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The Financial Mentor with David Boyar: Lifting the lid on business

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What is Financial Visibility?

by David Boyar |

Finance, Financial Mentor, Visibility

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July 15 , 2018

Growing your business sustainably is not an easy task. At Sequel CFO, we've worked with many businesses who were able to do it on their own – until they weren't. In fact, that's why many of our customers come to us in the first place: they need help creating a plan for the future.

One of the most frequent things we ask our customers is, "Why are you doing that?" You're doing it because, right now, you don't know what the future looks like. You might have a rough idea in your head, but it's hard to go beyond that. Managing a multi-million dollar, growing business on the back of your hand is nearly impossible.

The phrase that we use at Sequel CFO is we give people financial control and visibility. We've talked a bit about financial control and how it's the foundation for a healthy financial future, but what is financial visibility?

Financial Visibility Plans for the Future

Once a business has financial control, financial visibility – the exciting stuff – becomes possible. Traditionally, financial visibility was the exclusive realm of professional finance people. Cloud technology and outsourced financial advisors like Virtual CFOs have changed the game. Now, financial visibility is available to any business. 

Financial visibility is all about, "What's happening in my business that I can influence and control and improve on?" as well as, "What's going to happen in the future?" 

In fact, financial visibility is most easily understood as the answer to these common business questions:

  • Will we blow our budget? 
  • Will we fall short of the earnings target? 
  • Will we have enough cash flow to fund it? 
  • If we don't have the cash to fund it, how are we going to do about that?
  • Can we smooth out our cash flow?
  • How are we going to do that? 
  • How are we going to manage it? 
  • Who are we going to talk to? 

In short, this is the insight that most businesses don't have.

How Do I Get Financial Visibility?

It used to be that a business could only have these kinds of plans and insight if they also had a senior finance professional on staff. Now, with cloud accounting and outsourced CFO services like Sequel CFO, businesses can get this advice without the CFO salary.

At Sequel CFO, we divide your business' future into two distinct periods: the next 60–90 days and the next 1–3 year period. We start with the short-term because we need to know what's happening with your business in the next 60 days to effectively manage it.

Decisions you make today are going to affect the short‑term future and cash flow. It's going to impact employees. It's going to impact marketing. That's why we do an in-depth analysis to give you short-term visibility. You no longer have to wonder, "Can we afford it? What does it mean if we do that? What's the strategy to manage the cash or the next 60 days?"

Then there's also long‑term planning. Long-term planning is essential to any strategic business plans that you create. After all, strategic planning is useless if you don't know the financial outcomes they will yield.

What is Financial Visibility from Cash Flow Planning?

Once we have a clear picture of your business' past and present, we start modelling out your future. Often, that starts with cash flow modelling. Most businesses look at their cash flow, that's all. "How much cash is in my bank? How much debt is it going to pay? Who am I going to supply? When is payroll? When is rent?" and that's it. That's not enough.

When your business is growing and you're going through a breakthrough of five million dollars, there are more levers in the business that are harder to control and tighter decisions need to be made. You need financial visibility to be able to do that.

Insight into Financial Intelligence

Financial visibility also ties into deriving instant insight into what is happening right now. Before cloud accounting software and integrations like Xero and Microsoft Power BI, this wasn't remotely possible. Now, you are able to benefit from visualisations into your data and make better decisions for your future.

Now small businesses can track things they never used to be able to, ever, because the cloud lets them do it. The cloud lets businesses look at what's happening, observe trends, understand them. It helps you track the impact of the decisions that you're making in your business.

Sequel CFO helps you do that. We give you the financial control and visibility you need to can track anything in your business. If you can track it, you can measure it.

How Do You Achieve Financial Visibility?

The problem with many businesses is that they really don't know what's going on with their visibility.

That's where outsourced financial services like Sequel CFO really make a difference. We sit down. We value process your business at every step of your product. We work together to determine what do you expect to get out of each facet of your business.

We develop a longer‑term plan together and solve the problem of "What's going to happen in three years? Where will I be?" Sequel CFO builds the financial models to do that.

Through having financial control, through having visibility of what's happening, through having somebody who's been around a lot, we help you manage and limit the risk in business.

And, importantly, we're responsible for this stuff. We're not just consultants who come in, "You could do this. Think about this." We work side-by-side as part of your team to get your where you want to go.

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You can learn more about how financial visibility helps your business grow here. Or, if you would like to learn more about what working with Sequel CFO would look like for your business, you can do so here.

Discover more articles:

How Visibility and Control Lead to Financial Growth

How to Achieve Clarity and Control Through Your Financial Decisions

How to Manage Your Company's Growth


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"Sequel VCFO has given our organisation a significant competitor advantage by optimising our financial strategy and has delivered a major boost to our bottom line"

— Michael Bird, Social Garden

The Financial Mentor with David Boyar: Lifting the lid on business