There's money to lend in 2014

James Finch, executive vice president of commercial lending division for First Fidelity Bank, discusses the top things businesses can do to get finances in order in 2014.
Oklahoman Modified: January 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm •  Published: January 15, 2014
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Q&A with James Finch

This is good time for companies

to get finances in order for year

Q: What are the top three things businesses can do to get finances in order in the new year?

A: Capable bookkeeping and accounting functions and personnel are crucial to the success of a business. If your business doesn't already have the systems and people in place, now is the time to make it a priority. Also, be sure you're maximizing legal resources available to you. Often smaller businesses don't hire general counsel. Having a trusted attorney you can go to in crisis is paramount, but there are many other routine legal issues businesses face, some of which you may not have considered. If you engage in sweepstakes, giveaways and contests, for instance, these are regulated, and there are rules about how they can be administered. Technology has become the prevailing theme of our day, so consider the tools available to you, including treasury services and cash management through your local bank. With the proper tools in place, a business can collect monies faster, but also safer, in a protected environment.

Q: Are there any new financial regulations or trends businesses should be aware of in 2014?

A: Increasing regulation on the banking industry has made life difficult for financial institutions, but there is a prevailing myth still left over from the financial crisis of earlier years that banks are hesitant to loan money. There is money available to lend. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Dodd Frank have had a massive impact on our industry. Increased documentation and appraisal requirements for consumer and small business loans secured by a one- to four-family dwelling are impending. With the Target data breach in the not-so-distant past, data protection continues to be significant. Data loss hurts not only your customer, but also your reputation. Take a hard look at how your company uses, stores and protects customer information and any third-party vendors or administrators involved.


by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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