Janeen Stodulski is an accountant to privately held businesses at Grant Thornton LLP Canada. Stodulski owned an accounting practice for more than 15 years, and throughout her career has actively worked to support women entrepreneurs. She was also formerly appointed to the Prime Minister's Task Force on Women Entrepreneurs. Stodulski shares her best piece of advice for entrepreneurs, highlights a common mistake that businesses make with managing money, and why you need to keep a proper paper trail:
YouInc: What's the number one challenge your clients face?
Janeen Stodulski: The most common mistake made by businesses is poor understanding and management of cash flow. Businesses are always so busy selling, etc. but collecting the cash is often not “fun” and is left until it’s an issue; also, understanding burn rates and true cash flow needs.
YI: How did you recently help a client through this challenge?
JS: We reviewed a client’s current incoming and outgoing funds, as well as one year in advance of anticipated needs. We were able to see that, for example, a new machine qualified for an equipment loan versus using the company operating line and using up cash flow needed for daily operations. We also saw which clients were profitable and which clients needed to be cut loose as they were costing the company money.
YI: What's your best piece of advice for entrepreneurs?
JS: Treat your business at arm’s length and keep a proper paper trail. You may own the shares, but in the eyes of the government, your business is a legal live living entity.
YI: Name the biggest overall lesson you've learned in running a business.
JS: It is important to always remember to be open to learning, and to not blindly trust; due diligence is very important and document it always. People’s memories change over time, documentation does not.
YI: What's your personal or professional motto?
JS: Do what you do best and outsource the rest. Love what you do and do it with passion.