February 07, 2016 | BY Joseph Hoffman
When booking profits on paper, be sure to have the cash in the bank. This may seem obvious, but a lot of business owners don’t make the distinction—to their detriment. For example, your business may get a big order, but you have to sink money into production to fill it. If the client pays you 90 to 120 days later, your cash flow can turn negative. According to Parsons, many small businesses that fail do so not because they are unprofitable, but because they run out of money. The reasons vary, from long payment cycles to inventory management to a lack of investment capital. Understanding the levers that impact your cash flow can help you get a handle on this important metric. Parsons recommends using one of the many free cash flow calculators available to analyze and forecast your cash flow, like this one on her company’s site.
This article originally appeared in BDO USA, LLP’s “Nonprofit Standard” newsletter (Winter 2015). Copyright © 2015 BDO USA, LLP. All rights reserved. www.bdo.com
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