How to stay on top of your business finances? Whether you have a big or small business, being on top of your finances is crucial to running a successful business.
As a business owner, you need to ensure you have a positive cash flow to prepare for unforeseen events, emergencies, or debts.
As a business owner, ignoring financial management can lead to severe consequences, such as supply-chain delays or interruptions caused by negative cash flow.
Business owners need to find methods of reporting and analysis to assess the company’s financial health.
In this article, we will share some tips on how to stay on top of your business finances.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Here is the content that we will cover in this post. Let’s get started.
- 1. Have a Plan
- 2. Have a Billing Strategy that Works
- 3. Manage Your Debt
- 4. Create Cash Flow Charts
- 5. Regulate Cash Flow
- 6. Start a Monthly Reporting Process
- 7. Review Your Expenses
- 8. Measure ROI and Expenditures
- 9. Don’t Forget About Internal Payments
- 10. Bookkeeping
- 11. Schedule Your Bookkeeping
- 12. Consider Hiring a Bookkeeper
- 13. Track and Categorize Your Business Expenses
- 14. Use Accounting Software for Your Business
- 15. Outsource Your Financial Management and Bookkeeping Tasks
- 16. Conclusion
Have a Plan
Having a business plan allows you to avoid not understanding your business’s direction and proximity to your financial goals.
To approach this, you need to understand your current situation and consider all the issues that can hinder you from accomplishing your goals.
Your business plan must include a budget that includes your expected profit and loss and an estimate of your cash flow.
As you’re planning, be ambitious and realistic simultaneously.
Starting a small business allows you to make all of the financial decisions, where some aren’t always a good idea, but you’ll get to learn from these experiences.
Having a plan and clear financials will also be part of the storytelling when you are seeking funding. Financials is the piece of information where investors tend to focus the most amount of time.
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Have a Billing Strategy that Works
Cash flow problems may lead to your business failing. Avoid this by ensuring your clients pay their invoices on time.
You’ll need to get creative when you experience difficulties collecting money from specific clients.
An idea you can try is to change the payment terms to give your customers a 2% discount on their total bill if they pay it early.
Another idea to implement is to charge a late fee to customers who fail to make a payment within ten days.
Manage Your Debt
Debt is something most businesses have to deal with and can include:
- Mortgage payments
- Initial funding
- Loans for equipment
Managing your borrowing costs can set you up for success, especially managing your credit card spend and loans with variable rates. Additional things to consider include:
- Regularly assess your debts
- Verify the repayment costs
- Check if there are any changes in circumstances
- Decide if you need to increase or decrease your debt funding
Speak to your accountant to determine if there are additional ways to borrow, as you can save money by choosing a different lender.
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You’ll also get advice on how to stay on top of your business finances.
Create Cash Flow Charts
Various accounting software can create charts of payable accounts (outflows) and sales of products and services (inflows).
These charts can get assessed over multiple periods to determine how money flows in and out of your business.
To make a profit, you need to have inflows exceed outflows. But, the difference in size between the two is what’s most important.
Unfortunately, few businesses can keep their profits consistent daily, as some months are better than others.
Cash flow charts will allow you to see these changes in cash flow and identify patterns in inflows and outflows.
The patterns in the chart help you understand the causes of fluctuations, allowing you to restructure certain areas of your business and avoiding getting a negative or small difference.
Regulate Cash Flow
You can avoid bad months with minimal impact to your company by managing your money so that there are three to six months worth of expenses available as cash on hand.
To improve your situation, follow these additional steps:
- Borrow short-term money from a good source of business credit when needed
- Get your customers to pay faster by reducing your invoice payment terms
- Bear in mind that whatever inventory is in your office or warehouse costs you space and revenue
- Speak to your suppliers to change payment dates to align inflows and outflows
Start a Monthly Reporting Process
You can avoid tedious tasks by using software to maintain accurate records. Identify and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) by using reporting tools.
If you have a small business, you can benefit from both daily or monthly reporting. This is called granular reporting as it allows small businesses to manage risks and cash flow effectively.
Avoid only looking at the data quarterly, as too many things can happen in that period.
Daily or monthly reporting allows you to see trends as they are building and is the best way to forecast with new data.
You might need to make slight changes before the end of the next quarter, so be on top of your company’s numbers.
Systemizing the reporting process can be done by putting together a good finance department or outsourcing the work to a financial authority.
Your financial records should indicate your company’s past, current, and estimated financial health. They’re valuable tools to help you understand how to stay on top of your business finances.
Review Your Expenses
Reports need to get checked often, and multiple programs can create these reports quickly. These reports include:
- Profit and loss
- Balance report sheets
- Cash flow reports
- Depreciation reports
- Accounts receivable reports
- Accounts payable
- Monitor payroll, even if it gets outsourced
Make a habit of reviewing your expenses with your accountant or financial advisor, and ensure you keep your personal and business finances separate.
You can achieve this by paying for business expenses with your business credit card and your personal expenses with your personal credit card.
