4 Tips on How to Keep Track of Finances for a Small Business
Explore funding options to support your business growth.
Owning a small business can be one of the most rewarding ventures, you get to make your own schedule and wake up doing something you are passionate about every day - but they require a lot of hard work. Knowing how to keep track of your finances is an essential part of running a successful business.
While there may be some trial and error in figuring out what works best for your business's financial management needs, properly understanding the fundamentals is key. With just a few simple steps and tools, you can soon have a system in place that reduces stress and ensures that your financials stay on track. We will discuss how to successfully keep track of finances for a small business so that you can focus on growing it without worrying about unnecessary tax or other money issues.
Step #1: Use Accounting Software
Each accounting software for small businesses focuses on its own unique features and benefits. The best software for your business, keep in mind the most essential features, such as:
- Invoicing: Accounting software enables small businesses to create professional-looking invoices that they can send to customers or clients to help improve cash flow.
- Expense tracking: This feature allows small businesses to track their expenses efficiently. This organized format helps business owners identify unnecessary costs, which they can reduce to save money.
- Financial reporting: Financial reports give an overview of the business's financial health. This feature helps business owners make informed decisions regarding their business operations.
Benefits of Using Accounting Software for Small Businesses
Using accounting software provides several benefits to small businesses, including:
Accounting software helps reduce errors that could occur when businesses do their accounting manually. This helps ensure that financial records are accurate, which is crucial when making business decisions.
Save Time & Automate Tasks
Automating several accounting tasks, such as invoicing and expense tracking, helps save valuable time for small business owners that can be used on essential operations.
As businesses grow, their accounting needs also increase. Accounting software can accommodate this growth, making it easy for small businesses to scale up their accounting needs.
Related Reading: Best Accounting Software for Small Businesses
Tips for Selecting the Right Accounting Software for Your Business
When choosing the right accounting software for your business, consider the following tips:
- Features: Identify the features that your business needs, such as invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting. Choose accounting software that provides the necessary features for your business.
- User-friendliness: Choose accounting software that is easy to use and navigate. This will help reduce the learning curve and ensure you can use the software efficiently.
- Price: Consider the cost of the accounting software and whether it is within your budget. Some accounting software options offer a free trial period, which you can use to test the software before committing to a paid subscription.
- Integration: Consider whether the accounting software can integrate with other software that your business uses, such as payment processors and e-commerce platforms. Integration can help streamline your accounting processes and improve efficiency.
Step #2. Create a Budget
Creating a budget is crucial for small businesses to manage their finances effectively. A budget is a financial plan that outlines the business's expected revenue and expenses over a particular period. Creating a budget for your small business provides several benefits, including:
A budget helps small business owners gain control over their finances. It provides a clear picture of the business's financial health to facilitate informed decision-making.
A budget helps small business owners set financial goals and work towards achieving them. It helps identify areas where the business can cut costs or increase revenue, which can help achieve long-term financial goals.
Cash Flow Management
A budget helps small business owners manage their cash flow effectively. It helps identify when the business will likely experience cash shortages and enables owners to take proactive measures to prevent them.
Steps to Create a Budget for Your Business
Creating a budget for your small business involves the following steps:
- Identify your income sources: Determine the sources of income for your business, such as sales, investments, or grants.
- Estimate your expenses: List all your business expenses, including fixed expenses like rent, salaries, and utilities, as well as variable expenses like marketing and advertising.
- Calculate your net income: Subtract your estimated expenses from your income to determine your net income.
- Allocate funds: Allocate funds to different categories, such as marketing, salaries, and equipment, based on their importance and priority.
- Review and adjust: Review your budget regularly and adjust as needed to reflect the business's financial reality.
Tips for Sticking to Your Budget
Sticking to your budget can be challenging but essential for small business success. Here are some tips for sticking to your budget:
- Track your expenses: Regularly track your business expenses to ensure you stay within your budget.
- Prioritize spending: Prioritize spending on essential business expenses that are critical for the business's success.
- Be flexible: Allow flexibility in your budget to account for unexpected expenses or changes in the business's financial situation.
