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Managing Finances in Business for Neurodivergent Brains – with Tina Mathams

Differently Aligned Podcast – Episode 10

by Adina Levy

In today’s episode, I’m going to be sharing a small pot of a wonderful guest speaker chat that I had recently with Tina Mathams, the ADHD Accountant from Diverse Accountants, about managing finances for neurodivergent business owners. 

Tina shares practical tips on:

  • tracking business finances
  • understanding profit
  • managing cash flow
  • making finance work for various neurodivergent brains. 

Links & Resources

Connect with Tina Mathams:
www.diverseaccountants.com.au

Instagram: @theadhdaccountant & @diverseaccountants
🎧 Podcast: ADHD Money and Finance

Free things for neurodivergent business owners: ndbusiness.co/freebies

Learn more about future events: 

https://ndbusiness.co 
www.instagram.com/neurodivergent.business 

 

Transcript

 Welcome to the Differently Aligned Podcast for Neurodivergent Business Owners. I’m Adina Levy, an autistic ADHDer and a multiple business owner. From a card-making business at age 8, through to handmade cloud cushions, running a speech therapy team with a traditional office, and now to my lean, profitable, nimble, and fun online businesses, Play. Learn. Chat. and Neurodivergent Business Coaching and Consulting.

I’m all about supporting neurodivergent business owners like you to build a business that is aligned with your brain, your skills, your passions, your wants, your support needs and your life. And it can be profitable, fun and impactful along the way.  

So join me for ideas, support, conversations and guidance to grow your business without burning out. Let’s turn up the fun, the flow, and the alignment.

Acknowledging Traditional Owners

This podcast is recorded on the Aboriginal lands of the Gadigal and Bidjigal people. I acknowledge the traditional owners elders past and present, and I extend my acknowledgement to any Aboriginal first nations people listening in.  

In today’s episode, I’m going to be sharing a small pot of a wonderful guest speaker chat. And I had recently with Tina Mathams – She is the ADHD accountant and she runs diverse accountants. 

She’s a fabulous Neurodivergent accountant who shared recently. A very in-depth useful practical guest speaker chat with my Neurodivergent Business Collective. I’ve picked out a few highlights from her chat to share with you here, but to get the full chat. You would have to be a member of the collective. Does it closed right now? We just finished up a launch and welcomed, I think it was 56 new fabulous members in if that’s you’re listening. Welcome. I’m so happy to have you, if you’re listening and you’re not part of the collective, you can join the wait list and I’ll let you know when we’re open next. The link is in the show notes. 

Every month I host a different guest speaker in the Neurodivergent Business Collective. 

To share their insights and information, support guidance, stories about being a Neurodivergent person, being an Neurodivergent Business owner. And yeah, it was absolutely fabulous to get financial insights from Taina. 

So let’s dive into the shorty highlights reel, and I hope to see you in the collective one day. 

Hello, Tina. Welcome. 

Thank you for having me. 

It’s very, very exciting to have you here. We’ve met before and you’ve been part of my neurodivergent business collective for a few months since the inception, as far as I remember. And I’ve been following you for a lot longer on your Instagram world as well.

But for those who happen not to know, Tina, Tina Mathams. She is a neurodivergent accountant, financial educator, and she owns Diverse Accountants. She also runs the ADHD Accountant on Instagram, that’s, that’s right, I got that right.  And  your podcast? Yes. Thank you.  I just ADHD, money and finance. Thank you.

ADHD, money and finance. Yep. We got there.  I was going to get probably get flip it around, but good. So she runs a full service bookkeeping and tax firm that specialises  in supporting neurodivergent clients. And I’m sure many people, or maybe everyone listening is neurodivergent. So, I’m just going to go out and say, if I was starting afresh today and I needed an accountant, I would be chatting to you.

I happen to have a great one. We’ve been together for years, but if that wasn’t the case, I would go, Hey, Tina, sort me out, please. She’s passionate about making finance and tax accessible for neurodivergent humans, which is  fabulous. So, so needed. And this is what I heard from a lot of our members and taking away the shame and guilt that can come with it.

Yes. I love that. The permission to just go, this stuff can be hard and, and help. Thank you. And she lives in Brisbane, Australia with her two neurodivergent kids, two cats and Gary, the sausage dog. But I don’t know the cat’s names. What, who are your cats?  

