Rise From the Ashes with Financial Clarity
Growth Amplifiers host Manny Torres sat down with the CFO of Blackburn Consulting Accounting & Tax, Audrey Blackburn. The results-driven accountant and strategic advisor helps women-led nonprofits and small businesses develop great cash flow strategies and get a handle on their accounting and bookkeeping. Backed by a Bachelor of Business and Master of Accountancy and thirty years of accounting experience, she chooses to specialize in nonprofit accounting.
Known as the accountant with a personality, she cuts straight to the chase with clients with straightforward accounting methods and advice that helps them to succeed financially. Her woman-led accounting firm offers business bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll tax services and helps individuals with their taxes.
Watch the Interview
Financial Challenges of Small Businesses and Nonprofits
Blackburn finds that many small businesses are facing huge swings in their income and cannot predict what’s coming next. This hinders them from making smart decisions because they don’t have accurate information on which to base them. She also finds that these businesses often don’t earn enough revenue because they aren’t correctly valuing their work.
Cash flow is a struggle, and this is a problem even when you’re making significant revenue because it’s just going out the door as quickly as it comes in. They are concerned with making payroll and taking care of other financial obligations. Focusing on profit and loss is essential; paying attention to what’s coming down the line and being able to adjust when needed are all key. Blackburn Consulting steps in and sets up systems to ensure that these things are addressed and mastered.
Cash Flow Issues and Overcoming Them with Strategies
Blackburn knows that understanding your numbers and cash flow is empowering. With this knowledge comes the confidence to charge what you’re worth. Women-owned businesses face cash flow challenges due to pricing issues.
Either they feel they aren’t worth more, or people won’t pay more for their services or products. There needs to be a shift in their mindset to focus on running a profitable business so they will price appropriately. Blackburn Consulting puts into place a cash flow plan and forecasting.
As a former profit-first professional, she keeps the belief in maintaining a reserve fund. In order to get in the best position, Audrey advises businesses and nonprofit organizations to build a reserve to manage cash flow successfully. This is especially important for nonprofits as they commonly have a few large fundraising events each year with a large influx of cash or revenue that must be spread throughout the year.
This came in handy for Blackburn Consulting clients that had to shutter their doors due to the pandemic. There was money available to cover the bills without going into debt because of their reserve funds.
Blackburn Consulting’s client, a small construction company, was working on a contract that kept being drawn out and culminated with their client filing bankruptcy. They were in year three, with four million a year in revenue with a negative profit and cash flow. Money was already going out quicker than as invoices were on sixty, ninety, and one-hundred- and twenty-day terms.
The client’s bankruptcy left them without the $700k they counted on. With maxed-out credit, his house as collateral on a business loan, the owner faced losing his home and business. Their once viable company was in jeopardy because of the cash flow issue.
We developed a plan, collecting debts from clients, putting the money back in, and building up their reserve fund in a matter of months. With that money, they managed payroll and paid their bills, knowing that the fund must be replenished when revenue came in. Now in year seven, they have made it through the rough times and are in a better position to weather whatever comes their way.
Contact Growth Amplifier Audrey Blackburn of Blackburn Consulting Accounting and Tax
When you are prepared and have the reserve built up, you can rise from the ashes and overcome any business difficulties. In parting, Audrey shared the best piece of advice that no one told her when starting Blackburn Consulting Accounting & Tax. “The biggest work I would do would be on me,” she says.
Business owners need to have the right mindset, eliminating limiting beliefs. Also, she wants to ensure that you ask for help when needed. And find the right professional, one with which you connect.
We hope you heed Audrey’s advice on cash flow strategies. For more business tips and guidance in accounting and bookkeeping, head to the Blackburn Consulting website and schedule a free fifteen-minute discovery call.
Growth Amplifiers hosts a podcast highlighting the top B2B advisors sharing insights and tips for business growth. We invite you to join us weekly for more business tips to help you and your business succeed.