Building an Efficient Accounts Payable Management System

Accounts Payable is important for the functioning of any organisation. Unfortunately, it often takes the backseat when other priorities have to be attended to, however it is never wise to ignore AP. Here are some practices from accounts payable outsourcing experts to make accounts payable management more effective.

  • Introduce a Centralised Accounts Payable Management System– If you have a business that has multiple branches, having each one handle its own payments can result in confusion and double payments. A centralised system will ensure that all payments are made correctly and on time. This is also proven to increase efficiency and productivity. Plus all AP data will be only a click away.

Accounts Payable Outsourcing

  • Paperless Processing– Implementing a paperless payment processing system, as we all know, can be quite expensive, but it is definitely a lot more efficient. If you find yourself immersed in the confusion that accompanies paper invoices like missing invoices, receipts, forgetting payments etc you should consider implementing a paperless AP management system.
  • Management Workflows– The efficiency of any financial process can be improved by developing a management workflow. This can help identify bottlenecks in the system and process and address them quickly. Streamlining processes and improving efficiency are also advantages of implementing a management workflow.

Accounts Payable Management

  • Maintain Ledgers– A good businessman knows how important ledgers are in running a business. Ledgers recording inventory, payments and the rest are invaluable whether on paper or digital. Your ledger system must be simple, accurate, easy to use and understand.

Your business cannot grow without proper Accounts Payable Management. If you feel that it is a lot to take in and you don’t have the time to attend to AP, you can always try accounts payable outsourcing. Accounts payable outsourcing firms are efficient. You can let the professionals take care of your accounts payable while you focus on growing your business.

Business Management Tips for Small Businesses

Running a small business is tough- the competition, the risks, the responsibilities; it can all be a little overwhelming. However, like with everything else in life, there are certain things that if attended to can make your life a little easier. So here are a few business management tips for small businesses, from HR to bookkeeping services rates, which can make life easier for all small business owners.

  • Understanding Cash Flow– One of the purposes of running a business is to make money. At the end of a day, you need enough money to pay vendors, employees and to keep your business running. Make sure you have a clear idea of your cash needs and how you will get meet them, if not, you will drive your business into the ground.

Bookkeeping Services Rates

  • Identify What Drives Your Business– Every business has a few items that drives the business and generates income. Identify these drivers and utilise them. Focusing on these items can make your business successful.
  • Watch Your Inventory– If you run a business that uses inventory, using a good inventory system is important. This will help you keep watch over your inventory; inventory is literally money sitting on shelves. If you do not pay adequate attention to your inventory, you will face a cash flow problem soon enough.

Business Management Tips for Small Businesses

  • Know Your Customers– Your customers form the backbone of your business. Keep track of your customers- know how they feel about you, are they happy with your services, do they have any suggestions for improvement. If your customers feel that they matter, they will remain loyal to your business and this will help you build a strong customer base.
  • Build a Reliable Support Team– No business man, no matter how good, can do it all. You need a team you can rely on. From administration to bookkeeping services rates, you need people who will take care of core and non- core business activities while you focus on growing the business.

What is the Right Time for an Internal Audit?

“Audit”- a simple 5- letter word that gives most business owners the jitters; but audits really aren’t that bad. Internal audits are a great way to evaluate and improve business processes of any organisation. Conducting an audit at the correct time is also important to ensure that it is effective. If you are wondering when you should conduct an internal audit, this article is for you.

  1. When Seeking Investment– Investors thoroughly review an organization before providing with investment, so an audit before meeting investors is ideal. Prepare accurate financial statements in advance; make sure they are thoroughly checked and rechecked. Don’t give your investors a chance to find an error no matter how trivial even if it is something as simple as bookkeeping services fees.

Bookkeeping Services Fees

  1. When Key Employees Leave the Company– When key employees leave, make sure you conduct an audit at least in the areas they were involved in. This can prevent problems in future; you don’t want to be in situation where you can’t explain discrepancies and the only one who can is no more with your company. You also know that everything is in order and the transition can be completed peacefully.
  1. If You Come Across a Discrepancy In Your Books– Never ignore a discrepancy in your books no matter how small the amount. Money is always exact, so there is something wrong somewhere if you come across a difference. Find out what the error is and address it so that you can prevent bigger mishaps in future.