Uh, Garfield, I have Garfield, who is a beautiful, as you can imagine, orange cat and he’s 16 and a half.

So he’s my, I call him my old man. And then I have Biggles, who is a Maine Coon mix and he’s getting his winter coat at the moment. So he’s delightfully fluffy and, oh, I just love him. 

What a sensory joy. Does he actually like being patted? 

He does not. No. As soon as I pick him up, he’s like, get me away.

Damn.  That’s awesome. Thank you for joining us here as a guest speaker. I can’t wait to learn about how we can manage business finances and cashflow with an ND friendly perspective.

All right. Thank you. So  this is a session that I’m hoping to make neurodivergent friendly. So I’ve broken it down into, uh, what I think is most relevant and just tried to make it a little bit easier to understand. Because I know finances. Can be very overwhelming for the ADHD brain or the neurodivergent brain, so hopefully this just explains it a little bit easier and makes you feel less overwhelmed as well.

 So, what is most important when it comes to business finances? So, we’re going to talk a little bit about understanding your business what we need to track. 

Knowing our key dates as well and regular check-ins. I’ll talk a little bit more about sort of what’s the minimum. Like if you are just somebody who just wants to know,  just the few bits that you need to look at, we’ll go through that as well.  I’ve been an accountant for, I’ve lost track, it’s about 12 to 15 years. Over that time, I’ve worked with a lot of different businesses, like, sort of, startups.

I’ve put five figures there, but I’ve worked with businesses who, you know, literally only earn a few thousand dollars throughout the year to nearly eight figures in revenue as well. Different industries, different profits, different business owners. Like, you get the drift. There’s, you know, so many different people that I’ve worked with in that time.

And what I came to realise was that the most successful ones weren’t necessarily the ones who earnt the most money  or had the most profit and when I say successful I just mean sustainable. What they all have in common is that They take the time to have the basic understanding.

They’re not experts. So if you’re someone who’s sitting there going, I’m not an expert in this, so how can I, how can I be successful in my business if I can’t look at my finances? It’s because you don’t need to be an expert. A basic understanding of, which we’ll go through today, of what you need to know, what you need to track and then have the advisors to ask the questions.

That’s what they’re there for, they’re there to actually have a look at your data, have a look at your numbers and then be able to answer your questions. You need to track certain things to be able to understand what’s going on. Numbers tell a really powerful story. So once you sort of have that basic understanding, know where to look. And then you’ve got somebody else to ask the questions to for you to get an answer.

That’s all that needs to be done. 

I always say in these presentations, that I can give you tips on how to make it neurodivergent friendly, but even though we’re all neurodivergent, we’ve all got different brains, etc, etc. So Pick and choose what’s going to work for you. Try something. If it doesn’t work, try something else.

So hopefully there’ll be something out of here that you can take away. All right, let’s talk about what you need to track. gross profit and net profit is That’s probably the most important thing that you need to look at. A lot of people don’t track gross profit because they don’t know it’s there. They don’t know it exists and they might just sort of look at income and then net profit, but that doesn’t really give you the whole The whole story. So I’m just going to talk you through about that a little bit.

So gross profit, so you’ve got, this is the profit and loss. If you haven’t seen one before, the profit and loss statement, it’s got your income, it’s got your cost of sales, which I’ll talk about in a sec, gives you this gross profit line here by the income. And then all of these operating expenses, usually what we call overheads or, you know, operating expenses, whatever it is to give you your net profit.

Generally, There’s some exceptions, but net profit is going to be what you end up paying tax on. So gross profit is your income minus  the expenses that are direct costs of you earning that income. So if you’ve got a product based income, you’ll have purchases, you’ll have probably freight, et cetera, et cetera.

And then if you’ve got staff, you might have wages in there as well. If there’s staff that actually.  You know, do some work for you, help you help you actually deliver that service or deliver the product or whatever it is. 

People like admin, people who you might contract to do, you know, canvas stuff for you, et cetera, et cetera, they would come down  I will put a little sort of asterisk and say that sometimes it’s quite hard to make that distinction on paper. So if you’ve only got maybe one person who might help you deliver the billable work and then the rest is more of like that admin overhead stuff,  you can just put it down here in operating expenses.

