Are you looking for ways to save time in your business?
We have found that the level of automation available from using accounting software, such as Xero, benefits a business by reducing the time taken to process the books and records. It can also enable you to extract more accurate, up to date information allowing you to make better, more informed decisions.
There are other tasks which can also be automated allowing you to spend more time running and growing your business.
Over the next few articles, we will have a look at some tasks which could be automated and even expanded to give you back time and benefit your business.
Most businesses suffer, not because they fail to make money but because they run out of cash. Accurate forecasting can allow you to see the pinch points in your cashflow and proactively plan for them. Different businesses have different issues, even within the same sector. Within the food and drink sector, a manufacturing business could have cashflow pressures at the end of every month, a seasonal business such as a soft fruit producer may experience cashflow restrictions outside the selling season or an expanding business may need additional working capital to fund its growth.
Some common areas to review are:
- Are your customers paying you within your agreed payment terms? If not, can they be incentivised to pay early.
- Are you taking full advantage of credit terms offered by suppliers or can these be extended on the back of successful trading patterns?
- Have you reviewed your finance and debt facilities to see if it is possible to reprofile them on better or longer terms?
- Have you considered the use of other finance products such as hire purchase, leasing or invoice financing?
- Have you researched whether there are any grants available to the business either for a specific capital project or to help grow the business?
By identifying the issues facing the business, proactive planning can be undertaken to help deal with them rather than letting them impact the business.
The rise in cloud accounting and bookkeeping apps allows businesses to review the above and implement change much quicker and more efficiently than under more traditional methods.
There are apps such as Fluidly or Float which assist with cashflow forecasting and budgeting. Xero itself can automatically issue customer statements with overdue accounts to improve cashflow or set payment dates for suppliers.
Next time we will look at other areas within a business that could benefit from automation such as stock management, staff payroll and timesheet recording.
Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding cloud accounting applications such as Xero and its functionality, please get in touch with our Amber Accounting team via [email protected] or call 01307 474274.