Internal Audit

  1. When There Are Fluctuations In Your Cash Flow– Cash problems are not always a result of market conditions; they can also result from ignoring certain aspects of your business like accounts receivable, bookkeeping services fees or inventory management. An internal audit is a great way to identify the factors that contribute to your organization’s cash flow problems.

Aside from all this, it is important to remember that audits are best done on a regular schedule. This can help identify and address possible problems before they escalate into bigger issues.

Taking Care of Your Books

Bookkeeping has no place in most business owners’ “My Favourite Things” list, and that’s understandable because most business owners and entrepreneurs are all about the business and doing what they like doing best, which means that all the figures just get in the way. However, whether you like it or not, as long as there is money involved in your business, you need simple bookkeeping and accounting. So as an entrepreneur who dreads watching the numbers and keeping track of the money, what are a few things you can do to keep track of your bookkeeping?

  • Hire a Bookkeeper– It is indeed that simple- just hire a bookkeeper. Yes it is an additional expense, but you might find that the benefits outweigh the cost. You will no longer have to worry about your books; they will be up-to-date and accurate and you can spend the time to focus on more important business aspects. Most importantly, you will always be on top of your financials. Leave the simple bookkeeping to the professionals.

Simple Bookkeeping

  • Store Receipts– You need your receipts for accurate bookkeeping. Without the receipts the chances of you mixing up charges are higher, plus you will need the receipts in case of an IRS audit. Now piles of receipt is not what any business owner or bookkeeper wants, that is where simple bookkeeping software like QuickBooks can help. You can upload images of the receipts and store them for future reference, thereby saving physical space and meeting your bookkeeping needs.

Simple Bookkeeping

  • Keep Track of Your Invoices– Most business owners issue invoices and then forget about them, most likely because of existing number of unpaid invoices. A rule of simple bookkeeping is that you keep track of the invoices and payments that have been made. Follow up regularly on pending payments or you will end up with a cash flow problem.

If you run a business, big or small, you cannot do without bookkeeping. Bookkeeping keeps the blood pumping through your business, so make sure you give it your best shot.

Understanding Difficult Clients

Wouldn’t everyone just love to have great clients- clients who never complain, who are happy with your services, who never bother you. Unfortunately perfect clients are hard to come by, but more likely than not, your clients may actually be wonderful understanding people, so identifying the issue and addressing it can go a long way in improving things between the both of you. Here are some common problems business owners and entrepreneurs in all fields, from small business bookkeeping services to real estate, face with their clients.

  • The Micromanaging Client– Is your client always texting, calling or emailing you? Is he always ringing in to find out how things are going or to give instructions on how things are to be done? The only way to handle such a difficult client is to explain nicely how the constant interruptions are affecting your work, but be nice; you need your client to still believe that you are the best one for the job.

Small Business Bookkeeping Services

  • The Unresponsive Client– This is probably the worst kind of client; they don’t reply to mails or calls, they don’t provide you with any guidance and you end up stuck, not knowing how to go ahead. Your small business bookkeeping services or in-house bookkeeper can tell you how much of a drain such clients are on your business. The worst part is that work done for such difficult clients tends to backfire- either because they are unhappy with the quality or because it took much time. Sadly, all this was a result of the client’s actions, explaining this to the client is important. Proof of communication attempts can help in resolve this issue.
  • The Disrespectful Client– There are clients who tend to think that they own you or that you owe them because they hired you. Such difficult clients don’t respect you, don’t listen to what you have to say and are uncooperative. If you have such a client, and you find that they are becoming difficult to work with, it is best to drop them and find other clients.

Difficult Clients

  • The Negotiating Client– Ever come across a client who tries haggling over prices once the work is done or nearly done? These clients agree on prices, don’t complain about anything while you are working on the project, but when it is time to pay up, they become difficult. Then they want to negotiate the rates, or they make excuses to make the payment, so much so that you begin to wonder if you will ever get paid. You can involve your small business bookkeeping services, bookkeeper or accountant as well when dealing with such clients

Clients can be difficult but you cannot do without them. The best way to handle clients and client relationships is to be clear on what you expect from the very beginning. Clear and honest communication is the key to healthy client relationships.