But, you know, if you don’t really have any of those admin and, you know, yourself and all your other staff, you Just deliver the work. It makes sense to put it up here into cost of sales because what that does is it gives you the visual of how much you have for your overheads. 

So when you’ve got cost of sales You need to, it’s basically like a prioritisation in a way. You need to have that money to pay those expenses. So if you know that gross profit is always looking like a loss,  It means you don’t even have the income to pay your direct staff, to pay your purchases, all that kind of stuff, which is going to impact your ability to deliver that income, deliver that product, et cetera, et cetera.

That makes so much sense. Thank you for clarifying that. So for my Little interpretation of it. I hope I’ve got this right.  The cost of goods sold is literally like the cost to deliver that exact service or product. And that if you made  less sales, you would have lower cost of goods sold, but there’s still the overheads, which run alongside that anyway.

Regardless, which is your operating expenses, those costs kind of happen no matter how much you sell, kind of. Yeah, 

yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly right. Yes, so all these operating expenses, they’re going to be there no matter how many units of that product you sell, no matter how much you bring in from your service.

That’s why they’re called overheads because they’re just always there. 

 Most people don’t want to look at these reports because they don’t understand them, which is completely understandable.

 Get some help setting them up and you just pick out those numbers, like what’s my gross profit? What’s my net profit? Start there. 

Profit does not equal cash either. So a lot of people will look at their net profit and go, oh, I’ve got all this cash but not necessarily

your cash flow is the actual cash that’s coming in and out of your business. 

Cash flow is Really, really important because 80 percent of businesses,  that’s an approximate percentage, but a high percentage of businesses close due to cash flow issues. Because again, they haven’t been tracking, they haven’t been looking at it. They might look at their profit and go, great, I’ve had a really profitable month.

But then where’s the cash?  Unless they’ve actually paid you, It’s not going to show up in your, in your ending balance, in your cash balance.

 That’s why we don’t rely on revenue, that’s why I, you know,  Always have a bit of a giggle to myself when people say they’ve got these amazing whatever revenue businesses because it doesn’t paint an actual picture of what’s going in like on in the business.

 If,  you are somebody who does invoice after the service just review that.  If you find that you are always chasing money, people aren’t paying, move to upfront payment. It’s your business. Yes, you may lose some clients, but you may not.

Like a lot of people, I’ve heard a lot of people, especially in the accounting industry, are moving to upfront payments and, you know, clients have been fine. Do you want the money or do you want the headache? So, I’d rather the money. 

A lot of people don’t know when their bills are due, so have a look you know, when you’re going through your bank account, have a look, and you know, even just put it on a spreadsheet, put it in your calendar, planner, whatever you use.

It doesn’t have to be everything, like if it’s only just, you know, 20 a month subscription, whatever. But if you know that you’ve got bigger amounts on certain dates of the month, make sure those are in there. So, you know, that you need the cash in there to be able to pay for those. That is such a good reminder for me.

It’s my annual subscriptions for like Kajabi and things like that. Yes. Whether it’s like multi thousand dollars thing, you know, like that’s the core of how I run my business, but I actually haven’t been organised. So I do get myself surprised. So thank you. I’m going to.  I’m gonna make a note on that one, thank you.

Yep, 

yep. And another good, that’s a really good point, annual subscriptions are probably one of the biggest ones where we tend to fall down because we forget about them. So either have that in your calendar or somewhere where you can see it, or what might be a good idea as well, if you struggle to find the cash at that time of year,  Start, you know, break that down into monthly payments or weekly payments or something and start chipping away at it.

So pay your annual fee and then from that date until the next 12 months, you know, put a little bit away each week or each month. So when you get there, if you’ve forgotten, it doesn’t matter because you’ve got the money there, you know, sitting in a separate bank account or something like that. So it’ll make things smoother and, you know, knowing these key dates will just help, help make you more accountable as well.

So visualise the dates put in a calendar or list where you work put key dates and bills into your work calendar, phone calendar and use alarms as well.

So regular check ins is the last sort of important thing to these can look like you may have heard of like CEO days or CEO mornings where you set aside a day of the week or, you know, a Monday morning or something to actually look at your CEO things. So how’s your marketing going?

