Illuminating the dark art of financial management

I agree with John Dewhirst’s comments (Design Business, DW 27 November). I run a course on financial management for the Design Business Association and many of the attendees view management information as a dark art. It’s not, it’s common sense. Here are my top tips:

• Look forwards as well as back – include details of new business and identify any cost changes;

• Produce a budget based on your plans for business, monitor against it and do something if the results are not what you expected;

• Less is more – focus on a few key pieces of information;

• Look at job profitability – if it’s not working you can forget the rest;

• Use charts to summarise productivity and efficiency measures;

• Don’t let internal costing lure you into quoting too little – always go for what the market will bear even if you can do it in less time because of your experience!

Amanda Merron

Senior partner

Willott Kingston Smith

am@Kingstonsmith.co.uk

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