By Brett Cribb, Finanical Adviser
The Stratus Cash Flow Management Plan is convenient, efficient and effective and enables you to understand and control your spending.
What is cash flow management?
For many business owners, executives and professionals, high incomes are often accompanied by overspending and limited savings. Despite your financial awareness, the demands of your life can leave you time poor. Therefore, a straightforward method for managing your cash flow can provide the solution you need. In an unpredictable employment landscape, it is all the more important to address your cash flow.
Cash flow in crisis
Our clients often tell us that they are unable to pinpoint their exact expenses. They feel that they have lost control of managing their significant incomes, but at the same time are paralysed by the magnitude of the task of taking back control. Overwhelmed, many just give up on managing their personal budget while others are constantly frustrated by seemingly never-ending expenses and debt repayments.
Saving for retirement or children’s education expenses is a struggle, as you desperately shuffle money around in order to make ends meet. The good news is that through efficient management of your finances you can regain control of your financial position and be confident that the structures you put in place today will help you to achieve financial health and fitness both now and in the future.
Cash flow with clarity
With cash flow as the cornerstone of your planning, you will be more likely to achieve your short, medium and long-term financial and lifestyle goals. Your cash flow situation also influences and intersects with the more complex financial considerations including super, insurances, asset and investment strategies, estate planning, aged care, business and family succession structures and more. When these matters are included in your whole-of-life plan, you will feel a sense of financial security and enjoy the confidence and flexibility that come with a clear understanding of your cash flow position.
We provide you with access to Xero Cashbook. This state-of-the-art software allows you to build a personalised spending profile by linking with and tracking the transactions in your securely-linked bank account(s). This means you don’t need to download or enter any transactions from your online banking. You can use Xero Cashbook on your PC or by downloading the iPhone/Android app.
Initially, Xero Cashbook prompts you to allocate your transactions to categories, such as Groceries, Entertainment, Car, Mortgage, Cash and so on. We make this easier for you by establishing an initial set of rules that assist with the process. After a short period of time, the program will also allocate transactions for you. It ‘learns’, for example, that transactions made at Woolworths or Coles should be categorised as ‘Groceries’, while transactions made at Shell or BP should be categorised as ‘Car’. From here, Xero Cashbook can provide clear records of your spending. You can also fast-track this process by creating your own rules for allocating your spending.
The next stage in our cash flow management service is to provide guidance for setting a realistic budget and entering it in Xero Cashbook. The program will then track every transaction in your account(s) and provide summary reports to show you how well you are following your budget plan. That is, whether you are on target to meet your budget, exceed your budget due to overspending, or create a surplus because you have underspent your budget. It also allows you to quickly and easily measure where and how much you spend.
Once you have control of your spending, we can help you set realistic longer term financial goals. These may include debt consolidation, building wealth to achieve financial independence, regular investment in shares or property, contributing appropriately to super or other savings structures, as well as funding your lifestyle goals and retirement.
Our service options
We offer two levels of service for our cash flow management planning advice:
- Level 1 – we set up Xero Cashbooks on your behalf and provide two hours’ support to help you use it effectively.
- Level 2 – in addition to the above, we save you time by completing the allocation of your transactions to the appropriate categories (‘Groceries’, ‘Car’, ‘Cash’ etc.) each month and contacting you only where we have unidentified spend items.
At either service level, Xero Cashbooks creates a clear record of your spending habits that then enables you to budget effectively. Level 1 is designed for those who want to do more themselves while Level 2 is for those who are time poor and require our assistance.
Your first step to cash flow management
At Stratus, our cash flow services can help you to identify gaps and opportunities in your financial management plan. We will:
- plan according to your individual needs, that is we will understand who you are and what is important to you before offering advice that is relevant and achievable;
- examine your financial strengths and weaknesses and implement a strategy that is appropriate for you;
- demonstrate that whether you have a little or a lot, good financial management can help you reach your financial and lifestyle goals; and
- empower you to take control of your finances and make the most of what you have.
Please contact Brett Cribb on 07 3007 2007 to make an appointment and take the first step towards sustainable cash flow management.
Stratus Financial Group and its advisers are Authorised Representatives of Fortnum Private Wealth Ltd ABN 54 139 889 535 AFSL 357306. This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be personal advice on any particular matter. Stratus Financial Group strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information in this document, but should obtain appropriate professional advice based on their own personal circumstances.
Taxation outcomes are illustrative only. Always confirm your tax position with a registered tax agent.