Reducing the time and effort spent on simple tasks such as managing accounts, which can be time consuming and costly can free up more time for managers to focus on core competencies and opportunities to grow the business.
There are a number of ways in which SME owners and managers can simplify and speed up the daily tasks associated with running a business so that they can devote more time to more productive activities.
1. Small business owners often waste valuable time due to accounts systems that are incapable of sufficiently updating information
That’s according to Phill Robinson, CEO of IRIS Software, a supplier of business critical software and services to the UK accountancy and payroll sectors. “Correct data offers an accurate indication of who owes what,” he says. “A system that allows owners, staff and accountants to look at the same information in real time offers greater visibility of cash flow. This in turn secures the company as a whole by informing important business and investment decisions.”
2. It is important that small businesses focus on saving time, improving accuracy and removing duplication of effort
Fundamentally, automating processes such as cash flow and payroll can allow small businesses to save resource whilst also eliminating the risk of mistakes that are caused by human error.
3. Make sure that your accountant is doing more than just adding up your figures
“Don’t be afraid to tap into your accountant’s knowledge for help with running your business,” says Clive Lewis, Head of Enterprise at ICAEW, the accountants’ membership organisation. “If you decide to sell your business, tell your accountant – he/she could plan to minimise tax liabilities and even help with the sale.”
4. The Cloud and, in particular, cloud billing can save SMEs time and money
“Cloud billing solutions bring the ability to quickly setup and start billing for a new service, without the need for any infrastructure or upfront licence fees, thereby helping to significantly reduce costs and lowering the barrier to entry for start-ups and SMEs looking to bring new ideas to market,” says Louis Hall, CEO of Customer Relationship Management and billing services provider Cerillion Technologies.
“Cloud billing delivers enhanced flexibility and business agility for SMEs. They want to add more options for their customers; more flexibility around how they price and package their services, upsell and cross-sell new offerings. And they want to be able to do all this while keeping overheads to a minimum. That’s where enterprise cloud billing can play a key role.”
5. One size doesn’t always fit all
Customers are individuals and every business is unique. So, don’t fall into the trap of working from software that has non-specific accounting processes, as it won’t be tailored to your needs or the requirements of the business. For example, the software may contain mandatory fields for data that aren’t necessarily applicable to your business, which can result in time being wasted entering information that is redundant.
6. Keeping on top of things
It’s important that business owners don’t let their accounting and bookkeeping tasks get left undone. Keeping a box of receipts that piles up before eventually being sent to the accountant once or twice a year isn’t time or cost effective for anyone. Do this kind of accountancy admin on a regular basis and you’ll save on costs – and get a better idea of how the business is doing.
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