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a blog by Chris Barrow

Spreadsheets – R – Us

It interests me that I’ve seen more cash flow forecasts from clients in the last 5 days then probably in the last three months. The message is clearly hitting home that NOW is the time to be carefully planning your finances over the months ahead. The accountancy people call it a “sensitivity analysis”: • what happens if I carry on as I am? • what happens if I expand? • what happens if I increase productivity of fee-earners? • what happens if I slash the costs? • what happens if I downsize fee-earners and support team? In essence, what happens if: • it gets better • it stays the same • it gets a whole lot worse One thing is for sure. CASH WILL BE KING again for the coming months. Second thing for sure? You’ll get bugger all help from the banks. For the second time in the last few months, yesterday I found myself advising a private dentist to open an NHS list in order to create the CASH FLOW necessary to feed his business going forward. I’m not suggesting that solution every time – far from it – but we had looked at all the other available options and, rather in the style of Sherlock Holmes, we eliminated the impossible and, whatever was left, no matter how improbable, was the only possible solution. Elementary. Please – do not hide your head in a bucket or lapse into denial. Invest the time NOW in making sure that your financial monitoring systems are better then ever – an early warning system of ANY changes in the business, external or internal. Measure EVERYTHING.

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