PGAs of EuropeFinances – PGAs of Europe Home of the PGAE Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:07:33 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 Pay Your Dues and Prosper – Financial Planning & Goal Setting Sun, 26 Jun 2016 08:14:11 +0000 Corporate Golf Magazine Most of us start each year with great plans, but the problem is most of them are not executed...]]>

Most of us start each year with great plans, but the problem is most of them are not executed.  In January, you had a clean slate and planned to start afresh.

To do this you would have to start by listing the personal, financial and professional goals that you wished to accomplish this year.  Often these plans fall by the wayside.

To prevent this, you need to ask yourself if you have made any progress and you need to review your goals.

lt is important to periodically monitor the progress you are making with your finances.  The halfway point of the year is a good time to reflect on your goals, take stock, and determine if you have lived up to your own expectations.  lt is an opportune time to identify any festering problems and start to make adjustments if necessary.

With barely six months left to go this year, if you have not made much progress, it may seem overwhelming.  Try to find some time for yourself- an hour is all you need -to review your finances. If you have made some progress in the goals mentioned below, you are on the road to financial health.


The first step to take is to put a budget in place.  A budget is one of the hardest things to prepare; yet it is one of the most important steps to take to address your personal financial issues.

Do you have a clear idea of how much you are spending each week or month?  Have you tracked your expenses for a period and developed a clear picture of what can be cut back?

You can use one of many online tools or just simply get out a notepad and track your expenses on paper. You will make much more progress if you have a clear idea of where all your money is going.

Reduce Your Debts

The second step is to try and reduce your debt. Do you carry less debt today than you did at the beginning of the year?  Until you start to face up to your debt, it will continue to grow.

The general rule of thumb, and the fastest way to reduce your debt, is to tackle your highest interest rate debt first.  By automating your debt payments and making incremental principal payments each month, you will soon find your debt is under control.

Don’t ignore your debt or wish it away; if it becomes a burden, approach your lender and discuss the possibilities for rescheduling to make it more manageable.

Article Header Images_Corporate Golf Magazine - Financial Planning

Build Savings

The final step is to start building your savings.  If you don’t have a budget in place and you haven’t paid any attention to your debt, it will be difficult for you to save; they are all connected.  You need to find the discipline to draw up a budget and reduce your debt before you can increase your savings.

Most financial advisors suggest that you should save at least 10 to 15% of your income.  Have you built an emergency fund over the past six months?  If you are suddenly faced with unexpected job loss, major car repairs or medical expenses, you will be better prepared to cope with it if you have this cushion to fall back on.

The easiest way to grow your savings is to automate it by putting a direct debit in place so that you won’t be tempted to spend all your income.  It will instead be directed to an appropriate savings vehicle.  Most mutual fund companies make it easy for you to be able to do this with your savings and investment plan.

The difference between those who attain financial security and those who do not is simply the discipline to take control of their financial situation.  If you are on track, congratulations!  If not, don’t worry, there is still some way to go this year to put things right, but you need to get started now.


This article was written by Nimi Akinkugbe and appears courtesy of Corporate Golf Magazine and was sponsored By FBN Capital Asset Management, as published in Forbes Africa June 2014.

Pay Your Dues and Prosper – Financial Planning & Goal Setting
Why Not Keeping Accurate Books Will Cost You More in the End Tue, 29 Mar 2016 08:39:02 +0000 Inaccurate bookkeeping--whether your books are simply out of date or in total disarray--will cost you plenty in the long run.]]>

Jared Hecht is CEO and co-founder and of Fundera, an online marketplace that connects small business owners with the best funding provider for their business.


Inaccurate bookkeeping–whether your books are simply out of date or in total disarray–will cost you plenty in the long run. Here are some of the expensive dangers of bad bookkeeping.

You’re a busy business owner. There are so many tasks and clients clamoring for your attention all day long that bookkeeping is probably the last thing on your mind. And as stacks of invoices, expense receipts, and other paperwork pile up, it gets ever more tempting to tell yourself you’ll deal with them tomorrow…or next week…or next month.

