Welcome to our first newsletter of 2009. For those of you who had a relaxing break over Christmas...welcome back !
Given its now the end of January, we have probably already broken our New Years resolutions. I noticed that the top 3 resolutions in Australia this year were (1) enjoy more time with family and friends; (2) do more exercise and (3) lose weight. For those of us in business there is a fourth popular option - survive the economic challenges of 2009!
Part Time Professionals can definitely help you achieve this last resolution!
With an emphasis on both cost efficiency and skills retention in this economic climate its good to see that our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd is now encouraging business to adopt flexible working hours rather than increase the job losses. In the USA, the part time solution is now a prime-time news story.
For those regular subscribers to Finding the Balance, remember that you read it here first!
Whilst many companies are still easing back into full-production after the Christmas break and others are still paralysed in shock waiting for the next piece of economic bad news, a number of successful businesses are simply getting on with the job and making the changes they need to survive the next twelve months.
"This isn't the time for complacency" says Jonathon Brake, Acting CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) and Managing Director of the marketing company, Market Hope. "While many businesses are still working out how their budgets may be affected by this downturn, we have already modelled various scenarios and are taking our pre-planned course of action as circumstances change".
There are three areas where firms should be urgently focussing:
1) Trade debtors - Dun and Bradstreet's Quarterly Trade Payment Analysis published this week reported that Australian businesses are now averaging 56.5 days to settle accounts. This is the highest figure since 2001. The worst payers are in the electricity, gas and sanitary services sector (63.5 days) and Australia is the fifth worst paying country in the Asia-Pacific region. Companies that keep tight control of their debtors have a much greater chance of survival during difficult economic times.
2) Banking relationships - as trade credit continues to remain tight, it is essential that businesses maintain a good relationship with their bankers. Yesterday it was reported that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia warned law firms to expect a tightening of key covenants in their loan agreements as concerns grow about the quality of legal practices' earnings in this faltering economy. CBA warned that some firms should expect to see tightening covenants, additional covenants, and an increased number of reviews this year. Covenants include requirements for excess cashflow, agreed profit levels and minimum balance sheet ratios.
3) Financial reporting and compliance - David Gonski, the new Chairman of the ASX, has said that "the eyes of the world are on companies and boards more than ever before". As more companies experience difficulties and more companies seek government assistance, this is not a time to take short-cuts in the areas of corporate governance or compliance. Companies need to demonstrate that they are well managed, well governed and that they comply with all their legal and their financial reporting obligations.
Part Time Professionals represents a network of over 200 accounting professionals who are available to assist companies in all these areas. Whether for a short term project or a part-time role, Part Time Professionals provides the most cost effective answer to your in-house accounting requirements.
To meet one of our CFO Network™ Members, just give us a call on 1300 79 1946.
A long standing member of our CFO Network™ , Robert, is a keen advocate of the need for companies to maintain and improve their compliance activities in the current economic climate. Robert, a lawyer with over twenty years experience in stockbroking and investment banking, writes:
"With the current volatile global stock-market conditions, many of my clients are now focusing on refining and improving their Compliance and Corporate Governance programmes to strengthen their position when the market eventually improves and when they wish to raise additional capital. There will be many companies competing for this early capital and Compliance will be a major factor for prospective investors when the economy improves.
For an easy, obligation-free introduction to Robert, just give us a call on 1300 79 1946.
In keeping with the global trend for networking groups, a new self-help group has been formed in New York. Dating Bankers Anonymous has been established for the wives and girlfriends of Wall Street bankers who have had to cope with cancelled credit cards, cuts in nanny hours and less frequent reservations in upmarket restaurants.
Founders Megan and Laney started the group when they figured it was the economy, not them, that was causing their relationship problems. In response they have started tracking the economy and the share market to better anticipate the moods of their other halves.
Financial news is conveyed through a colour coded daily warning system: red (when the Dow fell 300 points) is a good night for doing the laundry; yellow (when Warren Buffet invested $3 billion in General Electric) is a good night for a date; and green (the day after Barack Obama's inauguration).
(In the interests of good taste, we decline to provide a link to this 'newsworthy' website - Ed.)
About Part Time Professionals
Part Time Professionals™ is wholly owned and operated in Australia. Our principals together have over 40 years experience in public accounting and as CFO's and Directors in multiple companies - both listed and unlisted. They are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, CPA Australia, the National Tax Agents Association, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Financial Executives Institute and the National Institute of Accountants.
Our aim is to help companies source the most experienced CFO, executive and corporate accounting talent, in the most cost-effective way!
We are constantly updating our website, so take a look at www.ptprofessionals.com.au for more information or call us on 1300 79 1946 to discuss your needs.
Phone 1300 79 1946 | +61 2 9973 3179 | firstname.lastname@example.org
• Sydney • Melbourne • Brisbane • Adelaide • Canberra • San Francisco •