Its been a month since I update my blog. The reason is that i have been rather short of time and very busy with so many things.
I was back in Beijing on July 13 and then flew out to Canada on August 3.
It was cool 2 weeks – my energy levels where very high ( thanks to macrobiotic eating).
Which is a good thing as I had some big challenges to work on.
Our cash-flow is usually very tight during the summer months. This year it was especially tight as I’m spending $20k+ each month on RedStores Ventures. So, tight cash-flow puts the accounting systems under stress and during those times you can see how well or not well your financial systems are working. Well, I have discovered that our financial systems where not working very well – and that I wasn’t able to manage tight cash-flow situations very well. The controls and systems I though had been in place where only working when cf was was high.
So, through this, I learned I made a couple of mistakes in terms of assessing skills sets and abilities of finance. So, right before I left for holidays, I replaced my CFO with a consultant. The goal is to have all the accounting setup and procedurised, with SOP for everything. I thought we where finished all of our finance things but as it turns out we are still a ways off.
I took hands on control of expenditures again, as the budgeting system we had wasn’t working. So, in this way, my attempt to push out accounting and finance has failed – for the moment. I will be back in Beijing on the 25th now – I cut my trip to Canada short – so that I can work with the Consultant to get things on track.
The good news about all this, is that I’m learning with each step what is needed in finance, what stress points we get and from that I get a clear definition of a problem. And if I know the problem, I can solve it. But defining the problem is the trick – and these stress tests are the way to get clarity on the problems.
Also, I really got fed up with people telling me something will be done and not delivering on time. In the past I have accepted this so in a way I have allowed this into the company culture – but no longer. My in-house software dev team in Pearlsonly is now gone – and for future dev I will be going strictly to contact type work to support and bug fixes, etc.
As so happens, the software for PearlsOnly that didn’t get done was further related to finance and inventory management.
And so, it’s been two years now that I have been working on putting in finance and accounting into the business – And I’m still not there. Not a great score for me on my ability to deliver on time. And of course I have excuses for this up and down – but non-the less it’s two years now and financial systems are still not passing the stress test.
Ok, beyond my frustration with finance.
RedStores ventures is doing well and we are now getting into marketing side of things. It should not be too much longer before we get our first order. I will write more on that later.
Now I’m going to go back to my vacation 🙂