- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 06 May 2019
Financial management tools
Financial planning develops from strategic plans and business plans to identify the financial resources that are needed by a business and to obtain and develop those resources to achieve the business' goals. Typically, financial planning generates relevant and realistic budgets.
One of the most important financial statements for a business is the cash flow statement. The overall purpose of managing cash flow is to make sure that a business has enough cash to pay current bills. Businesses can manage cash flow by examining a cash flow statement and cash flow projection (or cash flow forecast). In essence, the cash flow statement presents total cash received minus total cash spent.
 Budgeting and managing a budget
A budget presents what a business expects to spend (expenses) and earn (revenue) over a specific time period. Budgets are useful for planning finances and then tracking whether the business is operating according to plan. They are also useful for projecting how much money will be needed for business initiatives, for example, buying new equipment, hiring new employees, and so on.
Budget deviation analysis regularly compares what the business expected, or planned to earn and spend with what it actually spent and earned. A budget deviation analysis can help assess how closely a business is following its plans, how much to budget in the future, where there may be upcoming problems in spending, and so on.
The establishment and maintenance of a robust financial system that projects, monitors and regulates the financial success of a business is essential. It is critical to agree a cash flow to an agreed programme:
- Set an annual budget of income, expenditure and profit before the beginning of each financial year and then use this to monitor/control expenditure in the practice.
- Monthly forecasting - this can be used to spot trends and to predict shortfalls in workload and to appropriately allocate resources.
- Weekly monitoring - time sheets for staff members can be used so that performance can be measured in both cost and time.
- Daily monitoring - records for fee invoices paid, suppliers' invoices settles, fee invoices raised, petty cash utilised.
- Other reports - annual audited accounts, VAT returns and bank reports.
- Cash Collection Report - create a full report every month of invoices rendered and when they are/were due for payment. After submitting invoices, send reminders for accounts that have not been settled on time. A number of acceptable debtor days should be agreed, over which more severe action will be taken to recover money due.
- Establish financial budgeting and reporting by project - graph reporting can highlight projected fee, actual fee and actual costs.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Business case.
- Business plan
- Cash flow forecast.
- Construction loan.
- Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter.
- Fair payment practices for construction.
- Financial hedging.
- Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act.
- Remedies for late payment.
- Scheme for Construction Contracts.
- The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013.
Featured articles and news
CIOB, NFCC, RIBA, RICS call for changes ahead of Building Safety Bill.
Developments in the Future Homes Standard.
An American chimney feature with a colourful past.
Homes based on need, not ability to pay.
Historic England adds 216 entries to the 'at risk' register.
Will cycling and walking provisions be preserved?
Assembly point levels range from relative to ultimate.
Signs are pointing to a recovery for the construction industry.
Campaigning to change perceptions about American Brutalism.
Sprinkler head configurations can prioritise people or property.
Report from The Carbon Project reveals shortcomings and recommendations.
Advice on how to join the electrotechnical profession.
BREEAM Building Back Better briefing paper provides initial guidance.