2020 has been a rough year for small businesses. As you pick up the pieces and plan for 2021, it’s a good time to review the basics of cash management 101. Need help improving your cash flow? We can help! Keep reading for treasury management tips and your best options for cash management help.
What is Cash Management?
In business, cash management is a key component of a company’s financial stability. Through the process of collecting and managing cash flows, your ultimate goal is to maximize liquidity and minimize the cost of funds.
So, how does cash management work? The two main steps are to monitor your business’ incoming and outgoing payments so you always know where your cash flow stands.
If your cash flow is projected to fall short, having a business line of credit can help. With careful cash management and access to a flexible credit line, you can spot shortages before they trip up your operation and transfer funds from your credit line to cover the gap until more money comes in.
Understanding the Cash Flow Statement
Now that you know cash management is the process of managing cash inflows and outflows, let’s look at the cash flow statement, which records cash inflows and outflows with a bottom line that shows how much cash is available at a given time. It is broken into three parts: operating, investing, and financing. Since cash is the primary asset your business uses to pay obligations, it must be managed accordingly to maximize earnings. The cash flow statement is a central component of cash flow management for businesses.
Why is Cash Management important to my business?
Good cash management will impact future growth for the company. If done improperly, your business may suffer problems such as:
- Poor understanding of the cash flow cycle
- Uncertainty of the difference between profit vs. cash
- Lack of cash management skills
- Bad capital investments
Cash Management vs. Treasury Management
Though these terms are used interchangeably, the scope of Treasury Management is much larger and includes a company’s funding and investment activities. In contrast, Cash Management usually refers to wire transfers, sweep accounts, merchant services, and business credit options.
What is Cash Flow?
Cash flow is the net amount of cash and cash-equivalents transferred into and out of your business.
What is cash flow used for?
A positive cash flow shows that your business’s liquid assets are growing, which can help you pay off debts, reinvest in the business, and more. The greater flexibility you have with your cash flow, the stronger your overall business will be to both take advantage of boom times as well as weather downturns.
What is Working Capital?
A company’s working capital is the result of its current assets minus liabilities. Working capital balances are an important part of cash flow management because they show the amount of assets a company has on hand to cover its liabilities.
- Current assets: cash, accounts receivable within one year, inventory
- Current liabilities: all accounts payable due within one-year, short-term debt payments due within one year
What is ACH?
The automated clearing house (ACH) is an electronic funds-transfer system that facilitates payments in the U.S. Recent rule changes mean most credit and debit transactions made through the ACH will clear on the same business day.
Where can I get help with cash management?
As your community bank in the Shenandoah Valley, F&M Bank offers everything your business needs to manage cash flow. With online cash management to streamline your processes, you’ll enjoy 24/7 access to current transactions and old bank statements, funds transfers, bill and loan payments, and more. Simplify your payroll and enjoy local support with all your Merchant Services needs.
Learn more about cash management services from F&M Bank!
Since 1908, F&M Bank has been offering personal and business banking services in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. Our local team guides you to the accounts and services you need to do business in the Valley. Personal service from people you know and trust lets you develop relationships with your banker. Contact a member of our team to learn more about our cash management services!