The start of a new year is the perfect time to reassess the processes and systems that underlie the business. Good financial management is vital to building a thriving business, and it involves processes that can always benefit from a bit of updating, improving, or streamlining. Some financial management updating ideas that will hopefully lead to a more prosperous year for your company:
Getting paid promptly by your customers is important for maintaining a reliable and consistent cash flow. Many businesses operate with some lapse in time between service provided and payment received. Streamlining and updating the system by which your office sends invoices—and reducing the time between sending the invoice and receiving the payment—will put money in your account faster and help keep cash flow going. Some businesses offer discounts for faster payments or payments made in full. If your business has suffered from unpaid, late, omitted, or inaccurate invoices in the past, it is worth the time to research automating invoicing software programs that send invoices out to customers immediately and automatically follow up with reminders so that you don’t have to.
Just as you need your clients to pay promptly, your suppliers and vendors count on you to do the same. Late payments on your own bills can lead to late fees and possible interest charges that do nothing but waste your money, diminish your credit, and sully your reputation with suppliers. If accounts payable is slowing down the bookkeeping process, the new year is the perfect time to look for ways to improve and streamline. Having a designated day and time to pay bills greatly reduces the chances of incurring penalties for late or forgotten payments. Putting in place a system for approval workflow will create a chain of accountability that helps reduce errors, fraud, omissions, duplicate payments, and unnecessary backlog. Automating software that assists with bill paying has proven popular with many small businesses. Research software that offers reminders for due dates, mails payments for you, and converts invoices directly into check payments for saving time and improving efficiency.
There are numerous B2B payment methods available today, and most businesses make use of more than one method when issuing payments for supplies, labor, facilities, utilities, and inventory. Many payment options come with additional convenience or service fees that can add up over time. Checkeeper offers simplified, affordable, and unlimited check printing for one consistent monthly price. From within the Checkeeper account, users can turn invoices directly into check payments to issue (or have issued) for the most direct and time-efficient way to get bills paid and paychecks printed without hidden fees. Print a few checks or hundreds of checks, all for the same monthly price, and have all details automatically recorded and stored for you. There are no service fees, costly add-ons, or billing surprises. For little more than the price of a stamp and envelope, Checkeeper will mail checks on your behalf within the same business day of ordering.
The transition from one year to a new one is an ideal time to review old systems and processes in order to spot opportunities for improvement. Taking the time to review last year's budget, comparing actual costs with the projections, can help you make better forecasts for the coming year, as well as find categories to trim or overpriced supplies to cut back on. Improve cash flow in the coming year by revising the budget to reflect more accurate spending forecasts and to reduce money wasted on nonessentials.
There are many online, cloud-based tools available to businesses of all sizes that help streamline the bookkeeping and make life easier. Programs that automatically send and track invoices, print checks, run payroll, and sync financial data save business owners and bookkeepers a ton of time and greatly improve the accuracy of financial records. Many of the widely-used programs available to businesses are mobile-optimized and can be accessed from anywhere you happen to be working. The new year is the perfect time to look into adopting the right cloud-based software programs that are both user- and budget-friendly.