Monday, March 02, 2020

MBA in a Nutshell #27 - Accounting and Finance : Improving Cash Flow

This section, while common sense for street-wise entrepreneurs, may not be too obvious for folks with no business experience.

Incoming money deals mainly with accounts receivable. Here are some tricks of every trade :

a) Have payments wired into your bank account - This earns interest and avoids delays from cheque processing.

b) Use a central bank account - This applies only if your organization is so big and decentralized, it has multiple bank accounts. One account can reduce bank charges and even earn more interest.

c) Give cash discounts for early payments - 2% if payment made within 10 days. Note that this can be a lot of money when annualized.

d) Bill customers on a timely basis - Odds of collecting a delinquent payment after 90 days is 75%, for 180 days is around 60%. Bill on a cyclical basis.

e) Make an active collection effort - Use a lawyer for a nice letter of demand if necessary.

f) Deposit receipts on a daily basis - Don't want to lose cash or cheques.

g) Use a factor - You can sell your accounts receivable at a slight loss, but the factor then will become responsible for collection.

Managing outgoing cash has a few bastard moves, all designed to maximize float within the company :

a) Centralize accounts payable and pay at the last moment - I would hate this if it is done to me.

b) Draw cheques from out of town banks to take advantage of float and take longer for cheques to clear - This sounds like a super bastard move that may not work here as we don't have out of town banks. Can someone share how this is done in practice?

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