Book Reviews: MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom

Tony Robbins is a pioneer in the personal development space, but his book on finances is like a graduate course in college.

A novice in finance could read this book and walk away an expert.

Tony takes complicated financial strategies and distils them down to the average reader’s level.

Money is not everything in life, but it is important, especially in the business. There are many entrepreneurs who are great at making income but are clueless as to how to make their money work for them through investing.

You started your business to create freedom, Tony’s book can help you take that freedom to a level you didn’t think was possible through the right investment strategies.


Learning Point: Understanding How to Improve Your Commercial Awareness

Being commercially aware involves having a deep understanding of the internal and external environment in which you operate.

There are a whole host of reasons why it’s important to be commercially aware: it can help you to make better decisions, generate more ideas, solve problems more effectively, lead your team with greater insight and make a successful contribution to your organisation’s strategic aims.

The following suggestions will help you to develop and maintain a strong level of commercial awareness.

Stay up to date with the industry you work in: Keeping up to date with the activities of other organisations in your industry will give you a good idea of the key influences and challenges that might affect your organisation. You can get useful information about your industry from the following sources:

  • Trade press. Many industries have a trade magazine or paper that will keep
    you up to date with current trends, issues, new innovations and international developments.
  • Professional bodies. Professional bodies (e.g. the Chartered Institute of
    Personnel and Development, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) can be a useful source of information and ideas, and often send regular updates to their members. While many professional bodies require you to have certain qualifications to become a member, you can often get access to their resources on an associate basis. Membership of most professional bodies is dependent upon the payment of an annual fee.Continue reading

Cash Flow Forecasts

Good cash flow management is essential in every business if it is to succeed and grow.

Cash flow forecasting is about predicting when money will move in and out of your bank account in the future. It’s easy to see how much cash you have in the bank today (you just check your bank balance!) But if you want to know what your bank balance will be next week, or next month, or next quarter, you need to do a cash flow forecast.

The amount of cash you have in your bank account dictates what you can and cannot do. Say it’s the end of the month and you need to pay your employees. It doesn’t matter how much money you are owed; either you have the cash to pay your staff, or you don’t.

This is just one example of why it is incredibly important for business leaders to know how much money will be available to them at any point in the future.

This excel spreadsheet enables you to produce a cash-flow forecast and compare your forecast month on month to your actual sales and expenses.


HMRC’s New Proposal for IR35 Reform

IR35 was introduced in 2000 and is designed to tackle tax avoidance, by establishing whether people who are self-employed should actually be classed as employees for the purposes of paying tax.

HMRC introduced controversial IR35 rules for the public sector in April 2017. Instead of the contractor having responsibility for determining their employment status, the client or hirer now needs to make the call. They would be liable for any missing tax if they got the decision wrong.

HMRC has launched its long-awaited consultation on ‘off-payroll working in the private sector.’ To help get you up to speed, here are seven key points.

1. Extending public sector reform is HMRC’s “lead option”

HMRC says its “lead option” for tackling IR35 non-compliance is extending its controversial public sector reform to the private sector.

HMRC does list two other options it’s considering – a record-keeping regime and a supply chain checks and assurances system. But there isn’t as much detail on how these might work compared to its preferred proposal.

There are other solutions HMRC sees as ‘out of scope’ entirely. These include the Freelancer Limited Company, minimum contract lengths, and clients paying employer NICs.

The wording has led some experts to read between the lines. Employment status specialist David Kirk, speaking to ContractorUK, said: “If this means that the only solution actually is to rollout the public sector reforms to the private sector, I fear for the future. They do really need to be more imaginative.”Continue reading

Benefits of Aligning your Finances & Strategy

Effective business planning will determine what business success looks like and what needs to be done to achieve it.

Once you have a clear plan for your business, you need to look at the numbers to see if your plan will provide the financial results that you want.

This is done by preparing a budget based on your business plan objectives. For example, if you have decided to increase your sales, then this may mean extra staff, stock and/or increased marketing.

You will need to prepare a budget that shows not only increased sales but increased expenses that will be required to achieve the increase in sales.

A budget can form the basis of the financial strategy for your business and help you review and refine your plan of how our goals and objectives will be achieved. A plan of action will guide you and your business activities towards improved business performance.

The benefits of having a financial strategy include:

Clarity on the key drivers of your business – what are the key aspects of your plan that need to be achieved in order for you to reach your expected budget results?

Tools to measure and monitor performance– your budget can include key performance indicators such as minimum monthly sales, maximum level of expenses etc. and you can then measure these against actual resultsContinue reading

Ratios That Help You Take A Financial Health Check of Your Business

Finance is important to any organisation as the firm has to know how viable it is and balance profit with costs.

But sometimes leaders rely too much on the finance team to inform them about the financial health of the business.

There are many ways you can tell if a business is healthy, and ratios can be a simple way for the non-financial leaders / manager keep informed about how the money is flowing
through the business.

Although there are many financial ratios you can use to assess the health of the business, this resource includes the main ones you can use easily.