(BPT) - By Irana Wasti, Chief Product Officer of BILL
As a business owner, keeping your finances thriving is critical, especially if you're looking to do more with less as many small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are. Having your finances in shape can open the door to new markets, products and services, customers, and expanded advertising and hiring.
Staying organized - especially with cashflow records - is one of the best ways to ensure your business continues to succeed. If you want to manage and optimize your finances and ensure your business finances are in good shape, follow these five simple, effective steps.
1. Go paperless
Drowning in paper? Opting out of reconciling credit cards and bank statements on paper and transitioning your accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) to a digital system can easily declutter your finances. By switching your payables and receivables over to a digital system, you'll virtually eliminate the need for managing everything on paper.
You can save money and time by sending payments with just a few clicks and automating recurring payments. Also, automation can optimize approval and review workflows, and reduce human error and time spent on routine tasks. With smart, AI driven software, getting started can be as easy as taking a picture of your next bill. And it continues to pay off with peace of mind and improved efficiency in the future.
2. Secure and organize financial documents
Without so much paper, you may find it easier to keep all your financial records organized, secure and easily accessible. For example, when customer Mount Tamalpais College adopted BILL, they were able to more easily adapt to hybrid work (physically working on site and virtually), streamline AP and spend far less time shepherding documents for signatures and approvals. If they go through an audit, they'll have all their important documents stored in one convenient, accessible place.
3. Take a financial inventory
Another helpful step is to take a financial inventory and review your business spending habits. The goal is to gain more comfort and clarity over your finances and to use this information to make more informed financial decisions. This can be even easier if you're using financial automation software that provides visibility into your cash flow and lets you generate reports. You should review to see if:
- You can cut back or reallocate funds to better align with your goals.
- Your cash flow is consistently challenged, and if you can implement strategies to improve it.
- Your business has any outstanding debt and if you can pay off or consolidate debt.
- You can negotiate vendor contracts for better terms or switch to more cost-effective vendors.
4. Make it easier to pay and get paid
According to a study by PYMNTS, 49% of invoices become overdue. Since getting paid on time is essential to your company's financial health, it's time to roll up your sleeves and do a deep clean of your AR.
Use your reporting system to pull up all your unpaid invoices. This will quickly give insights into which clients owe you money and if some regularly take too long to pay. If you use BILL, you can set up auto reminders to let clients know when payments are due or if anything is overdue.
Take control of your cash flow and avoid late payments by making your payment process easier. You can do so by expanding payment options, such as accepting credit cards, ACH bank transfers, PayPal and more, so your clients can have more options to pay you. You can also consider using an online portal to enable customers to pay invoices online and set up autopay and flexible payment plans to improve your cash flow.
5. Set new goals and plan
If you've reached your initial business goals, it doesn't mean you should sit on your laurels. It's essential to spend a little time planning the future of your business. This could include setting aside funds for future investments, building an emergency fund, preparing for potential market changes, or even succession planning and contributing more to your personal retirement accounts.
By going paperless, organizing your financial documents, doing a thorough financial inventory, reviewing unpaid invoices and planning for the future, you can ensure that your business is on the right path to meet its financial goals and thrive this year and beyond.
Financial automation does not have to be hard, complicated, or reactive. At BILL, we can help take proactive action to you get your business finances in shape by streamlining your AP and AR workflows for better visibility and control of your cash flows. To see how it works, visit Bill.com/Signup to start your risk-free trial.