How SMEs can use technology to prepare for growth in the new financial year
The new financial year can be a challenging time for businesses. It can be so easy to focus on delivering the accounts for the previous financial year that insufficient time and resources are allocated to planning for the year ahead.
Despite being potentially weighed down with sorting through bundles of paperwork (invoices, receipts, payroll, bookkeeping), this is actually an ideal time to review your company’s finances. It is also the time to implement any plans and procedural process changes already identified as well as looking for opportunities to improve various areas of your business.
Even though we live in a digital age, not all businesses are taking advantage of technology to improve their operational efficiency and cash flow.
The accounting function is one area of the business where technology can make a big difference. Technology can streamline and automate many day-to-day tasks, and by reducing or removing manual or time-consuming work will ultimately free up valuable resources to facilitate growth.
Here, we have outlined just a few ways you can achieve this by automating specific business tasks and processes using technology.
Technology Can Improve Ease and Efficiency
Accounting software can provide many benefits;
- All your financial records are in one place
- Improved accuracy
- A better understanding of accounting
- More thorough reporting that are also customised to your requirements
- Faster customer payments.
The most compelling reason to move from manual to a digital system, however, is time and money savings. Freeing up resources from accounting means they’re available for investment to grow the business.
Automation Can Boost Compliance
It is crucial for SMEs to abide by finance reporting regulations set and administered by the Australian Taxation Office. Accounts and tax returns need to be submitted on time and be accurate. The penalties for inaccurate returns are punitive for any SME and in the case of incomplete or late tax returns, a penalty of $100 can be imposed for each month after the reporting deadline.
With automated processes, it is easier to stay up to date with recording your transactions. The end of any reporting period is not fraught because you’re not having to gather all your receipts, invoices, pay slips etc., or chase up missing documents and files.
There is also a greater push for end of year tax returns to be submitted online, with Australia one the country’s leading the way on this. If you leverage automated accounting software like Xero or MYOB for example, compliance with the national requirements is far easier with software providers, as they are already adjusting to these changes and requirements set down by new laws.
Decisions Can be Data-informed and Based on Facts
The year-end accounts are a vital planning tool. They report the operational and financial performance of the previous 12 months and therefore provide useful indicators for future business plans.
Obviously, the faster EOFY accounts can be produced, the more responsive a business can be to acquire insights and learnings from the previous year and apply the necessary changes to grow. Most accounting software not only perform all the basic accounting and procedural functions of book-keeping and accounts receivable, but also has very powerful reporting tools. These reports usually have a high degree of customisation to meet the needs of the business to allow you to review the best data possible to analyse performance.
Business operators or any other stakeholders for that matter, can examine the data of all the accounts and reports to decide where to reduce or increase budget allocations and identify areas where more investment is needed to help you scale efficiently.
Facilitate Employee Data Inputs
Employees outside of the accounting function can also benefit from automated processes that, in turn, feed into the greater efficiency of the business.
Automated accounting software provides smart tools to enable employees to record data which helps streamline other business processes. This includes everything from utilisation hours to payroll to expense claims for employees.
As flexible working hours and remote working is increasing due to cultural changes, the ability of employees to maintain accurate and timely records is dependent on access to the right kinds of tools to facilitate the ease of data capture and deployment across the business.
Introducing technology and automation into the accounting and accounts receivable function of a business frees up valuable time and resources that can be diverted into growth opportunities. It also provides greater accuracy and compliance both internally and externally, and informs and supports the wider business planning process to help guide long-term success.
About Marshall Freeman
Marshall Freeman is Australia’s leading debt collectors and recovery specialists. We have been servicing over 20,000 businesses throughout Australia for over 15 years, which has set the foundation of deploying industry leading knowledge and collection techniques that simply delivers results that are unrivaled. Whether you need assistance with slow payers or collection of bad debt, we offer a transparent and stress free collection process that makes your debt a priority to get you paid faster.
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