Christmas is just around the corner and we can’t help but get distracted with parties, reunions, shopping, and out-of-town trips!  However, we should not lose our hats and forget our responsibilities as a Finance organization.

We don’t need to be physically reporting to the office, but safeguards should be in place for business continuity – and stress-free Christmas break!

MAINTAIN CREDIT STANDING. While you can be conservative and not expect collections from customers during holidays, don’t expect the same from your suppliers.  Review your payables and settle due accounts before the long break.

SECURE CASH POSITION. Some banks open their doors even on holidays.  Make sure you have enough cash to cover account payments (auto-debits, PDCs, outstanding checks) and emergency purchases during this period.

MANAGE INVENTORY. Head office may be closed during the holidays, but this is the busiest time of the year for those in retail and manufacturing.  Study your historical data: forecast sales and analyze inventory behavior to avoid losses due to out-of-stock fast-selling items and stocking up instead on the not so popular ones.

PLAN HEADCOUNT. Expect people to file vacation requests that, most of the time, will extend beyond declared legal holidays.  To avoid unpleasant surprises and business disruption, ask for at least one-month notification and ensure proper delegation of tasks and turnover of important files (electronic and manual) to those who will be temporarily covering for them.

STAY INFORMED. Take advantage of cloud-based technology solutions to keep in touch with your business anytime, anywhere, and with any device for as long as you have internet connection.  View sales and inventory balance with just a few clicks, approve purchases, invoices, and payments online, even send (scheduled) management reports even if you’re enjoying a long vacation yourself!

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