Confidence in Your Cash Flow Management
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. If you’re successful in managing your cash flow, chances are your business will also be successful.
Of course, this is easier said than done, especially if you run a small business. An end-2017 survey on SME financing by SPRING Singapore showed cash flow management continues to remain a huge issue facing Singaporean SMEs. In particular, the survey revealed:
64% of SMEs were facing payment delays from customers
60% of SMEs that applied for external financing did so to manage their operating cash flow
Delay in customer payments was their number one finance-related concern
This is far from a local issue. A survey by Intuit QuickBooks found that 61% of small businesses worldwide ‘regularly struggle’ with cash flow. Further, the average small business in the US and UK is owed US$53,000 (S$73,000) and £25,000 (S$43,000) in outstanding account receivables, respectively.
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Beyond their obvious economic consequences, poor cash flow management can also lead to legal ramifications.
Potential Legal Consequences of Poor Cash Flow Management
According to the same survey by Intuit QuickBooks, 43% of US small businesses with cash flow issues were at risk of being unable to meet employee payroll. As labour costs are often the largest single expense for small businesses, it is easy to see how this can happen.
However, in Singapore, this can result in severe penalties — a fine of up to S$15,000 and/or imprisonment up to six months. The Ministry of Manpower takes this offence seriously and has both fined and jailed errant employers.