Whether they are business creators or SME managers, many entrepreneurs focus their attention on the development of the activity and on the profitability of the company. They “just” follow the cash with the help of bank statements.
However, a profitable company which develops its activity is not immune to financial problems, in particular because an activity which develops often requires tying up additional cash (increase in WCR).
To secure the development of the company, it is essential to ensure regular and precise monitoring of cash and to anticipate its future evolutions in addition to activity and profitability indicators.
If monitoring the bank accounts of the company on a regular basis allows a certain short-term cash management, being satisfied with this monitoring is not enough to ensure the financing necessary for the development of the activity.
In the event of tension or changes in the economic situation, the manager has no management tool to assess the impact of the possible measures. He therefore has no clear view of the cost and the financial effects of the decisions he makes.
A company’s cash flow cannot be reduced to the sum of bank balances!
The sum of the balances of the different accounts of the company corresponds to the cash or money available at a time “t”. But it does not represent the cash or more precisely the net cash of the company.
When we talk about cash (or net cash), we are talking about the amount of financial resources available on a long-term basis, available to the company to act on the operation of its activity. Having cash available in your bank account is one thing; having stable and available financial resources to incur the costs necessary for the activity is another .Master the concepts of cash, cash management; working capital (FR) and working capital requirements (BFR) are fundamental to running a business, regardless of its size or age. This notably involves setting up a cash flow plan and regular monitoring of the company’s net cash.
This makes it possible to steer the company by anticipating future financial difficulties and adapting corrective actions as best as possible.
Cash flow and negotiation with financial partners
controlling the company’s cash flow, a vital taskMoreover, when a need for external financing arises, a good knowledge of the situation reassures potential partners and helps to negotiate good financial conditions. This knowledge is visible through the history of the management indicators and the mastery of the economic model and, ultimately, of the company’s financial mechanisms.
Anticipating and measuring the extent of the difficulties and showing good management quality through indicators and relevant forecast financial tables are essential to work in confidence with your financial partners (partners, investment funds, bankers, etc.).
Cash: a vital concept to manage your business
The treasury is comparable to blood for the human body, it provides the energy necessary for the various services to function. Just as a body that bleeds out loses its strength, a company that loses its cash freezes and becomes incapable of acting or reacting. A company can only operate when it has sufficient financial resources necessary to finance its activity (salaries, taxes and duties, suppliers, etc.).
A leader cannot manage his business if he does not have a vision and if he has not planned enough cash to finance his activity in the months to come. As mentioned above, to respond to this constraint, too many entrepreneurs focus their attention on activity and profitability, forgetting to monitor their net cash. Developing without monitoring your cash flow is like playing sports without ensuring that your body will be able to keep up. You risk exhaustion or, on the contrary, high blood pressure and heart attack. It is the same for the company!
Monitoring your cash flow means controlling current and forecast incoming and outgoing financial flows. It is also necessary to work together with its financial partners in order to be able to negotiate from a position of strength when all is well and to react quickly if necessary. This requires monitoring and anticipating financial movements using appropriate tools.