Mishandled finances: ways for business leaders to tackle them

Keep a check on your company finances

Mishandled finances: ways for business leaders to tackle them

As a business owner, there’s nothing worse than realising that something has gone badly wrong with your company’s finances. Whether a discrepancy has popped up in the annual accounts or you’ve been made aware of irregularities in the company bank statements, you need to act fast in order to make sure you get your firm’s money back. Here are some of the potential causes of this problem - and what you can do to deal with them.

Carry out an audit

The first thing to do in the event that something looks unusual with your company’s financial situation is to carry out a full audit. You’ll need the buy-in of pretty much all of your teams to do this: the legal team, for example, may need to go back through some old contracts, while the accounts office will need to pull together financial documents going back a year - or, in some cases, even longer.

Act on the findings

Once your audit is completed, you’re likely to discover the reason behind any financial problems in your firm. The next step you need to take is to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. If the audit reveals that a particular set of important documents weren’t in an easily-recordable format, for example, it may be worth investing in some training for the bookkeeping or office management teams to ensure that this doesn’t occur again.

Check for hidden charges

If there’s still no obvious reason, it may be that your company has had some hidden charges levied on a transaction it has made. If you’ve taken out a loan for your firm, for example, you may have been charged for payment protection insurance - and, given the opaque nature of this kind of charge, you wouldn’t necessarily be aware that it’s happened. If you still can’t find the reason for the discrepancy and you think this may be part of the cause, it’s worth visiting https://ppi-claim.co to get some help.

Rule nothing out

It’s unusual for a business to be defrauded by someone who works within the organisation, but it’s something that’s worth considering. Accountants and other staff members who have close-up access to company money are bound by a whole variety of codes of conduct, and they know that they may become a point of suspicion in the event of any issues - which in the vast majority of cases is a real disincentive. But while you shouldn’t become paranoid that somebody in the accounts team or in your wider business is defrauding you, in the event of financial anomalies you shouldn’t rule anything out.

While the cause of your firm’s financial problems is unlikely to be anything other than an error, it’s always wise to follow them up. Mishandled finances can have a big impact on everything from how your submitted accounts look to how much investment you can attract if you need to start applying for it in the future - so it’s important to stay on top of the problem and tackle it sooner rather than later.

Poppy Watt