Doing More with Less:
7 Ways to Harness the Power of an Automated Accounting System
Starting out with spreadsheets.
When you first start out in business, you might get along fine with a manual recordkeeping system consisting of documents, ledgers, and spreadsheets. For a while, it might be OK to send out sales invoices on Word docs and track income on a spreadsheet. It might be OK to write cheques—by hand or maybe online—when your bills are due. Until that day you discover that you owe more than you expect to collect in the next few weeks. What will you do now? Maybe you shouldn't have paid that credit card in full last week. But it's too late. The cash is gone.
And cash flow management is just the beginning. As a small business owner, you wrestle with tough questions at nearly every turn. Should I buy more inventory or add a new display area? Do I spend money on a marketing campaign or hire a new staff person? If you're working from manual or segmented records, you have to base many of those short-term decisions on limited information—such as your chequing account balance or the total amount of unpaid bills sitting on your desk. You may neglect to consider items in process—like goods on order or quotes in process.
Furthermore, without a clear perspective, your long-term business plans may be misguided. You might focus on generating more revenue from customers who don't pay. You might push to sell more of the items that generate the lowest margins. When you need to plan ahead, not just account for historical transactions, you can't rely on the pieces of paper in your shoebox. To build a long-term, successful business, you need comprehensive, timely information at your fingertips so you can make the right strategic decisions.
Finally, what about the hundreds of transactions that occur in your business every business day? At some point, it's going to take too much time to keep your manual records organized and up-to-date. You can quickly lose control. You have to manage your finances, but you can't ignore your customers, your suppliers, or your team. What important information is going to fall through the cracks?
Moving forward with software.
Yesterday's manual accounting system is no longer good enough for the way you need to do business today. It might be time for you to take another look at the tools you're using to run your business—to embrace change and harness the power to do more with less. Rather than running yourself ragged, you can rely on accounting software to help you create order from chaos, ensure healthy cash flow, make good short-term decisions, and follow sound long-term strategies.
7 ways an automated accounting system can help you do more with less
Today's businesses can't afford to settle for inefficient tools that don't give them complete information. Few owners have time to waste piecing transactions together or struggling to find the right address. They can't keep up with all of the rules, rates, and paperwork. They need a solution that fits their business today, with plenty of room to meet their needs tomorrow. For a small business owner, the decision should be obvious: When you compare the cost of making bad decisions with the cost of purchasing accounting software, you can't afford to run your business without a powerful solution like Sage 50 Accounting.
About the author.
Geni Whitehouse is a CPA and speaker and the author of "How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting: 52 ways even a nerd can be heard." Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Geni now resides in Napa, California. Geni's favorite fairy tale is "The Princess and the Pea," because she really values a good night's sleep. She is an avid blogger and Twitter fan, and prefers grits to porridge.
Geni Whitehouse, CPA
@evenanerd on Twitter
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