EVALUATION OF CASH AND CREDIT MANAGEMENT POLICIES AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR AVOIDING ILLIQUIDITY AND LIQUIDATIONS (A CASE STUDY OF ANAMCO, ENUGU STATE)

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1            General introduction and background of the study

The management of an organization’s capital relates to the finance and investment of non-human resources, that is, physical and monetary assets, for the purpose of maximum benefit in terms of profitability.  According to Frear (1980) profitability is determined in part by the way in which a company manages its working capital elements, especially the company’s management policies in respect of cash and account receivable/payable.  Basically, there would be a drop in profit if the basic element of working capital were raised without a corresponding rise introduction or margins. So one of the principal functions of a financial manager is to provide the arrect amount of each elements of working capital at the right time and in the appropriate place to realize the greatest return on investment. A business which is basically profitable in a capital intensive industry with high level of inventory turnover but does not have an effective/efficient policies for it's’ working capital constituents, especially cash, can easily be stopped by a temporary set-back into liquidation because it has no room to maneuver.  Traditionally, the users of accounting information, especially the external users are interested in notions of solvency and liquidity as criteria for assessing credit worthiness.  In  recent years, cash and trade credit management has become the most important sector of financial management in many trading and manufacturing organizations.  At one time, it was possible for a business to survive without proper cash management policies as well as lay down policies for accounts receivable (trade debtors) as long as it was reasonably profitable.  Accounting to Bennel (1989) prior to 1970’s; trade credit was not a dominant feature of conducting business and procurement of fund were largely easily were not exploited to its fullest use.  Today however, this has not generally been the case and many highly profitable companies have had liquidity.  Problems and some have gone into liquidations, largely because of lack of appropriate cash and credit management policies/techniques.  In these circumstances, business executives now attach a high decree of importance to the cash and accounts receivable management function.  In large organizations, the financial director or treasurer is usually in charge of the management of cash resources and in introducing appropriate systems that will ensure adequate working flow that enable the economy to remain liquid at all times.  Illiquidity problems could be found in all types of companies and not restricted to small inefficient firms.  In some cases, large well known companies have experiences illiquidity problems and in some few instances, liquidation proceedings and eventual demise of such organizations.  The current wave to distress in our financial sectors (Banks and insurance companies) provides a good background to illiquidity problems arising from inefficies in cash and credit management policies in spite of their profitability.  Today, several of these institutions have been liquidated.

These developments have naturally had an effect on credit and cash management policies and it is therefore considered to be particularly important that the reasons behind these liquidity problems should be appreciated; using Anambra motor company ltd – a manufacturing organization as a case study.  The choice of this organization is the relevant, which cash and credit management policies bear to its operation.

 

1.2            Statement of the problem

Many profitable organizations are forced into untimely liquidation, bankruptcy and experience work stoppages as a result of strike action and consequently operate at losses not because the business is not profitable but due to inefficient utilization of cash and other material resources at its disposal.  Moreover, majority of business transactions are conducted credit basis and this has always increased the volume of account receivable (debtor) and a substantial amount of these receivable are lost daily through bad and doubtful debts.  The resultant effect is that companies have huge amount of its fund tied to un-collectables, hence a state of illiquidity can arise.  Therefore, the continued existence of a firm/company, its survival and growth depends, among other factors on how best the firm utilizes its available cash resources and the efficient management of its collectable as the neglect of these highly important core of management are could soon lead to a state of insolvency due to illiquidity problems.  The study is therefore designed to evaluate the essence of efficient cash and credit management policies existing in Anambra motor company limited

 

1.3            Objective of study

Realizing the high rate of failed / distressed organization in the financial sector and the manufacturing sectors of the economy due to illiquidity and problems and the fact that factors responsible for such distressed conditions had not been properly addressed, the specific objectives of the study are to find out:

  1. The magnitude to which cash and collectibles bear to the firm’s total working capital
  2. To discuss as far as possible the extent to which improper management of cash resources and accounts receivable can create illiquidity/ a state of insolvency in a business outfit.
  3. To evaluate the extent to which an organization that requires regular use of cash resources that can ensure regularity in its liquidity management through the technique of cash flow budgeting.
  4. To assess the adequacy of cash and credit management policies of the case study
  5. On the basis of the findings of the study, propose a comprehensive and effective cash/credit policies (package) that would made for an effective management of cash and account receivable as a  way off insolvency and eventual liquidation.

1.4            Research  question

The following research questions have been designed to address the detailed area of the study and will serve as a guide to the researcher on the issue of the study.

  1. Why are most profitable organization experiencing liquidity problems in spite of large turnover and better profit margin?
  2. Why is cash management an essential variable in determining the continuous existence and growth of business organization?
  3. What are the techniques that can lead to efficient cash management?
  4. How can a company achieve efficiency and effective collective of receivable.
  5. When should a company grant credit to its customers?
  6. What are the likely consequences of refusing credit?
  7. When should a company stop further credit facilities to customers?
  8. What are the likely consequences of not collecting receivables as at when due?
  9. How can cash budgeting/ preparation of flow statements ensure adequate cash availability to solve liquidity problems?
  10. What are the consequences of not using cash projections techniques for cash planning and control?
  11. How can a company determine the optimum cash balance to meet liquidity requirements?
  12. Should a company charge interest on over due accounts?

