Assessment of the economic situation at a small enterprise during crisis
Importance of dissemination of financial, investment and economic analysis methods to solve problems of small business management is substantiated in this article. A simplified method is suggested to assess the economic situation of an enterprise. This method allows managers of small businesses to make such assessment in times of financial crisis. The proposed guidelines are issued by order of the employment service in St. Petersburg and are addressed to budding entrepreneurs. They relate to systems of technical and economic parameters, financial analysis techniques, planning and forecasting methods, evaluation of business development projects. Some financial analysis techniques are given with explanations on the methods of calculating the liquidity ratios, business activity, profitability and financial stability. There are also some examples of their calculation on the basis of financial statements and conclusions are given based on the results. Investment analysis methods are considered in the following sequence: purpose and content analysis - determination of the amount of investment required – choice of funding sources - calculation of the most important indicators of investment attractiveness – advice for the investment phase of a project – risk analysis. A practical example of comprehensive analysis and calculation of the economic performance of various business development projects is given in the annex to the methods. The section on forecasting methods describes the structure of the business plan which has been tested during many years of experience in terms of the population self-employment program which is implemented by the Committee on Labor and Employment of St. Petersburg. The methodology proposes simplified assessment methods of business by entrepreneurs themselves, for which representatives of each of the three approaches – property, comparative and profitable ones – are considered. The next section focuses on methodology application in management accounting and budgeting. The necessity of these methods for creation an effective cost management system is shown in this section too. There are also some recommendations about the most important indicators for assessing activities of a small enterprise. The final sections provide practical guidelines on the use of financial budget templates of a small business based on spreadsheets developed with participation of the author of the article. The guidelines vary depending on the legal form of an organization, type of activity and the tax system.