It’s no great surprise or secret that anyone in charge of a business needs to know how to manage the finances. There is usually a lot that goes into this process, and as a business leader you will need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep the finances under control. Long gone are the days when you would rely on pen and paper to do this. These days, you will generally need to make use of various kinds of software to make it easier. So how can you do that, and what kinds of software are you likely going to need to use?
Bookkeeping For Small Businesses
One of the major elements that you need to think about here is your general, top-down bookkeeping. That includes keeping a record of everything that comes in, everything that goes out, and watching over the resulting balance. It will also include having a detailed breakdown of the various expenses and forms of income that the business might have. There are many ways to approach this using software, and it is the kind of process that is going to require a number of different types of software all at once. But in general, good bookkeeping is also going to need some kind of software to keep an eye over the whole process.
If you are a small business, there are some pieces of software that are likely to be especially worthwhile looking into in order to ensure you are keeping on top of your finances. In particular, you might want to look at an app like Wave, which is designed specifically for small businesses looking to look after their bookkeeping, and it includes a function known as double-entry accounting, which is used by the majority of businesses. There is also the opportunity to link unlimited bank accounts, which can make things a lot easier when you are hoping to shift things around as your business grows. And there is the chance to take photographs of receipts to then upload into the app. All in all, it’s a useful option for any small business, and well worth considering.
As well as those kinds of bookkeeping applications, there are also a range of financial tools which you can think of as digital accountants. In other words, they do a wider range of financial activities for your business, and not just the top-down bookkeeping stuff. A good example, and one that is particularly popular amongst businesses of all sizes in recent years, is QuickBooks, which is an app known for making financial management much easier than it would otherwise be with many other options.
With an app like QuickBooks, you can easily and swiftly report all financial implications that might be relevant in your business. There is never going to be anything left out, which means that you are much more likely to keep in control of your business finances so much more easily and in a much more powerful way. What’s more, it comes with a range of pricing plans, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to afford it, and you should be able to make use of it no matter what scale your business is currently at.
An important part of the financial process in any business is the point-of-sale (POS), which is where the actual sale takes place. It can be in person or online, or even over the phone, but in any case you need to make sure that you are keeping on top of this part of the process, otherwise your business could be losing out in a variety of ways. That might include losing customers, having less of an income, or even not making the right amount of money through your sales.
This is another part of the process which can be managed a lot more effectively through the use of the right software. In fact, there are specific POS apps that you might want to look into using, and which can make things so much easier for you in general. A good POS app can accept any credit and debit cards on your behalf, help you manage your inventory of stock and keep track of all and any items you might have which are relevant, help you to set up an online store and manage the resulting payments, and prepare reports about your POS transactions to help you to keep your inventory up to date.
As you can see, having a POS app in place can be one of the best financial management decisions you can make, especially if you happen to run a business online and you have a store online that people are using – something which is becoming more and more common as time goes on, and especially during the pandemic and beyond.
In order to make money from your clients, you need to make sure that you are invoicing them professionally, properly and accurately. This is clearly a vital part of the overall financial process, as without it you are not going to have a clear record of who is paying you what and when. Of course, there is also the chance that you won’t even get paid the money that you have worked for!
That’s why you need to have a decent software solution to creating and sending invoices. One of the parts of this that people often find most challenging is the actual design and creation of the invoice itself. It is often easier to use a template, rather than trying to design one from scratch, as an invoice template can allow you to keep a professional and serious look without you having to worry about spending too long on your invoice designs. This is just one of those things that can make so much easier in your financial process in-house, so it’s definitely something you should look out for.
Having attractive and professional invoices will often help to improve the way that your clients perceive your business, and could be an important cornerstone in keeping your relationships with them as positive as possible.
There will be plenty of times when you want to have more of a hands-on approach than many of the previous apps will give you. When you are using a top-down accounting app, there is plenty that is going to be made easier for you. But you might still want to be able to do some of it yourself. In general, that will mean that you need to make use of spreadsheets. Many people only have a limited ability to use spreadsheet software, but this is one of the most important things you can learn if you want your business’ finances to be managed more successfully.
In truth, you will very often only need to use something like the standard, Excel. You would do much better getting to grips with that in a big way, rather than trying to find and get good at some rare alternative. For one thing, you know it is the standard, which is going to make sharing files easier. But it’s also got everything you need for when you need to create and use spreadsheets, so it’s worth getting really good at using it for that reason too.
If you are looking after the rest of your business’ finances, but you are not really mastering the tax side of things, then you are not really looking after the finances at all. The consequences of failing to deal with tax can be profound; you might end up having to repay a lot of money, including fines, or you might even end up in prison, if you are not careful. So it is clearly important to keep on top of your tax as best as you can, which is often easier said than done.
Of course, this too is going to be a lot easier as long as you have the right software solution to hand. There are countless options out there for managing your tax effectively with software, and it’s going to be a good idea to take a look at a number of them in turn in order to try and find the best for your situation. If you run a small business, something like TaxAct could be the best all-rounder. Bear in mind that some apps offer more features, and some are merely a minimal solution. But it’s all about finding one that suits your needs and desires as well as possible, as with the other things in this list.
These are some of the major ways in which you can use better software to manage your finances more effectively. As long as you are making use of these in the right way, you should be able to keep on top of your business’ finances so much better, and in the process you should find that things generally improve in your business, but also for your own personal wallet.