SEIS is a Government scheme aimed at incentivising investment into so-called “seed-stage” and start up companies. This note covers the basics of how the scheme works, what tax relief is available and who is eligible for the scheme. How does the scheme work? SEIS operates in a similar manner to the Enterprise Investment Scheme, providing […]
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Cashflow is king if you’re a busy, hard-working small business owner. Getting paid on time is vital for success. But, invariably, not everyone can or will pay up when they should.
What is cashflow management? In its simplest form, cashflow management is doing everything possible to make sure money flows into your business as quickly as possible, and leaves the business as slowly as possible.
And those cashflow, billing and invoicing challenges certainly aren’t unique to the small business community. Profitable businesses are just as likely to close their doors for cashflow reasons as unprofitable ones.
No matter how well-respected, innovative or essential your business and its output is, if you’re not in control of the books, you may end up treading water.
Stay afloat with five top tips to help you to get paid on time, invoice more efficiently and create a healthier cash flow:
1. Discuss payment terms before you get started
Getting this sorted upfront means that there is no confusion down the track. It also sets the client’s expectations around payment before you start the work.
2. Keep detailed records of inventory and time
This saves time when it comes to creating the invoice and makes sure you don’t miss anything. It also means if things are going over budget you can let your client know.
3. Make the invoice clear and easy to understand
List the details of the job in a way that makes sense to the client; any confusion could create a payment lag. It’s also good to personalise your invoice with your business logo and your bank details so you can be paid.
4. Use online invoicing & implement payment services
Cloud accounting software offers an online invoicing feature that encourages collaboration with your clients, changes made to invoices are instantly updated, letting you know whether the invoice has been received, as well as viewed. This, coupled with a payment service, can really help get that payment in quicker. Up to two weeks quicker in fact!
5. Keep on track with debtors
The squeaky wheel gets the oil. When things become overdue, send reminders, monthly statements or make a phone call. It shows that you are serious about getting the invoice paid. Having a process that helps streamline invoicing can reduce the amount of time you spend collecting your hard-earned money. Check out our video if you just keep "chasing payments"
Under its Making Tax Digital initiative, the Government will require taxpayers with a turnover exceeding £10,000 to maintain digital accounts. The UK tax agency should adopt a light-touch approach to penalizing taxpayers who fail to meet the new digital reporting requirements that will be introduced from 2019, tax experts have said. The Chartered Institute of […]
HMRC’s Making Tax Digital – MTD – is a stop date, HMRC have basically said ‘from this date on: everything will be in the cloud.’” Equally, it seems the digital transition will also be a stop date for cloud companies, and Cloud Accounting NI is here to help small businesses shift to this software oriented […]
The Virtual Finance Manager is a new concept. It's a way for small businesses to get ongoing accountancy and tax support that they wouldn't have been able to afford previously.
Small businesses who hire a Virtual Finance Manager get access to an experienced financial professional at a fraction of the cost of a full-time Finance Director. A Virtual Finance Manager will:
- Handle all the duties of a traditional Finance Director, but work remotely and on a part-time basis.
- Monitor the financial health and wellbeing of the business, usually with cloud technology.
- Offer financial insight and guidance on all company decisions and issues.
- Provide back-office functions such as managing accounts ledgers, depending on the client and their needs.
Advantages for small businesses
Having access to a Virtual Finance Manager can be a big benefit for a small business. Most of them can't afford an experienced, knowledgeable finance manager on a full-time basis and may never consider hiring one.
That's a problem, because many small businesses fail within the first three years. Reasons include failure to set themselves apart from the competition, and an inability to find a profitable business model. With an accounting professional acting as their Virtual Finance Manager, they could keep their financial goals and realities clearly in sight.
A Virtual Finance Manager is an affordable alternative to hiring a full-time Finance Director and can make a big difference to a small business, by:
- Creating budgets and forecasts.
- Pinpointing problem spending by highlighting trends in the market.
- Validating or discouraging business decisions with financial well-being in mind.
These are abilities that the vast majority of business owners don't possess – but they often need them in order to succeed.
With a combination of practice knowledge, cloud-based accounting software, mobile technology and modern data analytics, we can provide Virtual Finance Manager services that will be of great benefit to your business.
Get in touch with us at Cloud Accounting (NI) if you are interested in hearing how we can help your business.