Dealing with Angry Customers

All business owners and entrepreneurs, from retail stores to virtual bookkeeper, have faced them, engaged with them, soothed them and sometimes even fought with them- the dreaded angry customers. Customers can be angry for any number of reasons; but eventually the reason is not what matters- they are upset and they want their issue to be addressed immediately. Customers, angry or not, form the backbone of your business- you need them. Even bad experiences can be turned into positive ones if you deal with them right; here is how you can do that.

  • Stay Calm– This is important; you will not make it through the exchange unless you stay calm and think with a level head. Your customer is already upset; you will only add fuel to the fire if you do not get off the aggressive mode.

Virtual Bookkeeper

  • Allow Your Customer to Vent and Listen– Everyone knows how calming venting is, so let your customer vent. Allow him to blow off steam and listen to his grievances, real or imagined, whether they are a result of your delivery service or virtual bookkeeper. Once the words are out and he knows you understand, the customer will calm down and in a mood to let you talk.
  • Apologise– Once your customer is through, apologise sincerely. Try to look at the situation from the customer’s point of view and apologise for all the inconvenience it has caused the client. Apologising can go a long way in repairing the fractured relationship.

Angry Customer

  • Address the Grievance– It is now time to take action- address the client’s issue. Reverse the error if possible; if not, provide the client with a compensation (refund or a special offer) for the trouble faced. Make sure you have this noted down correctly for your in-house or virtual bookkeeper.
  • Make it Happen– Do not fall back on your promise. Make sure that you fulfil your promise to your client. It also helps if you check on your customer once you have taken care of things to ensure that the issue has been resolved.

That wasn’t too hard, was it? Customers are more likely to return if they feel their concerns were heard and addressed. Let their last encounter with you be a pleasant one. While it is no guarantee that the client will come back, this will ensure that you and your client part on a happier note.

What to Expect When You Outsource Bookkeeping

Entrepreneurs and business owners are slowly moving away from in-house and traditional bookkeeping to outsourced bookkeeping. The reason for this is evident- it is more effective, efficient and less stressful, plus you get to focus on running your business, instead of worry about your books and accounting. However despite all this, most entrepreneurs are not sure what they should expect from outsourced bookkeeping. So if you are new to the concept of outsourcing your bookkeeping, here is what you should expect.

  • Save Time and Money– If someone were to ask us why they should outsource their bookkeeping, our answer would be “To save time and money”. Everyone knows how expensive and time consuming hiring and training a new employee, bookkeeper or accountant, in this context is. Now you don’t have to worry about that; investing in outsourced bookkeeping means that your bookkeeping firm will handle the hiring and training, while you focus on your business.

Outsourced Bookkeeping

  • Informed Business Decisions– In today’s business world, information and data are key to the healthy growth and development of any business. Outsourced bookkeeping firms have the expertise, personnel and technology to work your business’ numbers and provide you with a detailed report of what is driving your business. Your books can tell you what your business needs, provide information about trends and insights. You might not be able to make the best use of your numbers if you work with an in-house bookkeeper.

What to Expect From Outsourced Bookkeeping

  • Data Security– Outsourced bookkeeping firms utilise the best security technologies, secured servers and recovery systems to ensure that data in their control is kept safe and secure. All businesses are shifting to cloud services, as data can be kept safe. Your data couldn’t be in safer hands, not even in yours.

Your bookkeeping and accounting is the lifeline of your business. Do not ignore your books. Find out what works best for you and your business, so that you can do what you do best.

Take a Break to Increase Productivity

Must people seem to think that working till you fall is the way to succeed; unfortunately you couldn’t be further away from the truth. You need breaks to increase productivity. How? Here is how taking a break can help your business.

  • Close Your Business for a Week If Possible and Take That Long Overdue Break– The best time to close your business is of course the last week of the year. It is perfect because most of your clients will be away during this week vacationing themselves. So take advantage of this; let all your clients know that you will be away and wrap up all your work during the first three weeks of December. This, of course, may not be possible if you run a retail store or a support provider, but this can work for most service based businesses like QuickBooks bookkeeper, human resources etc.

