Startups are never easy. If they were, every hair-brained idea about making jetpacks from lemonade bottles or building castles from used pizza boxes would be up and running (and turning a very tidy profit). But they’re not. Jet packs need scientists, not lemons, and castles need drawbridges and moats and a mountain of rock. And don’t forget a flag. Business is hard work.
If you are yet to adopt cloud accounting software, you could inadvertently be making things even more difficult for yourself. How so? Let’s find out.
Accounting on the move
Your accounts need to be in order. There’s no denying that accounts are important and that they take time, but for some reason, they are often overlooked for days on end. Perhaps it’s the monotony of updating your spreadsheets. Perhaps some people just don’t have a head for statistics and facts and figures, believing themselves to be the “brains” behind the business rather than one of the troops in the trenches actually making the company tick over.
One of the main reasons people don’t update their accounts is a lack of accessibility on the move. Cloud accounting software sorts this out. Wherever you have an internet connection, your data can be accessed, meaning your accounts can now be updated everywhere, from a moving train in Italy to a fishing trip in Canada. Now there’s no excuse.
Invoicing is huge. If you don’t invoice, you can expect to run into difficulty with payments and payment deadlines.
Without being too cynical, it’s worth suggesting that some of your clients will try to wriggle out of paying full price for services and goods rendered. They will try to sneak a discount wherever they can. And they know that the longer they use avoidance tactics, the more likely you are to accept a lower payment (or risk receiving nothing at all).
Accounting software can help you to set up an online payment system that automatically invoices your clients. Itemised bills and payment dates are hard to ignore (and official documentation stands you in good stead if things move towards legal action – but that is a very rare circumstance).
Track your top customers
If you know who your top five customers are, you can benefit from data-driven insights. Are all of your main customers from a certain geographic location? Are you selling more to businesses than the general public? Do your customers gravitate towards a handful of your goods and services? When you know who is interacting with your company the most, and when you know the channels they take to check you out and buy from you, you can tailor your marketing approach accordingly.
Track your VAT returns
Do you have access to your previous VAT period figures? What about this period? And do you know how many days until this period ends?
Tracking your VAT is an essential part of keeping your books up to date. Where your taxes are involved, you want to know that every payment is accounted for so that you can continue with what’s important – running your business.