Four Financial Management Pillars

Quick Insight

The four key pillars you need for your business’s finances are:
  1. Personal Financial Planning
  2. Business Financial Coaching/Consulting
  3. Accounting/Bookkeeping
  4. Taxes
I explain why each is important and the types of people that can help you.

Business financial management can be confusing. There are so many pieces to put in place and fit together. Many people don’t know where to start. Financial sanity starts with the four key financial pillars for small businesses.

1.  Personal Financial Planning
Why it’s important: You may be surprised that this is my first recommendation. You need to know your personal cash needs to know how much money you can invest in your company and how much cash you need to be distributed to you from your company.  
Who can help: Look for a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS). Both are certified and credentialed by reputable organizations. You want a complete financial plan, not just “advice” from an investment advisor or wealth manager.

2. Business Financial Coaching and Consulting
Why it’s important: Just like you need a planner for personal finances, you want someone who’s trained in business financial planning and decision-making. Example services include business plans, financial projections, and strategic planning. 
Who can help: Look for consultants and coaches with CFO experience. You could hire a coach for occasional targeted guidance. Hire a temp or fractional CFO for ongoing financial management. UpWork and Fiverr are other sources for some of these services. Many CPA and accounting companies are not trained in this area. CPAs are tax and audit experts.

3. Accounting/Bookkeeping
Why it’s important: Your time is best spent focusing on serving your customers. You can find someone to pay bills, invoice customers, and create your financial statements at a very low cost. 
Who can help: Bookkeeping companies are your best choice when you first start. Do a google search on “bookkeeping services” to find one that best fits your needs. Fiverr is also a good option. Hire a bookkeeper as your company grows. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the U.S. or Chartered Accountant (CA) in other countries can provide financial statement audits and reviews. These audits and reviews may be required by lenders and investors. 

4. Taxes
Why it’s important: Once again, your time is better spent on other things. Tax rules are constantly changing so it’s not worth trying to be an expert on taxes. I always outsourced tax prep and consulted with tax CPAs when I was the CFO of companies. 
Who can help: You want a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), or Enrolled Agent (EA). Do a google search on “tax services” to find one that best fits your needs. Also, consider contractors on Fiverr or Upwork.

I wish you financial sanity. I wish you well.

- Rob Stephens

Further Insight

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