7 Tips to Improve Your Cash Flow with Financial Accounting Software

7 Tips to Improve Your Cash Flow with Financial Accounting Software

Cash flow. Two little words that are the source of huge amounts of stress and frustration for many SMBs. Invoicing quickly and accurately is key if businesses want to have enough money to pay their employees and their own bills. But invoicing quickly isn’t as easy as it sounds.

To improve your invoicing, SMBs need to focus on three key areas – keeping all their financial data in one place, avoiding manual re-entry of data and efficiently collecting information from the business so invoices can be sent out quickly.

And just like accounts receivables, accounts payable also benefits from using an integrated system that eliminates manual re-entry and offers better controls. With improved visibility into your accounts payable and accounts receivable, SMBs can make sure they’re optimizing their payments to take advantage of discounts for early payments and maintaining a stable cash flow.

3 Ways To Shorten Your Invoice Cycle

For many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), longer invoicing cycles cause confusion, accuracy issues and serious cash flow problems.

Without powerful financial accounting software to rein in these complications, SMBs wrestle with maintaining the integrity of their bookkeeping. This struggle makes it difficult- if not impossible- to forecast or make sound business decisions without questioning the validity of the data.

Here are three key invoicing issues that SMBs frequently deal with, along with an explanation about how financial accounting software helps to eliminate these problems, effectively speeding up the cycle time and saving the company money. 

1) Some SMBs store their invoicing information in more than one location:

Keeping financial information on several spreadsheets or in more than one system makes it difficult to track anything. What money is coming in? How much money is actually in the bank to pay the bills? Is there enough to make payroll? Without storing all of this information in one location, or at least integrating the different systems that require financial data, it’s much too easy to make mistakes. That’s because these spreadsheets and systems are not communicating with each other. In other words, there’s a lack of real-time updates between the systems.

Let’s say, for example, someone in accounting pays a bill for $1,000. Unless that accountant logs that payment into the spreadsheet and all four of the company’s various systems, someone else in another department could go into one of the these systems – which hasn’t been updated – and assume there’s $1,000 more in the bank than is the case. Without integration between the systems, the second person could easily bounce a check.

With financial accounting software, all financial data is updated in one location and in real time.

2) Storing invoice data in multiple locations means your accountants must use time-consuming processes to maintain accuracy:

This particular invoicing issue – which is related to the first problem listed above – happens when the accountants must invest significant effort to make the data on each of the different spreadsheets and systems produce the same truth.

If the accountants have to update two spreadsheets and three systems for every transactions, they’ll spend far too much precious time juggling manual processes. Plus, should they forget to update even one of these locations, the accuracy of the bookkeeping goes out the window.

A fully integrated financial accounting system doesn’t require any data to e tracked on spreadsheets. So when you correct the information in one system, it’s corrected across all of them. You don’t need someone to enter it in system A, system B and system C. When a change is made in any of these systems, everything is updated. This ensures that no matter what system you’re in, you’ll receive the correct and most up-to-date information.

3) Longer invoice cycle times cause customers to take longer to make payments:

Studies show the longer you wait to send a bill, the harder it is to receive full payment. By using disparate systems to invoice customers, the process takes longer and delays payments.

Financial accounting software includes fully integrated sales order processes. This means accountants have fewer steps and no manual processes to send an invoice, drastically speeding up delivery time and billing cycle time.

Here’s the bottom line: SMBs don’t have to endure the confusion and headaches that come with long invoicing cycles. Thanks to its integration abilities, quality financial accounting software is able to vastly improve the quality of your data, enabling business leaders to make better decisions.

4 Tips To Improve Accounts Payable

Accounts payable (AP) is a fundamental accounting practice. That’s Business 101 and — in general — not overly complicated. And yet, as a company grows, issues can crop up and cause major problems, costing the business unnecessary time, energy and money.

The key for improving AP and avoiding these problems is using quality financial accounting software. These tools, especially if accessed in the cloud, can provide growing small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with time-saving processes.

With that in mind, here are several AP issues that can become quite painful if left unattended, as well as ways that technology is able to solve those problems.

1) You have inadequate security.

Having weak internal controls encourages theft. Often, companies feel they’re too small to worry about theft. Others feel they can trust everyone so there isn’t a significant need to worry about additional security procedures.
Improve your security by working with a cloud provider. A recent article on

Computerworld.com shows that despite National Security Agency data leaks by Edward Snowden, companies aren’t running away from the cloud. While some research in August predicted the leaks could cause American cloud providers to lose business to overseas competitors, “six months later, the impact appears to be less severe than expected,” the article reports. In fact, as a whole, the cloud continues to be much more secure for SMBs than most data closets. For example, an article on the Dark Reading website outlines ways SMBs can improve their security, specifically by using the cloud. With a cloud-based service, companies are able to obtain email, web security and access-management services, and perform automated backups, to name just a few features.

