Being a small business owner comes with many different responsibilities. From having the final say to managing your finances, there’s a lot to get done in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, everything takes time, and accounting and bookkeeping can be incredibly daunting for business owners. Invoices, expenses, day-to-day accounting, and more can get overwhelming.
Luckily, small business owners don’t have to return to school to get a degree in bookkeeping or accounting to properly manage their Monday. Here are the top tools to help you manage your finances and how to choose the right tools for your needs.
Every business owner needs to understand their business finances, including where their money is going and how much is coming in. Accounting software, including professional tax software, is flexible and robust to help you manage everything from daily bookkeeping to yearly taxes.
Your accounting software should be able to manage invoicing, expense tracking, recurring payments, and quote estimates. However, it should also integrate with other technologies you use to manage your business. For example, if you run a brick-and-mortar store, you’ll want your account software to manage credit card processing and payroll.
Managing your business’ finances is about more than just understanding where your money is going and how much you’re bringing in; you should know how to budget for everything that costs money to help you save money wherever possible.
Creating a realistic budget for all aspects of your business can be difficult; even more difficult is sticking to any budget you create. You may have the ability to create budgets using your accounting software, or you may have to purchase additional budgeting tools to help you build effective budgets and stick to them.
Payroll Management Software
Some business accounting software and HR software offer payroll management, but others do not. Payroll management is time-consuming, and it’s easy to make mistakes that can upset your employees. However, you can use payroll management software to help you streamline payroll while ensuring every payment made to your employees is accurate. Many payroll management systems also integrate with other tools and can calculate and automate payments toward local, state, and federal taxes.
It can be difficult to understand your business’s overall financial health if you’re using multiple financial tools. However, with a financial dashboard, you can see your business health and track key performance indicators to measure the growth of your business and ensure you’re not overspending.
Having a dashboard gives you one easy place to look at all of your high-level financial KPIs, allowing you to immediately understand where you need to improve your processes.
Tracking your inventory can help you understand how much you’re spending on this particular area of your business. Inventory management software allows you to track your inventory from purchase to order fulfillment and alert you when you’re low on inventory to help you prevent overspending on items you don’t need and only place orders when you need to.
Automating your business finances can ensure you’re paying your employees automatically based on their hours and salaries while preventing duplicate payments. In addition, financial automation software can integrate easily with other types of business tools, including POS systems, inventory management software, and even payroll management systems.
Every business should have a bank account, credit card, and debit card. Opening a business bank account and starting a credit history can help you easily borrow money in the future and receive business-related rewards. In addition, having a business credit card will allow you to easily manage your money and keep personal accounts and business accounts separate.
Some bookkeeping and accounting software don’t include tax filing solutions that allow you to calculate your taxes and file them online, too. Filing taxes can be difficult for small business owners who don’t understand the taxes they have to pay and their tax rates. Many business owners spend weeks on their taxes, but professional tax software can help you save time and navigate tax season easily.
There are many types of tax tools available for businesses. Depending on your business type, you may need a more robust solution that can integrate with your bookkeeping solution. At the basic level, tax management software can help you manage deductions and calculate your quarterly taxes to help you find savings opportunities. When your tax forms are complete, tax software can even help you file your taxes online.
How to Choose the Right Tools for Managing Your Company’s Finances
Finding the right tools for your business depends on your particular needs. For example, some businesses will require more robust tools, depending on the industry, number of employees, and contractual obligations. Evaluating financial management tools correctly will help you find the best one so you’re not overspending for features you don’t need. Before deciding on a financial management tool for your company, here’s what to consider.
Financial tools are supposed to help you find savings opportunities, so there’s no reason to spend more than you have to on a tool or suite of tools. Always consider your budget, including the cost of setting up the software, training employees, and any fees you’ll have to pay to use the software.
Your financial information should be safe and secure, so you’ll want to find tools that allow you to set access for different users. For example, while you may need to give many of your employees access to your financial tools depending on their job duties, not all employees need to know how much you pay in taxes or how much the company makes on a daily basis. Financial tools can help you set security protocols so your employees can only access the information they need to do their jobs effectively.
Your software should be able to grow with your business. If your software doesn’t allow you to scale up or upgrade when you need additional features, it might not be best for you. Instead, choose software that allows you to add additional features when needed and avoid paying fees for them when you don’t.
Running a business is challenging, especially if you don’t have a handle on your finances. With so many financial processes, including accounting, billing and invoicing, and budgeting, you need tools that can communicate with one another to help you better manage your business without confusion or bottlenecks. When looking for financial management solutions, always consider your business’ needs and do extensive research to find the right software for you and your team.
Julia Olivas graduated from San Francisco State University with her B.A. in Communication Studies. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing and content creation. Outside of writing, she loves cooking, reading, making art, and her pup Ruby.