The 10 commandments of cash flow management
Effective and efficient cash flow management is fundamental to business success. But, despite its importance, some businesses still struggle to get the basics right. So here are 10 cash flow rules that every business should follow to successfully manage your money.
1. Thou shalt regularly update cash flow forecasts
To maintain a healthy cash flow you should have a clear picture of all your incomings and outgoings at all times. By keeping your cash flow forecast up to date, you will always be aware of any upcoming shortfalls and be able to take measures to protect your position.
2. Thou shalt implement a clear credit control policy
Having a clearly defined credit policy can be a great way of ensuring a co-ordinated and consistent approach to credit control. It ensures continuity when members of staff leave and come in, removes bias and, done right, will dramatically improve efficiency and cash flow.
3. Thou shalt regularly benchmark suppliers
When it comes to business suppliers, the company which was once the most cost-effective may no longer be so. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly review your suppliers and check that you’re still getting the best deal for your business. Just remember that sometimes value can outweigh cost.
4. Thou shalt know thy customers
Trading on credit terms can be risky so it’s important to get to know your customers in order to protect your cash flow. Credit reports give companies a quick way of determining creditworthiness. Then, using this information, you can determine how to proceed with the order.
5. Thou shalt invoice quickly and accurately
Be sure to invoice as soon as possible so that the credit period can commence immediately and limit delays in payment. Any delays on your behalf will generally lead to delays from the client, particularly if the customer has arduous internal processes.
6. Thou shalt take time to find the most suitable funding
With so much to do, it can be easy to restrict your funding search. But, with lots of products and providers to choose from, it’s more important than ever to explore all the options available to make sure you’re getting the most suitable deal for your needs.
7. Thou shalt regularly review thy sales ledger
It’s essential to know when your customers are approaching and missing payment deadlines in order to successfully manage cash flow. By regularly reviewing your sales ledger you can send reminder or chasing emails and letters quickly to reduce delays in payment.
8. Thou shalt chase late payments as soon as they become overdue
Statistically, the older an invoice gets the harder it becomes to collect. So, always chase your customers immediately. Their failure to pay might be a simple mistake or it could expose a deeper issue which may require immediate action to protect your cash flow.
When an invoice exceeds terms you have many options. Explore them here.
9. Thou shalt analyse thy performance
Analysing your performance is key to finding where you can make improvements. For example, if you are commonly being paid late, you can take proactive steps to improve your credit control, or perhaps look into outsourcing this function to credit control experts.
10. Thou shalt utilise technology
Utilising new technologies can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to perform some of the above tasks. By automating your processes and using better software you can manage your processes more effectively and often improve your results.
So, there you have our 10 commandments of cash flow management. Do you have any others to share? Please comment below.