Measure ROI and Expenditures
You can understand what investments are effective by measuring expenditures and your return on investment.
To determine how your investments are doing, focus on the ROI of each of your expenditures.
Instead, if it’s not valuable, invest more money in other initiatives that work better for your business.
Don’t Forget About Internal Payments
Internal payments are crucial to a business and can include:
- Payment of staff
- Energy bills
- Office maintenance
When managing your business’s finances, ensure you pay yourself and everyone else.
Small business owners forget to compensate themselves and focus on keeping their business afloat and paying everyone else.
It’s vital to remember that you’re a part of your company and deserve compensation for the work you put in.
Keeping these factors in mind will help you when you’re figuring out how to stay on top of your business finances.
It can get difficult staying on top of your business’s finances, and you can easily fall behind with bookkeeping.
It’s essential to have a bookkeeping practice in place to ensure your finances stay up to date.
Schedule Your Bookkeeping
One of the first things that you have to do is catch up with your business finances. Schedule time on your calendar to focus on getting your books updated and financials organized into a format that can easily get used to filing taxes.
The best time to schedule bookkeeping is often in the mornings when your mind is still fresh.
During this time, catch up on the following tasks:
- Review your income, expenses, and cash flow
- Update your bookkeeping software
- Manage your accounts receivable and payable
- Pay outstanding bills
Consider Hiring a Bookkeeper
By hiring a bookkeeper, you can ensure your business stays on the right track.
Fixing accounting irregularities can get expensive, so hiring a qualified and competent professional can benefit your business.
Track and Categorize Your Business Expenses
It should be a habit to review your bank statements and categorize transactions, as this can help you determine how each one should get classified.
Tracking payments and purchases will keep your books up to date and allows you to track your cash flow.
Your daily business operations will have a money management strategy that works.
Use technology by scanning and digitizing receipts to record, label, and categorize every expense, ensuring that each expense gets logged correctly.
To avoid overstating expenses or missing tax write-offs on your tax filings, get document management software to simplify this process.
If you use a business credit card for business purchases, your credit card will sort your expenses by category for you, thereby simplifying your expense tracking.
Remember to keep your personal expense purchases separate on your personal credit card to avoid any questions later.
You could increase your tax liability if you don’t account for legitimate costs, resulting in your profits getting used unnecessarily.
Even as you’re working on getting a firm handle on your finances, you’ll plan for the eventuality when you must create a pitch deck for raising funds. Check out this video I have put together with some smart ideas. They’ll help you understand how to present your financials even if the business has no revenues.
Use Accounting Software for Your Business
Using cloud-based software lets you download transactions directly, saving you time from entering data into spreadsheets and reconciling every transaction, keeping your books up to date.
Because most banks integrate with the accounting software, you can download all your bank account transactions, including business credit card transactions, making the process streamlined.
The accounting software lets you access financial data at the click of a mouse and has various templates for you to choose from to do your invoicing and budgeting.
To have a clear view of your business financials, you need to ensure that all the recorded information is up to date and accurate.
Because the accounting software is cloud-based, you can access your business’s financial data from anywhere, anytime.
Cloud technology is an affordable way to improve your business operations. This gets done through the following:
- Saving on infrastructure
- Gaining the flexibility to scale your business conditions up or down
- Streamlining your business
By using accounting software, you can spend more time focusing on activities that are of higher value.
Automation improves the efficiency and accuracy of your bookkeeping processes and speeds up bookkeeping processes and repetitive accounting.
If your company is small or still new with few transactions you can manually input the information into an Excel spreadsheet, but it will slow you down. Ensure the information is correct for tax purposes.
Outsource Your Financial Management and Bookkeeping Tasks
Your business can achieve systemization by outsourcing bookkeeping tasks to a competent financial professional or putting together a finance department capable of these tasks.
Your financial reports need to give you a comprehensive picture of your business’s future, present, and past financial health.
By avoiding bookkeeping, the following can occur:
- You’ll lose sight of your business’s performance
- You’ll miss out on tax deductions
- Your cash flow can get impacted negatively by falling behind
On the other hand, if your books are up to date, you have the following benefits:
- Insights to monitor and manage your cash flow
- Have your financials tax-ready
- Have insights for data-driven decision making
- Overall growth and performance accuracy can get tracked
- You’ll be in a better position to grow your business by securing a loan
When you started your business, you chose to do something you’re passionate about, and bookkeeping is likely not on your list of passions!
Unfortunately, your business’s long-term success relies on being consistent with financial management.
It’s necessary to know how to stay on top of your company’s finances, as it keeps track of your expenses, cash flow, revenue, which helps maximize profits, allows the business to grow, and you can hire additional employees.
Get started with good bookkeeping practices by scheduling time to track and categorize expenses. Use accounting software, or outsource your bookkeeping and financial management.
You’ll spend less time managing your finances if you outsource the bookkeeping and financial management, maximize your tax savings, and dedicate more time to growing your company.
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