We speak to the author of The Essential Finance Handbook for Business Owners about why entrepreneurs need to know the basics

In 2014 Precious Mvulane released the book The Essential Finance Handbook for Business Owners after years of dealing with entrepreneurs who – while they had the perfect product or services – were failing to run a profitable business.

Mvulane is a chartered accountant and a registered auditor. She is the founder of the audit firm GAD Consulting Services Inc. and serves on audit committees in the public sector.

The book was her attempt at ensuring that South African entrepreneurs understand how financial literacy impacts their bottom line. The book offers covers every aspect of running a business from setting financial goals and choosing the right business structure, to financial controls and systems, relevant laws and the obligations of a business owner.

SME South Africa spoke to the inspiration behind the book and her hope for entrepreneurs that get their hands on the book.

Q: What inspired you to write the book?
A: It was purely from frustration. I will get a client that need me to help but I cannot help that client because they don’t understand basic finance. Each time I will invest so much time educating the client before I can even provide a service which I can charge for.

Precious Mvulane.

Q: What was your goal for writing the book?
A: I wanted to write a book which a layman can read without having been in finance class and be able to apply in their businesses. I wanted to educate the business owners with basic finance matters which I felt were the main root causes why their businesses are not making money.

Q: Your book targets business owners, why this sector?
A: Because businesses fail not because of business but the owner is not growing and able to deal with problems in his business. So we need to build capacity for business owners to run and manage financial viable businesses.

Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge for SA business owners in regards to business management?
A: Low financial literacy. Business owners don’t know their numbers to inform decisions they need to make.

Access to market – how to really market your products and build a brand that outlive you as business owner.

Q: What do you hope business owners will learn from reading your book?
A: The business owners will learn

  • Setting their financial goals that are based on Smart principle
  • Know their obligations as shareholder, director, employer, taxpayer, and producer of product or service including specific records that need to kept and how long.
  • Understand key role players within finance from bookkeepers to auditors.
  • Setting up finance controls and systems and lastly measuring financial performance.