The subsequent are some examples of cutting-edge monetary management theories formulated on standards considered as a set of essential tenets that form the premise for financial principle and selection-making in finance’ (Emery et al.1991). A strive might be made to narrate the standards behind these principles to small companies’ monetary management.
Company principle offers with the people who own an enterprise employer and all others who’ve hobbies in it, for example, managers, banks, lenders, family contributors, and personnel. The business enterprise concept postulates that the everyday running of an enterprise corporation is finished by means of managers as agents who have been engaged through the proprietors of the business as principals who also are called shareholders. The principle is on the notion of the precept of ‘-sided transactions’ which holds that any monetary transactions involve parties, each performing in their own first-class pastimes, but with extraordinary expectancies.
Issues normally identified with organization idea may additionally consist of
Records asymmetry- a situation wherein agents have statistics on the financial instances and prospects of the enterprise that isn’t always regarded by principals (Emery et al.1991). As an instance ‘The business Roundtable’ emphasized that in making plans communications with shareholders and traders, companies ought to recollect in no way misleading or misinforming stockholders approximately the employer’s operations or monetary condition. Notwithstanding this principle, there was the loss of transparency from Enron’s management leading to its collapse;
The ethical threat-a scenario in which agents intentionally take gain of facts asymmetry to redistribute wealth to themselves in an unseen way that’s in the long run to the detriment of principals. A living proof is the failure of the Board of directors of Enron’s reimbursement committee to invite any query approximately the award of salaries, perks, annuities, lifestyles insurance, and rewards to the executive participants at an essential point within the existence of Enron; with one government on the document to have acquired a percentage of possession of a company jet as a reward and additionally a mortgage of $77m to the CEO despite the fact that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act inside the US bans loans by corporations to their executives; and
Negative selection-this issues a scenario in which dealers misrepresent the abilities or competencies they bring to an organization. Due to that, the essential’s wealth isn’t maximized (Emery et al.1991).
In response to the inherent hazard posed by means of agents’ quest to make the most in their pursuits to the drawback of principals (i.E. All stakeholders), every stakeholder attempts to grow the praise predicted in return for participation within the agency. Lenders may additionally boom the hobby prices they get from the organization. Different responses are tracking and bonding to enhance foremost’s access to dependable statistics and devising means to find a not unusual floor for agents and principals respectively.
Emanating from the dangers confronted in organization theory, researchers on small business economic control contend that in many small companies the business enterprise courting among proprietors and bosses can be absent due to the fact the owners also are managers; and that the predominantly nature of SMEs make the standard answers to company issues including monitoring and bonding high-priced thereby increasing the price of transactions among numerous stakeholders (Emery et al.1991).
However, the principle provides useful knowledge into many matters in SME’s monetary control and indicates sizeable avenues as to how SME’s financial control ought to be practiced and perceived. It additionally allows academics and practitioners to pursue techniques that could help sustain the boom of SMEs.
The signaling concept rests on the transfer and interpretation of records handy approximately a commercial enterprise employer to the capital market, and the impounding of the ensuing perceptions into the terms on which finance is made to be had to the business enterprise. In other words, flows of budget among a business enterprise and the capital market are dependent on the waft of records among them. (Emery et al, 1991). For example control’s choice to make an acquisition or divest; repurchase high-quality stocks; in addition to selections by outsiders like as an example an institutional investor determining to withhold a certain quantity of fairness or debt finance. The rising evidence at the relevance of signaling principle to small organization economic control is mixed. Until recently, there has been no vast and reliable empirical evidence that the signaling principle appropriately represents unique situations in SME financial management, or that it provides insights that aren’t furnished with the aid of contemporary concept (Emery et al.1991).
Keasey et al(1992) write that of the ability of small enterprises to signal their value to potential investors, only the signal of the disclosure of an earnings forecast was found to be positively and significantly related to enterprise value amongst the following: percentage of equity retained by owners, the net proceeds raised by an equity issue, the choice of a financial advisor to an issue (presuming that a more reputable accountant, banker or auditor may cause greater faith to be placed in the prospectus for the float), and the level of underpricing of an issue. Signaling theory is now considered to be more insightful for some aspects of small enterprise financial management than others (Emery et al 1991).
The Pecking-Order Theory or Framework (POF)
This is another financial theory, which is to be considered in relation to SME’s financial management. It is a finance theory that suggests that management prefers to finance first from retained earnings, then with debt, followed by hybrid forms of finance such as convertible loans, and last of all by using externally issued equity; with bankruptcy costs, agency costs, and information asymmetries playing little role in affecting the capital structure policy. A research study carried out by Norton (1991b) found out that 75% of the small enterprises used seemed to make financial structure decisions within a hierarchical or pecking order framework. Holmes et al. (1991) admitted that POF is consistent with small business sectors because they are owner-managed and do not want to dilute their ownership. Owner-managed businesses usually prefer retained profits because they want to maintain control of assets and business operations.
