Do you know it all? Especially, when it comes to finance the answers is most often–no. Make this the month you decide to surround yourself with a support system to bring you financial know-how.
1. Get a CPA. Even if you only meet twice a year, once for tax planning and once to do your taxes–you gain knowledge, get good advice and your taxes are prepared properly. That is a whole lot of value for a reasonable investment.
2. Put in place a standardized financial record-keeping system. At its most basic level, really know what’s flowing in and out of the business. Pay your bills on time easily. And, track collections and collect payments. Quickbooks is a popular accounting software and the one used by many accountants, so you may want to pick a system your accountant uses. It makes it easier to transfer data & get your chart of accounts set up.
3. Learn more about finance. Get a basic understanding of key financial decisions for your business. Learn what different accounting reports tell you and why it matters. Most of all get a handle on the relationship between sales, expenses, cash flow and net profit.
This is where SCORE can really help. SCORE mentors both the corporate execs. and entrepreneurs have a good understanding of cash flow, business finances and how to plan systems to make it easier to succeed. Visit For articles, templates, tips cash flow/cash reserve visit Accelerate Your Cash.
You can meet with a SCORE mentor in your community face-to-face to have the conversation that helps provide know-how in business finance. Find SCORE near you.
Online you can Ask SCORE questions about finance and cash flow that can help answer a burning question and give you some perspective that can aid you in managing cash flow.
American Express OPEN and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) just launched the Give Me 5 campaign. The program is intended to assist women-owned businesses in securing more federal contracts. Learn more by visiting www.giveme5.com.
The Situation: Women-owned businesses are a driving force in the national economy, generating nearly 1.9 trillion in sales and employing 13 million people. Every year, the federal government spends $400 billion on goods and services. The Equity in Contracting for Women Act (2000) stipulates that federal agencies award 5% of all contracts to women-owned businesses.
The Reality: Nine years after the launch of this act, federal agencies allocate only 3.4% of contracts to women. Only 67,000 of the 10.1 million women-owned firms have completed the CCR and, consequently, are eligible for federal contracts.
The Program: Give Me 5 aims to close the gap in contract allocation and increase the percentage of women receiving contracts to 5% or more. Women business owners stand to gain more than $5 billion in annual revenues by reaching the 5% goal.
As part of the program, WIPP and American Express Open are providing free, online training courses. Here are a few of the offerings:
Give Me 5 Training 101: Introduction to Federal Procurement and a Guide to Central Contractor Registration
April 29, 2009 @ 3pm EDT | Register
Give Me 5 Training 102: What’s next after I register on the CCR?
May 13, 2009 @ 3pm EDT | Register
Here are a few resources to help get you started:
1) Give Me 5 Web Site
2) Give Me 5 Brochure
3) Give Me 5 Federal Contracting Training Course Guide
-Jacalyn Barnes, SCORE
View more posts by Jacalyn