WELLESLEY, Mass., Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's economic reality demands a dose of tough medicine. Begin the new year by measuring the health and well-being of your company. Take the fiscal quiz now.
"The world of business is nothing like it used to be with so many iconic companies becoming casualties of these challenging economic times," says Gary Patterson, FiscalDoctor™, who is an expert in Enterprise Risk Management.
"Acing the 'FiscalDoctor's Fiscal Wellness Quiz' can help C-level executives weather the economic storm," says Patterson, who has helped over 200 companies in manufacturing, technology, service, construction and distribution ranging from start-ups to Inc. 500 to Fortune 500 improve fiscal management.
Here are the questions and the answers to help you have a safe 2011.
1. How well do you sleep at night given what you know (or think you know) about your company? Financial awareness is power. Based on key financial and operational reports and information you receive before crucial meetings, does the company look like it's in good shape, or do you have a gnawing, visceral feeling that things just don't add up?
2. How do you rate the enterprise risk management process you have in place to help detect or mitigate perils your company faces? Most business executive teams have not made ERM a top priority. But unless and/or until business leaders understand their companies' strengths, weaknesses, and threats, they will not be prepared to take advantage of opportunities or ward off disasters. What's holding you back from giving ERM the attention it deserves?
3. How do you rate your company's contingency plan? It could be as simple as creating a crisis communication plan or as complex as preventing possible worst-case scenarios from becoming a reality. Would you rather be a Tylenol success story or a BP disaster? If you have not gotten an outside independent risk assessment second opinion or a fiscal management review yet, when should you?
4. What is the loyalty factor of your top performers? Experts say overworked and disgruntled employees are ready to bolt as soon as they see a better opportunity. What incentives and workplace conditions do you offer to ensure that key employees remain loyal to the company? Who are the three key business leadership employees whose loss would damage a key financial statement initiative or key project productivity goal?
5. How much liquid cash do you have ongoing and adequate access to? Now is the time to strategically invest your money to create new opportunities and increase bottom-line profit. Where can you shore up underperforming or failing initiatives that lack financial resources or effective strategic planning? Where should you reallocate resources today so that next year's revenues and net income levels will bring about new opportunities to increase revenues, net income after tax or EBITDA?
6. How well do you know and monitor your five to seven key performance metrics? Until you have a firm handle on your five to seven key performance metrics, you're operating in the dark. How much less will the numbers scare you when you get back to the basics of your business? Where can you blend your risk strategy, vision and business plan to achieve your bottom-line financial goals?
7. Where might your business paint an overly optimistic or misleading picture to a customer, vendor or financing source? Be honest and clean up your balance sheet, income statement and board package. Where are accounts such as allowance for receivables and inventory reserves used as "smoothing out" tools to obfuscate real management information? Is your company playing financial games to accrue inner-sanctum bonuses instead of providing quality financial information to better manage the business?
What do your answers reveal?
- I have nothing to worry about. I sleep well at night.
- I'm mildly worried, but I get a relatively good night's sleep.
- I'm terribly worried: I toss and turn in my sleep all night and wake up exhausted.
- The situation is critical. I suffer from insomnia.
"How well did you do?" asks Patterson. "If you need a fiscal checkup contact me at http://www.fiscaldoctor.com."
About Gary W. Patterson
Gary W. Patterson, FiscalDoctor™, is an internationally well-known expert and speaker on ERM, corporate governance, strategic planning, due diligence, business leadership, and business models. For more information on the FiscalDoctor, visit his website at http://www.FiscalDoctor.com or blog at http://www.FiscalClinic.com. Patterson also offers a "free" fiscal fitness test at http://www.fiscaldoctor.com/fiscaltest.html. Call him at 781-237-3637.
SOURCE Gary W. Patterson