By Donita R. Rudy, CTP | Owner, Donita Rudy & Associates Inc.; Principal, Compass Advisory Partners
The word “change” is prevalent in so many descriptive phrases regarding the future business environment – and as I gathered input from participants at the PICPA Decision Maker’s Conference, I heard that the CPA and CFO roles continue to change as well. The expected scope of your expertise extends far beyond accounting matters, reaching into technology, risk management, talent development, leadership, and many other areas.
With all this focus on change and adapting, what about the core practices that have been proven to drive successful business financial operations? Have they changed too? As a turnaround professional working with businesses in a variety of industries and company sizes over the years, I see the poor results that stem from a lack of adherence to good financial management practices. There is no doubt that small- to midsize companies face many operating challenges with limited resources, but leaders must drive the internal practices to assure a healthy financial outcome.
An upcoming series of PICPA webinars will address this subject of financial management leadership practices. Emphasis will be on using the tools, supplemented with actual stories and situations, and not being limited to outlining the technical details.
Cash flow is “king” when it comes to managing a business, and cash flow practices will be the first discussion topic. We will look at cash flow forecasting and burn rate analysis, which produce different data for management use than a cash flow statement. Granted, as a turnaround consultant, I typically work with companies in financial distress and negative cash flow circumstances where determining the cash flow position is a must. However, I also consult with companies in transition, and rapid growth has a significant cash flow impact that is often overlooked by small-business executives. The CPA as an adviser can assist management with analysis when planning for a business growth stage.
Along with managing cash, it is critical for businesses to manage their access to cash through credit facilities. The second webinar provides input on loan relationship management. A relationship implies satisfactory input from both parties, but too often I encounter business owners who feel inadequately prepared to deal with bankers. So, the content here focuses on a proactive process for approaching credit negotiations provided from my insider’s viewpoint as a former bank CEO and chief credit officer. Terminology and “typical” lending requirements will be reviewed as we examine working capital borrowing base structures, loan covenants, and possible default circumstances.
Finally, the third webinar presentation will dive deeper into the analysis of business operations using trending data for monitoring financial condition. Do your business clients have established key performance indicators that are readily identified, easily measured, and visibly displayed? Do they take appropriate action to drive efficient results? These are the types of key financial management practices that will be explored.
This webinar series has been initiated with respect to the expanding and changing role of the CPA and CFO. Your input – as to what you want to gain from the training for your personal skills development – will be incorporated into the presentations. Please use this blog to provide your comments, suggestions, and questions.
Leadership-Driven Financial Practices for Business Success Webinar Series
All webinars will begin at 12:00 p.m. and conclude at 1:00 p.m.
Cash Flow Practices for Effective Business Management
Feb. 15 | Course No. 748600
Insight from a Bank CEO: Loan Management Practices
March 15 | Course No. 748601
Achieving Efficient Operations Through Financial Management Practices
May 3 | Course No. 748602
Donita R. Rudy, CTP, has over 25 years of consulting, financial services, and executive management expertise. She is owner of Donita Rudy & Associates Inc. and a principal with Compass Advisory Partners.