Starting and running a small business is a stressful, but rewarding job if you keep up on everything. The financial aspect of a business can seem overwhelming, and hiring an accountant may not be in the budget. However, there are tools and software available that will help any business owner keep their business on a budget.
Using accounting software is one way to help keep your budget on track and your business in the green. There are many different software available, including QuickBooks, so look for a program that is flexible and can handle many tasks. When you are shopping for a software, consider how it handles invoicing, billing, expense tracking, quoting jobs, processing payroll, and preparing taxes. With the increased age of mobile technology, consider finding software that also has a mobile access and ability to process payments anywhere.
Technology is always a great option, especially for speed and accuracy; however, it is wise to also consider having backups in printed form. One of the easiest ways to do this is with Excel Spreadsheets and custom tailor it to your needs. Budgets are a necessity for any business, so use spreadsheets to make a budget that is easy for you to follow. You will want to document all income, all outflow, and track where money may be slipping.
It is impossible to create a working budget if you do not manage your payroll. With software, such as Zen Payroll, you will be able to keep track of taxes, productivity, and even make sure employees are paid only for the hours they actually work. In a fast-paced world, you will want the quick and accurate payments to retain employees, and cloud systems allow everyone to see where they are at any time.
Managing your inventory is one of the main aspects to watching your cash flow. Cash will ebb and flow throughout the month, but bills will generally have the same deadline. Watching what sells and what needs to be removed from inventory is vital to the success of your business. Software that manages your inventory will tell you what is running low, what has been ordered, when things are packed and ready to ship, as well as keeping track of all sales. Finally, you can keep track of expenses for each item as in the process of purchasing, shipping, and returning defective merchandise.
Bookkeeping is not for everyone. If you find your productivity dropping because you are concentrating on the financial aspect, it is time to consider a professional accountant. This route should be only used with someone who is certified and well experienced with managing the finances for your business. The money that you spend on the accountant should save you more money than spending.
According to the experts at Lantern Credit, the business lender comparison site, “you cannot create a working budget without knowledge of your cash flow.” Small business loans are available to start a business, but many will require you to already have a budget set up for your business. They will want to know how you are managing your money and what your plan is for success.
Understanding your cash flow will help you create a budget, which is when these tools will be key to keeping you on track. Once you find a system that works for you, you will find that you spend less time focusing on financial and more time catering to your customers.