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This blog post was originally posted on Austin Technology Council’s weekend update…
The definition of “give” is to place a specified value on something….
“Free my mind” said the CEO, responding to my question of what was wanted from finance and accounting. How could a CEO’s powerful intellect be held hostage? What would free the CEO’s mind? “Receiving insightful financial information without thinking about accounting” was the response.
We call this blog “Burger Wars”. It’s true, finance executives spend a great deal of time on critical measures like improving bottom line impact, reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and finding ways improve financial visibility. But they also like their burgers.
Work life balance is very easy to come by when your headquarters is on Austin’s famous 6thStreet. As the 2014 Austin City Limits music festival begins to warm up, we reflect on a few of our own experiences in the self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the world.
With investment firms still looking to deploy large amounts of money, competition for deals continues to be fierce. For firms actively looking for new investments, displaying true value add is becoming paramount as a differentiator in the deal cycle. Additionally, with deals becoming more expensive, firms need to find ways to improve total return once an investment is made.
Businesses are going for the cloud in a big way. Gartner just released its latest outlook for IT spending1, and it’s a real eye-opener. The analyst firm expects enterprise spending on cloud services to practically double in the next four years, from $109 billion in 2012 to $207 billion in 2016.
The ACG Growth Awards is an annual event that honors market-leading companies who make Central Texas the thriving business community that it is. These companies made their mark with sustained growth and financial performance in the four categories below. Consero was proud to be one of three finalists in the category: Annual Revenue Up to $25M Headquartered in Austin. Congratulations to The New Office for their accomplishments in 2014 and beyond.
Consero launched a fundraiser in April of 2014 to support The Miracle Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help orphaned children in India. The global effort included both Consero’s Austin and Bangalore offices. In just a few short weeks the donations were quickly adding up. The goal was ambitious and set at $10,000 with Consero matching donations, dollar for dollar – up to $5,000. Our friends, family and business partners helped us exceed the goal by 30% and Consero was able to raise $13,000.
Minding the books while gathering new insights from financial data to drive business growth is a struggle for every company. Here are 7 resolutions to keeping your books sin-free in the coming year. click on the image below for full size.
Top 3 Reasons Why Finance & Administration (F&A) Outsourcing Is on the Rise There is an upward trend of outsourcing in every area of business. This trend is supported by an overall improving economy and rising revenue in the human resource, finance and accounting, customer relations management and insurance sectors. All provide a large portion of BPO business.
It was early September when the Consero team decided to host a book fair for BookSpring as suggested by our Consero Team member Kristen Bridgeman who serves as their Board Treasurer. Bookspring’s mission is to provide reading experiences, tools and books to children and their families so they can develop a desire to read and succeed in school and life. Over the next month, Consero had collected nearly 70 books and cash donations. The timing was spectacular.
Your objective is growth: steady, sustainable and accelerating. Can your back office financial operations support this growth without falling apart and adding non-scalable costs?
Its one of the most gut-wrenching moments for any business owner or executive (and we have all been there!) – the moment when you realize that revenue from a job or a sale was less than it should have been … and through nobody’s fault but your own. Any small or midsize business looking to survive for the long haul must make sure that it gets paid full value for the product or service it provides. Yet in many SMBs, simple human error often results in a revenue pipeline with more holes than a sprinkler hose.
Organic growth can take you a long way, but any business with its eyes on long-term expansion is going to be drawn, sooner or later, to the opportunities in the mergers and acquisitions market. For many small and midsize companies in today’s – fingers crossed! – recovering economy, it may be sooner rather than later.
Is your company flying blind? Timely, reliable financial reports are the eyes and ears of effective decision-making. Without good data, it’s impossible to hammer out a winning business strategy. You can’t be sure that your company is truly creating value, the only ticket to long-term growth and prosperity.
Ask the CEO or CFO of any small or midsize business if there are ways they could improve their finance function, and chances are you’ll hear something like: “We run pretty lean.” Look around the offices of the finance department, and you’ll find plenty of evidence to back that up. Everyone is busy, no question, and staffers will often tell you they’re stretched to the max to get everything done.
The noted American writer H.L. Mencken famously remarked that for every complex problem there is a solution that’s clear, simple … and wrong. If Mencken had been a CFO he might have observed that when it comes to improving the finance functions of small and midsize businesses, every complex challenge has a traditional solution that’s obvious, intuitive — and totally self-defeating. Here are three common challenges for SMB finance departments, and the traditional responses:
If ever there was a time for finance to step up and demonstrate its value to the organization at large, this has got to be it. Right now.
