is fixed at the outset. The planning activity is to determine exactly what activities will be carried out using the allocated funds. Performance budgeting is sometimes used in the corporate setting when the advertising budget is arbitrarily set as such-and-such a percent to projected sales. The advertising function then uses performance budgeting to allocate the budget to various products and media.

 

For the small business, different types of budgets can be drafted to monitor various financial aspects of the business.

 

Operational budget - An operational budget is the most common type of budget used. It forecasts and tries to pretty closely predict yearly revenue and expenses for a business. This budget can be updated with actual figures on a monthly basis and then you can revise your figures for the year, if needed.

 

Cash flow budget - A cash flow budget details the amount of cash you collect and pay out. This is generally tallied on a monthly basis, but some businesses tabulate this weekly. In this budget, you track your sales and other receivables from income sources and contrast those against how much you pay to suppliers and in expenses. A positive cash flow is essential to grow your business.

 

Capital budget - The capital budget helps you figure out how much money you need to put in place new equipment or procedures to launch new products or increase production or services. This budget estimates the value of capital purchases you need for your business to grow and increase revenues.

 

CRITIQUES OF THE PROCESS

 

As early as 1992, the famous guru of management, Peter Drucker, wrote in The Wall Street Journal: "Uncertainty—in the economy, society, politics—has become so great as to render futile, if not counterproductive, the kind of planning most companies still practice: forecasting based on probabilities."

 

Uncertainty has, if anything, grown since 1992 with the expansion of the Internet, the reality of terrorism, pressures on hydrocarbon fuels, the threat of global warming, and worldwide epidemics. In addition to uncertainty, formal budgeting has also come under fire for impeding trust and empowerment, two new concepts in the evolving corporate culture, as well as for stifling innovation. As David Marginson and Stuart Ogden recently wrote in Financial Management (UK), "Budgets have long had a bad press, but they have attracted even more flak recently for being at best inappropriate to modern business practice and at worst potentially harmful…. The Beyond Budgeting Round Table (BBRT) has been one of their most vociferous critics. It argues, for example, that the necessary conditions of trust and empowerment in today's organizations are not possible with budgets still in place, because the entire system perpetuates central command and control." Innovation is vital for economic survival. But "budgeting stifles trust and empowerment, according to its critics, which in turn stifles innovation."

 

In a 2007 report, Dr. Peter Bunce, director of the BBRT, writes that startups and small and medium-sized businesses are initially very responsive to their markets because either the founder makes all the decisions or relies on a small group of highly-motivated managers. But as the business grows, the management team gets bigger, and often "flexibility and adaptability diminishes." "If SMEs follow this path already well trodden by larger companies they will end up in the same position of having a management model that fails to support innovation, flexibility and adaptability," he writes. They need to adapt a management model that allows them to manage through continuous planning cycles, make rolling forecasts, and manage costs through trends.

 

The BBRT is an element of The Player Group, a management advisory firm; the Round Table has 29 major corporate members. On its homepage, BBRT advocates a set of principles which include, among others, continuous planning and controls (rather than an annual budget process), resource allocation as needed (rather than based on annual allocations and plans), high performance standards (rather than detailed rules and budgets), and freedom of action by small front-line teams (rather than direct control of operations from the center).

 

The high costs of the budget process and its poor adaptability to stock market perceptions is another force working to bring about change in the budgetary process as it has been practiced over the last 50 years or so. An article in The Practical Accountant put the matter as follows, citing Herman Heyns of Accenture/Cranfield School of Management: "[T]the budget process is obsolete given today's economy, resulting in documents that are time-consuming to produce, of little predictive value, subject to gamesmanship and, quite frankly, out of date by the time they're implemented." Among the new approaches advocated by Heyns is the rolling budget. Under a rolling budget, performance of the operation over the last 12 months is evaluated on an on-going basis; projections for the next three months are generated every month.

 

Budgeting appears to be on the cusp of a change. How long it will take to transform itself is difficult to predict. In a new book titled Beyond Budgeting, Jeremy Hope and Robert Fraser start off by sketching the ambivalence felt by top and middle management toward formal, traditional budgeting. Then they go on: "Though this ambivalence toward budgeting has existed for decades, the balance of opinion has swung decidedly in favor of the 'very dissatisfied.' Even within the financial management community, nine of ten have expressed their dissatisfaction, finding the budgeting process too 'unreliable' and 'cumbersome."

 

The changes, as they evolve, will impact large corporations first and foremost. For the small business owner, budgeting in the traditional sense will continue to be a sensible, necessary, and valuable tool practiced, in essence, by examining current resources, eyeing the future, and making rational allocations for the immediate future.

 

Article provided by Inc.com. ©Inc.



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