Looking Backwards Won’t Get You Forwards

There are some costs of running an SME that are just accepted as being a painful part of doing business. The finance function is always top of the business owner’s list. For some, it’s the least understood. It is business critical if you want to stay the right side of liquid, but has traditionally been deeply rooted in the process of ‘what’s been’ rather than the ‘what if’ of growth.

There are some costs of running an SME that are just accepted as being a painful part of doing business. The finance function is always top of the business owner’s list. For some, it’s the least understood. It is business critical if you want to stay the right side of liquid, but has traditionally been deeply rooted in the process of ‘what’s been’ rather than the ‘what if’ of growth.

It’s like walking forwards by always looking backwards.

But what if you could reframe what your books do for you and could create a forward-thinking, data driven powerhouse to drive your business decisions in 2021 and beyond?

In the almost 15 years of working with more than 1,000 SMEs and their numbers in-house on a weekly basis, we’ve seen many patterns that emerge that ring true for all organisations – whether you sell legal advice or lollipops. Your business is sitting on a wealth of data that has the power to unlock your decisions that can fundamentally change your future, if you know how to unlock it.

Most SMEs leave much of the asset in their numbers buried in the historic day-to-day of bookkeeping and accounting tasks, never to see the light of day. The stats tell us that most SME finance functions could cost as much as 10% less or work much, much harder for owners, management and investors.

These are the tell-tale signs that you’re leaving money and valuable insights on the table every day:

1.    You don’t have faith in the financial reports you need to rely on

2.    You make decisions without the right financial information to hand

3.    You don’t seem to be able to keep people in the finance role

4.    Your finance people are either stressed to the max working long hours, or need help in areas that they weren’t hired to do

5.    The number of finance hours are growing faster than your turnover

6.    You seem to have lots of ‘systems’ that aren’t talking to one-another

7.    You’ve invested in expensive software but it doesn’t seem to be giving you the costs savings you were expecting

8.    The desks of your finance people are piled high with paper and everything is in their head or on Excel. Somewhere. If they take more than two weeks off, or quit, you’re in real trouble

9.    Finance was the first office function desperate to get back to the office after lock-down

10. Your gut feel is that the finance area of your business is just not contributing to the whole business as it could but you just don’t know where to start

Asking yourself how much being compliant and producing the financials in your business really costs you can be daunting task and a wake-up call for many, particularly after 2020.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to go about making this work for you in 2021, subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you our next ‘The B Report’. In this we cover the combination of Program, People, Process & Performance to better day-to-day in-house financials.

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