When do You Need a Financial Management Company on Your Side?

We live in a crazy world. Someone ought to sell tickets. It seems that people, especially those in the US, are always clamoring for products and services that they don’t need and ignoring those that they do. Financial Management is a prime example. Companies that provide financial management services are often inundated with requests from potential clients that really can’t benefit from their services while many people that should be using a financial manager of some kind are literally flying by the seat of their monetary pants without anyone to navigate for them.

So, how do you know when you need an accountant or financial manager of some kind working for you? Just ask yourself these questions:

o How many bank accounts do you have and what are the balances in each?

o How many investments do you have and what are their values?

If you couldn’t answer these questions without getting out files and statements to look up the answers, you may need to higher a company or individual to meet your financial management needs. If your bank accounts include a checking, savings, and maybe a CD or IRA account and you own ten shares of stock in some XYZ company, you probably don’t need a financial manager at this time.

Most reputable financial management companies will let you know up front whether you can benefit from their services. A few, however, will take on as many clients as they can, regardless of whether that client really needs a financial management team working for her.

Financial management companies can do a wonderful job of helping you turn your money into more of your money. Everyone would like to see a thousand of their favorite dollars become ten or twenty thousand of their favorite dollars. If, however, a thousand of your favorite dollars represents all of your dollars, you don’t need to worry about a financial manager at this time.

Choosing a REIT Management Team

Real estate in Canada is a business that requires active management in order to enhance value, increase yield and reduce risk to investors. Real estate investment trusts are dedicated to increasing rental income by increasing occupancy rates, enhancing the value of the property, and thereby, over time, commanding higher and higher rental rates. REIT management teams typically try to maintain current occupancy without interruption and renew existing tenants in order to reduce leasing costs and therefore ensure higher distributions. At the same time, a REIT management team will focus on providing affordable business premises for tenants to prevent turnover, and ensuring this affordability means keen attention to providing good value and service through spending on operating costs.

REITs typically feature a professional team that manages a diversified portfolio of high quality office and industrial assets in different locations. A REIT is focused on managing and growing growing a stable cash flow that generates sustainable returns by adapting our strategy and tactics according to constantly changing conditions in the real estate industry and the greater economy. A REIT management team typically works hard to build a growth-oriented portfolio of properties, with the end result of ensuring that unitholders (investors) receive sustainable cash distributions over long periods of time. A REIT management team also ensures that the activities of the trust adhere to appropriate legislation, and that distributions are well documented for tax purposes. All of this management oversight ensures healthy, sustainably returns, as well as due diligence that offers unitholders trust, confidence and certainty.

A REIT management team also develops and executes a strategy in order to provide a solid platform for stable and growing cash flows. Portfolios are usually composed of office, commercial or industrial space in concentrated key markets. Managers make sure REIT properties are ideally located, suitably priced and are able to produce consistent cash flow that increases over time. A strong team of should be entrepreneurial property managers who are highly experienced in the real estate professionals Focused on achieving increasing sustainable revenue and cashflow from REIT assets is always a top priority.

REIT managers will also work hard to diversify portfolios to mitigate risk – growth is achieved by continuously seeking properties that enhance the overall portfolio of the trust. As well, strong tenants help mitigate risk and also ensure the sustainability of distributions. REIT management teams should also operate the business in a disciplined manner; financial analysis and balance sheet management will help maintain a prudent capital structure.

Good Financial Management

Good financial management is essential to the survival and success of every business. Unfortunately, many small business owners have relatively limited exposure to financial management and are unaware of how strategically important it is to their business’s performance.

In general, financial management deals with the procurement of funds for a business and the effective use of those funds in the operations of the business. It also involves using accounting numbers to measure the financial health of a business, to understand the reasons for the current financial position, and to make strategic decisions that will improve the general performance of the business.

The best way to demonstrate the importance of good financial management is to describe some of the tasks that it involves:

o Taking care not to over-invest in fixed assets

o Ensuring that there is a sufficient level of short-term working capital to sustain and manage accounts receivables and inventory

o Setting sales revenue targets that will deliver growth

o Increasing gross profit by setting the correct pricing for products or services, reducing the costs of raw materials, negotiating supplier prices, and managing other factors that influence the costs of production or service provision

o Controlling the level of general and administrative expenses by finding more cost-efficient ways of running the day-to-day business operations

o Tax planning that will minimise the taxes a business has to pay

o Managing employee benefits

o Performing financial analysis using numbers generated from financial statements.

Good financial management begins with a solid book-keeping system that will allow for the production of accurate financial statements. It requires knowledge of how to use the figures in the financial statements to the business’s advantage. For example, a good financial manager should know that a positive net profit and an increase in sales does not automatically translate into financial success. If the business’s borrowed capital has increased at a rate higher than the increase in profits or sales, it means the company is financially worse-off than it previously was. Are you and your management team aware of this?

There are many other strategic mistakes that managers who are unfamiliar or untrained in financial management make. Over time these mistakes can become detrimental to a business’s success and survival so it is crucial that you learn as much as possible about how to financially manage your small business. If you have trouble with this, you may want to consider soliciting the services of a professional who knows the ins and outs of the process.

For more information on financial management, have a look at my article “Impress your bank manager! How to read your profit and loss account report”.