Digital Tax Returns


The Small Business Finance Director

Most larger business have one but how can the small business benefit from having a Finance Director?
In most larger companies the finance director provides a critical role in the senior management team. The FD not only manages all of the accounting and financial responsibilities for the business but also provides the critical insight and direction the company needs to hit its financial targets and takes a role in driving the business to hit its challenging financial targets.
Many smaller businesses do not need, and perhaps do not want to pay for, a full time finance director. One of the main benefits a larger company MD gets from their FD is to condense all of the finance, accounting and tax responsibilities into a clear set of actions for the business - providing the critical pieces of information and insight the business needs to hit its targets. This insight is based upon the financial information and reports that the FD receives from the accounting system and that is the reason why the responsibility for control and compliance is the most important bedrock of the finance directors role.
Control & Compliance
The FD is responsible for the businesses accounting system and the processes that ensures the business has control over its financial transactions (cash, invoices, orders etc). The accounting system is used to record all of the businesses accounting transactions which then provides all of the information the business will need to understand its financial performance and submit the businesses tax returns. Making sure the accounting entries are complete and accurate is therefore critical.
The FD is also responsible for ensuring the business submits all of the tax and financial returns it is required to make for VAT, PAYE/RTI, corporation tax and for preparing the financial statements for the company. As part of this the FD will routinely look for opportunities to reduce the amount of tax that is paid while ensuring the business is fully compliant with the letter and the spirit of the tax legislation.
Financial Targets
One of the key roles the finance director performs is to help the business hit its financial targets. The FD will therefore manage the process for setting the businesses financial targets, measuring performance against them and highlighting the actions the business needs to take to improve its performance. This financial planning process is an ongoing process throughout the year.
Businesses should set targets that are ambitious but achievable. Most businesses owners will naturally have ambitious plans for their business but it is important, in order to maintain the businesses enthusiasm, that the targets are also achievable.
Setting ambitious targets obviously means there will be times when the business, in a particular month, has failed to hit them. In these situations it is the FD’s role to understand precisely why the business has missed its targets and to identify the actions the business needs to take in the coming months to improve its performance.
As part of the financial planning process the FD will coordinate the assessment of the risks and opportunities the business has. This will be a continual process throughout the year that allows the business to formulate plans to deal with the risks and ensures that opportunities are fully exploited.
Once the initial business targets have been set, the financial plans will clearly articulate, on a monthly basis, the targets the business has. Each month thereafter the FD will provide financial reports containing the information and insight the business needs to understand how it is performing against its targets and what action needs to be taken to improve its performance.
Information & Insight
The businesses accounting system, if managed properly, will produce all of the financial information the business needs to understand how it is performing and how, at the detailed level, it is performing against its financial plan. The FD will review the financial reports and provide the insight that turns those raw performance numbers into explanations the business can understand and actions the business needs to take to improve its performance.
Intelligent accounting systems can also perform much of the first level analysis the FD will need. It can highlight those critical issues that are often hidden within the detail of the financial reports and with an intelligent dashboard type report can highlight the underlying cause of the businesses performance and those actions that need to be taken - for example overdue invoices, specific areas of over-spend against budget, upcoming or missed compliance deadlines. The automation of this analysis allows the FD to focus on working with the business to implement the necessary corrective action.
Driving Improvement
The finance director, as well as owning the financial targets and planning process, will also take a key role in driving the organisation to hit its financial target. Holding the organisation to account, identifying opportunities for transformation, managing and mitigating risk are all part of the role the FD takes across the business. The FD also has a role to look at the finance team, their processes and systems, and find ways to improve the quality of the service and reduce the cost.
Next Steps
Why not get in touch to discuss how we can help you deal with the accounting, tax and finance for your small business. Request a call back to arrange a free consultation: Request A Callback

Written by Accquant Chartered Accountants
Chartered Accountants for the small business. Providing free accounting and business planning software for the small business as well as a full range of accounting, tax and Finance Director services. About Us

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