Those of us living in the northern hemisphere often use images of spring to keep ourselves warm on these short, cold and dreary days. Business focuses on financial housekeeping, order planning, and looking ahead. Growing the business, keeping it steady or whatever the stage your particular business is at.
This is a good time to take a fresh look at the way you do things and if there is any room to reduce costs, improve efficiency or just make things easier.
There is a choice of business-focused technology that can help. Sales and marketing are well provided for online, and you already use (or should be) using some of these inexpensive or free tools in the cloud. What about your finances? Still using accounting software on a desktop in your office? Using online banking just to check your balance or make a payment?
Switch Your Accounting To The Cloud
There’s plenty of choice today to manage your finances online. It makes life easier for your accountants, your finance people, and whoever is responsible for your IT. Cloud accounting platforms are connecting to many of the services business can use to simplify cash flow.
Whether you need to connect to a specific e-invoice format, send auto-reminders or even automate your cash flow forecasts to predict when you’re likely to need cash, you can do this via your cloud accounting application. Monthly subscriptions mean that you don’t have to invest in new upgrades every few years, and the eco-system of apps gives a chance to try out new services (often for free). There’s also a growing number of accountants who are embracing new ways of doing things and some include cloud accounting subscriptions as part of their monthly fees.
Make Your Invoices Electronic
If you are emailing your invoice straight from your accounting platform, you’re half way there! When your customer contact receives your email, he or she still needs to get the invoice into the system. Many corporates have dedicated processing teams to validate and extract information from emailed and physical invoices. Some corporates use invoice submission portals where suppliers log in and submit their invoices electronically. Others employ accounts payable or invoice service providers who ensure invoices reach the corporate accounting system in the right format with the correct information.
Getting your invoice to the right point of entry in the appropriate format is worthwhile if it gets you paid faster. And with the chance of public sector mandates on e-invoicing being considered, it’s worth exploring any cost effective solutions out there. If connecting to different customers seems expensive and time consuming, you’re in luck! Your accounting platform may have an add-on that can connect you to different customers with a few clicks.
Change The Way You Look At Financing Your Business
Until bank lending dried up, businesses simply went to their bank to finance any cash gaps, orders or new projects. For the last few years, with banks having less to lend, alternative channels have opened up. From auctions to online loan portals and asset-based finance to crowdfunding, we are seeing new sources (and to some extent, less stringent approaches) to business finance. Whatever your situation, its worth checking out what is available, as different options will be suitable for you at different stages of your business.
We’ve been using email, social and shopping and banking in the cloud. Smart businesses are already using cloud marketing and sales management. Maybe it’s time to raise our heads higher and take our finances to the cloud. With feet firmly on the ground, keeping our strides!
Bilbus is a cloud based cashflow hub – connecting to accounting platforms, Bilbus helps businesses manage invoicing and collections, and forecast cash flow. A single cash hub to view and manage cashflow.