Managing Your Cash Flow

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Tough FDs are “key” to survival in 2011

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Financial models by business planning and forecasting business Numeritas shows the impact of financial pressures facing UK business in 2011. The biggest threats? Toxic customers and gung-ho sales teams.

Financial pressures facing firms in 2011:

  • Employers’ national insurance up one per cent
  • VAT up from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent
  • Customers taking longer to pay (if a few large clients take longer to pay, this marginal increase can have a particularly adverse effect on cash flow)
  • Clients becoming insolvent and their debts being written off (devastating for cash flow and profitability)
  • Taking on more staff (rather than better use of existing ones) to deal with expected new orders

“A company’s finance team will very much control the destiny of firms in 2011 – if they’re tough with customers and get bills settled quickly, then they’ll do more than just boost vital working capital,” says Stephen Aldridge, MD of Numeritas.

“The finance director needs to be tough with his company’s own sales team – reliable customers paying profitable prices with good payment terms are to be welcomed. However, over-exuberant sales at low prices to businesses that will pay late, or not at all, will be toxic in 2011.”

FDs’ Excellence Awards

Separately, on the issue of finance directors, we’re hosting the FDs’ Excellence Awards, held in association with the ICAEW, later this year – more details here.

Held in association with the ICAEW and supported by the CBI, the FDs’ Excellence Awards celebrates the very best finance directors from public and private companies, as well as the service providers that support Britain’s finance community.

The winners of last year’s FDs’ Excellence Awards included some of Britain’s very best, such as Sushovan Hussain of Autonomy (FD of the Year and FDs’ FD of the Year); David MacFarlane of Dana Petroleum (FTSE 250 FD of the Year); and Stephen Morana of Betfair (Private Company FD of the Year).

Do you already have a great finance director? Want to meet other financial directors? Well, the search to identify Britain’s leading finance directors and service providers has started: please take five minutes to fill out our FDs’ Satisfaction survey here.

More than 1,000 votes were cast last year in the FDs’ Satisfaction Survey to determine the UK’s best service providers, with Grant Thornton winning Auditor of the Year (Large Six) and Lloyds TSB winning Bank of the Year.

Deadlines are approaching fast (find out more here), so be sure to vote!

The FDs’ Excellence Awards will take place on May 10, 2011 at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square. Full information and nominations can be made on the FDs’ Excellence Awards website.

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