By Phill Robinson, CEO of IRIS Software,
Even with a return to economic stability, entrepreneurs are faced with a number of pressures to ensure business survival. The key to longevity is to eradicate common business problems, including day-to-day frustrations such as managing accounts, which can be time consuming and costly due to cumbersome accounting requirements and processes.
So how can you improve your business’s accounting efficiencies? Phill highlights a number of ways to simplify daily tasks associated with running a business and to free up your time to focus on core business activities.
• Reporting — Small business owners often waste valuable time due to accounts systems which are incapable of sufficiently updating information. In other words, correct data will offer an accurate indication of who owes what. By using a system which allows owners, staff and accountants to look at the same information in real time gives true visibility of cash flow. This in turn secures the company as a whole by informing important business and investment decisions.
• Duplication is the root of all evil — It is important that small businesses focus on saving time, improving accuracy and removing duplication of effort. Fundamentally, automating processes such as cash flow and payroll can allow small businesses to save resource whilst also eliminating the risk of mistakes that are caused by human error.
• Access for all – Ensure your accounts are easily accessible and can be updated by more than one person in the business so they can see an accurate picture of the business finances at any given time. This also allows the bookkeeper, business owner and in fact anyone else in the company who needs to access the accounts to update information in their own time.
• One size doesn’t always fit all – Customers are individuals and every business is unique. Therefore, don’t fall into the trap of working from software that has non-specific accounting processes, as it won’t be tailored to your needs or the requirements of the business. For example, the software may contain mandatory fields for data that isn’t necessarily applicable to your business, which can result in time being wasted entering information that is redundant.
• Keeping on top of things – It is important that business owners keep on top of accounting. Keeping a box of receipts that piles up and is sent to the accountant once or twice a year isn’t time or cost effective for anyone.
• Managing cash flow in the cloud– Cash flow can cause problems for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and can be particularly troublesome for smaller companies. However, moving accounts away from traditional desktop software to cloud solutions such as KashFlow from IRIS, to provide business owners with the flexibility to submit an invoice or receive a full update on cash flow for example, from wherever and whenever. Setting up and growing any business can incur unexpected costs which can in turn affect your cash flow. This is why cash flow management is absolutely vital to overall business success and without it, your business could be at risk of failing to meet its true potential.