As the head of a finance organization there is a perpetual battle for your time between tactical issues and strategic initiatives.
“I have been around long enough to be sure that you don’t know what you think you know regarding product or client profitability until you see the financial data” – Scott Bonnallie, CEO – Dannemiller Inc.
Poor financial controls can create significant waste, fraud, or decreased credit rating – yet it happens to thousands of businesses every year. A sound internal control environment is the foundation from which a corporate finance function can be relied upon to protect and report on the company’s cash and general financial position. Unfortunately many small and mid-market companies have completely inadequate controls due to the perceived expense and skill-set required to establish a strong internal control environment proper ones, leaving them exposed to several risks including:
For today’s corporations, the ground is shifting. Issues such as globalisation, business efficiency, increased specialisation and product innovation are percolating upwards in priority. And corporations are now focusing more intently than ever on profitability, working capital, cash flow, technology, risk management and investments.
A new report from global consulting and research firm Everest indicates that the Finance and Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) market in 2010 is expected to resume a growth trajectory more similar to pre-recessionary levels, moving towards 20 percent and reach nearly $3.7 million in annual contract volume (ACV).
A small business owner typically can’t afford to hire enough people to have proper separation of duties to gain the internal controls needed to prevent accounting fraud. However, every business owner can achieve accounting fraud prevention by taking these simple steps:1. Open the bank statement yourself Every small business owner should receive the unopened bank statement and review each check for authorized payee and signature, and approved electronic payments, before you give it to the bookkeeper.
Like many finance executives, Terry Lillis, CFO of Principal Financial Group, is tired. The constant stream of guidance from regulators and accounting standard-setters — plus the expected inflow of more to come over the next few years — has created “huge accounting fatigue” among his finance staff, he told a roomful of finance chiefs at the CFO Rising conference in Orlando this week. In fact, he put employee fatigue at the top of his list of concerns for 2010.
Markup vs Margin Differences
CFOs see several positive economic signs, but employment isn’t one of them. At last, some good news. For the first time in more than a year, finance chiefs expect double-digit growth in earnings and significant growth in capital spending over the next 12 months, according to this quarter’s Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey. Finance executives also plan to loosen the reins on spending for technology, research-and-development, and marketing and advertising.
Numerous regulatory proposals aim to reverse the ebb in small-business lending. But will any of them actually work? Vincent Ryan, CFO.com | US March 5, 2010 How can access to capital be improved for small businesses so they can create jobs and accelerate the economic recovery? There is no silver bullet, but President Obama and Congress are floating multiple policy and legislative options to spur small-business lending.
One of the critical keys to managing your company’s receivables is to measure and control your Day Sales Outstanding, the average number of days your company takes to collect sales revenue. Treat a high DSO number as a red flag — it means you’re taking too long to collect revenue and extending credit to customers with an overly generous hand. Controlling Credit
Predicting future cash flow plays a critical role in maintaining the company’s health, and yet many small businesses have no satisfactory forecasting mechanism in place. To some extent, this is understandable — large corporations have more access to elaborate computer-generated data processes, while smaller companies must rely on intricate, well-coordinated interplay between department heads and senior management to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Reprinted with permission from www.WikiCFO.com Accounts receivable Turnover ratio indicates how many times the accounts receivable have been collected during an accounting period. It can be used to determine if a company is having difficulties collecting sales made on credit. The higher the turnover, the faster the business is collecting its receivables. It can be expressed in many forms including accounts receivable turnover rate, accounts receivable turnover in days, accounts receivable turnover average, and more.
Overdue receivables obviously have a major impact on your company’s cash flow. If you don’t have a clear, detailed, firm credit policy in place, expect customer confusion, resentment, and an ever-increasing gap between your receivables and your payables. Credit Where Credit Is Due To whom will you extend credit, and how will they qualify? Small businesses should run credit checks just as rigorously as the Fortune 500 companies do. Ask for financial statements, credit reports, and vendor or customer references.
Vincent Ryan, CFO.com | US January 15, 2010 New issuance of syndicated, revolving lines of credit dropped 28% by dollar volume in 2009, according to data from Reuters Loan Pricing, as companies shifted their sources of liquidity and reduced reliance on bank credit. The $547 billion in volume issued was one-third 2007’s record issuance of $1.68 trillion, but the drop was less than 2008’s fall of 55%.
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