A wise business owner once said, “Happiness is a positive cash flow.” As a business owner, I’m sure you agree. Everything is better when your cash-in exceeds your cash-out. A cash crisis can be emotionally devastating and it can even kill your business. If you’ve ever had to beg, borrow and steal to cover tomorrows payroll you know what I mean.
Failure to properly plan cash flow is one of the leading causes for small business failures. Experience has shown that many small business owners lack an understanding of basic accounting principles. Knowing the basics will help you better manage your cash flow.
A business’s monetary supply can exist either as cash on hand or in a business checking account available to meet expenses. A sufficient cash flow covers your business by meeting obligations (i.e., paying bills), serving as a cushion in case of emergencies, and providing investment capital.
The Operating Cycle
The operating cycle is the system through which cash flows, from the purchase of inventory through the collection of accounts receivable. It measures the flow of assets into cash. For example, your operating cycle may begin with both cash and inventory on hand. Typically, additional inventory is purchased on account to guarantee that you will not deplete your stock as sales are made. Your sales will consist of cash sales and accounts receivable – credit sales. Accounts receivable are usually paid 30 days after the original purchase date. This applies to both the inventory you purchase and the products you sell. When you make payment for inventory, both cash and accounts payable are reduced. Thirty days after the sale of your inventory, receivables are usually collected, which increases your cash. Now your cash has completed its flow through the operating cycle and is ready to begin again
Cash-flow analysis should show whether your daily operations generate enough cash to meet your obligations, and how major outflows of cash to pay your obligations relate to major inflows of cash from sales. As a result, you can tell if inflows and outflows from your operation combine to result in a positive cash flow or in a net drain. Any significant changes over time will also appear.
A monthly cash-flow projection helps to identify and eliminate deficiencies or surpluses in cash and to compare actual figures to past months. When cash-flow deficiencies are found, business financial plans must be altered to provide more cash. When excess cash is revealed, it might indicate excessive borrowing or idle money that could be invested. The objective is to develop a plan that will provide a well-balanced cash flow.
Using ComputerEase tools such as the WIP Report and the Cash Center creates a real time picture of your cash flow. But did you also know that you can create a What-If Scenario within the Cash Center? Using this feature gives you the flexibility to predict your cash flow based on the fields of your choice. If you have any questions on this or any of the other features provided by ComputerEase, please contact us by Clicking Here.