Managing the financial aspect of running a small business can seem like a constant struggle.
It’s normal to wonder where entrepreneurs find the time to produce and offer their products considering the fact that they also have to deal with the Internal Revenue Service, on top of managing daily financials, accounting tasks, expenses and invoices.
Luckily, technological advancements have afforded small business owners a variety of tools designed to help them handle day to day financial tasks in a time saving and easier manner.
Take a look at the ten financial management tools listed below, designed to help small business owners focus on their real job, of running the business, by simplifying the process of managing the financial aspect of their businesses.
1. Accounting Solutions
Internet based accounting solutions for small businesses like Xero are gaining popularity, in a field where QuickBooks has been the standard of measure for a long time. Choosing a flexible and strong tool will ensure that whatever accounting program you choose works for your specific business.
Fundamental accounting tasks including contact management for vendors/clients, tracking of expenses and invoicing; payroll processing, tax preparation, automated recurring payments and billing, mobile functionality, creation of estimates and quotes, access for multiple users; and compatibility with Google Apps, credit card and point of sale solutions, are some of the things to look for when shopping for the right accounting program.
2. Tools for Budgeting
The success of your small business hinges on your ability to create and remain within a realistic budget. You may be able to use your chosen accounting program to create budgets for your business without the need for a separate solution, depending on its available features. Check out PlanGuru if you however find that you need a dedicated tool for budgeting.
3. Tools for Payroll Management
It’s easy to make mistakes when handling the often time-consuming task of payroll management. An add-on for payroll management, designed to seamlessly integrate with Inuit Quickbooks, is available. The solution, which can easily work with the other storefront or accounting tools in your arsenal, can help you do away with costly inefficiencies by streamlining the payroll management process.
4. Tools for An Agile Billing Process
Cash will flow into your business quicker when you create a quick and smooth billing process which ensures that payments are made and processed much faster. You can increase customer satisfaction in addition to shortening the billing process by using a fast cloud-based solution such as Bill.com or FreshBooks.
You can reduce delays on accounts receivables and improve customer experiences with the implementation of faster billing processes using agile billing tools.
5. Visual Financial Dashboard Tools
To see a snapshot of the financial health of your small business, use a dashboard such as InDinero or LivePlan. To see whether the business is flourishing and not merely surviving, you can use these tools to monitor its KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
You can instantly see whether the financial performance of the business is off course, and make efforts to correct any deviations, by visually tracking these essential financial measures in one place.
6. Tools for Analyzing Cash Flow
To prepare your business for any financial eventualities, you can use a simple spreadsheet or a cash-flow specific tracking solution like Float to measure, on a regular basis, your cash-flow, regardless of whether you use the cash flow statement feature on your accounting software. By predicting your financial future using patterns seen in historic data, cash-flow analysis helps you get through cash balance fluctuations.
7. Tools for Inventory Management
Cloud based tools such as Scout’s TopShelf or SOS Inventory, can be used to track your inventory to customer order fulfillment from the point of purchase of resale items efficiently. On top of inventory tracking, these solutions can be used for order packing and shipping management, automated low inventory alert set up and sales report generation.
8. Tools for Tracking Expenses
It’s hard to track tiny business expenses such as transport, meals and gas, which have the potential to add up quickly. You can easily collect and import information for reimbursement, re-billing, expense accounting or approval by asking employees to add expenses or scan receipts using mobile devices before uploading them with the help of expense reporting tools like Xpenditure, and Expensify.
9. A Business Credit Card
To receive discounts and rewards meant for businesses, increase the amounts that the business can borrow by gaining access to higher credit limits and boost the credit history of the business, we encourage you to get your hands on a business credit card.
Make sure that you can be able to easily manage employee credit cards, whose credit limits should be relatively low, through the business credit card account you pick. In addition to boosting staff morale, this set up also helps you cover expenses, like travel, incurred by employees in a simple and convenient manner.
10. Tools for E-commerce
For businesses of all kinds, e-commerce is becoming essential. Whether using mobile devices or credit cards, an increasing number of customers expect to pay for purchases instantly. Some of the solutions to consider here include PayPal, Square and Apple Pay.
Online, consumers also want to be able to locate your business and conduct transactions. In addition to helping you facilitate online and in-store transactions, solutions like Vend and Stitch also track sales data, simplify order fulfillment and monitor inventory. A strong and integrated solution that helps you manage all these tasks in one convenient location is, of course, considered to be the Holy Grail.
CashierLive is a solution designed to handle online transactions, payroll and monitor inventory, and everything else in between in retail businesses. QuickBooks Online with Payroll or Sage 50 may be a better match for other businesses. When it comes to invoicing, managing payroll, profits, expenses and sales reporting, these two are considered to be complete systems.