5 questions to ask before applying for a bank loan

Submitting a bank loan application can be time consuming
It's important you ask yourself the right questions in order to give your application the best opportunity to succeed.

Starting with five crucial questions, as suggested by Entrepreneur.com, that should be addressed in advance before sending in your loan application:

1. How likely is it that I will qualify for a loan?
Try to determine early on how likely it is that your application will be approved. The best way to gauge the success of an application is to contact your lending institution and enquire about their requirements before applying. (Bear in mind that any black marks or rejections on your credit history will negatively impact your credit score making it even more difficult to borrow in the future).

2. How much cash will I require?
Have a handle, beforehand, on how much cash you actually require using a properly prepared cash flow projection. This will help you align the requirements of your loan repayments with the terms and conditions of your customer's repayments. Read more…

Engineering firms take note - has Ausenco seen the writing on the wall?

Reported earnings falling short for engineering project giant Ausenco
Further downturn foreshadowed for industries working with Australia's mining sector including:
  • Extraordinary staff cutbacks, opting for 'right-sizing' strategies
  • Reduced capex programs
  • Large asset write-downs
  • Disposal of non-core and/or under-performing assets
  • Lessened reliance on mining, with a focus on energy, infrastructure and offshore projects to sustain activity and revenue
The value of resources projects in Australia being tracked by Deloitte Access Economics' Investment Monitor database has fallen for two consecutive quarters, according to a report released on 30 July 2013. This is the first time that form of recession has happened in a decade. Read more…
Why business efficiency and your ability to grow profits and value increases with cloud accounting
Many accountants are still dragging the chain when it comes to introducing their business clients to cloud accounting technology.

Early adopters already know how well cloud-based accounting can save businesses considerable accounting and bookkeeping time thanks to the extra streamlining and out-of-office access it provides. Yet a recent survey found that only 14% of small and medium size businesses use cloud-based software to manage accounts.

The old way of accounting and the future look completely different to us. The rise of cloud solutions means confidently meeting business reporting deadlines with complete collaboration and transparency.  Read more…
As mid-winter passes, the time is perfect for business owners to consider how to take advantage of the burst of new energy the warmer months inevitably bring.
Contemplate how a good 'spring clean' might put your business in good stead for the financial year ahead and renew your enthusiasm when the warmer months arrive.

When taking time out to plan a spring clean, ask yourself:
  • Do any systems need streamlining for greater efficiency, so I can achieve better balance with more time up my sleeve? 
  • Could my operations manual do with updating, with training so my team is working from the same page? 
  • Could my internal training programs benefit from a shake-up to improve engagement?
1. Out with the old
A review of the previous year's performance, and an assessment of the processes and systems that took you there will provide clarity around what is and isn't working. Laying out last year in this way should lead you to exploring new ways to address problem areas.  Read more…

Have you safeguarded your cash flow if a customer goes bust?

When a customer goes bust
If a customer goes bust, it can be frustrating and confusing not knowing where you stand.

You are left with outstanding bills and wondering if you will get paid. While you wait to find out if your debt is going to be cleared, your cash flow suffers.

In Australia, company insolvencies can take a number of forms but are essentially defined as a company's inability to pay all their debts as and when they fall due. On average 24,000 individuals and 10,000 businesses become insolvent each year, although according to ASIC, approximately 50 per cent are avoidable.

In order to understand where you sit if a customer goes bust, it is worthwhile understanding a little bit about each type of insolvency with the help of your accountant. If you know what type of insolvency your customer is under, you will better understand your rights and what steps to take to recover your money. There are four types: Read more…
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