These and others are the area in which this study intends to explore.

1.5            Working hypothesis

According to Spiege (1972) “a research hypothesis is an assumption,  statement or suggestion about the population under consideration”.

Omololaijie (1986) defined hypothesis as a suggested investigation”

Consequently, the following hypothesis will be used in this study:

  1. Illiquidity and insolvency is a result of bad credit and cash management policies.
  2.  Profitable organizations do not face liquidity problems since they made huge amount of profit
  3. liquidity problems are due to lack of cash planning and budgeting system
  4. granting cash discount has no significant effect on the ability of debtors to pay their debts.

 

1.6            Significance of the study

This research project will be of great importance to the company management and other corporate bodies as well as the general public as investors. This way which this study has been planned and carried out will offer enough information and explanation to all those engaged in the management of an organization either as financial managers or financial controllers.

Furthermore, this study is expected to offer a secondary source of data to many students/ researchers in the are of working capital management.

 

1.7            Scope and limitation of the study

Osuala (1989) defined scope of study as those parts of topic or problem that normally might be considered to be part of such but which because of limitations of time, physical capacity or other reasons, the researcher cannot or does not wish to include.”  Thus the researcher had to restrict himself to a particular area of concentration and specific period of time.

          The scope of this study is limited to cash and credit management policies for improved liquidity in an organization with particular reference to Anambra motor manufacturing company ltd.  The researcher will only decree on the design of effective cash and credit policies through cash budgeting techniques and efficient collection procedures for bailing out companies in the web of Illiquidity/liquidation.

          It is also necessary to state the scope of the study was limited to Enugu environment due to time, financial and other constraints which inhibit the researcher’s scope of activities in this field.  Unwillingness/unco-operative posture of some respondents also affected the scope of this study.

 

 

1.8            Historical Background of Anammco

Daimler Ben A.G of Germany, the parent company of ANAMMCO LTD started its export to Nigeria since 1952.  Mercedes – Benz commercial vehicles have been successfully marketed throughout Nigeria since then utilizing a distributive network, which has  particularly laid emphasis on services this brand of vehicles had been made market lender in the country through imports.

The then federal military government of murtal /Obasanjo came up with the bold plan of negotiating a joint venture association with other manufacturers of commercial vehicles in Nigeria.  The series of negotiations evolved into signing of partnership agreement between the federal military government and the Daimler Benz AG of Germany was thus incorporated as a private limited liability company with an authorized share capital of N7000,000 (seven million Naira) on 17th January, 1977 to carry out the terms of agreement.  The then military governor, vol. John Atom Kpera, then laid the foundation stone of the company, in the then Anambra state on 12th may 1978.  The official commissioning of the plant was later performed on 8th July, 1980 by the then president of the federal republic of Nigeria, Alhaji shehu shagari

 

Location

The company is located on a 31-hectre piece of land situated 8km east of Enugu, very close to the Enugu Air port in Enugu state of Nigeria.

 

Staff strength

Anammco has a total staff strength of about 580 current in its payroll with over 75% forming as their Junior staff.

 

Production range

The multi-million Naira plant was initially planed to produce trucks for the Nigeria market.  But today, the plant has diversified its production range to include the full range of commercial vehicles for the rapid industrialization of the country.  He only produces trucks as originally planned, but has gone a step further in fabrication, manufacturing and the production of buses and other utility vehicles.  Part of its product range today includes:

MB trucks of 5-38 metric tons gross weight

MB o131 (42 seater  city/Intercity buses)

MB 0400R (intercity bus-49 seats)

MB 0400RS (intercity bus – 54 seats)

MBO 911 (56 seater bus)

MBO 114 (61 seater bus)

MBO 1520 (52 seater bus)

          Fire fighting vehicles

Ambulances

Mobile clinics

Refuse disposal vehicles

Vehicle refurbishment

The company has made an enviable mark on the nations industrial growth, adding over 30,000 (thirty thousands) vehicles to the nation’s transport sector, backed up effectively with a network of over 36 after sales service points and spare parts supply depots.  The company’s central spare parts Depot in Enugu stocks over 35,000 line items.

 

1.9            Definitions of Terms/concepts

  1. Liquidity:  Availability of cash or near cash assets for prompt settlement of current liability
  2. ii.                 Solvency: state of being able to pay current debts obligations as at when due
  3. iii.              Accounts receivable:  this refers to debtors

 

References:

  1. Benneth R. (1989) Small business survival;  London pitman publishing ltd
  2. 2.                 Fear O.H.N. (1987): The management of business finance, London: Pitman publishing ltd
  3. 3.                 Osuala E.C (1987): Introduction research methodology Onitsha: Feb. publishers ltd
  4. 4.                 Spiegel, M 91972): Statistical S.I (metric)  3rd Edition USA: Mcgraw Hill Incor
  5. 5.                 Omololaiye (1986): Research methods and statistics,  Jos: Fab Anieh Nig. Ltd.

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