Instituting a functional Board at the head of a company is not rocket science, even if it seems much more complicated than that.

What are the typical symptoms of dysfunctional boards?

All company boards are dysfunctional in some way or another, and all need to be awake to the risks they themselves present to the proper functioning of their businesses. Physician, thou canst not cure thyself 'til diagnosed.

This article is intended to help diagnosis.

There are a number of actions that an Invoice Finance Company may take in response to learning that a business is ‘in trouble’. ‘In trouble’ can mean different things to different people. In this case I mean it to reflect a situation where the business has had problems. This may be consistent lack of sales, bad debts or management difficulties. The symptoms are usually  pressure from HM Revenue and Customs, CCJs being registered and suppliers not getting paid.

So what does the Invoice Finance Company do when it gets the bad news?

Business bank managers everywhere despair, every day, at the quality of the loan requests they get. To make it worse, these requests are from established businesses, from MD's who, supposedly, know their stuff.  Lenders are given limited information and questionable financial data. This comes accompanied by an expectation that no reasonable bank manager could possibly fail to see why it is a good idea to hand over a big pot of money.

So what is going wrong ?  Why is there a mismatch between the expectations of the bank manager and those of the managing director ?

It is painfully common to see companies which are desperate for cash neglecting a critical part of the cash cycle - credit control.  Here is what is required :

This article is aimed at managing directors looking for some  help finding solutions to their problems. What does a financial director do anyway ? Do they add value ?  

The long answer relates to the needs and issues of your business. The short answer is 'because two brains are better than one'.

As you get bigger, you employ more and more specialist staff. Until you get there, you need people with all-round competencies. This checklist is designed to help you spot what you need when there’s only one person looking after your books.

A really good bookkeeper is someone who :