According to the Small Business Administration, only 50% of enterprises opened at any given time will still be around 5 years from now. A decade after that, the number of businesses still in operation is further halved.
It may only take a week to start a business, but it can take a lifetime to make sure that it stays afloat. Although there’s no definite formula for business success, saving money where you can and using financial software programs can make a huge difference, especially for small business owners running their businesses with an equally small team. Such financial software programs include the following:
Money plays a critical role in any business – it is its lifeblood. It allows businesses to hire the best people, grow the enterprise, pursue and adopt innovation, and promote products and services, among other things. Managing and tracking your business’ money is crucial to its success
What an Accounting software program can do:
- Analysis of financial data
- Generation of various types of financial ledgers
- Creation of invoices to request and record payments
- Track and age Accounts Receivable
- Generate financial reports
This type of accounting software also makes auditing much easier and more efficient as it will generate a “paper trail” that is easy to follow, points out obvious discrepancies and makes the overall accounting practices of your business more secure from collusion or mismanagement.
Examples of Accounting software programs:
- Sage One
Many accounting software programs already include invoicing. There are, however, still a number of businesses that want to keep their accounting and invoicing business processes separate from one another. It’s also possible that they have an accountant on retainer or in-house, and all they really need is a basic invoicing software program to make the accountant’s work easier and more efficient.
What an Invoicing software program can do:
- Complement other financial software, such as supply chain, CRM, e-commerce, and accounting programs
- Generate invoices for customers in batches (unlike manual invoicing, this program allows you to create as many as hundreds of invoices in the same amount of time)
- Schedule recurrent collections
- Compute sales taxes
- Create a paper trail
Examples of Invoicing software programs:
- Zoho Invoice
- Sleek Bill
One of your responsibilities as a business owner is to pay your taxes both on time and correctly. But understanding taxation and keeping up with the myriad rules and regulations that apply to businesses is not the easiest thing to do. There are several types of deductions, exemptions, and credits that you have to claim before you file your tax return. Due to the strong taxation regulations, there’s very little room for errors and the penalties for mistakes are stiff.
Still, nothing can replace the sound advice and guidance from a professional, so it is strongly recommended that you hire a tax professional that specializes in your particular business as your enterprise grows. Nevertheless, a taxation software program can still be quite useful.
What a Taxation software program can do:
- Electronically file completed tax return forms
- Save previous tax returns for reference
- Compute deductions, exemptions, and credits
- Complement invoicing, billing, and supply chain software for taxation purposes
- Analyze final taxes to be paid
- Store electronic signatures for quick and easy filing of tax returns
- Generate required tax forms
- Significantly minimize errors in tax form preparation
Examples of Taxation software programs:
If your business involves manufacturing, retailing, purchasing, distribution, and/or the sale of goods, to include raw materials, then you need a good Supply Chain Management software.
What a Supply Chain Management software program can do:
- Manage every component of the supply chain, such as inventory management, procurement, ordering, and returns
- Minimize fraud since the software can identify key people involved at any phase of the supply chain
- Fill in the inventory management gap that often exists between procurement and sale of products
- Forecast and analyze figures related to labor, manufacturing, sale, and distribution costs
- Make both domestic and international logistics more convenient to manage
Examples of Supply Chain Management software programs:
- U Route
- Fishbowl Inventory
- Abas Distribution
One of the golden rules in running a business is to never mix corporate profit with your personal finances. These should be treated as separate and different entities. Otherwise, it can create a huge negative impact in the cash flow of your business, as well as landing you in hot water. It also makes it more challenging to keep track of how much you’re really spending for personal as opposed to business expenses. The IRS won’t like it either (that’s why you can claim deductions and credits ONLY on those expenses that are related to your business).
What a Personal Finance software program can do:
- Generate and track your budget
- Make bill repayments easier and more manageable since you can set up alerts or even automate these repayments
- Monitor your individual expenses, especially your credit cards
- Organize your bank accounts
- Produce an analysis of your spending habits (e.g., which expenses consume most of your income)
- Help estimate the salary you should give yourself (although other factors, such as the actual income earned by the business, should also be considered in this decision)
Examples of Personal Finance software programs:
Financial Resource Planning
All companies, even those that have already made it to the Fortune 500, run on limited resources: money, time, people, etc. Thus, it’s very important that these resources are allocated correctly – to business processes that generate the most profit, help the business take advantage of opportunities, minimize business losses, and allow the business to remain competitive or even be the best in their industry.
What Financial Resource Planning software programs can do:
- Create forecasts based on the available historical data
- Provide a more in-depth analysis on revenue, cash flow, and expenses
- Complement the other financial software programs listed above
- Generate different sets of analytical reports such as SWOT
- Store historical data for future reference
Examples of Financial Resource Planning software programs:
- SAP Business All-in-one
- ECI M1
One of the costs that any business needs to keep to a minimum is inventory. The cost to hold an item on the shelf for any length of time can often exceed the original cost of procurement.
What an Inventory software program can do:
- Keep track of how long each of your items stays in inventory
- Identify fast- and slow-moving products
- Complement accounting, e-commerce, supply chain and invoicing software
- Compute actual cost of inventory
- Manage inventory for multi-branch businesses or multiple stores
- Manage item-of-supply data (e.g., create unique IDs for every product)
Examples of Inventory software programs:
- Inventory Power
- Small Business Inventory
- Stock It Easy
- iMagic Inventory
By using software to help manage these crucial areas of your company, you will find that you will become much more proficient, effective, productive and confident in running your business. Over time, you will see improved results in your bottom line, as these financial programs will allow you to keep closer oversight of your day-to-day operations and see that your money is being used wisely and to best effect.
This is a guest blog post from FluidReview.com.