Small Business Accounting Software Can Improve Business Performance
A talented entrepreneur may have all the skills in the world but only achieves the desired level of financial performance by paying acute attention to the profitability of the business. Small business accounting software is a vital management tool to broaden the management function to include accounting and finance and improve business performance.
Every business functions through a range of disciplines, sales and marketing, operational skills, purchasing and management. Small business accounting software is an essential tool to bring financial control to the business. No matter how skilled and well trained the business every small business needs a full range of functions to reach the highest levels of success.
Liquidity is a first lesson in business to ensure that business has sufficient cash to trade the next day. Failing to meet this target and the business is finished which is why financial control which can be provided by accounting software should be regarded by the small business management as an essential piece of kit.
Suitable small business software is available to suit every type of business and can vary from a simple spreadsheet arrangement to sophisticated databases. The choice to adopt a solid financial control system is vital to ensure sales are high enough to generate profits, gross margins are sufficient, expenses are controlled, net profits are generated, cash flow is under control and losses can be identified and reversed or halted. No large business would survive without a sophisticated system of financial control and small businesses have the same requirements albeit on a different scale but usually with more devastating effects.
Operating the finance function of a small business may seem to be an administrative burden but is actually a vital tool to assist the generation of safer stronger profits growth and the early warning system of dealing with problems if the business does not perform.
Use the small business accounting software to update the financial records at least once each month. With sales recorded every month peaks and troughs in performance are obvious and can then be examined to replicate those actions that produced higher sales levels and cut out those actions which produced lesser results. The result hopefully being sustained sales growth.
Record all the costs each month and as with sales the trend to higher costs or more efficient cost control will be evident from the financial accounts. Also of importance will be the profit margin being achieved and this can be viewed against the level of sales and justified. Statistically small businesses run by born salesmen achieve high sales but at the cost of lower margins while businesses run by accountants tend to achieve higher profit margins but with lower sales.
This statistical fact is true as is also the fact that most small businesses are run by neither accountants nor salesmen but by the skilled worker applying their trade or area of expertise. By using a small business accounting software the entrepreneur can judge what he would like the figures to show against what they actually show and take the necessary action to change the future and produce the desired result. Without financial control the entrepreneur works in the dark depending on hunches more than financial facts.
No matter how good or bad a business is the cash flow or lack of it might well determine future growth or in the worst case scenario, poor liquidity can affect survival. Many small businesses that do not use a small business accounting solution package and run into difficulties have often been in financial problems for many months before it is obvious as reductions in profitability are hidden by extended credit from suppliers or tightening credit lines with customers.
Small business accounting software can indicate which parts of the business are doing well, where action is needed if underperforming and may also indicate where action needs to be taken. Accurate control of money owed in and money owed out is extremely difficult without the information to know how significant these figures are. Underperformance can be critical and the earliest warning provided by a small business accounting package can alert the management to make corrective changes and improve financial performance.
A disadvantage of small business accounting software is that it may sound like a foreign language to non accountants but it does not have to be difficult to use. Accounting software using a database can require some bookkeeping skills but there are other alternatives. A small business accounting software solution written on excel spreadsheets that produces all the main requirements with all transactions visible can be an ideal solution for the small businesses with little or no bookkeeping or accounting knowledge and experience.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terry Cartwright is a qualified accountant in the UK designs Accounting Software UK on excel spreadsheets providing complete Small Business Accounting Software solutions for small to medium sized business with Small Business Software to assist financial control and help with automated tax returns