How are your emails going? Make finance the same thing. Do your reconciliations, look at your bank account, check in with your revenue, all that kind of stuff. You can also make a monthly or quarterly time with your bookkeeper or accountant. Again, might keep you accountable to make sure reconciliation’s done, you’ve had, you, looking at your revenue, all that kind of stuff.

And then you can sort of chat about how the month or quarter’s gone.  If you’ve got quite a big business, please don’t leave it quarterly, probably do more monthly. If you’ve got a smaller business, quarterly is probably perfect. Body double with other Neurodivergent business owners, we know how effective body doubling is. Adina, you’ve got it in your program. Like, it’s really, really effective.

Of course, you don’t need to share any personal details, but knowing that you’re all on there to do that, you know, financial check in with your business might help you actually, again, stay accountable and help you with motivation as well. And then make your own sort of goal or KPI each month or each quarter to challenge yourself.

So, we know that  if you’ve got ADHD as your, you know, neurodivergent brain We know that we love those challenges. It doesn’t need to be a big challenge, but it could be something like you know, this was my revenue, you know, this month. Next month, which you know, end of month we are now, perfect time to make that goal for June.

What was your revenue this month? Can you, you know, beat that by even 100 or something? Or can you make a goal to go through your subscriptions and see, like your business subscriptions and see if there’s anything that you can cancel so you don’t take those into the new financial year? 

 

 

So just really quickly, I just wanted to sort of recap slash just give you a few more tips and things to think about when you’re wanting to make your business finances more neurodivergent friendly Visualise, visualise, visualise.

That is probably like my most important tip. Financial targets, put them somewhere where you can see them. Key dates, put them somewhere where you can see them or you’re going to be reminded of these because,  help you throughout your day and your month to go, you know, am I on track for this?

Because it’ll keep you accountable. 

Tracking all your financial data.

So the easiest way is always going to be the most sustainable. I’ve had people come to me who have had something like zero that the accounting program for two years and not used it. They’ve paid for it. But they’ve used their spreadsheet because they don’t want to jump into that accounting program and do everything. 

So,  figure out what works best for you and move forward with that.  Have a think about how much information you need. Again, another good thing to talk about with a bookkeeper or accountant.  And then stick to your minimums. Go back to the, where we spoke about minimums. What are you going to track? What will your accountant do? And again, time or money.

You can spend time on this if you want to, but if you don’t, invest that money for somebody else to do it because it’s going to take the mental load off you. And you know, you’re just going to have. I think it’s a much easier time in your business because you’re going to know that, someone’s looking after the cashflow, someone’s looking after the bookkeeping, whatever it is.

So they’re just some sort of quick and easy tips just to make it a little bit more friendly for your brain. And again, what I said at the beginning, if some of these don’t work for you, that’s fine. Move on to something else. So just pick and choose these tips of, you know, what you’re going to try. 

I mean, they’re all amazing.

The Time All Oney one is one I’ve talked to a lot of people about when they get hesitant to Switch from people depositing payments into their bank account, but it takes a lot of follow up, a lot of chasing up, a lot of reminding, a lot of manual work on everyone’s part, versus having more automated payment systems and paying a percentage. 

And I keep coming back to like time or money, like you could hire a whole person to do that chasing up, or you can just automate it and pay a few dollars to Stripe or, you know, whoever. And that’s my little micro example of that, but it’s such a great point. And I’ve been keeping a little post it of some of the like best, best Tina nuggets of wisdom.

And I love that the easiest way of tracking is going to be the most sustainable as in like easiest for you is. The system you’re going to use is the one to use. 

Yep. A hundred percent. Yep. 

Tina, this has been absolutely incredible. Thank you. Just thank you. Like I personally have got a lot out of it and I hundred percent guarantee that so many of the others will have got a lot out of it 

thank you for the opportunity. I, as you know, I love talking about this stuff, so I will jump at any opportunity. So I’m more than happy for any questions and you can have a chat. 

Thank you. Isn’t it nice when we turn our special interests into our profession? Yeah. 

Thanks, Tina.

See ya. Bye.   📍 

Thank you so much for listening in. I hope that you’ve taken something helpful from today’s episode and please do share it with a fellow neurodivergent business owner friend. You can find me on Instagram @neurodivergent.business and all the links that I’ve talked about are in the show notes.

Remember, your business can feel aligned and easy and it’s okay to do business differently. I’ll see you on the next episode.