Effective Strategies for Directors to Monitor Company Financial Performance

Relevant For:

Business owners, SME directors, and board members.

Key Points:

  • Directors must adhere to duties under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
  • Stay informed about the company’s financial status and operations.
  • Adopt a critical mindset and address inconsistencies in board papers.
  • Maintain financial literacy through professional development.
  • Implement strong corporate governance processes.
  • Seek external advice when necessary.
  • Regularly assess the company’s solvency to prevent financial trouble.

Full Article:

Directors hold significant responsibilities under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), with severe consequences for non-compliance. This article outlines practical strategies to help directors fulfil their duties effectively, ensuring the company’s financial health and legal compliance.

Key Duties of Directors

Directors must:

  • Exercise powers with care and diligence.
  • Act in good faith in the company’s best interests.
  • Avoid improper use of position or information.
  • Prevent the company from insolvent trading.

Regardless of the company’s size, these duties remain consistent across SMEs, SMSFs, and ASX-listed companies.

Practical Strategies for Directors
  1. Monitor Financial Position and Operations
    • Stay informed about the company’s financial status.
    • Regularly attend board meetings and actively participate.
    • Allocate sufficient time for discussion of key matters.
  2. Adopt a Critical Mindset
    • Be proactive in addressing inconsistencies in board papers.
    • Raise issues where information appears incomplete or misleading.
    • Exercise caution in high-risk situations, such as major transactions and capital raisings.
  3. Maintain Financial Literacy
    • Pursue professional development to understand solvency indicators and financial reporting standards.
    • Be equipped to make informed financial decisions.
  4. Implement Strong Corporate Governance
    • Ensure effective board briefing processes are in place.
    • Record detailed minutes reflecting board discussions and decisions.
  5. Seek External Advice
    • Engage professionals for independent advice, especially in complex matters.
    • Scrutinise external advice to ensure it meets the company’s needs.
  6. Regularly Assess Solvency
    • Ensure reliable financial statements and review cash flow forecasts.
    • Seek advice from insolvency practitioners if necessary.
Common Pitfalls for SME Directors

SME directors often lack awareness of their duties and the extent of personal liability. To mitigate risks:

  • Define roles and responsibilities clearly.
  • Ensure all directors are involved and informed about company affairs.
Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failing to fulfil director duties can lead to personal liability, financial compensation, or criminal penalties for reckless or dishonest breaches.


Directors must guide and monitor their company’s management diligently to avoid severe penalties. Implementing these strategies will help directors meet their obligations and protect their company’s financial health.