QuickBooks Bookkeeper

  • Don’t Do Anything Work Related For At Least 2 Days– Close down the business part of your brain; don’t think or do anything related to work. Instead spend time with your family, visit new places, read a book, listen to some music; do all those things you wanted to but couldn’t because of work commitments. Take the time to rejuvenate and reconnect with your family, friends and most importantly, with yourself.

Increase Productivity

  • Spend Time Thinking– Now some people may find that they need the entire week to catch up with themselves, but there are entrepreneurs who find themselves bored in less than 2 days. If you are bored, this is the right time for you to think about your business. Don’t do work like you would on a regular work day, but instead think of what your business needs, how you can improve it- all that thinking you cannot do on a regular day at work. With a fresh mind and by distancing yourself from your business, you will be able to look things objectively and identify what your business needs and increase productivity.

Taking a breather is important when you run your own business; not only will you be able to get a grip on yourself and your sanity, you will also be able to distance yourself from your business and its daily activities and view things objectively. This can greatly increase productivity of your business. Add to this the fact that you will also get to spend quality time with your family. It is a win- win.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Cash Management System

One would think that selecting a cash management system is an easy task, but it isn’t actually. When you run a business, especially a global one, using the right systems for everything from cash management to inventory management and outsource bookkeeping is crucial to the decision making process. It is important to be able to access all the data you need from one place, which is where the cash management system enters the picture. If you want to select the right system, here are some things you need to consider.

Outsource Bookkeeping

  • If you have offices in different countries, you might want to consider a cash management system that supports the market in the countries that you operate in. This can facilitate domestic transactions and cross border payments for all regional customers.
  • An efficient cash management system should be able to generate financial reports as and when needed. Every business needs real time financial reporting, only then can you be on top of things.
  • You need a system that is capable of integrating treasury data into your ERP system, providing you with business insights and trends that are useful in taking informed business decisions.
  • Your cash management system should be able to pull data from different inventories into a single platform. This is useful as the inventory management system can differ from vendor to vendor and this capability can improve work efficiency.
  • The cash management system should be able to support and account for all types of employees and all types of reports required for processing employee information.
  • If you have overseas offices which employ people who are not native English speakers, it helps to have a cash management system that is multilingual. This can improve efficiency and increase accuracy.

Cash Management System

Choosing the right cash management system may not be easy, but it is not impossible either. Understand your business and where it stands; you will be able to make the right choice. After all, who knows your business better than you?

How to Help Your Franchisees Succeed

The franchise business is on the roll. More and more entrepreneurs are finding that running a franchisee is good business. One of the reasons for this is the fact the franchiser entered the franchise business because of the success of his business; hence franchisees are also banking on receiving tips to succeed from the franchiser. If you are a franchiser wondering how you can help your franchisees, here are some tips for you.

  1. Help Set up a Good Financial Management System– Money is the backbone of any industry; it is what keeps businesses rolling. Hence it goes without saying that it is essential that your franchisee has a proper financial management system in place with reliable in- house bookkeepers or use bookkeeping online in place. If you want your franchisee and your business to succeed, it is vital that you help with financial management.

Bookkeeping Online

  1. Help with Marketing– The franchise business depends on people identifying the franchisees with your brand. Hence it is important that you take the lead on marketing, because you need to sell your brand and that is what will bring customers to your franchisee, whether you are a bookkeeping online business or a fast food chain.
  1. Train Your Franchisee– There is a reason your business is successful and that is what you need to teach your franchisee. Provide them with training on inventory management, sales and administration. Put them in touch with your service providers- bookkeeping online, payroll, IT etc. Let them visit your store and see how you run it; people learn better this way.

Running a Franchisee

  1. Encourage Your Franchisee– Franchisees are bound to have it tough- managing the business, maintaining the good name of the brand, meeting its standards, and so much more. As the franchiser, they need to know that they have your support, so encourage and appreciate them. Be open to new ideas and changes. Share your goals with them so that they know what to aim for, feel they are a part of the business and are contributing to its growth.

Always keep in mind that no business, no matter how good, if it is a franchise business cannot succeed without co-operation between the franchiser and the franchisee. Together you can make it work.