Small business owners frequently hope to save on costs by going the DIY route for bookkeeping rather than hiring a professional bookkeeper. That’s all well and good provided you have the time and the know-how to keep accurate records. But inaccurate bookkeeping–whether your books are simply out of date or in total disarray–will cost you plenty in the long run. Here are some of the expensive dangers of bad bookkeeping.

Obscures the Big Picture

Your books provide a snapshot of your company’s financial viability. Without good records, that snapshot will be out of focus. Inaccurate bookkeeping results in inaccurate reports about your cash flow.

Your business may be struggling financially, but without a paper trail, you won’t be able to clearly see what’s causing the problem. Worse, you may not be able to tell that there is a problem.


Causes Costly Mistakes

Miscalculating profits or costs due to bad bookkeeping can be disastrous. Overestimating your profits when filing taxes needlessly increases your taxes owed, while underestimating them can lead to an audit and fines. Miscategorizing assets (for instance, long-term assets that depreciate over time) and expenses can lead to your paying more in taxes than you need to.

Even a small error can snowball over time if it’s not caught early. If you’re not regularly reconciling your books with your bank statement, this type of innocent mistake may go unnoticed until it causes significant damage to your finances.

Increases Your Chances of Being Audited (and Tax Penalties)

Filing taxes late or having exemptions, expenses, or deductions that don’t add up raises red flags with the IRS [tax authorities]–leaving you vulnerable to an audit. “Even if you have all your ducks in order and can defend your deductions and support your income, the process is still time-consuming, costly, and nerve-wracking,” says Bonnie Lee. How much more unpleasant will an audit be if your ducks are not in a row? And then there’s the matter of any irregularities an audit may turn up, and the penalties that go with them.

Minimizes Your Tax Deductions

You have to document expenses to claim them when you file your taxes, right? Misplaced or overlooked receipts prevent you from being able to claim expenses as write-offs. And without accurate books, your accountant won’t be able to spot every deduction you are eligible for. Make sure you are getting every tax advantage you deserve.

Leads to Payroll Problems

Just as with any other aspect of your finances, payroll is affected by inaccurate records. You may be over- or under-compensating employees on their paychecks or with benefits, and not even know it. And an error that carries over to an employee’s W-2 [wage/remuneration records] from your own records causes tax problems for them as well.

Increases Your Invoicing Cycle

Without accurate records, you won’t be able to keep straight who owes you what–which means it will take you longer to organize and send invoices. And the longer it takes you to invoice outstanding accounts and get paid, the longer you’ll go without those funds. Or you may overlook sending an invoice at all, and never receive payment. Cleaning up your books will help you speed up and streamline your invoicing so that you can get paid in a timely fashion.


Racks Up Late and Overdraft Fees

Falling behind on your bookkeeping makes it easy to fall behind on bills as well. The Fresh Diet CEO Zalmi Duchman estimates that hiring a bookkeeper to keep his records in order saves his company “$500 to $1,000 in late fees per quarter.” Likewise, inaccurate books may result in overdrafting accounts and all the related fees.

How much could your business be saving on fees? (That’s a trick question–how would you know how much you’re currently losing in late fees without accurate books?)

Limits Your Financing Options

Messy books can seriously limit your options for getting loans. Ami Kassar tells the story of a client in a bind who needed money fast. But due to his six-months-out-of-date books, the best he was eligible for was a cash advance.

Small business owners who need a loan–particularly in an emergency–may find themselves in a similar situation without accurate, up-to-date financial records. Don’t let bad bookkeeping stand in the way of loan opportunities.

Is Expensive and Time-Consuming to Fix

Once your books are a mess, they will take money and time (lots of each) to get in order. It’s a hole that’s difficult to dig out of–but absolutely necessary. You’ll need to hire a bookkeeper just to make sense of your current records and to set you up with a system for the future, regardless of whether they take over your bookkeeping long-term.

If your books are chaotic, or if you see that you’re consistently falling behind on your record-keeping, it’s time to bring in a professional bookkeeper to help safeguard your business from these pitfalls.

Your financial records should guide all of your business decisions, such as when to hire more staff, seek a loan, or invest in equipment or inventory. But your decisions will only be as good as the information you have.


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Why Not Keeping Accurate Books Will Cost You More in the End