FAQs - CFO Expertise - Dennis Collins

FAQs

7 Top Questions that are asked of CFO’s
For Small to Medium Companies By Executive Management
And the CFO’s Response

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Q1: I am a small to medium sized company, how do I maximize my usage of cash?

A1: As the CFO, it is your fiduciary responsibility to maintain the cash and insure cash is there and available when needed. Ways of doing this are being aggressive with AR collections, perhaps ascertaining a line of credit, and establishing a relationship with your customers. I have had such a great rapport with customers whereby I could get them to pull some invoices in that weren’t due right then and pay them a bit in advance. Your customers can help you and in return you need to make sure you stay on top of their account.

Q2: How does one maximize cost savings within their organization to help run the company as efficiently as possible and as cost effectively as possible?

A2: There are a number of ways to cut expenses in an organization. They include: keeping labor costs down, negotiating benefits, negotiating Liability and D&O Insurance Policies, utilizing cash discounts, negotiating tier pricing from your vendors, project studies, streamlining processes, and keeping an eye on inventory variances.

Q3: How do I discern what products I am making money on and which I am not?

A3: This is what is known as Product Profitability Reporting. By strategizing and allocation of all overhead utilizing viable algorithms one is able to determine what each product cost including the overhead and helps determine the “true cost” and then application of the Overhead and still making a profit.

Q4: How do I establish strong relationships with my customers and vendors and maintain them?

A4: I joined a company that was on a COD bases with all of their vendors. By the time I left not one of their vendors had them on COD basis but rather they were on 30, 60, or 90 day terms. I did this by calling the vendor as soon as I cut them a check and put it in the mail and for their comfort gave them the check number and date. They learned to trust and respect me and if Dennis said it then it was good as gold. If there was any question on payment all they had to do was hear my voice on the phone and they would release our order. Then it got to a point where they trusted me and we didn’t really have to communicate that much. If there ever was a concern they got a heads up. Establish trust makes all the difference in the world.

Q5: How do I get others to become familiar with my company and what we do?

A5: There are a number of ways to get your name out there and let others know who you are and what you do. There is LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Phoenix Business Journal, Blogging and having your own website. But, I find the best method for me is to attend networking events. I particularly like NetworkingAfter Work.com and Networking Phoenix.com. Both of the Groups have great turnouts and individuals of notable caliber. It is an easy environment to exchange cards and to make appointments to meet at a Paradise Bakery at a future date – one on one. Ask me how I utilize the Phoenix Business Journal to get in front of very accomplished individuals.

Q6: How do I get my entire team on board when it comes to buying in on new ideas?

A6: Before any of this takes place, you need to earn the respect of your peers and co-workers. You will need to prove yourself and your worth. This is mitigated by being known as a company resource and by helping them solve their challenges. I worked at a company wherein Sales and Finance did not interact unless it involved a paycheck or an expense check. It was my MO to get the two departments to work together. I started helping one of the entry level employees. What I did got escalated to the VP of Sales. I got his attention. Then later when I knew I was implementing Profitability Reporting that I would not be popular. I made sure I had dotted all of my i’s and crossed my t’s I was ready for anything the VP of Sales might throw my way. Over a three-month period I proved to him I knew what I was talking about and we became equals and he use to come to Finance to talk and ask questions. This had never been done before.

Q7: I hear a lot about LinkedIn and I Link with Others and it really doesn’t seem to help me. What am I missing?

A7: You will find that I have learned to leverage LinkedIn in ways nobody would have thought possible. The vast majority of my Consulting Practice work has come from my LinkedIn Connections. You ask how is that possible. Well, please contact me on my website and I will show you or meet you at a Paradise Bakery and show you. You will not believe your eyes and ears and what you have been missing.