If you or your CPA firm is struggling to find or keep clients, maybe cash flow management is the solution. By offering cashflow management as one of your services, by showing the true value that cashflow management can bring your clients, you can continue growing your firm without having to find new clients all the time.
We’re presently in a very uncertain time for small and medium businesses. For these types of businesses, cash flow management is a crucial component of continuity planning. Especially given the economic situation the pandemic has created, businesses are having to slow operations and focus on implementing cash management strategies instead.
For effective cash flow management, businesses must regularly analyze working capital requirements, focus on optimizing their cash flows, and finding ways to prolong payment obligations. Most importantly, cash flow projections will help businesses manage their cash and upcoming payments, while they consider alternative or additional revenue streams during times of uncertainty.
How are CPAs advising clients to manage their cash flow?
Arguably, cash flow is the greatest concern of most small businesses as many are still fighting to pay their bills. Cash reserves will continue to decline and threaten the livelihoods and survival of many small businesses this year.
Already operating at reduced capacity, many will require cash flow forecasts to be updated more regularly than previously, with the help of their CPAs. Businesses need to know when relief will be available to them and in their accounts, along with any other payments they are expecting and able to collect to pay their bills.
While some banks and governments are doing everything they can to help businesses survive, these businesses also need to work with their available resources (like their CPAs) to best manage their cashflow to ensure their survival. From tax deferrals to subsidies and strategic buying, small businesses are working with their CPAs to identify every possible opportunity to conserve cash and optimize their cash flow.
Advice from CPAs on cash flow.
CPAs and clients alike all know that the biggest cost for small businesses is rent. And what is saving many small businesses now is renegotiating their leases with their landlords for better cash flow.
Businesses can approach their landlords for renegotiations, offering solutions for landlords' overhead costs, such as paying only base rent for a fixed period of time and amortizing the remainder of rent payments. Make sure to consult a lawyer before discussing payment terms, so you are able to be as prepared as possible.
Keep in mind that your landlord may not budge, which leaves SMEs looking to other strategies for cash management.
CPAs can help clients not only with cash flow management strategies for immediate survival, but also with long-term business strategy for restructuring. When looking at the overall business strategy of small businesses in relation to available cash, CPAs will be able to help identify points within their current operations which leave an opportunity for innovative ways to increase cash flow in the long term.
There have been so many changes to today's landscape of “business as usual” and so cash flow has become more critical than ever when it comes to improving other processes like revenue management, partnerships, digital marketing, and operations. CPAs can help optimize and advise on all of these processes that are critical for the success of small businesses.
As a result, working with a CPA on cash management will enable increasing productivity and effectiveness of employees and will help companies deliver better value to their customers.
Considering employee safety and continuous communication will also be necessary in tackling these areas. While trying to develop and reshape their businesses, companies should keep their employees informed about changes they plan to implement to ensure there are no surprises.
The final straw.
Some businesses are at risk of financial collapse despite already being on the edge before the pandemic. As a last resort, a CPA can help the company and its owners assess the impact of declaring bankruptcy after exploring cash flow and continuity strategies.