If your paperwork piles up while you’re away from your desk then it might be time to streamline your business with a cloud-based finance package.
Paperwork is one of those necessary evils when you run a business. You might prefer to spend all your time focusing on your passions, but the business won’t get far if you neglect your finances.
There was a time when all of that admin work saw you stuck at your desk for hours, wading through piles of paperwork and dealing with desktop software restricted to a single computer. If your job involved spending most of your day away from your desk then all that paperwork would need to wait until the end of the day, week or even month.
These delays can play havoc with your cashflow if you’re putting off issuing invoices, processing payments and chasing slow payers. As a result you might be working harder than ever, yet feel like you’ve got little to show for it when it comes time to pay your own bills.
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Thankfully the new generation of cloud-based finance packages make it easy to manage your business anywhere, anytime and from practically any device. All your data is securely hosted online, so you can pick up your computer, smartphone or tablet and have everything at your fingertips. You also have the advantage of paying a monthly subscription for your finance system rather than buying the software outright in a lump sum.
The more finance processes you can automate the smoother your business will run, for example by automatically reconciling a customer’s payment advice against your bank statements and notifying you of outstanding invoices.
You can turn any handheld device into a portable payments terminal using a tiny contactless card reader, letting you do business on the spot while importing the transaction directly into your finance system.
Meanwhile it’s easy to track your expenses on the go, processing them straight from your smartphone rather than throwing all your paper receipts in a box until tax time.
A cloud-based finance package saves you time and effort every day, but you’ll particularly appreciate the benefits when it comes time to pay your quarterly Business Activity Statement or annual tax bill. Instead of spending days shuffling paperwork and scouring spreadsheets, you can now draw together that information with a few clicks.
There are several cloud-based finance packages to choose from, some offering optional advanced modules such as inventory and payroll. It’s worth seeking advice from your accountant and doing plenty of research to find the best fit for your business, rather than jumping in the deep end and hoping for the best.
Keep in mind that you’re not just looking for a finance system which meets your current needs, it needs to scale to meet your future needs so you don’t outgrow it quickly. That way you can get back to doing what you do best, knowing that your cloud finance package is taking care of business.
Anthony Hill is the head of technology at Geeks2U, a national on-site computer repair and tech support company.