Admin can become an expensive burden for a small company. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When they use the right tools, small- and medium-sized businesses can access the kinds of efficiency-saving technologies that were once reserved for their large corporate peers.
In particular, says Tim Birchall, business advisory partner of financial advice and accounting firm Findex, a cloud-based accounting system saves business owners time and money.
“Having your receipts and payments flow straight from your bank into the software reduces processing time and lets you see all your financial information in a timely manner. You can also easily share your data with your accountant in real time, which means better decision making and reduced manual handling of files. Cloud software also allows you to link directly with the Australian Taxation Office, providing a simpler method to lodge reporting obligations such as Business Activity Statements,” Birchall says.
From apps that automatically chase invoices for you – reducing the pain of late payments – to software that helps produce professional proposals, so you can more easily maintain a healthy pipeline, technology can free you up to do what you do best: grow your business.
Here, we explore four different ways small business leaders can use tech to take the pain out of managing their cash flow.
1. Get easy access to account insights
Cloud-based accounting software, such as Intuit QuickBooks, enables you to access your accounts on the go through its mobile apps. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’ll be able to check in on your business performance in real-time and make informed decisions.
Michael Fox, managing director of accounting firm KMT Partners, says cloud accounting’s major advantage is the ability it gives business owners to take charge of their accounting process.
“It makes it easy for principals to be involved and engaged in the financials of their business. Instant data access, data being pushed to the business owner, plus no data entry creates efficiencies, supports accuracy and reduces time and costs.”
2. Stay on top of invoices and chase payments
Late payments represent an enormous challenge for small businesses and technology is one way to address this. Online accounting software such as Xero will automatically send invoice reminders on your behalf, removing some of the awkwardness of having to chase payments from clients who are late paying their bills.
“Cloud-based accounting software also allows you autofill invoice templates with the click of a button. All your invoices are also kept in the same spot, accessible from any mobile device. This allows you to quickly see the status of an invoice, whether it has been emailed to your customer, when it was viewed and whether it has been paid. Plus, because cloud accounting is mobile, you can also raise invoices anywhere and link invoices to online payment options to get paid faster,” he says.
3. Generate proposals more efficiently
Getting sales proposals out to clients quickly and efficiently will help create a healthy sales pipeline. But putting them together can be time-consuming.
Using a tool such as Proposify can produce efficiencies by allowing users to create proposals using templates and its easy-to-access library of approved product descriptions, images and case studies. It can also help you track proposals once they’re with the client.
4. More options for payment
The easier it is to accept payments from customers, the quicker you’ll be able to get cash rolling into the business. If you’re looking for payment options for your business, it’s helpful to weigh up how technology factors into them.
For instance, mobile payment technologies such as Square can turn your phone into a point-of-sale machine. It can also provide simple card readers. The set-up process is straightforward and suitable for small businesses owners.
Tech is one of the best ways to manage cash flow and increase efficiencies in your business. Take the time to explore the options available to help streamline admin and support your growth.