Scenario one: You’re a business owner or MD, and up until now, you’ve been managing the finances of the business yourself. Even if you are a financial expert, you simply don’t have the time in a 24-hour day to run a company and spend the time you need to on making the books balance, let alone strategize for the company’s financial future. You need an extra, trustworthy pair of hands on board.
Scenario two: You have a small team of accountants, bookkeepers or clerks. They are diligent workers but they lack financial insight and direction. You need someone to steer the group, monitor and control spending, and provide a strategic framework in which they can operate.
If you are facing either of the scenarios above, bringing on a financial manager could make a lot of sense. But there’s a lot to think about before you do so. As you consider the possibility of bringing on a financial manager, we outline the possible pros and cons of making the move.
Pro #1: Your financial manager has insight into the economic environment around you. Your financial manager not only understands how to construct an income statement, he understands some of the market forces that are creating competitive pressure and consumer demand too. With a well-informed financial manager at your side, you can better plan for the future of your business – both financially, and as a whole.
Pro #2: Your financial manager can free up your time to do what’s most important. There was a reason you started or took over this business, and it wasn’t to scrutinise your debits and credits. Let your financial manager take away the stress of financial oversight and chasing invoices, and allow you to focus on what you do best: building relationships, innovating and growing your business.
Pro # 3: Your financial manager can ensure that your money is optimally spent. If there was ever a time that you needed to ensure your cash made the biggest possible impact, it’s now. With the economy under its current strain, there is little margin for error, and risk in most industries needs to be curtailed. Your financial manager can help assess the upsides with the risks you are contemplating, and make sure your business is spending its money in the ways that will bring the best returns. Wondering whether to expand or consolidate? Wondering where to invest your extra cash? She will help you make the smartest – and best informed – decisions around these and other questions.
Pro #4: Your financial manager can help your finance team function optimally. Are your invoices going too long without getting paid? Is your business leaking cash but you aren’t sure where the wastage is happening? Your financial manager should implement new control measures that allow you to more easily trace where money is coming in and out. It should also increase the efficiency of your invoicing processes – meaning cash comes in more quickly. Your finance team, which could be made up of any number of senior or junior accountants, bookkeepers or clerks, will now have a greater level of accountability. Productivity levels will be on the rise!
The Con: Your financial manager could be – but doesn’t have to be – expensive. This is the probably the biggest reason why you haven’t brought someone on already… the cost! Who can afford another expensive fulltime resource, especially when you’ve managed to muddle along without him or her up to this point?
Your concern is, of course, a valid one. Finance professionals are highly qualified and experienced, and usually command a hefty salary. But that’s where The Finance Team comes in. We’re at the forefront of a solution in South Africa, where we’ve built up a network of trusted finance professionals who can provide services on a part-time, ad hoc or interim basis. Think only paying for the time you need, and no more. Then weigh that up against the cost of spending your time on non-core activities for the business, or having a team that is functioning under-optimally. All of a sudden the benefit seems to largely outweigh the part-time salary cost, doesn’t it? Contact us today to find out more.