2) You’re missing discounts from vendors due to poor cash flow planning.

Capture all the discounts you’re eligible for by using electronic payments and automated AP. These services also enable SMBs to release blocked invoices held up by data errors, which reduce the opportunity to realize discounts. A study discussed in a blog post on the Business Finance website showed that AP departments are “slowly but steadily moving away from paper and to a greater percentage of electronic transactions.” Electronic payments enable SMBs to achieve “better control over their spending and [ensure] purchases are made with preferred suppliers,” the post explains. About a third of companies that use electronic invoices can process a payment for less than $2 each, the study showed.

 

3) You’re still using Excel spreadsheets for accounting and tracking invoices, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult as the company grows.

Financial accounting software helps companies better manage and anticipate cash flow and help enforce internal controls. Advanced accounting systems provide financial insights in real time that spreadsheets will never be capable of delivering.

4) Too many manual tasks are costing your company time and money.

A recent survey of AP professionals showed that most companies have some level of automation; however, only 16.9 percent of these have a fully automated solution.

Invest in a fully automated payments system to cut down on mistakes, identify billing errors and reduce overpayments. A white paper from Logicbroker outlines several ways that these automated programs work to eliminate manual tasks. Invoices, catalog prices, product inventory, purchase orders, shipment notices and everything in the warehouse can be automated. “Errors are most commonly caused because of inaccuracies made while performing manual tasks,” the white paper reports.

If done right, AP isn’t that complicated for small companies. As the business grows, however, it’s important to invest in powerful financial accounting software to prevent major issues, which could cost your company time and money.

Conclusion:

Stopping your cash flow headaches starts by streamlining your accounts receivable and accounts payable processes and increasing your visibility with financial accounting software. You can focus on growing your business and keeping your customers happy because you’ve reduced your manual data entry and integrated your business systems. By using the seven tips offered in this eBook, you can make sure that you never miss another early payment discount or panic when payroll is due.

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Steve’s been with SMB Suite since 1998 and has been involved with nearly every aspects of the Company’s business as a strategist, professional services executive, cloud solutions architect, and senior consultant. In his current role, Steve is responsible for SMB Suite’s revenue and oversees the execution of ERP, CRM and BI projects for customers across a broad range of industries. Steve combines his expertise in MS Dynamics GP, CRM and other Microsoft products with a strong foundation in accounting and business to identify gaps and streamline customers’ processes. Prior to co-founding SMB Suite, Steve was previously Corporate Controller for MEHLE Behr and, prior to that, Audit Senior for Ernst & Young. Steve holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jeremy is responsible for SMB Suite’s technology vision, strategy and implementation and is the architect of the Company’s Dynamics Cloud Platform. Highly adept in every facet of managed services, ERP systems and e-commerce platforms, Jeremy’s expertise spans the implementation and support of business and financial software solutions, as well as the customization and integration of SMB Suite’s cloud ERP technology stack. He holds numerous Microsoft and industry-related certifications, and was primarily responsible for designing the Company’s progressive business services platform in the early days of the Cloud. Prior to SMB Suite, Jeremy served as the financial analyst, systems administrator, and information systems liaison for a $2 billion financial services corporation.

Monty is responsible for SMB Suite’s day-to-day operation and, most importantly, its customers. As a leader, motivator and mentor, Monty creates loyal high performance teams willing to “walk through walls” to accomplish their goals. Prior to SMB Suite, Monty served as President of The Bradshaw Group (TBG), a global distributor, manufacturer, and repair facility for digital printers. In this role, he was the Company’s ambassador to its most important domestic, European and Latin American customers and TBG achieved a best-in-class Net Promoter Score of 74 for its superb customer satisfaction. Prior to TBG, Monty served as the General Manager of Sam’s Clubs three highest grossing U.S. stores and was named Regional Operator of the Year in 1999. Monty holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas Tech University and is an active member of Business Navigators. He has been active in Vistage International, Executives in Action, the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association, as well as, A.P.I.C.S., the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management. Monty also volunteers with Hunger Busters and ManeGait, a therapeutic horsemanship organization.

David is a proven financial and information technology professional with expertise in providing business accounting software and computing solutions. He began his career by starting and managing a successful independent consulting practice for several years. He then launched the local systems consulting unit of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services Group, leading the office into the hi-tech consulting arena. After successfully developing the unit for Ernst & Young, David founded NextCorp (which became SMB Suite in 2013) to serve the business software needs of clients throughout the US. David has made SMB Suite one of the best cloud ERP providers in the industry. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur and leader, he is a software and technology specialist, holding certifications in various Microsoft and other technologies.

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