Intelligent SME.tech Issue 27 - Page 21

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// EDITOR ’ S QUESTION ?

HUGH SCANTLEBURY , CEO AND FOUNDER OF AQILLA

T he serious challenge facing SMEs in 2023 comes from inflationary pressures , causing prices of fuel , energy and resources to rise and pushing operational costs to new heights . Many businesses will have to tighten their belts in the coming months , but everyone should be keeping a close eye on their finances . Businesses cannot risk unexpected costs in difficult times so everything must be accounted for . We all need to keep a much closer eye on what ’ s coming in and what ’ s going out . Having tight management of your finances will be essential as they fluctuate over the next year .

Luckily , there are accounting systems and software that can help with this . Having a system that can automate and cope with changes will be imperative for the next few months and , perhaps , beyond .
Being able to monitor gross margins , monthon-month profitability costs and overheads will ensure ultimate visibility of your financial situation . Having a decent analytical reporting system is also essential in identifying heat graphs to show where changes are happening and make early interventions when necessary .
Hopefully , as 2023 progresses , we should see these financial pressures reduce . Raw materials may well come down in price as economies are depressed by inflationary and recessionary impacts . Therefore , the price of commodities and raw materials will lower so products and services should come down in price at some point too . 2023 will most likely be a year of ebb and flow when it comes to the cost of running businesses .
But , ultimately , who knows what will happen next year ?! We didn ’ t know there was going to be a war in Ukraine and we didn ’ t see the energy crisis coming . So , there are a lot of unknowns as we head into 2023 . But close monitoring and management will keep you ahead of the problem , giving businesses and finance teams the opportunity to adapt before the circumstances become irrecoverable .

BUSINESSES CANNOT RISK UNEXPECTED COSTS IN DIFFICULT TIMES SO EVERYTHING MUST BE ACCOUNTED FOR .
The management of all this will , unfortunately , lead to an increase in workloads but it ’ s crucial that it is done . We have seen the consequences if you don ’ t : things can get out of control very quickly , just look at Stripe , Amazon , Meta and Twitter . It ’ s not just important to have a good business , you ’ ve got to run a good business . And that ’ s all down to accounting and finance – it ’ s tracking all the different activities , so you don ’ t suddenly discover big holes in your finances .
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