This is not strange considering the fact that in Ghana, according to empirical evidence, SME funding is made up of about 86% of own equity as well as loans from family and friends(See Table 1). Losing this money is like losing one’s own reputation which is considered very serious customarily in Ghana.
Access to capital
The 1971 Bolton report on small firms outlined issues underlying the concept of ‘finance gap’ (this has two components-knowledge gap-debt is restricted due to lack of awareness of appropriate sources, advantages, and disadvantages of finance; and supply gap-unavailability of funds or cost of debt to small enterprises exceeds the cost of debt for larger enterprises.) that: there are a set of difficulties which face a small company. Small companies are hit harder by taxation, face higher investigation costs for loans, are generally less well informed of sources of finance, and are less able to satisfy loan requirements. Small firms have limited access to the capital and money markets and therefore suffer from chronic undercapitalization. As a result; they are likely to have excessive recourse to expensive funds which act as a brake on their economic development.
This is the term used to describe the converse of gearing which is the proportion of total assets financed by equity and may be called equity to assets ratio. The studies under review in this section on leverage are focused on total debt as a percentage of equity or total assets. There are, however, some studies on the relative proportions of different types of debt held by small and large enterprises.
Equity is also known as owners’ equity, capital, or net worth.
Costand et al (1990) suggest that ‘larger firms will use greater levels of debt financing than small firms. This implies that larger firms will rely relatively less on equity financing than do smaller firms.’ According to the pecking order framework, small enterprises have two problems when it comes to equity funding [McMahon et al. (1993, pp153)]:
Small enterprises usually do not have the option of issuing additional equity to the public.
Owner-managers are strongly averse to any dilution of their ownership interest and control. This way they are unlike the managers of large concerns who usually have only a limited degree of control and limited, if any, ownership interest, and are therefore prepared to recognize a broader range of funding options.
Financial Management in SME
With a high spate of financial problems contributing to the high rate of failures in small-medium enterprises, what does the literature on small business say on financial management in small businesses to combat such failures?
Osteryoung et al (1997) write that “while financial management is a critical element of the management of a business as a whole, within this function the management of its assets is perhaps the most important. In the long term, the purchase of assets directs the course that the business will take during the life of these assets, but the business will never see the long term if it cannot plan an appropriate policy to effectively manage its working capital.” In effect, the poor financial management of owner-managers or lack of financial management altogether is the main cause underlying the problems in SME financial management.
Hall and Young(1991) in a study in the UK of 3 samples of 100 small enterprises that were subject to involuntary liquidation in 1973,1978, and 1983 found out that the reasons given for failure,49.8% were of financial nature. On the perceptions of official receivers interviewed for the same small enterprises, 86.6% of the 247 reasons given were of a financial nature. The positive correlation between poor or nil financial management (including basic accounting) and business failure has well been documented in western countries according to Peacock (1985a).
It is gainsaying the fact that despite the need to manage every aspect of their small enterprises with very little internal and external support, it is often the case that owner-managers only have experience or training in some functional areas.
There is a school of thought that believes “a well-run business enterprise should be as unconscious of its finances as healthy a fit person is of his or her breathing”. It must be possible to undertake production, marketing, distribution, and the like, without repeatedly causing, or being hindered by, financial pressures and strains. It does not mean, however, that financial management can be ignored by a small enterprise owner-manager; or as is often done, given to an accountant to take care of. Whether it is obvious or not to the casual observer, in prosperous small enterprises the owner-managers themselves have a firm grasp of the principles of financial management and are actively involved in applying them to their own situation.” McMahon et al. (1993).
Some researchers tried to predict small enterprise failure to mitigate the collapse of small businesses. McNamara et al (1988) developed a model to predict small enterprise failures giving the following four reasons:
To enable management to respond quickly to changing conditions
To train leaders in recognizing the important factors involved in determining an enterprise’s likelihood of failing
To assist leading organizations in their marketing by identifying their customer’s financial needs more effectively
To act as a filter in the credit evaluation process.
They went on to argue that small enterprises are very different from large ones in the area of borrowing by small enterprises, lack of long-term debt finance, and different taxation provisions.
For small private companies, these measures are unreliable and textbook methods for judging investment opportunities are not always useful in organizations that are privately owned to give a true and fair view of events taking place in the company.
Thus, modern financial management is not the ultimate answer to every business problem including both large and small businesses. However, it could be argued that there is some food for thought for SMEs concerning every concept considered in this study. For example, it could be seen (from the literature reviewed )that, financial records are meant to examine and analyze corporate operations. Return on equity, return on assets, return on investment, and debt to equity ratios are useful yardsticks for measuring the performance of big business and SMEs as well