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What can a financial health check uncover about a business?

  • Blog
  • 13 January 2017

Like having a health checkup every now and then to make sure you’re in good shape, it’s also important to check on the health of your business finances. This is where a financial health check can help. It allows you to determine if your finances are in a healthy state and identify and review potential issues in your business.

In fact, there are many things that a financial health check can uncover about your company. This post highlights some of the key things you can discover.

What can a financial health check uncover about a business?

What does a business financial health check involve?

Conducting a financial health check on your business involves reviewing and analysing different financial data across your company. This can include:

  • Reviewing your business plan to check financial forecasts and measure performance
  • Analysing your financial statements to make comparisons between your forecast targets and your actual financial performance
  • Benchmarking your business to compare its financial performance metrics with the average of others in your industry 
  • Checking budgets and reviewing business expenses, including your marketing  
  • Reviewing your financial support, such as bank loans and overdrafts

What a financial health check can uncover

In analysing these areas of your finances, you can learn different things about your business, which may have gone unnoticed.

Cash flow and forecasts, customers and suppliers

By determining how much money is coming in and going out of your business, in any given period, you can know whether or not you’re maintaining your cash flow.

You can also determine if your financial performance is on target with your forecast targets and the industry average. By doing this you might discover you don’t have as much money as you expected to support your day-to-day operations.

When it comes to your paying customers, a full financial health check might uncover their unreliability. Perhaps some are consistently making late payments, for instance. You might also discover that your payments to particular suppliers impact your business more that you thought.

Costs, sales, prices and profits

In this area you can discover many issues, from understanding that your sales are not seeing year-on-year growth that’s in keeping with inflation, to realising that you’re not making a profit on all the services or products you provide. You may also discover that areas of your business are more profitable than you thought, or quite the opposite.

You can determine your breakeven point – the total cost of producing a product or service – how much revenue you need to break even, and how much you need to sell to cover those costs. It may be higher or lower than what you expect.

With this information you can determine if the prices you charge for your products or services are high enough to cover costs and make you a profit. You can also uncover if you’re maintaining your gross profit margin or adjusting your prices if your costs have increased.

Expenses and savings, bills and loans

By conducting a finance health check you can fully understand how your expenses affect your business. You’ll be able to uncover areas that are costing your business money, from an increasing company car fleet to spending on monthly client visits. You might also discover that your marketing is having a costly impact on your company.

When it comes to your savings, you might discover that your cash reserves aren’t sufficient enough to cover you in an emergency. For instance, savings that enable your business to operate for a three-month period.

A check on your finances can also uncover whether or not you’re keeping on top of all your payments and bills, such as those you owe your service providers and suppliers. If you have any business loans you can also determine the full impact of all repayments.