This newsletter is a bit later than usual this month due to illness.
We have added a series of very basic introductory videos about insolvency administrations from Vince and Associate.
You will also find in this newsletter references to two blogs from The Bank Doctor which may be of interest in if you are looking for finding for your business.
In addition, there is flyer from The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell which has welcomed the Australian Banking Association’s (ABA) new Financial Assistance Hub. The ombudsman is encouraging struggling l business people to access it.
As suggested, it is always best to talk with your finance provider if you are experiencing financial problems.
Don't forget, if you wish to promote your business services at an affordable rate, contact Kim at email@example.com. You will be surprised at the value we have to offer.
“If you go down to the woods today, your sure of a big surprise …”
From the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, an old nursery rhyme
It is interesting when you think about it; when it is said that cash is the lifeblood of the business. After all, if you don’t have any cash, you don’t have a business as one accountant said many years ago.
However, today we see too many businesses treat their cash resources almost with distain. When this attitude is present, rather than protect this essential asset, strategies are employed which undermine the safety of the cash. It is as though the cost of protecting cash can be minimised because it is just another cost burden to the business. Again, in this situation, the focus is on price, not the safety of the business’s cash
Too late, when something goes wrong, it is found that the upfront cost savings have been lost with the effort required to correct the problems discovered. Worse still, even if the immediate problems are solved, there is no guarantee of payment, or the lost funds can be recovered.
I suggest there is one strategy which all directors, CEOs, CFOs and business owners wishing to save themselves the embarrassment of being seen to be incompetent, or having to front insolvency administrators and irate creditors. That strategy should be to occasionally visit their accounts department.
Any reasonable examination of what happens in the accounts area, may soon reveal the factors which show either a well-run business or one that is an embarrassment to the business.
As has been repeatedly suggested over the years, the accounts area not only shows the sins of your own business, it shows the sins of your suppliers and customers. The accounts area is also a wonderful source of commercially valuable information. For instance, each sin discovered can be rectified to return cash and profits to the business. Each sin left undiscovered, not only causes further damage and which also could end up being terminal for your business.
If business owners, directors, CEOs and CFOs were to visit their accounts payable and receivable departments, I wonder what they would find?
I suggest some the of above would find a well-run operation, or one perhaps that only needed a few minor adjustments to be great. Others would find a real embarrassment, which on investigation, would reveal why the business, was not operating efficiently
As any person contacting a customer for payment and finding out that the invoice was not processed correctly is frustrating enough. However, finding out that the only person in your business who can process the invoice is away, is further bad news.
However, finding out that some other document has to be completed and returned before the account can be opened, or that you have to access a supplier portal to find out if the invoice has been authorised, rejected or paid, is equally frustrating.
If all the extra work is not bad enough it is the ramifications due to the time it takes for the invoice to be paid, which is often underestimated. In Australia for instance, the government assistance runs out in about six weeks. After that, who knows how many of your customers will still be in business. Unless they survive at least another five months from this newsletter, then all creditors could well be asked to return preferential payments.
It makes sense then, if your current sales documentation does not include a section on what needs to happen to get paid, then it would be wise to prepare a new sales document. Alternatively, or in the interim, you can prepare an additional document which includes the questions which need to be asked to obtain the relevant information.
If you think this process will stop a customer buying, perhaps your salespeople are not really selling. They are just taking orders. In addition, if the customer is not prepared to assist in helping your business with the getting paid process, then perhaps you should not be offering B2B credit facilities but only cash upfront sales.
After all an unpaid invoice is a liability. Also, in Australia, if you sell via B2B credit, a sale is not truly a sale until the money has been in your bank account six months and one day after receipt of the payment.
Today, customers are often better at avoiding payment than most businesses are at getting paid. If you doubt that, just ask the businesses in the consumer environment of all the strategies which customers use to avoid payment and the grief they cause.
This situation is almost as bad in the B2B world today, especially when selling on credit. The reasons for this situation start with the fact that many businesses are run by people who are naïve, don’t keep up to date with business trends, lack financial resources or refuse to spend on protecting their assets, or fail to learn from slow paying and bad debt customers.
They do complain a lot about everybody else however, but largely fail to change their own thinking and behaviour.
At the end of the day, customers get away with slow payments because creditors:
If you fail to protect your money, sell via B2B credit and fail to sell properly, you will find that more and more customers will slow pay, or not pay you at all. This situation will also only get worse as the COVID related recession deepens and more businesses close down.
theBankDoctor offers free banking and finance advice to help small business owners get the best business banking set-up.
22 September 2020
he Government will cap the rate of interest lenders can charge on loans under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme (SMEG) noting that the move “will prevent interest rate gouging”. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water!
11 February 2021
According to the RBA, lending to SMEs remains flat and demand by SMEs for credit is subdued. This is despite record low interest rates which the RBA says it won’t be looking to increase until 2024.
So why aren’t more small businesses taking advantage of these rates? Will banks increase their lending. And what role can and should government play to get banks lending and SMEs borrowing?
Credit Matters is a financial risk management resource centre for the Australian business community. If you are in business, Credit Matters is your ideal source of financial risk management solutions.
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Futhermore, we invite marketing and knowledge ideas from our readers and contributors on how we can assist our respective firms grow. If you have any ideas, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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