Why Today’s Small Businesses Must Have Real-Time Invoice Management Software

When it comes to running a small business, here are some reasons why having real-time invoice management software is so important.

As a small business owner, your entire focus should be on growing your business, not wasting your time with paper work. As such, you need to have the best small business accounting software you can find. Regardless of whether you’re amalgamating your costs of goods sold (COGS), or tracking your cost of services rendered, your small business must have an accounting software in order to ensure you’re properly tracking expenses in real-time. Why is an accounting software so critical for today’s small enterprises?

Answering this aforementioned question is pretty straightforward. For small manufacturers, retailers, and or distributors, the best small business accounting software ensures you capture all your costs from incoming shipments of parts and materials to outgoing customer deliveries of finished products. For service businesses, it guarantees you’ve accounted for all your service-related expenses, while also clarifying your overall gross profit on each transaction and net profit at the end of a given month or quarter.

In the end, it’s not just about making sure your financial statements are up-to-date and accurate. It’s ultimately about not having to waste time manually reconciling all these expenses, customer invoices, receivables and financial statements. After all, there are serious consequences that arise when relying upon manual approaches to invoice management. What are some of these consequences? More importantly, how can today’s best small business accounting software like Sage One eliminate these issues as going concerns?

1. Tax Time

According to the IRS, upwards of 50 percent of small and medium-sized enterprises face penalties for late, inaccurate or incorrect tax filings. A large number of these companies face extremely stiff penalties for improperly submitting those tax documents. In the end, it’s a cost that goes directly to your small business’s bottom line. In essence, it erodes net profit because it’s an expense you must pay directly from your profit. However, it’s not merely a question of improperly filling out W-2 forms for your employees. It’s ultimately about being unable to reconcile those tax filings on time and then having to redo those filings all over again.

Incorrect tax fillings are common with manual paper processes. Small businesses that rely upon timesheets, excel sheets and or paper processes are prone to errors. After all, a single key entry or data entry error has dire consequences. In fact, these errors are only spotted weeks or even months later, which makes correcting these manual errors much more time-consuming and difficult. Without the best small business accounting software, reconciling sales, invoices, employee salaries, and vendor payments, becomes a convoluted and mistake-filled process.

2. An Essential Time Saver

Marketing and selling your company should be your primary focus. This involves concentrating on growth by ensuring that you’re properly servicing your most important clients. It involves improving your products and services so that you position your small business at the front of the line. However, it doesn’t involve backtracking over previous sales totals, invoices, receivables and inventory counts from weeks and months past.
A simple online invoicing system is that all-important time saver your small business needs. It affords you the opportunity to focus on what you do best; growing your business should always be your number one priority. Here is but a small list of ways today’s best small business accounting software can save you valuable time and money.

a) Track Receivables in Real-Time: With an accounting software you can track all your receivables and send customers reminders on past due invoices at the click of a mouse. You’ll instantly be able to see which customers have paid on time, which ones are late, how much is overdue, and when those payments should arrive. If managing cash flow is critical for small businesses, then having an accounting software is a prerequisite to properly managing your cash position. However, tracking receivables is one thing, properly tracking payables is another. Your software will make managing your cash position that much easier because you’ll have an easier time reconciling your payables and your receivables. This will make it easier to manage cash flow and your business’s overall financing.

b) Accept Online Payments: Your small business must make it easy for your customers to purchase from you. That means having multiple payment options available to customers. For some customers it may be easier to pay by credit card. For others, it might be more favorable to pay through PayPal. Ultimately, the right accounting software will make it easier for your customers to pay and easier for you to collect on those payments.

c) Immediately Respond to a “Request for Quotation” (RFQ): Winning business means being able to immediately respond to customer requests for quotations and working on time-critical estimates. With the right software, you’ll be able to identify and close on those opportunities much faster than those competitors still trying to figure out where the request is coming from. In today’s business world, speed is critical to winning business and your small business must take advantage of these opportunities.

d) Customize Your Invoices: Even small businesses have a brand. With an accounting software, you’ll be able to brand your invoices and forward those invoices by email directly to your customers within minutes of generating that invoice. There will no longer be any issue pertaining to a customer claiming not to have received their invoice on time.

3. Reconciling Financial Statements

Online support is an essential selling point of any small business accounting software. The ability to reconcile financial statements, track profit and loss (P&L) statements in real-time, while also verifying bank statements, is a huge selling point and a valuable tool for your small business.

Having access to your software with online support allows you to see up-to-the-minute progress on all these aforementioned indicators. You’ll have a simpler time reconciling your financial statements via an interactive dashboard, while also being able to generate critical reports. Also, should you have any questions or issues, you’ll have a much easier time finding those all-important solutions if you have access to someone online who can help. This is a much simpler solution when compared to trying to reconcile financial statements manually, or worse, having to hire an outside accountant to do it for you.

Ultimately, it’s about having a complete solution, one where you can manage your business properly without having to concern yourself with the accuracy of your invoices, payables and or financial statements. It’s a solution that is needed to help you better manage your business. In the end, it will help you reduce costs and allow you to focus on what you do best.

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Osho is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TecheHow.