Step #3. Monitor Cash Flow
Monitoring cash flow is essential for small business owners to manage their finances effectively. Cash flow refers to the inflow and outflow of cash in a business over a particular period. Monitoring cash flow is crucial for small businesses for several reasons, including:
Keeping track of incoming and outgoing cash can help you analyze your business's financial health and behavior, identifying potential risks, overspending, and discrepancies before they escalate. By keeping an eye on your cash flow, you can make informed decisions about budgeting, financing, and investing in your business's long-term success. With these insights, you'll have a solid foundation for identifying opportunities, reducing costs, and optimizing your revenue.
Cash Flow Management
By tracking your cash flow, you'll be able to identify opportunities for cost savings or revenue generation. You'll also be able to spot potential cash flow problems before they become serious issues. This level of financial insight will give you a greater ability to plan strategically for the future of your business.
Monitoring cash flow is essential for small business growth. It helps identify areas where the business can cut costs or increase revenue, which can help achieve long-term financial goals.
Related Reading: 5 Financial Accounts You Need for Your Business
Tips for Monitoring Cash Flow
Monitoring cash flow is not always easy, but there are several tips that small business owners can follow to make it easier:
- Create a cash flow statement: A cash flow statement is a financial report showing the cash inflow and outflow in a business over a particular period.
- Track your accounts receivable: Keep track of the money owed to your business and follow up with customers with outstanding invoices to ensure you receive payment on time.
- Monitor your accounts payable: Keep track of the money your business owes to suppliers and vendors and ensure you pay your bills on time.
- Forecast your cash flow: Use past cash flow data to forecast your cash flow for the future. This can help you identify potential cash flow issues and proactively prevent them.
Step #4. Keep Track of Invoices
Invoices are essential documents for small businesses as they represent the sale of goods or services and provide a record of payment due. Keeping track of invoices is crucial for small business owners for several reasons, including:
Ensuring Timely Payment
For small business owners, getting timely payment can make all the difference. It's tough to stay afloat when clients or customers are slow to pay, but it can be challenging to keep track of all the invoices as a small operation. That's why it's essential to stay organized so that payments don't slip through the cracks. Whether you're using an online tool or a trusty spreadsheet, make sure you're keeping track of your invoices and due dates. This way, you can follow up with clients and make sure you're getting paid in a timely manner.
Maintaining Accurate Financial Records
These documents detail who paid you, when, and for what service or product. By using invoices properly, small business owners can take control of their financial records, making it easier to keep track of finances and maintain a healthy bottom line. Remember, accurate financial records are critical for making informed decisions and setting achievable goals.
Improving Cash Flow
One way to improve cash flow is to keep track of unpaid invoices. By staying up to date on outstanding payments, you can follow up with customers and take action to collect payments. This not only helps to ensure that you receive payment in a timely manner but also improves your overall cash flow. With the right tools and mindset, staying on top of unpaid invoices can be a simple yet effective way to keep your business financially healthy.
Tips for Creating and Organizing Invoices
Creating and organizing invoices can be a time-consuming task. Still, there are several tips that small business owners can follow to make the process easier:
- Standardize your invoice format: Use a standardized invoice format to ensure that all invoices are consistent and include all necessary information.
- Include clear payment terms: Include clear payment terms on each invoice, including the payment due date and accepted payment methods.
- Organize invoices chronologically: To make it easy to track which invoices have been paid and which are outstanding.
- Automate the invoicing process: Consider using invoicing software that automates the invoicing process, saving time and reducing the risk of errors. Check out Melio
Tools for Managing Invoices
Several tools are available to help small business owners manage their invoices effectively, including:
- Invoicing software: Invoicing software, like Melio, enables small business owners to create and send invoices quickly and easily, automate payment reminders, and track payment status.
- Cloud-based storage solutions: Cloud-based solutions can help small business owners organize their invoices and ensure they are accessible from anywhere.
- Payment processing services: Payment processing services can help small business owners accept customer payments and track payment status.
Keeping Track of Finances for Your Small Business
Staying on top of finances for a small business is possible and doable! When done carefully and consistently, it creates a climate of dependability, predictability, and confidence that can support the growth and plans of any small business. Accounting software is an excellent tool for ensuring accuracy, creating budgets to help define financial goals, monitoring cash flow, and keeping track of invoices to maintain the required records while maintaining professional integrity. Keeping track of your finances in business will help facilitate progress to catapult you to success. Find the tools you need to manage your business finances through our Growth Partner database!
Fundid is redefining how small businesses understand and access capital.