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Use financial information to control cash flow
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–A cash crunch is a problem faced by many, if not most, small businesses. With a good financial information system, however, you can track the financial strengths and weaknesses of your business and prevent problems before they occur.
Pay close attention to these five types of statements:
1) Income and profit-and-loss statements show the company’s sales, cost of goods sold, and gross and net profit. These statements, which indicate your business’s profitability and the amount of cash available, should be analyzed on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
2) Operating cost estimates project where a firm will spend its money. The projection can be compared against actual expenses shown in the income statement on a monthly basis. When expenses are viewed by category, you can compare your own operating expenses to industry standards.
3) Balance sheets provide a snapshot of the liquidity of the business – how much cash is on hand to meet debts, and how much cash would remain if all current payables were met at the same time.
4) Aging statements summarize the age and due dates for both accounts payable and receivable. This information shows how well your business is meeting its debt obligations and whether customers are meeting their debt obligations to your business.
5) Inventory control statements track inventory levels against consumer demand. You should be able to monitor how many times an item or the entire inventory turns over during the year.
This, in turn, indicates how often you are reordering merchandise. These statements also can help you spot shortages that may result from theft.
This information will help you determine if you should be collecting account receivables faster, paying your own invoices sooner, or increasing sales or prices to improve the profit margin.
Delinquent accounts must be pressed at once for payment, with further credit suspended until payment is received.
Plan and control your accounts payable. Instead of making all your payments on the same day of the month, gain the maximum benefit of credit by paying invoices when they come due. Do not pay invoices early unless you can earn a discount from the vendor. If cash is tight, the accounts payable statement can indicate accounts that need to be paid right away as opposed to those that can be paid when you have more cash on hand.
If you would like to discuss, financial statements, accounts payable or accounts receivable, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 11,000 expert counselors who provide free and confidential business advice to veteran entrepreneurs and those just starting out. There is a SCORE Chapter at The Greater Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Call (903) 887-3152 for an appointment.pecial to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–A cash crunch is a problem faced by many, if not most, small businesses. With a good financial information system, however, you can track the financial strengths and weaknesses of your business and prevent problems before they occur.
Pay close attention to these five types of statements:
1) Income and profit-and-loss statements show the company’s sales, cost of goods sold, and gross and net profit. These statements, which indicate your business’s profitability and the amount of cash available, should be analyzed on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
2) Operating cost estimates project where a firm will spend its money. The projection can be compared against actual expenses shown in the income statement on a monthly basis. When expenses are viewed by category, you can compare your own operating expenses to industry standards.
3) Balance sheets provide a snapshot of the liquidity of the business – how much cash is on hand to meet debts, and how much cash would remain if all current payables were met at the same time.
4) Aging statements summarize the age and due dates for both accounts payable and receivable. This information shows how well your business is meeting its debt obligations and whether customers are meeting their debt obligations to your business.
5) Inventory control statements track inventory levels against consumer demand. You should be able to monitor how many times an item or the entire inventory turns over during the year.
This, in turn, indicates how often you are reordering merchandise. These statements also can help you spot shortages that may result from theft.
This information will help you determine if you should be collecting account receivables faster, paying your own invoices sooner, or increasing sales or prices to improve the profit margin.
Delinquent accounts must be pressed at once for payment, with further credit suspended until payment is received.
Plan and control your accounts payable. Instead of making all your payments on the same day of the month, gain the maximum benefit of credit by paying invoices when they come due. Do not pay invoices early unless you can earn a discount from the vendor. If cash is tight, the accounts payable statement can indicate accounts that need to be paid right away as opposed to those that can be paid when you have more cash on hand.
If you would like to discuss, financial statements, accounts payable or accounts receivable, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 11,000 expert counselors who provide free and confidential business advice to veteran entrepreneurs and those just starting out. There is a SCORE Chapter at The Greater Cedar Creek Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Call (903) 887-3152 for an appointment.

E-mail scam ‘phishes’ for your info
Monitor Staff Reports

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–One wary e-mail reader alerted The Monitor to a suspicious e-mail he received this weekend, supposedly from his MasterCard company.
The e-mail warns the card holder that his credit card is being targeted for suspension due to unusual activity, indicating that “other parties may have access and or control of your MasterCard Credit Card.”
It sites the User Agreement, Section 9, for its right to suspend service. Then it directs the card holder to create a “SecureCode” for his own protection against unauthorized use. Further, it states this “SecureCode” will create a digital signature to prevent identity theft and “is at this time the safest way to keep the money in the world.”
Wording such as this is one clue that this e-mail is not a legitimate message from your credit card company, a MasterCard spokesperson in its Fraud Department told The Monitor.
“It’s a phishing scam, looking for more information,” she said.
Other grammatical clues include the wording: “We wont (sic) lose any money after all of our clients will activate the SecureCode of their Credit Card.”
The closing threat is a last effort to try to induce action on the part of the card holder.
“If you refuse to activate your SecureCode in the next 3 days we will be forced to freeze your Credit Card and you will have to contact your bank for a brand new Credit Card.”
Lastly, the card holder is directed to click the link to insert their personal Secure Code.
The e-mail is signed, Mastercard Security Team and lists a legitimate homepage address.
Should you receive an e-mail similar to this one, you are counseled to not respond to it in any way.
MasterCard has a fraud department where suspicious e-mails can be reported at 1-800-300-3069.
The e-mail in question can also be forwarded to them at consumer_support@mastercard.com.
 

Auxiliary seeking new members
Special to The Monitor
GUN BARREL CITY–The American Legion Auxiliary is a remarkable organization, with dedicated women across the country devoted to America’s veterans, young people and communities.
Membership is open to female veterans and to the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, granddaughters, great-granddaughters or grandmothers of American Legion members or deceased veterans who served in the Armed Forces who served during World Wars I and II and qualifying conflicts.
Unit 310 Cedar Creek Lake is encouraging all who are interested to stop in during the hot dog celebration from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 22, in the post in Gun Barrel City.