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April is here: Top 3 financial tips for small tech employers

Every year as the month of April closes-in, I receive multiple requests from business owners for tax help. There is no judgment here as I am a self-proclaimed procrastinator, and paying a large tax bill is a great thing to defer! But it’s more important for small tech employers to think about what they can do to improve their overall financial health year-round.

As I started to receive the usual influx of frenetic requests and thought about my 3 month newborn at home, it became readily apparent to me that I would not have the bandwidth to provide tax assistance this year. Having a Labrador retriever personality, this was not an acceptable conclusion as I love to help (and generally be around) others. In pondering how I could authentically help employers, given my now limited schedule, I had an epiphany:

“Small employers need more than tax assistance, they need trusted financial advice at an affordable price”

This epiphany may be completely obvious but it is worth explicitly stating. Rather than focus on tax preparation only, I developed my “Top 3 financial tips for small tech employers” as a means to cultivate my inner Lab:

Tip 1 – Be real about what you don’t know

Our egos often get in the way of real progress. The financial function within an organization covers many disciplines and will scale in complexity as your business grows. Basic finance functions for small employers include treasury management, accounting, financial reporting, tax reporting, business planning and analysis, budgeting and investor relations.

All too often I see unqualified employees “pinch hitting” in these functions because of the perceived cost savings in hiring a qualified finance professional or outsourcing the work. Placing qualified folks in the right financial roles will save you money in the long run, improve offering efficiency and better manage company risk.

Tip 2 – Start small: consider hiring a consultant   

Most small tech employers would benefit from a hiring a consulting firm to perform a limited scope review of their financial function.  These limited scope reviews are not expensive if scoped properly and can be tailored to pin point specific needs. Great topics to get an outside parties perspective on include: business solvency, staffing, budgeting and financial forecasting.

We have access to great financial consulting firms in town like Denali Consulting, CFO selections, and vCFO to name a few. As a member company, the WTIA can connect you with a reputable service provider

Tip 3 – Plan ahead. Budget and measure results   

Being proactive about managing your company’s financial affairs will always serve you well. This starts with being able to produce a credible operating budget and having the internal acumen to measure and forecast performance against budget.

If this sounds like a difficult exercise or something that your organization would struggle with, I would highly recommend that you follow tip 2. Having good budget discipline is the single most important control that all businesses need, and this is especially true for small employers.

Check out WTIA’s network

My top 3 tips may not be as helpful as getting free tax preparation but can go a long way in helping your business operate more efficiently and identify opportunities for growth. Your WTIA membership gives you the ability to leverage our network and the WTIA membership team to locate a financial professional that can help you. Click here for more information.

 

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